Non-Aligned Movement and International Labour Organisation

Appreciating the stalwarts of development of the Third World Nations in their solidarity and cooperation, International Labour Organisation (ILO) gave due consideration and credit to Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) countries, in a meeting held on 17th June, 2019. The meeting was held in order to discuss the progress made with regard to the fundamental labour principles and rights, as well, as to discuss the Decent Work agenda as pioneered by ILO.

The promotion for adoption of Decent Work agenda in NAM countries will play a huge role in introducing opportunities for work, which is productive and gives a fair income, along with better security at the workplace, and better prospects for personal development and social integration. This will allow people the freedom to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men. Adoption for Decent Work Agenda is for the ultimate purpose to achieve fair globalisation and poverty reduction by creating job opportunities, while focusing on gender equality.

The importance of Decent Work Agenda is much focused upon in ILO’s policy impact as it is declared an essential human right for the sake of upholding its basic principles of employment creation, social protection, rights at work and social dialogue, for the sake of inclusive economic growth. Sufficient emphasis was laid on the global issue of unemployment, especially in NAM nations, with mounting concern. Global unemployment rates remain elevated at more than 170 million in the world, which is extremely shocking as it is expected to expand more by 2020 and reach 174 million as a result of growing demand for labour force. The 100th anniversary of ILO served as an inspirational platform and occasion for all Member-States to reflect upon the efforts done by the organisation and NAM countries, together, to improve the conditions of the world of labour in order to comply with the goals so proposed to harbour the interests of achieving safe, equitable and decent, regulated employment.

NAM highlighted the larger economic and social context with regard to unemployment, at the Meeting, and how it is gravely affecting the right to freedom of association, the right to organize and collective bargaining as well as seeking the elimination of all forms of forced labour. It lay special focus on the growing issue of gender disparity in employment and seeking the effective abolition of gender inequality and child labour. NAM Member-States and ILO pledged to create conditions that included achievement of Sustainable Development Goals to promote full and productive employment opportunities for all. It gave recognition to the importance of the Agenda for Sustainable Development for 2030, with specific reference to Goal 8, which promotes sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth as well as, guarantees the protection of labour rights and the promotion of safe and secure working environments for all workers, including women migrant workers.

However, NAM requested assistance in strengthening labour market institutions and technical support on labour market reform in the view of providing innovative, transparent and accessible services in the world of work. Ministers of NAM opposed and condemned the existence of coercive laws and their applications with regard to the right of work and development, and thus demanded immediate revoking of such laws, maintaining the stance that such coercive laws do not allow strengthening of multilateralism, and simultaneously, jeopardise universal human rights, pertaining to labour force.

The Palestinian Decent Work programme (2018-2020) was also discussed owing to the intensifying political scenario in the occupied Palestinian territory and how that was hampering the labour rights and human rights in the country. This programme set objectives for promoting prioritisation of employment and livelihoods, and increasing social security and social protection. Stalled peace process and mounting political tensions in Gaza have gravely affected the living conditions of people which has managed to limit their access to economic opportunities. The economic situation continues to be morbid and is characterized by high levels of unemployment, underemployment and inequality, which creates a breeding ground for conflict and crime.

The present conditions of Occupied Palestinian Territory are such that the unemployment levels are the highest in the world wherein women continue to hold a severely disadvantaged position in the labour market and the youth unemployment has increased to 57.3%, according to this report. By analysing the present conditions of global labour market and the disadvantage suffered by them, as well as, reflecting upon the progress made by NAM nations with the support of ILO in creating stabilised conditions for the sake of employment opportunities, in the global market, NAM has shown unwavering support to the institution of ILO, thus making an effort to maintain its historic legacy and guarantee strength and cohesion based on unity in diversity and solidarity among its Member-States.

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