European Union Election Observation Mission
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ILO Governing Body 337th session - PFA/1: Programme and Budget for 2020–21: Programme of work and results framework

Geneva, 28/10/2019 - 18:00, UNIQUE ID: 191029_3
Statements on behalf of the EU

ILO Governing Body 337th session, Geneva, 28 October – 7 November 2019

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

The Candidate Countries Turkey, Montenegro[*] , Serbia[*] and Albania[*] as well as the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina align themselves with this statement.

We support the IMEC statement.

The European Union and its Member States thank the Office for the comprehensive Programme of Work and Results Framework reflecting the Centenary Declaration. We believe that the document reflects ILO’s priorities in a concise and structured manner.

The European Union and its Member States have always been and continue to be committed supporters of the ILO’s agenda. We welcome the human centred approach to the future of work, encompassed in 8 policy outcomes and 3 enabling outcomes, as well as the fact that the programme content also embeds management and policy strategies and action plans previously agreed by the GB. At the same time we encourage the Office to continue to further strengthen the Results Framework, in particular by adding outcome indicators and targets to increase overall transparency and to ensure that the Office is able to monitor progress on results as efficiently and effectively as possible.

The Programme & Budget should reflect the need for a balance between agility and robustness, not in the least with a view to medium term discussions on the direction of ILO’s work. It should therefore be strategic, covering all budgetary resources to ensure effective, quality-focused delivery of results of the policy outcomes both at ILO headquarters and in the field, committed to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, allowing for the ILO to promote greater coherence in the multilateral system, as was stated in the Declaration. It should also provide flexibility for the Director-General and his staff to manage for results, achieve the agreed policy outcomes, while making use of the enabling outcomes.

With the recently-held ILC behind us, we now all face the challenge to practice what we preached, implement what we promised and show the added value of tripartism and constructive social dialogue and the influence and vision it can have in shaping a future of work for the better. The ILO should continue to take on the leadership role in assessing how the drivers of the labour market shape the future of work. We express - again - our support to the social partners in the ILO as well as the UN context and will continue to do so.

The ILO’s work is founded on strong and representative social partners, social dialogue and the development and maintenance of robust and up-to-date international labour standards, both essential for making progress in respect of all other policy outcomes, as stated in the Office paper.  ILO’s standard setting role to respond to the changing patterns of the world of work is fundamental, hence the EU and its Member States stress that sufficient budgetary resources be allocated to this pivotal topic, taking into account the importance of ensuring an effective supervisory mechanism to increase the impact of international labour standards and their proper application.

The ILO - being an important player in the UN Development System Reform Process – should strengthen playing its part in the collaboration with UN Country Teams, in close cooperation and consultations with the ILO field structure. Strong engagement of the Office and social partners will help the UN Resident Coordinator and UN Country Teams to deliver on pursuing ILO’s normative agenda and values. ILO’s Decent Work Country Programmes will also continue to be relevant in this context.

We also welcome the fact that the main orientations of the Declaration are reflected in the outcomes, such as occupational safely & health, global supply chains, just transition,  promoting the acquisition of skills, promoting workers’ rights, achieving gender equality and non-discrimination at work by addressing its causes as well as origins, and working towards adequate labour protection to workers in diverse forms of work arrangements, including on digital labour platforms and in informal employment, to name a few.

Despite references to sustainable economic growth, sustainable enterprises, and ILO’s engagement in furthering a just transition to an environmentally sustainable future of work, we would have welcomed a stronger overall emphasis on addressing the effects that climate change has on the world of work, especially given ILO’s commitment to the "Guidelines for a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all”.

Additional information would be welcome on the allocation of regular income versus extra budgetary resources to the different outcomes, how the Office will strategize on acquiring the financial means necessary to meet its priorities in the current biennium, as well as for the medium and long-term, with a view to the upcoming discussions on the development cooperation strategy and the next strategic plan (2022-2025).

We would also like to receive additional background information how to compare resources allocated to different actions and their relative weight compared to the current P&B in order to understand the change in ILO work during the next biennia. In appendix I (Results Framework for 2020 – 21) means of verifications and baselines on outputs are quite general and these do not clearly demonstrate the shift of ILO work and allocation to different outputs.

On outcome level, which is essential in terms of actual results achieved, we would like to stress the need for including indicators and baselines. In our view, ILO’s ability to monitor on progress achieved and to learning-while-doing should be strengthened with a view to boost ILO’s contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This ability would also be beneficial for improved accountability and transparency in this regard.

We welcome the focus on strengthening employer and business membership organizations and workers' organizations in outcome 1 as a crucial means to achieve results on all other policy outcomes. We stress the need for activities safeguarding and developing strong and independent workers' and employers' organizations; the effective recognition of their right to engage in collective bargaining remains important for both workers and employers.

Chair, very recently the EU adopted Council Conclusions on the Centenary Declaration, a strong signal of our unbridled commitment to give proper follow-up to the Declaration and implement its key decisions.

We look forward to participating in productive discussions on this very important point of the GB Agenda. All partners can count - as always - on a constructive and engaged European Union.

Thank you.


[*] Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

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