LISBON (ILO News) – In the face of an increasingly turbulent and imbalanced global economy, representatives of governments, labour and employers will be joined by leaders from parliaments, academia and civil society on 31 October for a three-day ILO Forum on Decent Work for a Fair Globalization. The Forum is to discuss a wide range of globalization issues and seek ways of promoting decent work as the key to economic, social and environmental sustainability and inclusiveness.
The ILO Forum on Decent Work for a Fair Globalization at the AIP Congress Center in Lisbon is expected to draw more than 300 participants. Mr José Sócrates, the Prime Minister of Portugal, which also currently holds the Presidency of the European Union (EU) will address the opening. The government is hosting the meeting, which is also supported by the European Commission.
Also speaking at the opening plenary will be the Secretary-General designate of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Mr. Surin Pitsuwan, ILO Director-General Mr. Juan Somavia; Dr. D. Jayatilleka, Chairperson, ILO Governing Body; Mr. Daniel Funes de Rioja; Employer Vice-Chairperson, ILO Governing Body; and Sir Roy Trotman, Worker Vice-Chairperson of the ILO Governing Body, and Mr. Jose Antonio Vieira Da Silva, Minister for Labour and Social Solidarity, Portugal. Mr. Vladimir Spidla, EU commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities will speak on Thursday.
The Forum will review progress toward making globalization fair and more balanced and look at broad strategies for realizing decent work.
Key topics to be addressed at the Forum include:
- Training and skills: international action for more and better education and training which is key to employability, economic growth and poverty alleviation.
- The informal economy: According to the latest ILO estimates, informal employment comprises about 65 per cent of non-agricultural employment in developing Asia, 51 per cent in Latin America, 48 per cent in North Africa, and 72 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa. The Forum will discuss innovative solutions and practical responses to upgrade informal enterprises and promote decent work in this area.
- Migration: The ILO estimates migrant workers numbered some 94 million in 2005, with almost one third of migration movements among developing countries (South to South). The Forum will discuss ways to secure the benefits and diminish the risks of international labour migration.
- Social security: While 80 per cent of the world’s working women and men have little or no social security, the ILO estimates that less than 2 per cent of global GDP would be necessary to provide a basic set of social security benefits to all of the world’s poor. The Forum will consider strategies to expand access to social security.
- Youth employment: In 2006, the ILO estimated that at least 400 million decent and productive employment opportunities will be needed in order to reach the full productive potential of today's youth. Forum participants will review efforts to promote decent work opportunities for young women and men.
The Forum will also address policy coherence in the international system. The recently agreed UN Chief Executives Board’s (CEB) “Toolkit for Mainstreaming Employment and Decent Work” could offer a practical way forward. The Toolkit was designed to help organizations throughout the multilateral system assess and improve employment and decent work outcomes of their own policies, programmes and activities.
The idea of convening the Forum was put forward by the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization set up by the ILO in its 2004 report (Note 1). It launched an international dialogue on the need for a fair and equitable globalization and received strong national, regional and global support. The need for fair and equitable globalization and decent work for all received worldwide endorsement by the 2005 UN World Summit at the UN and the UN Economic and Social Council in 2006.
Note for the media:
For media accreditation and other information, please contact:
Ana Santos of the ILO Lisbon Office at +35191/830-0184 or email@example.com, or contact ILO Department of Communication at firstname.lastname@example.org, +4122/799-7912.
For more information on Forum and copies of relevant documentation, please see the dedicated website: www.ilo.org/lisbonforum
Note 1 - A fair globalization: Creating opportunities for all, Report of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization, International Labour Office, Geneva, 2004.