SINGAPORE, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- The International Labor Organization (ILO) opened its Asia and the Pacific Regional Meeting (APRM) in Singapore on Tuesday to discuss employment and the future of work.
The event comes at an important juncture for the world of work as the region faces multiple challenges, including the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic compounded by the global food, energy and finance crises, the ILO said.
The four-day 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 labor and employment policies as well as the ILO's work in both regions going forward, the organization added.
The ILO's Director-General Gilbert Houngbo said the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with political, economic and climate crises, had pushed social progress backwards, and the ILO wants everyone to be able to share equally in the benefits of future, human-centered growth.
"With effective pro-employment policies, more social protection, a respect for labor rights, constructive social dialogue and an enabling business environment, countries can equip themselves to benefit from the future of work," he added.
Singaporean President Halimah Yacob said in her opening address that the pandemic and recent economic upheavals have offered an opportunity to rethink the growth model, and the ILO plays a critical role in ensuring a fairer and more inclusive growth model where everyone has a stake.
Singapore's Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng said that this year's APRM is focusing on human-centered recovery from COVID-19, which become much more challenging now due to the pandemic, inflation, supply chain disruptions and geopolitical uncertainty.
He said the ILO plays an integral role in surmounting the challenge, by setting out a clear global strategy with a common purpose and vision, anchored on the principle of tripartite collaboration and social dialogue.
"With strong partnership amongst the government, employer and worker groups, I am confident we will forge a clear path towards a human-centered recovery from COVID-19," Tan added. ■