In­ter­na­tional re­la­tions

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Re­spond­ing to the chal­lenges of a rapidly trans­form­ing global work­place

Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa has called for greater ef­forts to ac­cel­er­ate the cre­ation of a just, hu­mane and in­clu­sive world of em­ploy­ment for all say­ing it could no longer be busi­ness as usual.

The Pres­i­dent was speaking as co-chair of the In­ter­na­tional Labour Or­gan­i­sa­tion's (ILO) Global Com­mis­sion on the Fu­ture of Work in Geneva, Switzer­land.

He added that young peo­ple, women and those with dis­abil­i­ties must be at the cen­tre of ef­forts by the global com­mu­nity for so­cial jus­tice as it re­sponds to the chal­lenges of a rapidly trans­form­ing global work­place.

“The Fu­ture of Work will en­hance the in­volve­ment of women, young peo­ple and dis­abled peo­ple in the world of work and how they can par­tic­i­pate in a much more ef­fec­tive way. This con­cept will also, and most im­por­tantly, as­sist in creat­ing more jobs, gen­er­at­ing growth, and in­creas­ing more fair­ness,” said Pres­i­dent Ramaphosa.

Pres­i­dent Ramaphosa co-chaired the third meet­ing of the Com­mis­sion with the Prime Min­is­ter of Swe­den, Ste­fan Löfven. The gather­ing con­sid­ered the frame­work on the Global Com­mis­sion's Final Re­port which had fo­cused partly on the is­sue of the dis­abled.

Ac­cord­ing to The Pres­i­dency, the com­mis­sion is im­por­tant as it seeks to con­vince busi­ness and gov­ern­ment to re­gard work­ers osten­si­bly as an as­set rather than an ex­pense.

“This re­quires a new global so­cial con­tract for creat­ing and dis­tribut­ing value in the econ­omy, in­clud­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion on en­hanc­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity and re­duc­ing in­equal­ity, among oth­ers,” the Pres­i­dency said in a state­ment.

The Com­mis­sion's Frame­work Fu­ture of Work re­port also probed en­demic un­em­ploy­ment and build­ing hu­man ca­pa­bil­i­ties to par­tic­i­pate ef­fec­tively in the world of work as some of the other core themes of dis­cus­sion by the com­mis­sion.

The com­mis­sion seeks to de­velop ap­pro­pri­ate re­sponses by the global com­mu­nity to ad­dress in­equal­ity and in­for­mal­ity of work, among oth­ers. It also seeks to pre­pare labour, busi­ness and gov­ern­ment for the pro­found changes in the in­sti­tu­tions of work, and asks whether th­ese would re­main fit for pur­pose in the ad­vent of chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties of­fered by rapid tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances.

The high-level global com­mis­sion, com­pris­ing ex­perts from gov­ern­ment, busi­ness and labour, was es­tab­lished by the ILO in 2017 to as­sess the rapid trans­for­ma­tions tak­ing place in the global econ­omy and world of work, and iden­tify key chal­lenges and rec­om­men­da­tions.

The work of the Global Com­mis­sion aligns with gov­ern­ment's fo­cus on the cre­ation of de­cent and sus­tain­able jobs, and ef­forts to en­sure young South Africans have the skills nec­es­sary to thrive in the chang­ing work­place.

Pres­i­dent Ramaphosa as­sumed his po­si­tion as the new co-chair of the com­mis­sion while in Switzer­land.

Ac­cord­ing to The Pres­i­dency, he de­scribed his ap­point­ment to the com­mis­sion as an op­por­tune mo­ment for South Africa to play a crit­i­cal role and be part of craft­ing the de­sired fu­ture of work.

The co-chair­man­ship means the Pres­i­dent will be one of the Heads of State who will lead the cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tions at the In­ter­na­tional Labour Con­fer­ence in June 2019.

Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa with the Prime Min­is­ter of Swe­den, Ste­fan Löfven, at the In­ter­na­tional Labour Or­gan­i­sa­tionʼs Global Com­mis­sion on the Fu­ture of Work.

Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa meets with the Direc­tor-Gen­eral of the In­ter­na­tional Labour Or­gan­i­sa­tion, Guy Ry­der, ahead of the meet­ing of the Global Com­mis­sion of Fu­ture of Work in Geneva, Switzer­land.

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