Seeking a remedy to unemployment

Seeking remedy to unemployment (UN Photo/Kibae Park)

How can an ailing global job market be cured and what can be done to promote more jobs and decent work around the world? Are there viable alternative strategies for job creation and development that provide less risk to global market fluctuations and financial volatility? These were some of the questions raised yesterday at the Second Committee panel event on “Alternative Development Strategies for Job Creation”.

Widespread job losses, increased underemployment in developed countries and underemployment, a growing informal economy and increased vulnerable employment in developing countries are some of the effects and challenges following the economic crisis.

Chaired by the Second Committee Vice-Chair Bitrus Vandy Yohanna and moderated by Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director and Director, Intergovernmental Support and Strategic Partnerships Bureau of UN Women, the panel event brought together development and employment experts. The aim was to explore alternative development strategies for employment creation and economic growth.

The panel underscored the importance of supporting a job-rich recovery. “The moment to do so is now. Recovery will not take place by itself,” said Peter Bakvis, Director, Washington Office of the International Trade Union, Confederation and the associated Global Union Federations and one of the panelists. He also elaborated on how the labor movement can build synergies with public and private partners in creating a better enabling environment for decent work and job growth. He also highlighted three positive examples where challenges had been met successfully in Germany, Brazil and India.

The roles of small and medium sized enterprises when it comes to generating jobs were also stressed. Adam Greene, Vice President, Labour Affairs and Corporate Responsibility, United States Council for International Business, addressed the issue of employment in the private sector and highlighted the need for establishing favorable environments for companies, with peace, stability, transparency, an educated workforce and well-functioning infrastructure.

The panel, which included distinguished representatives from Columbia University, ILO and UNDP, also discussed the role of women as well as the issue of a ‘green economy’ and what implications it might have for the global job market.

This was the first of a number of side events planned by the Second Committee. Upcoming events include: “People’s empowerment: a peace model”; “Follow-up to the LDC IV Conference: integrating its provisions into national plans and policies”; “Means of implementation for sustainable development” and “Food and energy security and energy efficiency”. 

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