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Global summit debates better post-COVID-19 work environment


Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

To ensure a better world environment post-COVID-19 pandemic, global leaders have suggested ways to tackle the vulnerabilities associated with the outbreak.
The leaders, which comprise Heads of State and Government, and prominent global employers’ and trade union leaders, identified some of the vulnerabilities as lack of social protection, the informal economy, inequality, and climate change.
Speaking at the close of a virtual three-day Global Summit on COVID-19 and the World of Work, the Director-General, International Labour Organisation (ILO), Guy Ryder, welcomed the commitment and determination of world leaders to build a better world of work, as a core element of recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.He said it was difficult to overstate the level of common purpose of determination to overcome the crisis, rather to look forward to something better where everything else becomes possible.
He emphasised on social dialogue and international labour standards as some very important tools to deploy, as the ILO seeks to get the world of work back on its feet
Ryder said. “Some are very familiar to us, such as social dialogue and international labour standards. We also have a relatively new asset in our hands. That is our Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work. I think we are seeing just how valuable it is as a roadmap for us to find the way forward.” 
UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said the global summit was an opportunity for governments, workers’ and employers’ representatives to shape winning responses.
According to him, recovery from the crisis is not a choice between health or jobs and the economy. “They are interlinked. We will either win on all fronts or fail on all fronts.
“We already have a strong foundation for action and solutions, the ILO Centenary Declaration as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and SDG Goal 8 on decent work and economic growth. Together we can emerge from this crisis stronger, with decent jobs and a brighter, more equal and greener future for all,” the Secretary-General added.
The Director-General, World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called on governments, employers’ and workers’ organisations in the health sector to develop strong and sustainable national programmes for the occupational safety and health of health workers. “Together, we have a duty to protect those who protect us. Our systems, jobs, livelihoods and the economy are intertwined,” said Ghebreyesus.
The summit discussed strategies for addressing the massive world-of-work vulnerabilities exposed by the pandemic and in particular, the needs of those working without social protection and in the informal economy; the promotion of full and productive employment and sustainable enterprises. It also focused on ways of ensuring poverty reduction, equality and combating climate change as core elements in the recovery process; and how the international community can recommit to delivering on the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.The Guardian learnt that the summit was the largest ever online gathering of workers, employers and governments with contributions from heads of the UN, WHO, IMF, WTO and the OECD.


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