As part of the preparations for the upcoming Rio+20 Conference, the ILO, member countries and social partners have endorsed a set of key messages for the outcome of the summit in June. They call for a stronger coherence between the three pillars of sustainable development and urge the importance of creating more and better employment opportunities while enabling the transition to a green economy.
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – Rio +20 will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 20-22 June 2012. More than 120 Heads of State are expected to participate together with United Nations agencies, trade unions, employers’ organizations and civil society. The agenda of Rio+20 focuses on two themes: (a) a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and (b) the institutional framework for sustainable development.
ILO´s key messages for a meaningful outcome
ILO’s short and focused statement on behalf of the world of work signals ILO’s renewed commitment to the goals of sustainable development and flag its readiness to be part of an action plan for the implementation of the Summit outcomes.
1. Renewed commitment: Governments have to reaffirm the goal of decent work for all as central to sustainable development, articulate the linkages between the three pillars, and commit to develop mutually supportive economic, social and environmental policies.
2. A strong social pillar. The social pillar of the Sustainable Development Framework has to be built upon the principle of decent work for all. This implies that decent work and social inclusion are reflected in indicators, goals, possible national commitments and governance mechanisms agreed upon at the Summit.
3. Employment, sustainable enterprises, infrastructure and skills development. The green economy must provide the needed jobs, especially for the growing numbers of youth. Countries have to be encouraged to set nationally agreed and attainable targets to increase the share of green jobs in the labour market over time.
4. Social protection. In order to build resilient enterprises and communities that have the ability to adapt to climate change and serve as a stabilizer in times of economic crisis, special focus has to be given to social protection and the creation of national social protection floors.
5. Standards and fundamental principles and rights. International labour standards provide an important normative framework, as well as practical guidance for the formulation of policies conducive to sustainable development and for good governance.
6. Enabling policies for making the transition work for all. A clear framework and institutional arrangement to review, discuss and agree on response measures to structural changes in the transition to a greener economy is required, with an active role of the social partners.
7. Institutional framework (governance) and national capacities. Social dialogue and efforts to enhance policy coherence between the three pillars of sustainable development have to underpin any national institutional framework and should guide the design of reporting mechanisms on progress and implementation gaps.
8. SDGs. The formulation of SDGs needs to include the creation of green jobs, decent work and social inclusion through policies for the greening of economies. Specific indicators and goals should be adopted to reflect job creation and social inclusion, as well as the role of social protection and the implementation of social protection floors.
9. Capacity building. Major efforts should be made to further build member States’ capacities and knowledge, particularly at the national level, on labour market trends and developments resulting from the greening of economies and enterprises, with the aim of charting pathways for a just transition.
All the key messages include the following acknowledgments:
(i) the need for a strong social pillar of sustainable development with decent work as a conceptual framework;
(ii) the recognition of social dialogue as a major contributor to the governance of sustainable development;
(iii) the importance of decent work should be reflected in appropriate indicators and in the possible sustainable development goals that the Rio+20 Conference may formulate;
ILO´s active engagement in Rio+20
During the UNCSD, the ILO will convene a side event on 22 June entitled “Decent Work and Social Protection Floors for Sustainable Development”. Stakeholders from Brazil, India and South Africa will showcase successful experiences of coherent policies and effective programmes linking social protection, employment, economic and environmental issues.
Other key side events with a major ILO contribution include “Green Jobs: A chance for youth”, convened by UNEP and to be held on 15 June. In a parallel effort the ILO is organizing awareness raising workshops and training courses on green jobs, at country level and at the ITC in Turin, Italy.
For more information see the original press release here.
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