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Govt & EU to integrate the decent work agenda
06
Feb '08
As the 46th session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development convenes in New York, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC) call for agreement on a strong resolution to go forward to the UN General Assembly, asserting the crucial importance of full employment and decent work in the fight against poverty.

Trade unions welcome the UN Commission's decision to focus on 'full and productive employment and decent work' as its 2007-2008 priority. Alarming trends in unemployment in the wake of the current global market turmoil and the threat of recession - revealed in the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) new Global Employment Report 2008 - mean urgent action is needed.

A 20-strong trade union delegation in New York is telling the UN Commission that it is crucial for it to agree on a hard-hitting message identifying decent work as a central objective, to be integrated systematically into social, economic and development policies at national, regional and international levels.

While global growth in recent years has brought new jobs, many of them are low-paid and low-quality, leaving many working poor unable to support themselves and their families. Worldwide, an estimated 195 million people are likely to be unemployed in 2008.

At present, a serious lack of policy coherence within international financial and trading systems is hampering progress: demonstrated, for example, by the unreasonable demands being imposed on developing countries in market-access negotiations in the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

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