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UN General Assembly endorses ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work

THE United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has adopted a resolution welcoming the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work and calling on UN bodies to consider integrating the Declaration’s policy proposals into their work.

The resolution welcomes the historic role of the ILO and its constituents in promoting social justice, and emphasizes the need for a human-centred approach to the future of work. It endorses the Declaration’s stance, that “full and productive employment and decent work for all are key elements of sustainable development, and should therefore be a priority objective of national policies and international cooperation”. It was put forward by the Permanent Missions to the UN of Belgium and Jamaica, who also co-chair the informal Group of Friends of Decent Work.

Image of Guy Ryder, Director-General of the ILO says the adoption of the new resolution is an important step towards ensuring the prioritization of a human-centred approach to the future of work.
Guy Ryder, Director-General of the ILO says the adoption of the new resolution is an important step towards ensuring the prioritization of a human-centred approach to the future of work.

The UNGA resolution also requests that UN bodies – programmes, specialized agencies, funds and financial institutions – consider integrating the Declaration’s policies, in consultation with employers’ and workers’ representatives, into their work. In particular it points to the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks (formerly known as UNDAFs), which are the UN’s main country level planning instrument.

The policy recommendations include strengthening the capacities of people to benefit from the opportunities of a changing world of work, strengthening the institutions of work to ensure adequate protection of all workers, and promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

The UNGA resolution also requests the UN Secretary-General, AntónioGuterres, to take the Centenary Declaration into account when considering related reports, noting that, as issues related to the future of work gain in importance and momentum, it provides an opportunity for the UN system to promote a human-centred approach to the future.

“The adoption of this resolution shall contribute to strengthen multilateralism even further while enhancing the critical role of social dialogue and international labour standards,” said H.E. Ambassador Courtenay Rattray, Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations.

Guy Ryder, Director-General, ILO, welcomed the UNGA resolution. “The decision by the UNGA is a tribute to the work of the ILO, and makes it clear that the UN’s entire membership recognises that the ILO’s mandate is as relevant and vital today as it was 100 years ago,” he said. “This new resolution encourages all UN member States and UN bodies to apply the principles of the Declaration. It is an important step towards ensuring that we prioritize a human-centred approach to the future of work, and invest in people, institutions and sustainable growth in ways that can create full, productive employment and decent work for all.”

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