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About the World Family Summit +7

FAMILIES IN BALANCE:
Working our way towards Sustainable Development - Making Decent Work and Social Protection a Global Reality for All Family Members

Encompassing with the theme of the 2012 UN ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review, “Promoting productive capacity, employment and decent work to eradicate poverty in the context of inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth at all levels for achieving the Millennium Development Goals”, the theme for our World Family Summit +7 is: FAMILIES IN BALANCE: Working our way towards Sustainable Development - Making Decent Work and Social Protection a Global Reality for All Family Members.

The global economic and financial crisis has had wide-ranging impacts on families all over the world, and has resulted in a significant increase in the number of families vulnerable to poverty.  In particular, increasing food prices and high levels of unemployment have placed renewed pressure on the ability of governments and NGOs to meet the targets set out in MDG1.

The most effective and long-lasting way to lift families out of poverty is to create decent work opportunities, from which all families are able to benefit.  To this end, the International Labor Organization (ILO) has developed the Decent Work Agenda, which is based on the understanding that work is a source of personal dignity, family stability, peace in the community, democracies that deliver for people, and economic growth that expands opportunities for productive jobs and enterprise development.

In response to the global economic and financial crisis, governments have agreed to the Global Jobs Pact.  The Global Jobs Pact builds on the Decent Work Agenda and promotes a productive recovery centred on investments, employment and social protection, with the objective of providing an internationally agreed basis for policy-making designed to reduce the time lag between economic recovery and a recovery with decent work opportunities.

The World Family Organization supports the Decent Work Agenda and the Global Jobs Pact, including universal social protection measures, and advocates for the inclusion of these initiatives and MDG 1 in the international, national and local agendas as a top priority.

The World Family Organization believes that decent work opportunities should be sustainable, andshould be made available to women and men, as well as young people entering the workforce.  While ensuring decent work opportunities exist for adults, it is equally important to eliminate harmful child labour and ensure children remain in school, to enable the next generation of families to enter into decent work.

The World Family Summit +7 is committed to introduce a Family perspective to the achievement of MDG 1, which includes the implementation of the Decent Work Agenda, the Global Jobs Pact and universal social protection, to discuss these initiatives and present ideas and new commitments which will be registered in the World Family Summit +7 Abu Dhabi Declaration on MDG 1.

Millennium Development Goal 1 and Targets


Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Target 1.A
Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day.

Indicators for monitoring progress:
1.1 Proportion of population below $1 (PPP) per day
1.2 Poverty gap ratio
1.3 Share of poorest quintile in national consumption

Target 1.B
Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people.

Indicators for monitoring progress:
1.4. Growth rate of GDP per person employed
1.5 Employment-to-population ratio
1.6 Proportion of employed people living below $1 (PPP) per day
1.7 Proportion of own-account and contributing family workers in total employment

Target 1.C
Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.

Indicators for monitoring progress:
1.8 Prevalence of underweight children under-five years of age

1.9 Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption

Decent Work Agenda

Promoting Decent work for all
Work is central to people's well-being. In addition to providing income, work can pave the way for broader social and economic advancement, strengthening individuals, their families and communities. Such progress, however, hinges on work that is decent. Decent work sums up the aspirations of people in their working lives.

The ILO has developed an agenda for the community of work. It provides support through integrated Decent Work Country Programmes developed in coordination with its constituents. Putting the Decent Work Agenda into practice is achieved through the implementation of the ILO's four strategic objectives, with gender equality as a crosscutting objective:  

  • Creating Jobs – an economy that generates opportunities for investment, entrepreneurship, skills development, job creation and sustainable livelihoods.
  • Guaranteeing rights at work – to obtain recognition and respect for the rights of workers. All workers, and in particular disadvantaged or poor workers, need representation, participation, and laws that work for their interests.
  • Extending social protection – to promote both inclusion and productivity by ensuring that women and men enjoy working conditions that are safe, allow adequate free time and rest, take into account family and social values, provide for adequate compensation in case of lost or reduced income and permit access to adequate healthcare.
  • Promoting social dialogue – Involving strong and independent workers’ and employers' organizations is central to increasing productivity, avoiding disputes at work, and building cohesive societies.

 An ILO concept, an international consensus
The Decent Work concept was formulated by the ILO’s constituents – governments and employers and workers – as a means to identify the Organization’s major priorities. It is based on the understanding that work is a source of personal dignity, family stability, peace in the community, democracies that deliver for people, and economic growth that expands opportunities for productive jobs and enterprise development.

Decent Work reflects priorities on the social, economic and political agenda of countries and the international system. In a relatively short time this concept has forged an international consensus among governments, employers, workers and civil society that productive employment and Decent Work are key elements to achieving a fair globalization, reducing poverty and achieving equitable, inclusive, and sustainable development.

Making Decent Work a global goal and a national reality
The overall goal of Decent Work is to effect positive change in people’s lives at the national and local levels. The ILO provides support through integrated Decent Work Country Programmes developed in coordination with ILO constituents. They define the priorities and the targets within national development frameworks and aim to tackle major Decent Work deficits through efficient programmes that embrace each of the strategic objectives.

The ILO operates with other partners within and beyond the UN family to provide in-depth expertise and key policy instruments for the design and implementation of these programmes. It also provides support for building the institutions needed to carry them forward and for measuring progress. The balance within these programmes differs from country to country, reflecting their needs, resources and priorities.

Progress also requires action at the global level. The Decent Work agenda offers a basis for a more just and sustainable framework for global development. The ILO works to develop “decent work”-oriented approaches to economic and social policy in partnership with the principal institutions and actors of the multilateral system and the global economy.

The Global Jobs Pact

Faced with the prospect of a prolonged global increase in unemployment, poverty and inequality and continued distress for enterprises, in June 2009 the International Labour Conference, with the participation of government, employers’ and workers’ delegates from the ILO’s member States, unanimously adopted a "Global Jobs Pact". This global policy instrument addresses the social and employment impact of the international financial and economic crisis. It promotes a productive recovery centred on investments, employment and social protection. The fundamental objective of the Global Jobs Pact is to provide an internationally agreed basis for policy-making designed to reduce the time lag between economic recovery and a recovery with decent work opportunities. It is a call for urgent worldwide action: national, regional and global.

What is the Global Jobs Pact?
The Global Jobs Pact is a set of balanced and realistic policy measures that countries, with the support of regional and multilateral institutions, can adopt to ease the impact of the crisis and accelerate recovery in employment. Adopted in June 2009 by the International Labour Organization, it calls on its member States to put decent work opportunities at the core of their crisis responses. It addresses the social impact of the global crisis on employment and proposes job-centred policies for countries to adapt according to their national needs. Guided by the Decent Work Agenda and commitments made by the ILO constituents in the 2008 Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization, the Pact recalls that that respecting fundamental principles and rights at work, strengthening social protection, promoting gender equality and encouraging voice, participation and social dialogue are critical to recovery and development. It proposes a portfolio of policies aimed at:

  • Generating employment
  • Extending social protection
  • Respecting labour standards
  • Promoting social dialogue
  • Shaping fair globalization

In short, the Pact is about promoting jobs and protecting people, about responding to both the people’s agenda and the needs of the real economy.

Why the Pact?
The damage to employment created by the financial and economic crisis has caused hardship to many working women and men, families and communities, and worsened poverty. It has threatened the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, weakened middle classes, heightened risks to social cohesion and eroded the confidence of decision-makers. Recovery will not be sustainable unless jobs are created and maintained. With 45 million young people are entering the workforce annually, 300 million new jobs need to be created between now and 2015 just to keep up with the growth in the labour force.

It is now widely recognized that the model of growth prevailing before the crisis needs to change, that we cannot continue to overestimate the capacity of the market to self-regulate, undervalue the role of government, diminish the dignity of work and neglect the environment. Behind the grim unemployment statistics are people’s lives and their diminished capacity to support their families. Even as signs of recovery begin to appear in some countries and industries, millions are still without work or continue to lose their jobs. For them, the crisis is far from over.

How was it adopted?
The Global Jobs Pact was adopted unanimously on 19 June 2009 at the International Labour Conference (ILC), where ILO constituents – governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations - meet yearly to discuss challenges facing the world of work. The adoption of the Pact followed strong support voiced during a three-day special session, the ILO Global Jobs Summit, attended by heads of state and government, vice-presidents and ministers of labour, worker and employer representatives and other leaders. The Pact provides a crisis response framework designed to guide national and international policies and stimulate economic recovery.

Support for the Pact continues to grow with backing from global and regional organizations. The Economic and Social Council of the UN (ECOSOC) also endorsed the Pact at its 2009 High-Level Substantive Session by adopting the UN Resolution E/2009/L.24 and calling upon member States to make full use of the Pact in post-crisis plans. At the G20 summit in Pittsburgh in November 2009, world leaders welcomed it as an “an employment-oriented framework for future economic growth”.

Who will implement it?
The Pact calls for coordinated global action to maximize the positive impact of policy initiatives on jobs and sustainable enterprises worldwide. Its successful implementation depends on national and international decisions, by governments, business, labour, parliaments, local authorities and civil society, as well as by donors and multilateral institutions.

The strategic objective of the Pact is to put investment, employment and social protection at the core of stimulus packages and other relevant national policies to alleviate the crisis’ effects. The Pact and the tripartite global commitment it represents, offers a unique opportunity for countries and the multilateral system to apply its provisions, which are embedded in the ILO Decent Work Agenda. In seeking support and advice from the ILO, constituents are encouraged to apply the elements of the Pact that respond best to each country’s needs and priorities.

cf the crisis and alleviate poverty. The Global Jobs Pact encourages countries to reinforce existing systems where appropriate or to put in place new measures to assist the most vulnerable while building the foundation for more effective systems.

Some of the Pact recommendations:

  • Introducing cash transfer schemes for the poor to meet their immediate needs and to alleviate poverty;
  • Building adequate social protection for all, drawing on a basic social protection floor including: access to health care, income security for the elderly and persons with disabilities, child benefits and income security combined with public employment guarantee schemes for the unemployed and working poor;
  • Extending the duration and coverage of unemployment benefits (hand in hand with relevant measures to create adequate work incentives recognizing the current realities of national labour markets);
  • Ensuring that the long-term unemployed stay connected to the labour market through, for example, skills development for employability;
  • Providing minimum benefit guarantees in countries where pension or health funds may no longer be adequately funded to ensure workers are adequately protected and considering how to better protect workers’ savings in future scheme design;
  • Providing adequate coverage for temporary and non-regular workers;
  • Reviewing and adapting minimum wages;  

Reinforcing existing social protection systems and building the foundation for effective systems in countries that lag behind in ensuring a social protection floor for all.

Universal Social Protection

Countries that have strong social protection systems have a valuable inbuilt mechanism to stabilize their economies, address the social impact of the crisis and alleviate poverty. The Global Jobs Pact encourages countries to reinforce existing systems where appropriate or to put in place new measures to assist the most vulnerable while building the foundation for more effective systems.

Some of the Pact recommendations:

  • Introducing cash transfer schemes for the poor to meet their immediate needs and to alleviate poverty;
  • Building adequate social protection for all, drawing on a basic social protection floor including: access to health care, income security for the elderly and persons with disabilities, child benefits and income security combined with public employment guarantee schemes for the unemployed and working poor;
  • Extending the duration and coverage of unemployment benefits (hand in hand with relevant measures to create adequate work incentives recognizing the current realities of national labour markets);
  • Ensuring that the long-term unemployed stay connected to the labour market through, for example, skills development for employability;
  • Providing minimum benefit guarantees in countries where pension or health funds may no longer be adequately funded to ensure workers are adequately protected and considering how to better protect workers’ savings in future scheme design;
  • Providing adequate coverage for temporary and non-regular workers;
  • Reviewing and adapting minimum wages;  
Reinforcing existing social protection systems and building the foundation for effective systems in countries that lag behind in ensuring a social protection floor for all.
 
     
     
 
 
 
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