Social justice requires regional cooperation, policy coherence – ILO DG

Social justice requires greater multi-lateral and regional cooperation as well as policy coherence by Caribbean leaders and organisations, which will help to advance sustainable growth across the region. 

This was emphasised by Director General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Gilbert Houngbo at the 12th Meeting of Caribbean Ministers of Labour on Tuesday, at the Marriott Hotel, Kingston.  

Houngbo underscored that the meeting offers an integrated approach and platform for discussion and cooperation in aid of the region’s sustainable transformation.

Director General of ILO, Gilbert Houngbo

“You will have the opportunity to engage in discussions towards identifying and articulating solutions to these challenges through the social justice lens. Our collective goal is to use our tripartite power, position, and social justice as the keystone of the global economy and to demonstrate how government workers and employees have a role to play in making social justice a reality at all levels,” the ILO director general explained.

The platform will also assist in strengthening regional cooperation to create social justice systems that uphold decent work to achieve economic development and social advancement for all.

A section of the gathering at the ILO Meeting

Barbados’ Minister of Labour, Social Security and Third Sector, Colin Jordan, and CARICOM’s Assistant Secretary-General, Human and Social Development, Alison Drayton shared similar sentiments.

Jordan underscored his country’s enduring commitment to sessions like these, and all other efforts to unify the region.

Barbados’ Minister of Labour, Social Security and Third Sector, Colin Jordan

“Small states, including our states in the Caribbean, can only develop and transform in a sustainable manner where and when there is social justice globally…social justice is and must remain the foundation for all we do in nation and region building. And in all we do for workers who are a critical part of the construction of the nations and regions that we want.”

Meanwhile, Drayton added that the meeting is important since it provides the platform for dialogue and collaboration in facilitating the region’s transformation across the board.

Drayton emphasised that social justice is not at the pinnacle of sustainable Caribbean transformation, rather, it lies at the foundation.

CARICOM’s Assistant Secretary-General, Human and Social Development, Alison Drayton

“The foundation of any structure is indeed the most important place on which growth and expansion occur. Therefore, placing social justice at the foundation for sustainable Caribbean transformation ensures that we have a solid and stable baseline for all of the initiatives and activities, which follow thereafter… meetings such as this allow us to come together, work collaboratively, and achieve as a region, what we could not achieve as individual states,” the secretary general stated.