Mr. Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Secretary-General for the International Conference on Small Island Developing States
Introduction of the report of the Secretary-General on the role of the United Nations system in promoting productive capacity, employment and decent work to eradicate poverty in the context of inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth at all levels for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (E/2013/56)
5 July 2013, Geneva
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have the honour to present the report of the Secretary-General on the role of the United Nations system in promoting productive capacity, employment and decent work to eradicate poverty in the context of inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth at all levels for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. This report is under agenda item 4.
This report is the result of an extensive consultation process with the ILO and other UN system agencies, funds and programmes.
It presents activities carried out by the United Nations system in ensuring follow-up to the ministerial declaration adopted by the Economic and Social Council in 2012.
The report highlights inter-agency collaboration that promotes productive capacity, employment and decent work.
Examples of joint initiatives and partnerships focus on a wide range of development issues, including:
- The Social Protection Floor Initiative;
- FAO and ILO’s collaboration on food, agriculture and decent work;
- The WTO-led Aid for Trade Initiative; and
- The joint United Nations programmes on youth employment.
The report also provides an overview of progress made in employment and decent work. It illustrates that, despite progress in reducing extreme working poverty, workers in vulnerable employment suffer from a faltering world economy. Over the last decades, the growth in wages has been slower than the labour productivity growth in most countries with available data.
Concerns remain over lack of decent jobs and jobless growth, absence of adequate social protection and persistent poverty, and overall unemployment, particularly among young people.
Global public consultations reveal a growing consensus that development policies must target employment creation specifically. To guarantee minimum living conditions, policies must be aimed at formalizing the informal sector and developing social protection floors. Efforts are needed to build stronger partnerships around a policy agenda that targets job creation and productivity growth to reduce poverty and informality.
Developing countries face many challenges to moving up value chains towards the export of processed goods. In this regard, the report highlights the need for comprehensive policies aimed at attracting foreign direct investment into value chain creation and diversification.
The report recognizes the progress made by the United Nations system in mainstreaming decent work across a wide range of policy domains, but notes the challenges in evaluation and assessment of current programming. In this regard, an evaluation of mainstreaming decent work in the United Nations system could help better identify comparative advantages and existing work.
The report concludes with specific recommendations for your important consideration.