Governing Body

316th ILO Governing Body – Officers’ statement on the crisis

The global jobs gap will widen as the world’s economy worsens warned Mr Gilles de Robien (ILO Governing Body Chairperson), Mr Daniel Funes de Rioja (Employer Vice-Chairperson) and Mr Luc Cortebeeck (Worker Vice-Chairperson) in a statement issued at the end of the 316th session of the ILO’s Governing Body. They called for crisis-response measures strongly focused on decent and productive employment opportunities and social inclusion making full use of social dialogue and respecting rights in the workplace.

Statement | Geneva | 15 November 2012

From left to right: MM Daniel Funes de Rioja, Gilles de Robien and Luc Cortebeeck
"The latest forecasts predict further challenges to economic growth over 2012 and in 2013 which will deepen the global jobs gap that worsened with the 2008 crisis. There is a high risk of the world economy sliding into a period of prolonged low or negative growth that will exacerbate the already bleak outlook for poverty alleviation, social cohesion, sustainable enterprises and employment, particularly of young people.

The victims will be millions of working women and men and the communities and nations in which they live. Global unemployment is expected to reach at least 203 million in 2013 and nearly 40 million more people have dropped out of the labour force since before the crisis. The growth slowdown around the world stands to result in appalling social consequences for workers and in crisis for many employers.

There are no quick fixes. However, through its coordinated actions at the international, the regional and the national level, the tripartite International Labour Organization has the capacity to play a positive role in proposing measures to achieve recovery from the crisis and mitigate its worst impact.

Accordingly, building upon the discussion of the global economic crisis by the Governing Body’s high-level Working Party on the Social Dimension of Globalization, we the Officers of the Governing Body agreed on the following principles and initiatives:
  1. We stress that social dialogue is a crucial tool in the search for consensus on a wide range of policy solutions. The ILO needs to prioritize social dialogue at all levels as part of its crisis response.
  2. We assert that respect for fundamental principles and rights at work is central to human dignity. It is also an important input for recovery and development.
  3. We reaffirm the importance of the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization (2008) and the ILO Global Jobs Pact (2009) in achieving sustainable recovery and growth.
  4. We emphasize the key nature of the mandate and the participation of the ILO in the G20 Summit and of Labour Ministers in the G20 and other relevant international processes.
  5. We therefore request the Director-General to take the following actions:
  • Making maximum use of forthcoming official ILO meetings including the Ninth European Regional Meeting, 317th Session of the Governing Body and 102nd Session of the International Labour Conference in order for ILO constituents to debate the crisis, promote coordinated action and advance solutions;
  • Seeking all possible means to put employment and fundamental principles and rights at work at the centre of the development agenda in the context of the decisions to be taken at relevant forums, leading to the adoption of a goal and target on full and productive employment and decent work as part of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda;
  • Intensifying common efforts of the Governing Body and the Office to promote policy coherence between all relevant international and regional organizations in order to promote growth, decent and productive employment and social inclusion."