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Summit of Americas Focus on Job Creation Hailed

UN Labour Chief Hails Summit of Americas for Focus on Decent Job Creation

New York, Nov 10 2005 3:00PM

The United Nations labour agency has hailed the recent Summit of the Americas for succeeding "in an unprecedented way" in making the creation of decent jobs a central policy goal in the region.

"Until very recently, such a result would have been unthinkable, but now decent work and quality employment have become a priority as they form the basis for fighting poverty and improving governance in those countries," International Labour Organization (ILO) Director-General Juan Somavia said of the Summit, held in Argentina, which he attended.

The 34 heads of State agreed on a Declaration and Plan of Action to put active policies into place that create decent work.

The Action Plan asks the ILO to "extend its support and technical assistance to countries in their efforts to promote more and better jobs."

"We will support efforts of countries in the region to put this unprecedented political engagement for decent work into practice with all our capacities," Mr. Somavia said, adding that the Summit had opened new opportunities to design strategies to improve the socioeconomic conditions of women and men living in the region.

According to ILO estimates, some 18.3 million urban workers in Latin America and the Caribbean are unemployed today, while 7 out of 10 jobs created over the last years are precarious and in the informal economy.

"Labour is not a commodity. Decent work is a basic tool guaranteeing a better future for workers and their families," Mr. Somavia said.


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