Kyoto (ILO News): Government ministers, representatives of workers' and employers' organizations, and academics from about 40 countries in Asia, the Pacific and the Arab States will be gathering in Kyoto, Japan to discuss how employment, economic and social progress can be safeguarded in the face of the uncertain global economic outlook.
The 15th Asia and the Pacific Regional Meeting (APRM) of the International Labour Organization (ILO) will take place from 4-7 December 2011 at the Kyoto International Convention Centre (KICC), Kyoto, Japan.
About 450 people are expected to attend the APRM, including about 35 government labour and employment ministers. The Prime Minister of Japan, H.E. Mr Yoshihiko Noda will give the Keynote Statement at the opening ceremony, on Sunday 4 December The Director General of the ILO, Mr Juan Somavia will also give a speech.
Discussions at the meeting will focus on co-coordinating macroeconomic, employment and social protection policies; supporting productive employment, sustainable enterprises and skills development; and rights at work and social dialogue. A Youth Leaders' Forum will tackle the pressing challenge of youth employment and there will be special sessions on green jobs, employment-led natural disaster response and partnerships for decent work.
The meeting will open at a time of extreme economic uncertainty and amid growing concern that, while the region's economic performance remains positive, it will not be immune from the turbulence affecting its key export markets.
"The existing unbalanced growth cannot continue. It has failed to deliver jobs of the quality and quantity needed to assure women and men and their families a decent life,” Mr Somavia said. “Today, unemployment levels in Asia and the Pacific have yet to reach the pre-crisis low of 76.9 million in 2007. Nearly 60% of the region’s workers are in vulnerable employment. We need a model of growth that is more socially and economically efficient. The crisis of youth employment demands urgent action. Young people make up around 20 per cent of the region's population but are half of the jobless. We must restore their hope in a better future through opportunities for decent work".
During the meeting there will also be addresses by H.E. Dr. Jose Luis Guterres, Vice Prime Minister of Timor Leste, Dr Ahmed Luqman, Director General of the Arab Labour Organization and Dr Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary General of ASEAN.
The ILO is the United Nations specialized agency dealing with work and work-related issues. It has a unique tripartite membership structure, under which governments, employers' and workers' organizations act as equal partners, making decisions representative of the real economy.
The APRM is normally held only every four years. The last meeting was in Busan, South Korea in 2006. More information about the Kyoto meeting and the topics under discussion can be found at: /aprm2011, and by following ILONEWS on Twitter.
For further information please contact:
Ms Sophy Fisher
Regional Information Officer – Asia and the Pacific
Japan mobile: 080-3208 7988
Ms Farah Dakhlallah
Regional Outreach and Advocacy Officer - Arab States
Japan Mobile: 080-3002 2385
Ms Marcia Poole
Director, ILO Dept. of Communications
Tel: +41 79 593 1530