99th International Labour Conference
"Real economy" leaders discuss policy responses to global economic and jobs crisis
Leaders from the real economy, meeting at the International Labour Organization's annual conference, held a high-level debate on ways out of the global economic and jobs crisis and called for an urgent, balanced policy approach that would combine economic recovery with jobs growth.
Two high-level panels were convened at the ILO’s International Labour Conference amid growing concern over unemployment, which remains at its highest point ever, and the impact of the sovereign debt crisis and recent moves to reduce deficits, impose austerity measures and take other steps towards fiscal consolidation.
The two panels were convened to discuss ways of forging a job-rich recovery and fostering more sustainable and balanced growth through making employment a macroeconomic objective of the same order as low inflation and deficits. They also discussed the contribution of productive employment and social protection to realizing faster progress to achieve internationally agreed development goals such as the MDGs.
Many speakers voiced strong support for the ILO’s Global Jobs Pact and Decent Work as providing a foundation for a sustainable way out of the crisis.
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> Pictures of the event
Videos of the panels
Panel 1: The Global Jobs Pact and macroeconomic policy (video – 12’30’’)
The panel heard keynote addresses by:
- Introduction by Mr. Gilles de Robien (France), followed by an address by Mr. Celso Amorim, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Brazil (Video in Portuguese)
- Video statement by Hilda Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor, United States, on the outcome of the G20 Labour Ministers meeting in Washington (Watch the video and read the statement)
- Video statement by Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations (Watch the video and read the statement)
Moderated by Mr. Simon Long from The Economist, panellists discussed various issues including how employment can become a macroeconomic objective of the same order as low inflation and deficits. Panellists included:
Ms Sandra Polaski, Deputy Under Secretary, Department of Labor, United States;
- Ms Maria Helena André, Minister of Labour and Social Solidarity, Portugal;
- Ms Aisha Abdel Hady, Minister of Manpower and Migration, Egypt;
- Mr Carlos Tomada, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security, Argentina (Video interview in spanish);
- Mr Richard Samans, Managing Director, World Economic Forum;
- Mr Alberto Nadal, Secretary General, Confederation of Spanish Employers (Video interview in Spanish);
- Mr Guy Ryder, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
Panel 2: The role of productive employment and social protection in realizing internationally agreed development goals and the MDGs (video – 7’03’’)
Moderated by Mr. Americo Martins dos Santos from BBC World Service, panellists discussed various issues including the role of social protection as a development and poverty reduction tool.
- Mr Robert Nkili, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Cameroun; Chairperson, African Union Labour and Social Affairs Commission; Government Vice-President of the ILC;
- Dr Kamal Elkheshen, Vice President, Sector Operations, African Development Bank;
- Mr Yogendra K. Modi, Chairman and CEO, Great Eastern Energy Corporation Ltd.;
- Mr Quintino M. Severo, General Secretary, Central Sindical dos Trabalhadores (CUT), Brazil (Video interview in Portuguese);
- Mr Anders Wijkman, Vice-Chairman, Tallberg Foundation and member of the Club of Rome.
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