#Geneva; #ILO; #Covid19; #AsiaPacificGermentSupplyChain;
Geneva, ILO (Canadian-Media): The International Labour Organization (ILO) is to publish a new report detailing the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on garment supply chains, factories and workers in 10 major garment-producing countries in Asia-Pacific.
ILO. Image credit: Twitter handle
The supply chain ripple effect: How COVID-19 is affecting garment workers and factories in Asia and the Pacific assesses the impact in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Viet Nam. The report has been compiled by an ILO team led by the ILO’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, working with Cornell University, USA.
An embargoed virtual press briefing will take place on Wednesday 21 October at 15.00 Bangkok time (10.00 Geneva time/08.00 GMT) for regional journalists and UNOG accredited correspondents.
The press conference will be given by:
The report and all associated materials will be under STRICT EMBARGO until Wednesday 21 October at 16:00 Bangkok time (11.00 Geneva/9.00 am GMT).
Audio of the briefing will be available to registered journalists after the press conference.
#ILO; #IMF; #WorldBank; #EconomicRecovery
ILO, Oct 19 (canadian-Media): In written statements to the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder warned against higher levels of poverty and inequality resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. Highlighting the urgent need for social protection for all, he called for profound structural changes to build back better and faster.
ILO. Image credit: Twitter handle
As labour markets around the world continue to reel from the COVID-19 crisis , ILO Director-General Guy Ryder has called for sustained social spending as well as structural changes to counter the dangers of growing poverty, joblessness and inequality.
In statements submitted to the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group , Guy Ryder outlined the particularly harsh impact of COVID-19 on many of the two billion workers in informal employment, as well as on those with little protection such as temporary, domestic or migrant workers.
“While some have access to sick leave and health services and continue to receive a salary, for many of those at the bottom of the income distribution, the consequences of COVID-19 have been catastrophic,” he said.
“The COVID-19 crisis has exposed deep-rooted inequalities. Without profound structural changes these will merely intensify, with consequences that would be very difficult to predict.”
Ryder called for post COVID-19 policy frameworks to be consistent with the principles set out in international human rights instruments and social security standards.
“Today this is particularly relevant in order for fiscal policies to underpin much-needed investments in universal social protection systems,” said Ryder.
Most states have mobilized their social protection systems. However, many of the adopted measures have been temporary and often insufficient to offset the steep decline in incomes during this protracted crisis.
Many countries have adopted large scale fiscal packages in response to the crisis, particularly to support incomes and businesses. However, the ILO has found that fiscal stimulus has been unevenly distributed worldwide when compared to the scale of labour market disruptions. Nearly nine-tenths of the global fiscal response to the crisis has been in advanced countries.
“Filling the stimulus gap in emerging and developing countries requires greater international solidarity while improving the effectiveness of stimulus measures. The poorest countries should not be forced to choose between honouring their debt obligations and protecting their people,” said Ryder.
A human approach to recover faster and betterThe ILO Director-General also warned against the profound and lasting effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the world economy and living conditions, in the context of global transformations already underway, driven by automation, geopolitics, ageing, migration and climate change.
“A combination of crisis-related and structural pressures could create a perfect storm of challenges for employment, household income and other aspects of human security in many countries over the next decade. These are the ultimate determinants of consumer and investor confidence, aggregate demand and economic growth and development,” Ryder said.
“The world economy needs to find a new, or at least supplemental, engine of economic recovery” he said, referring to the fundamental building blocks of economic and social progress: widely available employment for all, skilling opportunities, decent working conditions, sustainable enterprises, adequate social protection and increased gender equality, with all of the contributions to productivity growth, purchasing power and consumer and investor confidence these bring.
“An extraordinary collective effort, built on social dialogue and focusing more directly on strengthening these cornerstones of national economic strength and social cohesion will be required if the world is to achieve its stated ambition of building back better – and faster – from the crisis,” he concluded.
‘Biocups’, electric motorcycle taxis and recycling 500 billion bottles for a sustainable Thailand: a UN Resident Coordinator blog
#UN; #ElectricMotorcycleTaxis; #Thailand; #SouthAsianCountries; #SDGs
UN, Oct 19 (Canadian-Media): The private sector in Thailand has a key role to play in helping the south-east Asian country to reach poverty reduction and sustainable development goals agreed by the international community, UN reports said.
Sanitation workers collect plastic waste from the canals in Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city. © UNICEF/Patrick Brown
In this blog, Gita Sabharwal, the UN Resident Coordinator in Thailand and the Chairperson of the UN Global Compact Network Thailand, Suphachai Chearavanont, explain how, despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, progress is being made towards the goals.
United Nations Resident Coordinator in Thailand Gita Sabharwal (left) visits the northeast of the country in July 2020. Image credit: © IOM Thailand/Jidapa Khoonsins
The United Nations and members of the Global Compact Network of businesses in Thailand are already working in exciting and practical ways towards a more sustainable post-pandemic world. For example, one company is manufacturing ‘biocups’ from palm trees rather than plastic cups from oil, another is trialing electric motorcycle taxis in a neighbourhood of the Thai capital, Bangkok and yet another is aiming to recycle 500 billion bottles a year by 2025.
Some companies are working with the government and other organizations on environmental legislation, while others are investing in IT education in schools so that the next generation of Thais are skilled in the basics of coding and artificial intelligence.
All are contributing to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs, the 17 interlinking targets agreed by the international community to eliminate poverty, provide health care for all, create a fairer and more equitable society, and protect the planet’s biodiversity and natural environment.
To reach those goals by the 2030 deadline will require strong partnerships among all stakeholders, and remarkable innovation.
Progress towards the SDGs will determine the welfare of people and communities across the world, including in Thailand. Yet, a recent survey here found that there is relatively low awareness about the SDGs, especially among young people who are so crucial to the future of sustainable development.
Clearly, more needs to be done to raise awareness that the SDGs are fundamentally about people and communities, not some rarified theoretical concept.
The UN estimates that 50 baht (US$1.60) per day per person would achieve the SDGs in Thailand. To achieve that benchmark, partnerships are essential. The UN’s work depends on building strong partnerships with and between governments, the private sector, NGOs, civil society and the general public, including young people. These coalitions must be based on the principles of inclusiveness and equality, ensuring that no one is left behind.
Societies bound together
Thailand has been working towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which includes targets for sustainable agriculture.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us clearly how our societies are bound together, and our welfares are interdependent. We must be committed to a recovery that includes all people and restores progress towards the SDGs.
In Thailand, the United Nations is working closely with the Global Compact Network Thailand, which brings together nearly 60 business leaders from across the country, representing major companies that form the backbone of the Thai economy.
Members of the network have already pledged to invest 1.2 trillion baht (US$38 billion) in projects which will help to put the SDGs into practice, projects which, crucially, will have a tangible and positive impact on people’s lives. But more needs to be done.
Business leaders in all types of companies can help to affect change in their own board rooms, offices and factory floors and in the wider community. As we raise awareness about the importance of the SDGs to Thailand and its citizens, these leaders need to be better informed about how to implement the goals and the barriers that still must be overcome.
Fulfilling social responsibility
Many people in the private sector are passionate about addressing development challenges in Thailand and recognize that sustainability is not just good for the corporate “bottom line” but can help companies prosper in the future and adapt to major shocks like the COVID-19 pandemic. They also understand their shared social responsibility towards future generations, to their children and grandchildren.
For leaders in the private sector to fulfill their social responsibility, they must not only steer their own enterprises, but also help to affect positive change for society as a whole, addressing both sustainability and equality.
In other words, we need more “change agents”, who are aware of the global and local challenges. With determination and partnerships, raising awareness among these change agents can contribute to the resilience that we need to overcome the challenges thrown up by this pandemic while we continue to make progress towards the SDGs.
We cannot lose sight, however, of the fact that the pandemic is occurring in the context of other crises that are affecting our region and humanity as a whole; social inequality and discrimination, climate change and environmental degradation, and further afield conflict and humanitarian emergencies.
UN Thailand is building its response to these multiple challenges around three main pillars: strong partnerships with a shared responsibility to advance and implement the SDGs and, in the context of the pandemic, building back better for a greener and more equitable “new normal”; innovation, in terms of technology, but also around business models and jobs, including upskilling and reskilling workers; and inclusivity, ensuring that no one is left behind as the country moves forward.
This response must be global, regional, but also at the national and community level.
This year marks both the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and the 20th anniversary of the Global Compact. This is a remarkable opportunity for us together to unite and set out the pathway for Thailand and its people to realize the SDGs.
#Geneva, #ILO; #Covid19Pandemic; #EnvironmentDegradation; #ParisClimateAgreement
Geneva/ILO, Oct 13 (Canadian-Media): Nature can provide some of the best opportunities for creating jobs and stimulating economies, while protecting the planet.
Image credit: Maikel Lieuw-Kie-Song, Technical Specialist, ILO Employment Policy Department and Vanessa Pérez-Cirera, Deputy leader, World Wildlife Fund global climate and Energy Practice
The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted, in the most dramatic and tragic way, the fragility of the foundations on which our world is built – both natural and human-made.
It has underlined the devastating impact of the global rise in diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans – diseases that are linked to environmental degradation and unsustainable agricultural practices that have driven an average decline in global wildlife populations of two-thirds since 1970 due to land use change.
Meanwhile, the collapse of economies, with the resulting loss of hundreds of millions of jobs and livelihoods, has revealed the inherent flaws in the economic structure of our societies. At the height of lockdowns across the globe we witnessed a startling vision of clean, pollution-free skies caused by the temporary fall in greenhouse gas emissions as cars stayed off the streets and entire cities, factories and businesses shut down. Yet this dramatic reduction was only equivalent to what will be needed every year to meet Paris Climate Agreement targets.
Together, all these factors send a critical message – we must mend our broken relationship with nature. The equation is simple: without a healthy planet there can be no healthy economies.
Environmental degradation in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Image credit:
@ Axel Fassio / CIFOR
If there is one vital lesson that we have learnt during this pandemic, it is that what affects one country, one region, affects us all. The same is true of the relationship between people and nature. What we do to nature, we do to ourselves.
As financial decision-makers come together this week for the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank, the focus must be on the urgent measures that are needed not only to restart economies but to do it in a way that helps heal that broken relationship.
Jobs, economies and nature
The 1.6 billion workers who are in immediate danger of losing their livelihoods because of the pandemic need jobs. Not just any jobs, but decent, productive work that delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for themselves and their families.
However, these jobs and the hundreds of millions of others that fuel economies around the world cannot be at the expense of nature, and the living planet on which we depend. Over half of the world’s GDP – equivalent to US$44 trillion – is moderately or highly dependent on nature, and globally, 1.2 billion jobs rely directly on ecosystem services.
In recovery, governments and the private sector have a choice – continue investing trillions in propping up outdated, polluting industries which lack long-term job security, such as those based on fossil fuels, or seize the opportunity to invest in retraining workers and creating the new, green jobs of the future in sectors such as low carbon development, reversing environmental degradation and restoring ecosystem functionality.
Ultimately, building a better future of work means building it green.
“Working for Water” programme, South Africa. Image credit: © Mito Tsukamoto
Fortunately, some of the best opportunities for stimulating economic recovery and job creation lie in “green” industries. For instance, addressing climate change could create 65 million new low-carbon jobs by 2030. Every million dollars invested in renewable energy could create 7.5 jobs compared to 2.7 jobs for the same investment in fossil fuel projects; and solar panel power generation delivers the highest employment per unit of energy produced while also being quick to construct and convenient for rural communities.
In addition, nature-based solutions which harness ecosystems to address key societal challenges can generate jobs and contribute to food security, disaster risk reduction and urban regeneration, and can help tackle the climate crisis. A new report by WWF and the ILO compiles international evidence on how nature-based solutions can drive a more sustainable, job-rich recovery.
In Africa, for instance, 21 countries and international organizations are developing the Great Green Wall Project, which aims to restore 100 million hectares of land and halt the advance of the Sahara Desert. This joint initiative aims to provide food security for 20 million people, create 350,000 jobs and remove 250 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere. In Germany, the Emscher Landscape Park, an urban forest and ecosystem restoration project across 19 German cities, has so far created over 100,000 jobs. There are many more examples of how jobs can be created through investments in green works, ecosystem restoration and sustainable natural infrastructure, such as forests and coastal wetlands.
A New Deal for Nature and People
Continued failure to tackle nature loss will further disrupt supply chains, threaten global food security and livelihoods, and cost the global economy at least US$479 billion a year – US$10 trillion by 2050. Those are numbers that financial decision-makers cannot ignore.
Just a few weeks ago more than 70 world leaders signaled their new relationship with nature by signing the Pledge for Nature and committing to reversing biodiversity loss by 2030. Financial decision-makers have the opportunity to put in place the regulatory frameworks and financial resources that are needed to drive economic system change that can meet this global ambition – a New Deal for Nature and People that values, protects and restores nature, and safeguards human health and livelihoods.
We must not go back to investing in sectors and technologies that pose risks to workers and to planetary health and our long-term future. The new “nature positive economy” must and can deliver economic development and jobs, while also reversing nature loss and restoring much of what we have lost.
#UN; #IMF; #Covid19Pandemic; #GlobalEconomicOutlook
UN/IMF, Oct 13 (Canadian-Media): In the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic and its continuing impact, the global economy could see a “somewhat less severe, though still deep” recession through 2020, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected in its latest global economic outlook.
A cargo ship docked at the port of Salvador in Brazil. (file photo). Mariana Ceratti/World Bank
The revision is driven by better-than-anticipated second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) in large advanced economies, the IMF reported on Monday, noting also stronger than expected growth in China and signs of a more rapid recovery in the third quarter.
Collectively these actions have so far prevented a recurrence of the financial catastrophe of 2008-09 – Gita Gopinath, IMF
“Out-turns would have been much weaker if it weren’t for sizable, swift, and unprecedented fiscal, monetary, and regulatory responses that maintained disposable income for households, protected cash flow for firms, and supported credit provision”, Gita Gopinath, Economic Counsellor and Director of Research at IMF, said in a foreword to the report.
“Collectively these actions have so far prevented a recurrence of the financial catastrophe of 2008-09”, she added.
Global growth forecast at -4.4% According to the report, with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to spread, many countries have slowed reopening, and some are reinstating partial lockdowns. While recovery in China has been faster than expected, the global economy’s long ascent back to pre-pandemic levels, remains strewn with obstacles.
Global growth is now projected at -4.4 per cent in 2020, a less severe contraction than forecast in IMF’s June update.
In 2021, global growth is projected at 5.2 per cent, a little lower than in the June update, reflecting the more moderate downturn projected for 2020.
Following the contraction in 2020 and recovery in 2021, the level of global GDP in 2021 is expected to be a “modest” 0.6 per cent above that of 2019, said the report, adding that the growth projections imply wide negative output gaps and increasing job losses this year and in 2021, across both advanced and emerging economies.
After 2021, global growth is expected to gradually slow to around 3.5 per cent into the medium term, implying only limited progress towards projected growth for 2020-25 projected before the pandemic.
A woman runs a small shop selling prepaid telephone cards in Antananarivo, Madagascar.‘Unusually large’ uncertainty level The report notes that the uncertainty surrounding the baseline projection is “unusually large”.
The forecast rests on public health and economic factors that are inherently difficult to predict, it adds, noting the unclear path of the pandemic, the needed public health response, and how countries react, most notably in contact-intensive sectors of the economy.
Sources of uncertainty also include the extent of global spillovers from soft demand, weaker tourism, and lower remittances; and uncertainty surrounding the damage to supply potential – which will depend on the level of pandemic shock, the size and effectiveness of the policy response.
Considering the severity of the recession and the possible withdrawal of emergency support measures and social protections in some countries, rising bankruptcies could compound job and income losses. In addition, fears over financial recovery could trigger a sudden stop in new lending to vulnerable economies.