10th ILO Caribbean Minister of Labour Meeting adopts its Conclusions

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KINGSTON, Jamaica – Following two days of deliberation on realizing decent work under the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, the Ministers of Labour and other high-level representatives of the Ministries and Departments of Labour of the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean1, adopted their Conclusions for action on key themes for the Caribbean growth, development and labour rights challenges:

Elevating Decent Work to the national and regional policy level and the role of social partnership; Non-standard forms of employment; Harmonization of labour laws; Regional Initiative: Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labour; Skilled Workforce for Sustainable Growth and Development; Improving productivity and competitiveness: the role of the labour management relations and transitioning to formality; Labour cooperation in the region.

Delegates also recognized that successful implementation would depend on policy coherence of economic and social policies aimed at sustained and inclusive growth with productive employment and decent work, which requires an integrated and coordinated approach at both the national and regional levels.

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder delivered closing remarks, congratulating all the delegations. He said, “The objectives have been realized. You have defined a clear set of priorities and we as ILO depart with a much clearer understanding of the challenges, how to address them and what your expectations are.” He was encouraged by the assets constituents brought to the process and the “strength of the determination of Governments, Employers and Workers to come together to deal with the challenges. This is not a given in many parts of the world.”

He was committed to make sure the distinctive nature of the Caribbean constituency forms part of the ILO global community. He expressed sincere appreciation to the host country Jamaica and all participants.

MP, Minister of Labour and Social Security of Jamaica Shahine Robinson recognized the fruitful and meaningful meeting held, examining the global and Caribbean issues related to promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

She said, “We must unite as a region to exploit opportunities.” She stated it was imperative to make progress for “People, Planet and Prosperity to preserve our environment for ourselves and future generations.” She thanked the ILO Director-General for having taken time out to be here 3 days throughout and to share his vision of the Future of Work. She also lauded the work of the ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean, led by Claudia Coenjaerts.

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1 Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Maarten, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands