SINGAPORE (ILO NEWS) – Singapore President Halimah Yacob and International Labour Organization (ILO) Director-General Gilbert F. Houngbo opened the ILO’s 17th Asia and the Pacific Regional Meeting (APRM) in Singapore today, highlighting the need for inclusive growth as the regions build back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Regional Meeting provides us a platform to unite in dialogue to navigate the uncertainties that lie ahead of us,” President Halimah Yacob told delegates. “The pandemic and recent economic upheavals have given us another opportunity to rethink our growth model. The ILO plays a critical role in ensuring a fairer and more inclusive growth model where everyone has a stake,” the President said.
Running from 6-9 December, the APRM is discussing issues affecting employment and the world of work in Asia, the Pacific and Arab States. The conclusions will help shape the direction of national labour and employment policies as well as the ILO‘s work in both regions going forward.
More than 500 delegates are taking part – including 19 ministers and vice ministers – representing governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations from 33 of the region’s 48 member countries.
Addressing delegates at the opening session, ILO Director-General Houngbo highlighted how the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with political, economic and climate crises had pushed social progress backwards.
“More than ever, workers are getting by on informal work, in jobs that provide little in the way of protection and security. We are now living under circumstances when labour standards, employment policies and social protection matter more than ever,” Mr Houngbo said.