12 July 2006

Economic and Social Council Concludes High-Level Segment

Adopts Ministerial Declaration on Attainment of Full, Productive Employment, Decent Work

(Reissued as received)

GENEVA, 5 July (UN Information Service) -- The Economic and Social Council this afternoon concluded its high-level debate on the creation of an environment at the national and international levels conducive to generating full and productive employment and decent work for all, and its impact on sustainable development.  At the close of the meeting, the Council adopted a Ministerial Declaration on the attainment of full and productive employment and decent work.

The Ministerial Declaration states that the Ministers and Heads of Delegations participating in the high-level segment were convinced of the urgent need to create an environment at the national and international levels that was conducive to the attainment of full and productive employment and decent work for all as a foundation for sustainable development.  They recognised that full and productive employment and decent work for all, which encompassed social protection, fundamental principles and rights at work and social dialogue, were key elements of sustainable development for all countries, and therefore a priority objective of social cooperation. 

The Declaration said the participants strongly supported fair globalisation and resolved to make the goals of full and productive employment and decent work for all, including for women and young people, a central objective of their relevant national and international policies as well as their national development strategies, including poverty reduction strategies, as part of their efforts to achieve the internationally agreed goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.  They reaffirmed that an employment strategy which aimed to promote full, freely chose and productive employment as well as decent work for all with full respect for fundamental principles at rights at work under conditions of equity, equality, security and dignity should constitute a fundamental component of any development strategy.

Speaking in the high-level segment were representatives of Colombia, Tanzania, Azerbaijan, China, Angola, Thailand, Guinea, Iran, Peru, Belarus, Sweden, Japan, Mexico, and the Holy See.

Also speaking were representatives of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Interstate Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States on Knowledge Promotion and Adult Education, the International Organization for Migration, the Development Commission of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the United Nations Population Fund, UNESCO, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.  A Representative of the Canadian Labour congress also spoke.

Speaking during the discussion before the adoption of the Ministerial Declaration were the representatives of Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba, and the Russian Federation.  Subsequent to the adoption, the representatives of South Africa and Finland for the European Union spoke.

The next meeting of the Council will start at 10 a.m. on Thursday, 6 July, when the Council will start its dialogue with the Executive Secretaries of the Regional Commissions on the theme "The regional dimension of creating an environment conducive to generating full and productive employment and decent work for all and its impact on sustainable development."

Ministerial Declaration

The Economic and Social Council adopted a Ministerial Declaration saying that the Ministers and Heads of Delegations participating in the high-level segment of the substantive session of 2006 have adopted the following declaration (E/2006/L.8): We are convinced of the urgent need to create an environment at the national and international levels that is conducive to the attainment of full and productive employment and decent work for all as a foundation for sustainable development.  We recognise that full and productive employment and decent work for all, which encompass social protection, fundamental principles and rights at work and social dialogue, are key elements of sustainable development for all countries, and therefore a priority objective of social cooperation. 

We recognise the decent work agenda of ILO as an important instrument to achieve the objective of full and productive employment and decent work for all.  We strongly support fair globalisation and resolve to make the goals of full and productive employment and decent work for all, including for women and young people, a central objective of our relevant national and international policies as well as our national development strategies, including poverty reduction strategies, as part of our efforts to achieve the internationally agreed goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.  We reaffirm that an employment strategy which aims to promote full, freely chosen and productive employment as well as decent work for all with full respect for fundamental principles of rights at work under conditions of equity, equality, security and dignity should constitute a fundamental component of any development strategy.  We underline the need for the consistent use of gender mainstreaming strategy for the creation of an enabling environment for women's participation in development. 

We reaffirm our commitment to develop and implement strategies that give youth everywhere a real and equal opportunity to find full and productive employment and decent work.  We reaffirm the importance of promoting and attaining the goals of universal and equitable access to quality education, the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and the access of all to primary health care as part of the effort to eradicate poverty, promote full and productive employment, and foster social integration.  We emphasise that good governance at the international level is fundamental for achieving sustainable development.  We encourage Governments and other relevant Institutions, where appropriate, to consider the impact of their policies on employment and decent work for all, including ensuring coherence of policies.  We encourage Governments to continue to pursue the creation of a conducive environment for enterprise development in both rural and urban areas". 


CLEMENCIA FORERO UCROS, Permanent Representative of Colombia, said the Secretary-General's report made an important contribution to understanding the challenges to create employment and decent work, a bedrock that all nations should have in order to attain sustainable development levels for all, and the Millennium Development Goals.  This was a goal which could only be achieved if there was an appropriate socio-economic environment.  Colombia had made significant improvements in this regard, with decent work more widely available as a result; however, there was still a ways to go, and it needed to continue to consolidate the national programmes and strategies in order to achieve the goal of sustainable economic development, through policies that were implemented through various programmes in the educational system, among other things.  There was a strategic plan for the future, and it was hoped that in the future it would involve as many people as possible to create a conducive environment and society. 

MATERN Y. LUMBANGA, Permanent Representative of the United Republic of Tanzania, said unemployment was a universal problem facing mankind today in developing countries.  Where there were employment opportunities, they had been characterised by not being productive and decent to many employees.  It was in this regard that world leaders resolved at the 2005 World Summit to address the issue of full and productive employment and decent work for all as a central objective of both national and international development policies.  Tanzania was facing numerous economic and social development challenges.  One of the major challenges was the high rate of unemployment, particularly among women and youths.  The problem of unemployment was critical, and called for urgent and appropriate national and international policies.  The international community had an obligation to provide expertise and resources to developing countries required for the establishment of sectors that would facilitate the creation of productive employment and decent work.  The will should be displayed to eradicate poverty and achieve sustained economic growth and sustainable development, and it was only through a concerted political will that the world would be able to lift up the lives of millions of people living in extreme poverty.

ELCHIN AMIRBAYOV, Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan, said today, unemployment was among the main factors undermining development and the right to a life with dignity.  It was an immense challenge for Governments and for individuals to respond to the competitive pressure in labour markets.  There was a need for greater policy compatibility on the national level, and policy coherence at the international level.  Labour market reforms had been inevitable in Azerbaijan.  Ensuring employment and integration of the disadvantaged and vulnerable remained a top priority of the national development agenda.  The Government viewed employment not just as a means of income, but as an instrument empowering people through enhancing their freedom, equity and security.  The Government had made efforts conducive to realising an environment favourable to these, by favouring investment and resource management.  New work places had favourable enhanced work generation initiatives.  Mainstream labour market policies and measures targeted at improving the quality of the labour force were also in the focus of the Government.  Currently, the Government was actively pursuing a trade liberalisation policy. 

SHA ZUKANG, Permanent Representative of China, said the report of the Secretary-General contained a comprehensive review of the global employment situation and the challenges encountered in seeking to generate employment and decent work.  The march of globalisation had brought with it new opportunities for economic and social development in various countries.  At the same time, the unjust and irrational international political order had yet to undergo fundamental changes, and as a result, the development process in the world remained very unbalanced.  There were however common problems facing the international community as a whole, and these could only be solved through shared responsibility and innovative policies.  Creating employment and eradicating poverty remained the paramount task for all countries.  Employment bore on the fundamental interest of the people.  Creating a favourable international environment constituted an important basis for a balanced development of economic globalisation.  A key element in employment policy was giving priority to rural employment and promoting integrated rural and urban employment.  China was ready to work with the international community in a common effort to promote worldwide economic and social development and achieve the goal of generating full and productive employment and decent work for all. 

VIRGILIO FARIA, Director for International Organizations of the Ministry of External Relations of Angola, said five years after the adoption of the Millennium Declaration, the social and economic situation continued to be characterised by extreme poverty in various regions of the world, particularly in Africa, where the prevalence of endemic diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis constituted an obstacle for development.  With the attainment of peace in Angola, the Government faced numerous challenges, including social and economic recovery, that were preponderant factors for the creation of productive jobs, decent work for all, and its impact on sustainable development.  The Government was implementing, with the support of the international community, particularly the United Nations, its national development programme.  A national plan of employment and professional training had been concluded and was submitted for general discussion and contribution by and from civil society.  The decisions that would emanate from the session would create a catalytic platform for the vision and common objectives of States in a way that would strengthen the cooperation and assistance in this domain. 

CHAIYONG SATJIPANON, Permanent Representative of Thailand, said great importance was attached by Thailand to employment as a key to poverty eradication, and yet it fully agreed with the United Nations Secretary-General that employment alone was not sufficient for States to attain the Millennium Development Goals and the United Nations Development Agenda if it did not result in adequate incomes for the people, or if it was carried out under dangerous conditions.  Capacity building was vital to the promotion of decent work, which latter would lead not only to poverty reduction and development for individual countries, but would also result in better quality of life for all.  Decent work for all could not be achieved without effective eradication of child labour.  Decent and productive work for all should be a global objective; and States should ensure that bilateral and multilateral cooperation, especially trade-related negotiations, did not in any way jeopardise this global objective.  There should be an end to trade subsidies, as this would help enhance productive capacities and lead to more decent job opportunities in developing countries 

BOUBACAR DIALLO, Permanent Representative of Guinea, said in a world in full mutation, confronted by innumerable challenges, the actuality of the theme of the debate was particularly appropriate.  Actual employment trends showed a marked increase in unemployment levels, particularly among women and the young.  This situation called upon Governments to include in their poverty reduction strategies the creation of productive work.  In developing countries, the best solution to come out of the vicious circle of poverty was to concentrate efforts in the agricultural and non-agricultural rural sectors, the informal economy and the small and medium enterprises, areas in which the majority of the population were active.  The creation of a productive job and a decent job for all was not a sinecure.  If this goal was attainable, it remained that the social protection of workers was far from being a widely-practiced policy.  Sustainable development was the hinge of all policies practised at the global scale, and had become a credo on which every action by States, NGOs, international organizations and civil society were based.  The protection of the environment was slowly becoming the reference for every development programme, and workers themselves were becoming ever more aware of it. 

ALIREZA MOAIYERI, Permanent Representative of Iran, said the issue of unemployment had grown to be one of the most challenging and far-reaching problems of the new century.  There was no doubt that globalisation had changed the playing fields for all.   Unemployment was a multifaceted issue; it meant less income but more poverty; less education, but more social upheavals.  Unemployment was to become the source of all evils in the near future.  Many had tried to disguise its ugly face by the promise of jobs, irrespective of harsh circumstances.  This had resulted in unacceptable conditions of work for people in countries submerged by the reality of globalisation, throughout special economic zones, and in the emergence of the deplorable phenomenon of child labour. Jobs should contain elements of social security, equal opportunities for all, tripartism and international standards of work.  Globalisation should be analysed in broader terms, in particular with respect to its effects on the world of work.  More tangible solutions should be derived from the results of this, in order to give a meaningful boost to all efforts in making globalisation a fairer deal for all nations.

MANUEL RODRIGUEZ CUADROS, Permanent Representative of Peru, said the report of the Secretary-General was intended to provoke discussion on a very urgent matter, which was the problem of unemployment and underemployment and international commitment to overcome the problems and create decent jobs.  This was a vital matter for all today.  There were more than 192 million unemployed persons today, half of whom were young people.  There was a need to refocus national and international efforts, to create strategies that would allow decent jobs to be created on a sustainable basis.  In order to do this, innovation, productivity, and creation on the labour market needed to be promoted in rural areas and labour-intensive industries.  Agricultural industries should be promoted.  This would make it possible to create jobs, and there was an urgent need for that today.  There was a framework to do that thanks to the ILO conventions.  However, it should be recognised that despite all, there had been no success in tackling poverty, despite a range of poverty reduction strategies.  The poorest and most vulnerable were not being brought onto the market.  New jobs had to be created that would allow people to have a decent standard of living.  Macro-economic policies at the international level were not generating enough employment, and it was clear that something was going wrong.  The Government of Peru strongly supported the efforts of the United Nations and the ILO in trying to find a fresh approach and trying to ensure that decent work became one of the key priorities for international work in this area. 

SERGEI ALEINIK, Permanent Representative of Belarus, said the growing cooperation between the ILO and United Nations organizations was to be commended, as this ensured greater employment and decent conditions of work for all.  The Council had enormous potential when it came to further development of new ideas and approaches.  Today it should be noted that liberal economic models did not take real needs in social justice and a balance in society or national specificities in development into account.  Globalisation was producing very varied results, with the gulf between rich and poor becoming ever wider, providing a threat to States national cultures, and a threat to the environment.  A response was required by all Member States of the United Nations.  Resolving these problems should be done on the basis of compromises and in a multifaceted way.  Belarus did not rush to make radical reforms, as this could make the situation worse.  The Government attached priority attention to improving wage levels in different sectors of the economy, and providing support to the more vulnerable groups in society.  Politicisation in how assistance was delivered was a threat to the actions of the United Nations, and efforts should be made to make sure that assistance was given to national Governments to ensure that employment could be provided to all without discrimination.

ELISABET BORSIIN BONNIER, Permanent Representative of Sweden, said to eradicate poverty was one of the most fundamental challenges the world faced today.  If there was to be success in this endeavour, then the perspective of the poor needed to be taken, and in terms of economic growth, this meant considering the poor as economic actors.  A majority of the world's poor made their living in agriculture and the informal sector, and this had not been sufficiently recognised in work on growth and employment issues.  Therefore, strategies that aimed to boost employment, productivity and incomes in rural areas and informal sectors should be given a more prominent role.  Disrespect for civil rights and social protection would never lift people out of poverty.  Open and well functioning markets were important both on a national and international level.  Efforts to maximise the positive effects on development of migration, including labour migration, should be increased.  The promotion of equality between young men and women should form an integral part of efforts to combat poverty.  It was a collective duty to improve the rights of individual workers and unions.  The possibility of providing an enabling environment for decent and full employment while at the same time eradicating poverty could to some seem far-fetched; but it was not only doable.  Good jobs and economic growth were intrinsically linked and a necessary combination to create justice and prosperity for all. 

SHIGERU ENDO, Permanent Representative of Japan, said with the technological revolution and recent rapid globalisation, new economic opportunities were being generated all over the world, while at the same time, modes of work had been diversifying at the global level.  In order for globalisation to be equally open to everyone so that its benefits could be shared among all people, decent work for all should be achieved.  Measures taken by Governments and communities, as well as the transfer of technology from developed to developing countries, all contributed to the pursuit of this important goal.  Globalisation had the potential to negatively impact in particular those who were in a vulnerable position, such as women and the young.  Capacity building through providing basic skills and work experience was crucial for creating decent work, as was occupational safety and health.  In the endeavour to realise decent work for all, it was crucial that the United Nations agencies concerned cooperated with each other and promoted their projects effectively and efficiently in their own specialised areas.  The Council's role should be as the primary organ for coordinating the economic and social activities of the United Nations, the specialised agencies and other inter-governmental organisations.  However, for this, Japan maintained that the Council should be reformed so that urgent themes could be discussed intensively and guidelines and concrete approaches formulated for United Nations activities.  The Council should be taking the lead in calling for international involvement in themes that deserved immediate attention. 

PABLO MACEDO, Deputy Permanent Representative of Mexico, said the Council's activities were a pillar in the activities already being taken to create an environment at national and international levels to create a harmonious environment for achieving decent employment for all.  Without development, there was no peace, and therefore work should be done in a coordinated manner, bringing together all instruments aiming at achieving this objective, including the Millennium Development Goals and the Monterrey Conference.  The objective was to set up a multilateral programme giving a broader view of development and employment issues, with a focus on equity.  Mexico supported the overall objective of ensuring decent work for all, if globalisation was to be more just and humane, and to allow employment for all.  All of the initiatives undertaken to create decent work and make this a guideline for international and regional policies were supported.  The activities of the Government of Mexico along these lines was to make employment the cornerstone of all its policies, as economic growth was not enough to create employment and put an end to precarious work, which was frequently the fate of many.  Economic growth should be complemented by public policies which could create new quality jobs and enhance social inclusion. 

SILVANO M. TOMASI, Permanent Observer of the Holy See, said the goal of equitable development regularly pursued by the Council had taken a new and timely turn in the present session, which focused on a theme that was both timely and strategic.  Decent work entailed a quality of life that went beyond production: it was a dimension of the person himself, who gave work its highest value.  It could now be the occasion to ask why much direct financial assistance and technology exchanges had not been as effective as planned, and to reconsider the relationship between development and the broader goals of international cooperation.  At the grass root level, it was the creation of new jobs that put the economy in motion.  Active participation in work unclenched the creative capacities and energies of each person within the specific moment and level of development of a country.  Work and development called for a change in focus and priorities so that the enabling environment of peace, dialogue, respect of subsidiarity and participation could allow for the growth of decent work, and ultimately the development of every person.  The rules of economy and trade, technical progress, the political engagement for a just international order: all these were components of an enabling environment geared to safeguard the dignity and creativity of every human person and ensure a future of justice and peace for the entire human family. 

LENNART BÅGE, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, said labour was an important, and often the only asset of poor people.  Its full utilisation and remuneration were essential for reducing poverty and hunger.  In most developing countries, however, this vital resource was under-utilised and undervalued.  The theme of this year's high-level segment was urgent and overdue.  When addressing employment, it was important that adequate consideration be given to agriculture and off-farm rural employment, in light of the fact that three-quarters of those living on less than a dollar a day lived in rural areas and depended on agriculture for their livelihoods.  The lack of productive employment opportunities had repercussions far beyond the local community.  There was a need for concerted and strategic action to improve global employment.  The success of efforts would depend in a very large measure on the extent to which sufficient priority was given to agriculture and rural enterprise development, to the identification of appropriate pro-poor agricultural technologies, and to the reinforcement of rural member-based organizations. 

EFIM MALITIKOV, Chairman of the Interstate Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States on Knowledge Promotion and Adult Education, said the conclusions and analysis of the progression paces towards the Millennium Development Goals on the subject of the high-level segment were disappointing.  Under current conditions of the labour market, they would not be achieved.  The figures of growing unemployment and poverty confirmed this.  Without any super new approaches, agreements for cooperation would remain a dead letter.  Globalisation and migration were organically linked.  If there was to be global development, then there was a need for global supranational formulas, technologies and rules.  There was a need for life-long learning.  It should be recognised that the classroom form of teaching was obsolete, and insufficient for dealing with the situation today.  The digital divide was becoming a digital gulf, and this could only be remedied by global teaching, with good use of existing technologies for distributing knowledge. 

NDIORO NDAIYE, Director-General of the International Organization for Migration, said while creating jobs where people lived was the best option, the mobility of persons across borders for reasons of employment was something that was here to stay in the globalising world, and was likely to increase.  Given this, the efficient and equitable management of international labour migration was needed to optimise its positive impact and minimise any negative effects for both countries of origin and destination as well as for migrant workers and their families.  Migration could have adverse consequences, and one of these was the emigration of skilled human resources, particularly where small and fragile economies were concerned.  The importance of international dialogue and cooperation in managing migration for the benefit of all, including in generating productive employment and decent work was stressed.  Labour migration had moved to the top of the policy agendas of many countries.  The development of effective, fair and durable labour migration policies and practices required cooperation among all States involved in the process. 

MASSIMO BARRA, Chairperson of the Development Commission of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said there was a clear link between livelihoods and the broader recovery of people affected by disaster.  Experience showed that the restoration of livelihoods was vital to the creation of an enabling environment in which individuals, families, communities and nations rebuilt their ability to prosper and develop.  The human urge to rebuild livelihoods was clear from experience.  It was necessary for all agencies involved in supporting communities after disaster had struck to consider the economic and employment needs of the people as a first priority.  Decent work was not just about salaried employment.  It included the value added to communities by volunteers.  Decent work was a basis element in disaster and crisis recovery, and the Federation intended to work with the ILO to broaden connections between the two organizations.  

MARI SIMONEN, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund, said it was important to recognise the important linkages between labour markets and demographic factors.  Population dynamics, that was the size, growth, age structure and distribution of population shaped the size, age profile, and distribution of new labour market entrants and those in employment.  Today, in all regions, women continued to represent the majority of the working poor.  It was urgent that Governments, employers and other stakeholders strengthened their efforts to promote gender equality and eliminate sexual and gender-based violence, including in the workplace.  Today, almost half of the unemployed people were young people.  The lack of opportunities and productive work for youth kept them in desperate poverty.  Other consequences were associated with high levels of crime, substance abuse, conflict, and the rise of political extremism.  This highlighted the links between development and peace and security.  The issues that were being addressed today clearly required that forces be joined at all levels.  Work should be done to build up partnerships between Governments, the private sector, international organizations, NGOs and civil society in order to achieve greater coherence and effectiveness of policies and programmes both within and among countries, as well as at the regional and international levels. 

INGEBORG BREINES, Director of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Liaison Office, said education played by far the most important role in preparing people for productive employment and decent work.  Education was a critical determinant of whether or not any nation or region in the world met the objective of full employment.  Fulfilment of the right to education was often a prerequisite for realising the right to work and also for attaining the Millennium Development Goal concerned with poverty alleviation.  Skills acquisition was crucial to the competitiveness of the workforces in all countries, whatever their social and economic developmental status.  The emphasis needed to be on reorienting education and training to produce high quality outcomes relevant to the labour market.  In developing countries and least developed countries, the clear driver for skills acquisition at the individual and collective levels was poverty alleviation.  The world of work needed the contribution and the competence of both women and men who had been given the possibility to develop their talents, creativity, and full potential. 

SUMRU NOYAN, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, said the cards were stacked against the poor and vulnerable.  Crime, corruption and others put barriers in front of employment.  Economic growth and programmes which would banish poverty were subverted by crime and corruption, and therefore corruption should be tackled, with action taken against organised crime.  Those who were responsible for fraud and cheating should be brought to justice, criminal networks who were smuggling drugs and migrants should be broken.  The trade in illicit firearms should be stopped, as these factors retarded development and caused brain-drain.  The issue of development in the context of illegal drugs was also important.  Coca and poppy were grown in some of the poorest countries of the world.  It was important not to push farmers over the edge into extreme poverty, as without aid they would return to illicit crops and resist profitless change.  Alternate livelihoods should be provided, and land reform be implemented.  The cost of failure was even higher.  Building more prosperous, democratic communities should be a priority.  Smugglers and traffickers were profiting from the most vulnerable, and more should be done to ensure prosecution, prevention and protection.  The chains of crime, corruption and drugs needed to be broken.

ANWARUL K. CHOWDHURY, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, said decent work had been defined by the ILO as opportunities for men and women to obtain productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.  When it came to the least developed countries (LDCs), decent work was still a far cry for 80 pre cent of the populations.  Poverty arising from the lack of decent work or employment was rampant in the LDCs, and was a humanitarian and social problem of great magnitude.  And in both the national and international contexts, the matter needed to be addressed with the greatest of urgency, consistency and effectively.  The report of the Secretary-General called for a more balanced and coordinated strategy for sustainable global growth and full employment, including equitable sharing among countries of the responsibility for maintaining high levels of effective demand in the global economy.  There was a need to remember that in the LDCs, employment and decent work translated into poverty alleviation, and a number of steps should be taken, including addressing the problem of employment and decent work nationally through development activities which generated employment in the areas of expanding infrastructure and buildings for schools, hospitals, and other needs. 

BARBARA BYERS, of Canadian Labour Congress, said 25 per cent of the world's labour force was in distress for unemployment, underemployment, and other problems.  The Council should provide coherence to ensure decent labour rights for all, allowing all to meet their economic, social and family needs, whilst enjoying protection for workers and family members.  Decent work was about providing a social floor that was fair, and a decent job should provide safe work and labour protection.  Both growth and sustainability required increased consumption, and those who had no hope of being consumers did nothing for the economies in which they lived.  A living wage, based on the level of economic development in countries was a step forward.  The world should not stand by and watch the economic exploitation of workers and their families continue.

Statements Before and After the Adoption of the Ministerial Declaration

MARIA PILAR HERNANDEZ (Venezuela) said Venezuela had a reservation to the paragraph 17 in the Ministerial Statement, although it would be supporting the adoption.  In the opinion of Venezuela, the context in which the paragraph had been put forward was inappropriate.  During the debates, there had been an attempt to separate artificially the national and international dimensions on good governance, and this had given rise to separate paragraphs.  The G77 had come up with a far more appropriate wording which was consistent.  There were also procedural concerns regarding the discussions for the statement.

PABLO MACEDO (Mexico) said Mexico recognised the need to have a declaration on creating an environment that would foster full and productive employment and decent work for all, however, it would like to place on record that for Mexico it was of the highest importance to highlight the importance of human rights for migrants.  However, this was not included in the declaration.  However, Mexico would be flexible, and would support the declaration, despite the disappointment at the lack of agreement on the inclusion of a point that was of importance to all.

J. H. ROSENGREN (Finland), on behalf of the European Union, said there were two issues to which attention should be drawn.  In paragraph 30, there was an oral amendment, as an agreed text had not been inserted.  In paragraph 38, there was a similar request for amendment. 

JORGE FERRER (Cuba) said there was full approval and support for the statement made by Venezuela as regarded substance and procedure in respect to paragraphs 16 and 17 of the Declaration.  Good governance at the national and international level were inseparable, and this had been recognized in texts adopted at other occasions.  It was regretted that this important topic had been divided and differentiated treatment applied.  Cuba therefore had reservations on this matter.

NIKOLAY CHULKOV (Russian Federation) said the Russian Federation was pleased that after many weeks of work, delegations had been able to adopt the document.  Also, this document was being adopted today, but it had been issued in only one language.  This fact should not be considered as a precedent.

HENRI RAUBENHEIMER (South Africa), speaking in an explanation of vote after the vote on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, said, the facilitator's work should be commended.  The Group of 77 attached great importance to having a Ministerial Declaration, as this boded well for the future of the Council and proved that it still had the ability to foster consensus.  The issue of the attainment of full and productive employment and decent work was very important for all Member States, and therefore the consensus was very welcome.  The follow-up that would take place was viewed with pleasure, including that the Council would remain seized of the matter. 

J. H. ROSENGREN (Finland), speaking on behalf of the European Union, in an explanation of the vote after the vote, said this was an important theme for many, in particular in the European Union.  A good declaration had been reached, and the agenda of decent work had been put on the agenda for the international community.  Paragraph 6 was of particular benefit, and was a great step forward.  However, there was displeasure that corporate social responsibility had been left out of the declaration.  Hard work had been done over the last three days, and the Declaration had been adopted when it would have taken six months in New York.  This had been achieved by the famous spirit of Geneva, which all had enjoyed. 

PATRIZIO CIVILI, Deputy Head of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, speaking on behalf of the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said the Director-General of the ILO should be thanked for his presence and the unstinted support that he gave to the Council.  Also, the many Ministers should be thanked.  This was the first time in three years that the Council was able to adopt an agreed text at the end of the high-level segment, and had been able to do so around a crucial subject with results that were significant and innovative in many respects.  It had also managed to do so whilst doing many other things, including panel discussions to prepare for the Council exercise of some crucial aspect of its responsibilities.  The new and strengthened Council was off to a very good start.

ALI HACHANI (Tunisia), President of the Economic and Social Council, in closing remarks, said that there had been a very rich discussion and illuminating presentations on a whole range of issues over the last few days.  By discussing the issue, the Council had given impetus to the implementation of the commitment made by leaders at the Summit last year when they had decided to make the "goals of full and productive employment and decent work for all, including for women and young people, a central objective".  The Council had decided to take a number of practical measures for creating an enabling environment at the national and international levels to deal with the structural crisis of unemployment that was of global proportions.  It was heartening to know that the Council was going to keep the issue under regular reviews and had also called for effective follow-up by all relevant actors.  The successful conclusion of the segment was just the beginning of the work for the rest of the substantive session.  It was hoped that the Council members would remain as actively engaged in other segments of the session as they had been over the last three days. 

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