ADB, ILO Reaffirm Support for Core Labor Standards

Joint Statement by
Haruhiko Kuroda, President, Asian Development Bank, and
Guy Ryder, Director- General, International Labour Organization
Manila, 17 December 2012

1. As ADB reported in the Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific (2011), developing Asia has experienced impressive economic growth in recent decades, but the quality of jobs remains inadequate. ILO’s Asia-Pacific Labour Market Update (October 2012) adds that many people make their living in vulnerable and precarious forms of work, where incomes are low or unstable, and access to rights and benefits are very restricted, particularly in the informal sector and for migrant workers. Social protection coverage remains extremely limited, particularly for informal workers, the majority of whom are women. Improving the skills of young people entering the labor force, and formalizing informal employment, would generate economic benefits, increase resilience in crisis, and reduce growing income inequality in the region.

2. Building on a decade of collaboration under their Memorandum of Understanding, ADB and ILO will promote creation of decent work in developing Asia and the Pacific in order to reduce poverty and vulnerability. The two organizations will cooperate through active knowledge sharing, joint research and analysis, policy development, advocacy, and technical cooperation. ADB and ILO will focus cooperation on technical and vocational training, gender and the labor market, regional integration and employment, core labor standards, collection of employment data, country labor market diagnostics, and social protection systems. The ILO brings to this partnership its unique tripartite structure, which gives equal voice to workers, employers, and governments to ensure that the views of the social partners are closely reflected in labor standards and in shaping policies and programs.

3. Looking ahead, ADB and the ILO call for accelerated action to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. In addition, ADB and ILO will actively contribute to the shaping of a post-2015 global development framework that supports a more inclusive, equitable, and prosperous Asia-Pacific region.

4. ADB and the ILO call upon the region to promote greater access to opportunities by expanding human capacities, especially for the disadvantaged, through investments in developing basic social protection floors and the social sectors.

5. ADB and ILO also reaffirm their support for the internationally recognized core labor standards.