UN Chief Executives Board puts job creation and social protection at the heart of its Joint Crisis Initiatives

UN agencies address the social disruption caused by the global financial and economic crisis

News | 01 March 2010

In April 2009, the United Nations Chief Executives Board for Coordination – the UN Body that furthers coordination and cooperation on a whole range of substantive and management issues between UN Agencies, funds and programmes – endorsed nine joint initiatives to address the social disruption caused by the global financial and economic crisis.

Recognizing that the most serious repercussions are being felt by those who were least responsible – the poor in developing countries, the Initiatives are intended to ensure coherent inter-agency action on issues of concern related to the crisis.

The Initiatives call on UN agencies1 to develop coherent policy responses in nine key areas: finance; food security; trade; environment; employment, production and aggregate demand; social protection floor; humanitarian, security and social stability; technology and innovation; monitoring and analysis.

As part of its commitment to promote the Global Jobs Pact, the International Labour Organization (ILO) is leading Initiative 5 with the cooperation of 13 other UN/ Bretton Woods agencies and the UN Regional Commissions. The initiative aims at strengthening inter-agency exchange and cooperation in boosting employment, production, investment and aggregate demand, and promoting decent work for all. The ILO is also co-leading Initiative 6 on a Social Protection Floor with the WHO, joined by 17 agencies and the Regional Commissions. The initiative aims at ensuring access to basic social services, shelter, empowerment and protection, as a way to mitigate the impact of the crisis on the poor and the vulnerable.

In line with its mandate within the initiatives, the ILO is:

  • identifying critical areas in which cooperation among agencies can provide significant added value to the implementation of the Global Jobs Pact, globally and in countries;
  • reviewing country experiences and assessing key areas for technical assistance in the implementation of the Pact:
  • seeking existing expertise, networks and sources of funding which could be mobilized to respond to the needs of countries;
  • leading advocacy initiatives with partner agencies;
  • developing training modules for national social policy planners, together with WHO and UNICEF and in collaboration with other agencies, to be held in Turin and Santiago de Chile; and
  • drafting an action manual for joint country activities and assessing its applicability (country case studies).

In her letter to the UN Resident Coordinators, Helen Clark, Chair of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) alerted the international community to the interconnectedness between all crisis areas, priority being given to the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Low Income Countries (LICs). It encourages international partners to provide coordinated support to strong, field-based and country-owned crisis responses. Full consideration is given to using existing mechanisms (e.g. funding for food security) and identifying remaining financial gaps in the efforts spent in establishing country-level Multi Donor Trust Funds (MDTFs).

The Initiatives templates update the CEB on progress made and provide a full picture on what actions should be taken by the UN System to overcome the recession. The UN JCI Resources Guide describes how these initiatives translate into action at the global, regional and national levels. A monitoring and analysis system has been established in order to track developments, and report on the political, economic, social and environmental dimensions of the crisis, with a clear view of issuing an economic early warning mechanism.

For more information on the ILO Global Jobs Pact, please contact jobspact@ilo.org