Delegation of the European Union to Jamaica, Belize, Turks and Caicos Islands, Bahamas and the Cayman Islands

ILO - GB341 - EU Statement: Follow-up to the resolution on the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work: Proposals aimed at promoting greater coherence within the multilateral system

Geneva, 19/03/2021 - 18:39, UNIQUE ID: 210322_5
Statements on behalf of the EU

341st session of the ILO Governing Body, 15–27 March 2021 - EU Statement: Follow-up to the resolution on the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work: Proposals aimed at promoting greater coherence within the multilateral system GB.341/INS/8

  1. Chair, I speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

The Candidate Countries the Republic of North Macedonia*[1], Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, and the EFTA country Norway, member of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this statement.

We align ourselves with the IMEC Statement.

  1. The recognition of the “strong, complex and crucial links between social, trade, financial, economic and environmental policies” lies at the heart of the human-centred approach promoted by the ILO Centenary Declaration. As the pandemic is having intertwined economic, social and health impacts and we strive for inclusive and sustainable recovery, we believe the objectives of the Centenary Declaration are more relevant than ever
  2. To achieve the goals of the Centenary Declaration and put “workers’ rights and the needs, aspirations and rights of all people at the heart of economic, social and environmental policies”, the ILO must strengthen its role in the multilateral system. It must reinforce its cooperation and develop new institutional arrangements with other organizations, within and beyond the UN system, to promote social justice coherently across economic, financial, trade, social and environmental policies.
  3. At the outset, we wish to underline the strategic importance of ensuring the ILO’s active engagement in the implementation of the UN Development System Reform, which seeks to make agencies, funds and programs - and the UN System as a whole - work better together striving for more efficiency and coherence in their activities, in line with their respective mandates. We support effective multilateralism, with a strong UN at the core of ‘delivering as one’ to achieve the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs. The reform is a unique opportunity to promote the ILO’s mandate, tripartite structure and regulatory role and, as such, should be a cornerstone of the ILO’s multilateral partnerships strategy. We thank the Office for the overview of ILO’s current activities and cooperation with other multilateral partners. We note for example the cooperation with OECD, OHCHR, UN Women, UNDP and IFC. We also welcome and encourage the ILO’s participation in innovative multi-stakeholders partnerships such as EPIC and Alliance 8.7. These are essential tools to achieve the 2030 Agenda, including SDG 17 in particular.
  4. We would welcome further information on the reasons behind the differences in the degree of cooperation with these organizations. Information on the political or institutional challenges may help design a more strategic approach towards strengthening the ILO’s partnerships.
  5. In this regard, we note that priority issues identified in the document differ in nature and strategic importance. For us, it is of particular importance to build partnerships in policy areas such as the reduction of inequalities, the promotion of quality employment, including decent work in global supply chains, just transition and climate action for decent jobs.
  6. Promoting international labour standards is at the heart of the ILO’s mandate, including in the context of trade. More can be done to promote worldwide ratification and implementation of ILO standards, including core labour standards. In this regard, the EU and its Member States, in line with the EU funded project on Trade for Decent Work, would welcome further activities in this area.
  7. In our EU Multilateralism Strategy, we underline the importance of promoting universal access to social protection, especially in the current context Recommendation 202 remains an important instrument in this regard. We welcome the prospects of new cooperation of ILO with the IMF and enhanced activities in the context of USP2030 and SPIAC-B. In this regard, it is crucial that global coordination leads to concrete and significant joint actions on the ground, fostering domestic ownership and making a real difference for people.
  8. The document discussed today contains relevant proposals for steps in the right direction. Also taking into consideration the outcomes of the next ILC, we would welcome a revised list of strategic policy priorities, clarifying how opportunities are seized and challenges met by the ILO in reinforcing its role in the multilateral system in the attempts to build back better.
  9. As we are currently preparing the ILC outcome document on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we support the Office’s proposal to convene, towards the end of 2021, a major policy forum on a human-centred recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. Such a timely, high-level meeting may help shape the foundations of a comprehensive ILO multilateral partnership strategy supporting the reinforcement of multilateralism so that it delivers more effectively and inclusively, leaving no-one behind.
  10. We invite the Office to prepare proposals on the way such a meeting could be organized, on its envisaged outcomes and anticipated follow-up.
  11. With these remarks, we support the point for decision.
  12. Thank you Chair.


*The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.


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