(GB.346/PFA/1: P&B Preview for 2024-25, 31stOctober 2022)
I am speaking on behalf of ASPAG. I would like to start by thanking the Office for preparing the Preview of the Programme and Budget proposals for the biennium 2024-2025.
ASPAG subscribes to the view that the world of work is facing unprecedented challenges with persistent and exacerbating poverty and inequalities. We are also aware of the fact that accelerated technological advances, growing digitalization and new modalities to organize production and work have great potential to promote inclusive growth and build a better future of work. ILO could and should play a leading role in responding to the challenges and harnessing the opportunities to advance social justice and decent work.
Nevertheless, ASPAG notes that the overview of regional contexts was absent in this document. The regional circumstances and priorities have significant implications for budget allocation. Therefore, we request the Office to conduct regional needs analysis to guide proper resources allocation among regions. Moreover, we request the P&B proposals next March should also built upon the guidance provided by the upcoming Asia and the Pacific Regional Meeting.
Compared with the P&B in previous bienniums, the current Preview has outlined a new structure. For purpose of transparency, clarity and an informed decision, we request the Office to provide the March GB with further detailed explanation on the major adjustments introduced regarding policy outcomes and outputs as well as a comparison of resources allocation by outcomes between the current and the next biennium. For instance, we are keen to know why the current standing-alone outcomes of skills and lifelong learning and gender equity have been integrated with other outcomes. We consider these two outcomes to be of significant importance and would appreciate the Office provide advice on the implications in terms of budgetary allocation to these two issues.
Chair! Cognizant to the fact that Asia-Pacific region is a region accounting for more than 60% of the world working population, ASPAG would again request the Office to consider proportionate allocation of financial and human resources in the P&B proposals next March. In parallel, we would also request more resources to be allocated from “back office” to “front line” to reinforce the support on the ground including expanding development cooperation in this region. While stagnant progress was made so far to improve the geographic diversity of the Office, ASPAG asks the P&B proposals in March to give full attention to this matter and come up with clear and responsive targets and measures.
ASPAG agrees with the goals in outcome 1&2. We request the Office to continue its efforts in providing technical assistance adapting to national context for member states needed in ratification and application of International Labour Standards. We also attach great importance to the work of SRM and support the ongoing discussions of the supervisory bodies on their working methods, with a view to supporting their continuous improvement. We also emphasize that the reporting of SDG indicator 8.8.2 should be based on refined methodology which could trace the progress and reflect the facts on the ground. ASPAG welcomes the efforts to achieve effective social dialogue and capacity building for tripartite constituents, in particular, the dedicated output 2.3 and 2.4 to enhance the capacity of member states including labour administration.
ASPAG endorses the policy outcome 3,4,5 and 6 as well as the outputs set to each outcome as an integrated response to the call for decent work for all. Though skills and lifelong learning is integrated as an output under outcome 3, and gender equity under outcome 5, it should be understood by no means less attention is given to these important topics. Therefore, we would request the budget proposal to ensure appropriate resource allocation in these areas. Among others, we also register our support to the promotion of sustainable enterprises outlined in outcome 4 and commend the creation of enabling environments for entrepreneurship, decent work and productivity growth set out in output 4.1. ASPAG believes safe and healthy working condition is key to achieve decent work, we concur with the outputs under outcome 5 with due attention given to OSH, wage, working time, vulnerable groups, care economy, as well as migration. In the same vein, ASPAG also reaffirms its support to outcome 6 aiming to promote universal, comprehensive, adequate and financially sustainable social protection systems, including floors.
ASPAG acknowledges the added value of the approach regarding integrated policy and institutional responses for social justice through decent work. We note with great interests to the proposed Global Social Justice Coalition to address cross-cutting issues including financing, gender equity and non-discrimination, formalization, just transition, decent work in supply chains as well as crisis response and would like to see further information and welcome the discussion in coming GB Sessions. Considering the complexity of the relationship between trade, investment arrangements and decent work, ASPAG requests the Office to conduct evidence-based comparative research on current practices and their implications for decent work as a kick-off to future discussion. At this stage, we invite the Office to further clarify the linkage between this Coalition and the P&B, in particular the specific estimation of financial and human resources required.
In general, ASPAG is supportive to the 3 enablers and would like to highlight some critical points. Firstly, we are keen to see more efforts to be placed on enhancing the organizational efficiency including through effective evaluation and innovation. Secondly, we encourage the Office to redouble its efforts to improve the quality of data collection, knowledge management and research based on verified evidence and refined methodology. Thirdly, ASPAG reiterates its focused attention on achieving the geographical and gender diversity of the staff and request more detailed indicators and sufficient resources allocated in this area in the P&B proposals next March.
Finally, we welcome further informal consultations on this subject before the next March GB Session. With due consideration of the Office given to our comments submitted, ASPAG could support the draft decision of this agenda item.
Thank you, Chair!