Delegation of the European Union

to the International Organisations in Vienna

International Labour Conference 109th session - EU Opening Statement in the COVID Response Committee

Geneva, 03/06/2021 - 17:52, UNIQUE ID: 210603_18
Statements on behalf of the EU

Thank you Chair.

I am speaking on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

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

We align ourselves with the IMEC Statement.

  1. We thank the Director-General for the draft outcome document on a global call to action for a human-centred recovery from the COVID-19 crisis that is inclusive, sustainable and resilient.
  2. The COVID19 pandemic is affecting every aspect of the world of work today and will do so for many years. It is one of the most significant global challenges the world is facing. 
  3. One year on, saving lives and jobs is still an immediate priority in many places However, we also need to look ahead to the future, as well as to the broader implications that the crisis has.
  4. The ILO has a crucial role to play in the recovery from the crisis and the strengthening of social cohesion through more inclusive and resilient societies and economic models. It contributes to the shared objectives of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the ILO’s historic vocation of social justice and decent work for all. We believe that ILO’s role and normative mandate, as well as its actions, especially at country-level in the context of the UN Country Teams, are indispensable to foster a human-centred, inclusive and sustainable recovery based on a holistic approach and policy coherence. A recovery that places us all on a trajectory of sustainable development in all its dimensions - economic, social and environmental.


  1. The European Union and its Member States welcome the general approach of the draft outcome document.
  2. We strongly support the call for a human-centred, inclusive and sustainable recovery.  We need to urgently deal with economic and social inequalities, accelerate the implementation of the Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work, as well as strengthening international cooperation. It is a call addressed to governments, workers, employers, and the ILO itself but also to the wider multilateral sphere and to the world.
  3. The informal consultations have improved the text significantly. We thank all groups for their engagement and constructive input. And we thank the Office for the quality of its work and its efforts to  take on board and integrate many of the views expressed.
  4. Although we would have preferred a shorter and punchier outcome document with an annex, we believe that the structure is now clearer and includes elements on the “how” to move forward. We welcome that more attention has been given to women and youth as well as to occupational safety and health, universal access to social protection and non-discrimination. Also the aspects of informality, global supply chains, the sectoral dimension, teleworking, just transition and social dialogue are better reflected.
  5. We however believe the text could be refined to ensure clearer and better alignment with the Centenary Declaration. We therefore support IMEC proposed amendments that also reflect our views.


  1. The European Union and its Member States will work with all groups to consider the amendments proposed and find a consensual way forward. You can count - as always - on our engaged and constructive approach to shape a strong and meaningful ILO’s message to the outside world.
  2. We look forward for this Committee to put forward an ambitious and action-oriented outcome document on COVID-19 in the coming days, on the basis of the draft submitted by the Director General.

Thank you Chair


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


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