Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Creating jobs for equity and prosperity – Focus of UNDP and ILO regional conference held in Skopje

Policymakers, experts and development practitioners discussed how to solve the region’s employment crisis and promote job-rich growth

Skopje hosted a two-day Regional Conference on Employment and Social Inclusion, entitled “Creating Jobs for Equity and Prosperity”. The conference took place on 16-17 April 2015.

Organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO), the conference brought together a diverse group of policymakers, experts and development practitioners. More than 100 participants attended the conference, representing all the countries of Southeast Europe and Turkey.

”Creating more and better jobs is the single biggest challenge that Southeast Europe faces. High rates of unemployment, together with a slow transition from education to work, are preventing the region from enjoying prosperity and job-rich growth,” said UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Louisa Vinton. “To meet this challenge, we need bold new policy approaches and joint efforts to leverage the opportunities of European integration. The Skopje conference was a forum for countries to share tested solutions for employment and social inclusion.”

The conference featured presentations of successful policy and programming responses aimed at promoting entrepreneurship as a solution to high youth unemployment; adapting skills and vocational training to meet market demands; fostering sustainable and green enterprises; as well as developing policies aimed at opening the labour market to hard-to-employ groups.

Keynote speakers included:
  • Ms Cihan Sultanoglu, UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Europe and the CIS;
  • Mr Heinz Koller, ILO Regional Director for Europe and Asia;
  • Mr Dime Spasov, Minister of Labour and Social Policy;
  • Mr Goran Svilanovic, Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council; and
  • Mr Thomas Bender, Head of External Relations, Neighbourhood Policy, Enlargement and IPA Unit, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission.