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Jamaica has been praised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), for its involvement in formulating the Global Jobs Pact, which aims to boost job creation and economic recovery efforts across the globe.
There are “Jamaican fingerprints all over this Global Jobs Pact,” said Director of the ILO’s Policy Integration Department, Stephen Pursey, at the meeting with officials of the Labour and Social Security Ministry yesterday (Aug.12) at the Ministry’s North Street location.
The Global Jobs Pact is designed to guide national and international policies aimed at stimulating economic recovery, generating jobs and providing protection to working people and their families.
It was adopted following the ILO’s three-day Special Global Jobs Crisis Summit held in June this year in Geneva, Switzerland.
Heads of State, Labour ministers, leaders from employers’ and workers’ organisations, and labour specialists from over 160 countries met to discuss job creation strategies. Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding, headed the list of Jamaican delegates at the conference, which included Executive Director of the Mona School of Business at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Professor Neville Ying, who was a member of the drafting committee for the Global Jobs Pact.
Mr. Pursey said he was impressed by the Prime Minister’s speech at the conference, noting that it “was a very thoughtful speech. He definitely has a very wide perspective on the issues around the (job) crisis, and I think his endorsement of the Global Jobs Pact was really very important.”
He said that the Pact is almost done, and that the “final touches” are currently being worked on. He noted, however, that one challenge faced when drafting the Pact was formulating it in such a way so that it could be tailored to suit each country’s situation.
“We have a global jobs crisis and everybody is calling for global solutions. We have summit meetings here and there to discuss global solutions to the global crisis, yet every country’s situation is different, so nobody wants a one-size-fits all solution. Nobody wants something that is generated out of a computer and you just feed the numbers in and that’s your policy. It has to be very reflective of the particular situations of the country,” he explained.
The Director said that he felt that after the negotiating phase, the Pact was able to capture this aspect. “I think it wasn’t too bad in that respect,” he contended.
The Global Jobs Pact also appeals to Governments and organisations representing workers and employers to work together to address the global jobs crisis through policies in line with the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda.
Mr. Pursey further noted that the Pact is structured around the four main pillars of that Agenda – fundamental principles and rights at work and international labour standards; employment and income opportunities; social protection and social security; and social dialogue and tripartism.
Decent work encapsulates the aspirations of people in their working lives, in terms of their aspirations for opportunity and income; rights, voice and recognition; family stability and personal development; and fairness and gender equality.
According to an article titled: ‘ILO Adopts Global Jobs Pact’ on the ILO’s website, the Pact proposes a range of crisis-response measures that countries can adapt to their specific needs and situation. It is a portfolio of options based on successful examples, also designed to inform and support action at the multilateral level.
The article further stated that the Pact urges measures to retain persons in employment, to sustain enterprises and to accelerate employment creation and job recovery combined with social protection systems, in particular for the most vulnerable, integrating gender concerns on all measures.
“The Pact urges Governments to consider options such as public infrastructure investment, special employment programmes, broadening of social protection and minimum wages. Particularly in developing countries, such measures can reduce poverty, increase demand and contribute to economic stability. Donor countries and multilateral agencies are called on to consider providing funding, including existing crisis resources for the implementation of the Pact’s recommendations and policy options,” the article read.
The ILO summit, which was part of ILO’s International Labour Conference, included four high-level panels on the topics: global and regional co-ordination, development co-operation, managing the national jobs agenda and rights at work, social dialogue and enterprise survival.
Discussions also centered on policies being implemented at the national and international levels to address the global jobs crisis.
The International Labour Organisation is the tripartite United Nations (UN) agency that brings together Governments, employers and workers of its member states in common action to promote decent work throughout the world.

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