Ladies and Gentlemen,
We congratulate Ambassador Saja Almajali the new President of the Conference and commend the Honourable Minister for Labour of Jordan for successfully presiding over the proceedings.
Pakistan welcomes the comprehensive agenda of the Conference which deals with important dimensions of the world of work.
Pakistan is sixth populous country in the world with population of over 200 million. 62 percent of our population is in the working age. Half of that potential workforce, around 62 million, are women. Our government is cognizant that increasing women participation in gainful employment could accelerate Pakistan’s GDP growth by 3 percent per annum. For these reasons we welcome the Director General’s report on “push for equality” and fully support the women at work initiative. We welcome the standard setting item at this ILC dedicated to curtailing harassment and violence at the workplace. Women are disproportionately affected by these heinous practices.
We view unemployment as a major hurdle in realizing the SDGs, and urge the ILO to step up its programmes for assisting Pakistan, as well as other developing countries, in employment generation, particularly for young women. Economically successful women employees and entrepreneurs act as catalysts for social change in developing countries, and serve as role models.
Pakistan has recently taken important steps to incentivize entrepreneurship, train labour force in demand-driven skills and generate youth employment, especially for women and girls. These initiatives are bearing fruit.
For women empowerment, we are focusing on access to material resources such as land, money, credit and income, availability of decent employment opportunities that involve good working conditions, access to power through representation in political and decision making bodies, freedom to make choices in life, enjoyment of basic rights granted in the constitution and international agreements, equal access to quality education, health facilities and access to various facilities.
Pakistan is committed to meet the SDGs and the Goal 5. Pakistan is also a signatory of the UN Convention for Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The government has internalized Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as National Goals through the seven pillars of Vision 2025.
Pakistan has also taken concrete steps to foster inclusion, social dialogue and tripartism in policy formulation and implementation. The Federal Tripartite Consultative Commission is instrumental in meaningful exchange of views on all policy responses and key issues.
Pakistan appreciates the work of the Committee on Application of Standards in ensuring implementation of the labour conventions. We are committed to working closely with the ILO supervisory mechanisms to ensure promotion and protection of labour rights across Pakistan.
We also consider discussions on effective development cooperation as significant, and look forward to the conclusions.
In relation to the work of the Committee on Harassment and Violence in the World of Work, we wish to refer to our domestic achievements. Pakistan is pursuing affirmative action to enhance women participation. Some provinces of Pakistan have even reserved up to 33 percent quotas for women. Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act (2010) is fully implemented all over Pakistan. A code of conduct has been displayed in all Government departments and Inquiry Committees have been constituted. Offices of the Ombudsman for Harassment have been established at national and provincial levels.
We express our deep concern over the violation of human rights of the people under occupation, anywhere in the world, in particular the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The impunity with which the occupiers violate international human rights and humanitarian law, and in doing so, severely undermine the economic viability and decent work conditions of the workers remains a matter of great concern to us.
We deplore that limitations on decent work, including access to workplace in safety and security, are being employed as a tool to suppress people’s right to self determination.
Thank you Mr. Vice President.