General Debate in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC): Statement by Ambassador Berger

Jul 6, 2012

(General Debate in the Economic and Social Council - ECOSOC -: Statement by Ambassador Berger)

Thank you Mr. President.
We strongly welcome the opportunity for having this timely debate. We also want to thank the European Union and fully align ourselves with its position.

One of the most significant outcomes of Rio + 20 was the recognition, that green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication is one of the most important tools available to achieve sustainable development. Green economy is a tool that can enhance social inclusion, improve human welfare and create employment opportunities and decent work for all. It is therefore very important for us, that the outcome of Rio+20 on Green Economy has to be adequatly reflected in the ministerial declaration.

Having said that, we hope that member states will deliver a strong and positive message in support of employment, productive and decent work in the ministerial declaration. ECOSOC has addressed an important problem in a timely manner. We have to communicate the outcome of these important meetings.

Rio encourages all countries to consider the implementation of green economy policies in order to drive sustained and inclusive growth and the creation of green and decent jobs, particularly for women, youth and the poor. It is of utmost importance to equip the targeted groups with the necessary skills, including through education and vocational training. Germany is willing to share its lessons learned from the creation of green jobs with other countries. Over the last years, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been created in Germany due to the decision to promote the use of renewable energy, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the use of fossil fuels and to advocate sustainable production patterns.

The ECOSOC meeting now has the opportunity to deliver meaningful input for the way towards the future we want as it was defined in Rio. Promoting productive capacities, employment and decent work is essential for poverty reduction and for reaching the MDGs. It is also essential for achieving environmentally, economically, fiscally and socially sustainable development throughout the world. Strengthening productive capacities is one of the central elements of the Istanbul Program of Action (IPoA) in support of the Development in the Least Developed Countries (LDC). The UN Development System has an important role in implementing the IPoA in the LDCs and in supporting the strengthening of productive capacities in middle income countries.
Germany especially appreciates the extensive exchange on the pressing matter of youth unemployment. We cannot afford a "lost generation". We need a coherent approach of education and skills development, social inclusion, macroeconomic and labour market policies. But even the best policies can't create sustainable jobs in themselves. When it comes to create training places and jobs for youth private companies have a key role to play.  In Germany, we have very positive record by cooperating closely with all relevant social partners. We combine joint efforts of employment services, schools and all major business associations in order to provide technical and vocational training for young people willing to be trained on the job. This so-called "training pact" has proven a very effective tool in reducing youth unemployment.
Work is more than a source of income. Work is also a source of personal dignity, family stability and peace in the community.  With that understanding and for that reason,
Germany seconds the ILO's initiative to develop "decent work"-oriented approaches. Germany also appreciates the new ILO Recommendation on Social Protection Floors aimed at preventing or alleviating poverty, vulnerability and social exclusion.
Germany actively contributes to partnership approaches at the international level, notably in the context of the G20. We see a strong common interest in promoting growth and jobs together with an increased demand and need for exchange of good practices. The National Voluntary Presentations held this week are a very positive example of this exchange. Allow me, Mr. President, to use this opportunity to advert to a side event on “Enhancing Employability through Technical and Vocational Education and Training” at the German Mission. In cooperation with the ILO we have the honour of inviting representatives of all member states to participate at the event next Tuesday and to further deepen our fruitful exchange on labour market practices.

Thank you.

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