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  Abu Dhabi Declaration

Families in Balance: Working our way Towards Sustainable Development - Making Decent Work and Social Protection a Global Reality for All Family Members

The present statement was approved by participants of the World Family Summit +7, held in Abu Dhabi from 5 to 7 December 2011, for submission to the 2012 Economic and Social Council High-Level segment and Annual Ministerial Review.

  1. We, Ministers and representatives of Government, civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations, academia, parliamentarians, private sector, media and Families, 352 participants from 76 countries representing all continents of the world, participating in the World Family Summit +7, having fulfilled the Summit agenda with fruitful plenary discussions;

  2. Having considered the theme to be discussed at the 2012 Economic and Social Council High-level Segment and 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);

  3. Noting that in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights included the notion of the right to decent work and social protection;

  4. Acknowledging the impact of the international financial and economic crisis on social protection, job creation, food prices and on the international community’s capacity to meet the poverty and hunger targets set out in the Millennium Development Goal 1;

  5. Noting that provision of decent work and social protection schemes are essential for Families to lift themselves out of poverty and for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal 1;

  6. Supporting the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Decent Work Agenda through the implementation of the ILO’s four strategic objectives – creating jobs, guaranteeing rights at work, extending social protection and promoting social dialogue – with gender equality as a crosscutting objective and recognizing that these objectives are inseparable, interrelated and mutually supportive;

  7. Reaffirming the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization, adopted by the International Labour Conference at its 97th Session in 2008, which reflects the wide consensus on the need for a strong social response to globalization in achieving improved and fair outcomes for all, and constitutes a compass for the promotion of a fair globalization based on Decent Work;

  8. Recalling the unanimous adoption of Recovering from the crisis: A Global Jobs Pact by the International Labour Conference at its 98th Session in 2009, which promotes a productive recovery from the international financial and economic crisis centered on investments, employment and social protection;

  9. Supporting the resolutions and conclusions adopted by the International Labour Conference at its 100th Session in 2011, in particular the efforts to make decent work a reality for domestic workers worldwide and the recurrent discussion on social protection (social security);

  10. Emphasizing that effective national social security systems are powerful tools to provide income security, to prevent and reduce poverty and inequality, to promote social inclusion and dignity for all Families, as they enhance access to health care, provide income security, facilitate access to education and reduce child labour and in particular eliminate its worst forms;

We unanimously resolve to commit ourselves:

  1. To advocate for full and productive employment and decent work opportunities to all Family members to be put at the heart of crisis responses, and for the elimination of discrimination based on gender, age, ethnicity or disability.

  2. To advocate for a Green Economy regulatory framework for the creation of decent and green jobs and reducing social gaps which supports sustainable development.

  3. To support the inclusion of the family perspective in the ‘Rio +20’ UN Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012.

  4. To affirm that international labour standards, as set in the Decent Work Agenda, create a basis for and support rights at the work place contributing to build a culture of social dialogue particularly useful in times of crisis.  It is important to recognize that respect for fundamental principles and rights at the work place is essential for human dignity, recovery and development in order to prevent a downward spiral in labour conditions and ensure Families are provided with decent work opportunities.

  5. To call on all governments, private sector, civil society, community leaders and Families to work together in order to prevent, reduce and eliminate all forms of forced labour, particularly the worst forms of child labour. 

  6. To urge all stakeholders to create decent work opportunities for the youth, including the provision of vocational and technical training and entrepreneurial skills development especially for unemployed youth, to ensure the wellbeing of the next generation of Families.

  7. To call on all governments and employers to ensure that decent work opportunities are equally available to women and men, and to integrate gender concerns in all financial and economic crisis recovery measures.

  8. To welcome the adoption of the Domestic Workers’ Convention and Recommendations, 2011, and urge all stakeholders to implement it, inter alia, by recognizing the importance and urgency of ensuring decent working conditions for domestic workers worldwide, the majority of whom are women, which will benefit them and their Families.

  9. To raise awareness among Governments, at both national and local levels, of the contribution of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro-enterprises to decent work opportunities for Families, and promote measures, including access to affordable credit and green financing that would ensure a favourable environment for their sustainable development.

  10. To celebrate the International Year of Cooperatives in 2012, in recognition that cooperatives contribute to improving the wellbeing of Families via poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration at the local community level.

  11. To advocate for sustainable social protection systems, as appropriate, that assist vulnerable Families, prevent extreme poverty, address social disparities, help stabilize the economy, maintain and promote job opportunities and be included as an integral part of crisis response measures.

  12. To urge Governments and all stakeholders to protect Families by strengthening social protection systems and provide them with adequate social protection throughout all stages of the life cycle, in both urban and rural areas to meet the specific needs of vulnerable groups and children, including indigenous people, minorities, migrant workers and their Families, people with disabilities, people living with HIV/AIDS and people under occupation and armed conflicts.

  13. To urge Governments and all stakeholders when strengthening social protection systems, to take into account the changing roles of women and men with respect to work/family balance, employment and Family care responsibilities, promote gender equality and empowerment, provide maternity protection, ultimately benefitting Families.

  14. Call upon all the development partners to support developing countries to achieve Family stability by promoting priorities such as education, maternal health, gender equality and addressing public goods, including long-term scientific capacities, environmental management, regional integration and cross border infrastructure.

  15. To call on Governments and all stakeholders to recognize that peace and mediation begins in the Family and develop the necessary legislation which supports Families in the eradication of domestic and gender-based violence, highlighting the role of mediation in dispute and conflict resolution, preventing human suffering and creating conditions conducive to lasting peace and sustainable development.
We welcome all Families of the world to join efforts with the United Nations, the World Family Organization, the Governments and all stakeholders to fulfill their commitments towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals and constituting the biggest partnership towards building a present and future world characterised by more peace, security, justice, equity, transparency, tolerance, solidarity, prosperity and integration, by mobilizing and promoting the basic economic, political, socio-cultural and sustainable unit of society – the Family.
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