ILO welcomes EU decision to promote decent work for all
BRUSSELS (ILO News), Tuesday 5 December 2006 - The International Labour Organization (ILO) today welcomed the decision of the European Council of Ministers to adopt a set of conclusions on the promotion of decent work in the European Union and through the world, saying it provided powerful new support to efforts aimed at making decent work a global reality.
"Europe is showing leadership on a crucial issue at a crucial time," said Friedrich Buttler, ILO Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia at a conference on "Promoting Decent Work in the World: the Contribution of the EU" organized by the European Commission in Brussels on 4-5 December. "That leadership - and a stronger partnership between the EU and the ILO - is critical to making decent work a global reality."
Noting that unemployment in Europe was 2disturbingly high2 at 17 million - especially among youth under the age of 25 - while half the world's workers were unable to rise above the US$ 2 per person, per day poverty line, Mr. Buttler said. "The harsh reality is that despite five years of relatively strong economic performance, the world is not generating enough decent jobs to keep pace with a 40 million annual increase in the global labour force or substantially reduce unemployment and working poverty".
"This is a tragic waste of human lives and has many troubling implications for our societies," Mr. Buttler said.
The European Council Conclusions on Decent Work for All adopted last Friday will position the EU as part of a global strategy on decent work for all. In 2005, the UN World Summit gave strong support to the goal of full and productive employment and decent work for all as part of worldwide efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Another breakthrough occurred in July of this year when the High-level Segment of the UN Economic and Social Council in Geneva endorsed decent work as a global goal.
Note: Copies of Mr Buttler's statement available on request from email@example.com.