MOSCOW, 13 October (ILO News) – A final document of the Meeting of G8 Labour and Employment Ministers, which was held in Moscow this week, recognized that “productive employment and decent work is an essential factor of economic growth, social development and human dignity“. The ministers supported the work of the International Labour Organization.

The ministers also stressed the importance of the social dimension of globalization and, in this context, the ILO decent work agenda as a component of international development, as underlined in the 2005 World Summit Outcomes and the Ministerial Declaration of the high-level segment of the substantive session of the Economic and Social Council, held in 2006. They reaffirmed their commitment to the core labour standards as defined in the 1998 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

Among factors that have had significant effects on labour markets throughout the world the G8 Ministers of Labour and Employment cited globalization, more intense economic competition, demographic changes and rapid technological, institutional and managerial innovations.

They agreed on the need to share good practices and knowledge in the development of industrial relations and labour and social policies, giving special attention to creating conditions for labour markets that promote flexibility and security; fostering more inclusive labour markets; aassessing the effects of the increase in international migration; increasing investments in human capital and promoting lifelong learning; ensuring coherence with appropriate trade, industrial, investment, regional, educational and vocational training policies.

The ministers called for “social equity, fairness, and justice in developing labour markets that combine flexibility with security, to respond to the challenges of globalization and demographic change”.

The Meeting of G8 Ministers of Labour and Employment was held in Moscow on 9-10 October to discuss productive employment as a factor of economic growth and social cohesion. The program included ministerial consultations with the social partners.

The ILO Director- General Mr. Juan Somavia took part in the meeting. In his statement Mr. Somavia called for ‘a global response to a global jobs crisis’. Presentations were made by Russian and international employers’ and workers’ organizations, heads of G8 delegations, European Commission and OECD. The Russian Delegation at the meeting was headed by Health and Social Development Minister Mikhail Zourabov.