first_imgLocalNews Fair social and working conditions crucial for sound democracies, says OAS secretary general by: – November 2, 2011 Sharing is caring! Tweet Share 17 Views   no discussionscenter_img Share José Miguel Insulza. Image via: Oas.orgSAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — The secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, during the closing ceremony of the XVII Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labour (IACML) summarized the main hemispheric challenges in the area of employment, equality, and access to opportunities, and warned that “overcoming these obstacles should be the core of our economic and social development strategies as well as of our efforts to strengthen democratic governance.”Addressing the ministerial plenary, held in San Salvador on October 31 and November 1, of 2011, Insulza stressed that the Conference of Ministers of Labour “is one of the emblematic areas of political dialogue of the Organization, not only because it is one of the oldest forums, created in 1963, but because the issues it covers relate to labor and employment, and daily and directly affect all citizens of the Americas.”In his speech, the head of the hemispheric institution referred to some encouraging data that show signs of economic recovery in the region, such as the unemployment levels, currently at approximately 7.3 percent, after reaching almost 8.1 percent in 2009 during the crisis. Nevertheless, he warned about the situation of young people, who in his words were “the most affected during the crisis and are the ones who recover more slowly during the current reactivation stage.”In that regards, he mentioned that the current youth unemployment rate stands at 14.4 percent, with more than 20 million young people in the region who neither study nor work. “Despite the fact that the youth of the Americas have far more education than their parents, the opportunities found in the labour market are much more limited,” he said. This situation, he added, “is fueling huge frustration and disappointment among the new generations, placing at risk not only our potential for growth, but also the future of our democracies.”At the meeting of ministers and high-level authorities on labour, the top OAS official described as “disturbing” the precarious situation that millions of workers have to face, “their health conditions, the respect for their minimum daily wages and conditions, and the low social security coverage,” and said that more than half of the workers in our region work in the informal sector. “In some of our countries this sector reaches levels of 70 percent, figures which are certainly unacceptable,” he added.Furthermore, he referred to the Inter-American Democratic Charter and the article that states that “the promotion and strengthening of democracy requires the full and effective exercise of the rights of workers and the implementation of core labour standards,” and expressed that “there can’t be sound democracies without fair social and working conditions. Multiple social manifestations worldwide, led by young people, demonstrates this.”At the conference, the theme of which is “Advancing economic and social recovery with suitable development, decent work and social inclusion,” the secretary general insisted that “social dialogue is a central pillar of democracy, and it is essential for the legitimacy and social sustainability of the political and economic public policies aimed at meeting the basic needs of our peoples.” Insulza closed his remarks by saying that the OAS, as the technical secretariat of the CIMT, “will continue to support this process with determination and commitment, under the conviction that political dialogue, consensus and cooperation among ministers of labour of the region are key to guaranteeing democratic governance and to collectively facing the social and work-related challenges of the hemisphere.”Caribbean News Now Sharelast_img