ILO employment forum calls for global jobs rescue package

Some 700 political and economic leaders meeting for the Global Employment Forum at the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva, adopted on Saturday the Global Agenda for Employment in an effort to mitigate a stunning reversal in the global economy that threatens to plunge some 24 million people into joblessness, and millions more into poverty.The plan provides a framework for marshalling such forces as international trade, information technology, entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability, monetary and fiscal policy, education and training, health and safety, labour market policies, social protection and social dialogue to create jobs and alleviate poverty. The plan will be submitted to the ILO’s Governing Body meeting, which opens in Geneva next week, for further action.Delegates to the Forum also called for a global stimulus package designed to boost employment and reduce poverty, and appealed to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Meeting from 9 to 13 November in Doha, Qatar, to join the fight for jobs by opening up international trade to developing countries.”We all feel very strongly a sense of urgency, for today, for now,” ILO Director-General Juan Somavia said. “But we all agree there will be no ‘quick fix’ solutions.”Mr. Somavia said the ILO would seek to unite its social partners – governments, workers and employers – behind a common front with the United Nations and its agencies, the Bretton Woods institutions and the WTO, to forge a global alliance for employment.

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