General Assembly High Level Meeting: Statement by Germany on "Achieving poverty eradication through full employment and decent work for all in the Post-2015 Development Agenda"

May 23, 2014

(Statement as delivered by Counsellor Stephanie Kage)

Mr. President, Excellencies, distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Germany aligns itself with the statement made by the European Delegation on behalf of the EU and its member states.

2015 will be an important year in international politics. The international community will take stock with regard to the Millennium Declaration and will adopt the Post-2015-development agenda.

Great successes have been achieved in reaching the MDGs. The proportion of people, living in extreme poverty was cut in half even before 2015. Although high growth rates and market based reforms in emerging countries have lifted many people to the middle class, reduction of extreme poverty has not been sufficient yet. There are still some 1.3 billion people suffering from hunger. This is unacceptable. A holistic and multidimensional understanding of poverty is needed in order to fight the root causes of poverty and hunger. The post-2015 development agenda should reinforce the international community’s commitment to poverty eradication and sustainable development and set out a single comprehensive and coherent framework. This understanding includes to establishing the necessary foundations of sustainable development, such as health and education, sustainable and decent jobs and fair income.

Mr. President,

Germany promotes a strong emphasis on Employment and Decent jobs in the post-2015 agenda, including the achievement of full and productive employment and decent work for men and women alike, with particular attention to the most vulnerable groups. We particularly support prominently addressing the respect, promotion and realization of fundamental principles and rights at work, including for migrant workers, in accordance with the ILO declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. Germany further supports the establishment and maintenance of social protection floors for all according to ILO recommendation No. 202, including basic income security for children, older persons and persons in active age in cases of sickness, unemployment, disability or  maternity. We also support the promotion of social dialogue, which is essential for people’s empowerment and participation. We also strongly support a clear reference at target-level to tackling youth unemployment.

In supporting our partner countries, we have achieved positive results through a couple of measures:

- first, measures such as vocational education and training directed at  enhancing employability and labor supply,

- second, labor demand interventions such as private sector development to create new jobs,

- third, active labor market policies and instruments to help new entrants in the labour market through measures like youth social work or mentoring schemes by senior entrepreneurs and

- last but not least overall economic policy measures ranging from macroeconomic policies to health or infrastructure creation that help to create an enabling environment.

One example where we tried to take over some of this approach was Sierra Leone - where we improved agricultural value chains and fostered job creation in cocoa production.. There it seems to work very well. More than 20’000 rural jobs for young people – many of them former civil war combatants- were created or incomes improved.

Mr. President,

I would like to take the opportunity to invite all missions to a side event that we will host together with the Mission of Brazil, ILO and WorldSkills on youth employment on the occasion of the ECOSOC-Youth Forum on 2 June 2014 entitled “Skilled for Excellence and Development”. Actions for youth employment are urgently needed, because we cannot risk losing this generation.

Our overarching vision is the sustainable eradication of poverty in all its dimensions. This has to be achieved while at the same time respecting the planetary boundaries.

Progress towards the eradication of poverty and sustainable development will not be achievable without decent work for all and it will be meaningless if we do not at the same time address issues of peace and security, promote good governance and the rule of law and ensure the respect of human rights for all.


Thank you, Mr. President.


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