President Faure addresses ILO Global Summit on COVID-19 and the World of Work
08 July 2020 | Foreign Affairs
President Danny Faure participated in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Global Summit on COVID-19 and the World of Work virtually this afternoon, organised under the theme ‘Building a Better Future of Work’.
Addressing the Heads of State and Government, and prominent global employer and trade union leaders, President Faure highlighted that this crisis will be a long-term scar on the labour force and explained how Seychelles is being affected as a Small Island Developing State. He stated that it is the duty of leaders to introduce solid multi-sectoral policies to enable faster recovery and restore stability and dignity to people.
“Seychelles has a small economy which is highly reliant on tourism as a source of livelihood for many businesses and workers. The impact of this crisis has increased our vulnerabilities as a small island developing state whilst we are already facing other global challenges such as the impacts of climate change. With the closure of our international borders, our biggest employer, the tourism industry, has been severely impacted. While our national unemployment rate for first quarter of 2020 still stands below 5%, the youth unemployment rate has substantially increased to 20.4%, making young people the most vulnerable in this crisis,” said the President in his statement.
President Faure also shared how Seychelles is championing a collaborative approach to crisis response, with the ultimate aim of minimizing unemployment shocks, securing workers’ incomes and preparing the economy and the population for a sustainable post-pandemic recovery. He explained how government has been conducting regular consultations with employers, workers’ representatives and the business community, and how this is helping the Government to introduce effective measures with buy-in.
The President noted that the pandemic also provides opportunities to find innovative solutions and accelerate progress, although small island states require financial assistance to re-build the world of work in line with the guiding principles of the ILO, saying: “As we move towards a “better normal” we must continue to maintain our ambition of creating a world of work where everyone has equal opportunity to access jobs and progress. Given our limited fiscal space, I would like to call on the ILO and the international community to expand support to labour administration institutions in small island states. We would greatly appreciate any assistance in this respect,” said President Faure.
The ILO is holding this largest-ever online gathering of workers, employers and governments to discuss how to address the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to discuss the challenges and responses of countries and regions that are still battling with the pandemic and of those that are starting the recovery process. Taking place from the 1 to 9 July, the summit consists of five regional events and three global events.