Thank you, Chair!
1. I am speaking on behalf of ASPAG. I would like to commend the Office to prepare this document.
2. ASPAG welcomes the Development and Cooperation Strategy 2020-25 in light of the guidance of the Centenary Declaration, the resolution adopted at the 107th Session of the ILC as well as the discussion at the 334th GB Session. As one of the priorities of the Group, ASPAG is of the view that this strategy should be a tool to operationalize ILO's vision in this respect and serve the tripartite constituents at national, regional and global level to achieve decent work outcomes. Moreover, it should also be used as a vehicle to ensure a better, faster and sustainable recovery in the context COVID-19 crisis and demonstrate the unique value of ILO during the process of UN development system reform.
3. ASPAG requests the Office to fully utilize the strategy to meet Member States' decent work needs by taking into account the national circumstances. ASPAG recognizes the challenges that the COVID-19 crisis will pose to the achievement of the SDGs, particularly Goal 8, the promotion of sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and full and productive employment. ASPAG also realize the importance of Goal 17 emphasizing partnerships to achieve the SDGs. In addition, we acknowledge the important role of South-South and triangular cooperation elaborated in this Strategy in line with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
4. ASPAG supports the efforts of the Office to strengthen the policy coherence by building partnerships through structured funding dialogue with UN country teams, IFIs as well as other potential partners including private sector with a view to formulating more sustainable financing strategies. ASPAG is also interested to get more information about the assessment of risks and opportunities of different finance mechanisms.
5. We would like to emphasize that adequate and predictable funding is crucial for the success of this Strategy, particularly at this crucial moment when governments and potential donors are confronting a more constrained budget. Therefore, we request the Office to step up its efforts to further expand its funding partnerships through the four innovative approaches proposed in the Strategy. ASPAG is happy to see a sound collaboration between ILO and the UN resident coordinator at the country level to seek more funding opportunities within the UN Cooperation Framework, and to ensure better coordination and joint programming in the field.
6. As voluntary contribution is of vital importance to provide the service to the constituents, ASPAG recognizes the importance for the Office to fully leverage its potential to mobilize lightly earmarked and unearmarked contributions in addition to earmarked contributions, and it should explore the possibilities to expand RBSA modality in doing so. ASPAG could see the benefits to maintain a diversified funding resources structure composed of, but not limited to funding from ODA, domestic donors, UN system, IFIs, South–South and triangular cooperation as well as the donation from the private sector. Based on the predictable funding resources, we request the Office to conduct the funding gaps analysis against the decent work needs of the national constituents in order to ensure the funding resources will be invested in an effective and efficient way.
7. ASPAG appreciates the adoption of a result-based approach accompanied by greater transparency and accountability and requests the Office to allocate necessary financial and staff resources to ensure the implementation of this Strategy. We offer our steady support for Turin Center to play a proactive role in the process of capacity-building and dissemination of knowledge and good practices. In the context of current pandemic, it is imperative to continue the Center's business through investment on its ICT infrastructure and digital skills of its staff.
8. With these framing comments ASPAG underscores that the Development Cooperation Strategy should necessarily form a critical component of the ILO's overarching strategic framework in the coming years, together with the strategic plan, programme and budget, and in conjunction with our HL2 discussion.
9. While recognizing the endorsement of this Strategy would provide significant guidance for the Office in this field, ASPAG is also of the view that the strategy should be accompanied by concrete details on how it will be operationalized and articulate the tangible outcomes it has been designed to achieve. In the absence of this information, it will be difficult for us to measure success, discuss learnings, and ensure the strategy remains responsive to constituent needs.
10. Further, for purpose of tracking the progress, ASPAG requests the Office to provide the Governing Body with a mid-term implementation report of this Strategy in 2023 and a final report in 2025.
11. As for the amendment proposed by employers, while we could support the amendment on the request for a mid-term review of this Strategy, ASPAG also sees the values to hear the views of other GB members as well as the response of the Office regarding proposed implementation of this important document.
Thank you, Chair!