As Local Economic and Social Development are increasing priority in local governments agenda, UCLG has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations International Labour Organization ILO.
The ILO is the international organization responsible for drawing up and overseeing international labour standards. It is the only 'tripartite' United Nations agency that brings together representatives of governments, employers and workers to jointly shape policies and programmes promoting Decent Work for all. This unique arrangement gives the ILO an edge in incorporating 'real world' knowledge about employment and work.
UCLG is looking forward to involve ILO in the agenda around Local Economic Development and job creation, not only positioning these topics in the joint political agenda, but also in practical areas such as knowledge sharing and learning between cities or other mutually complementary activities. Both organization look forward to contribute to extended knowledge and innovation around topics such as employment, informality and youth.
The agreement was signed by the Secretary General Mr Juan Somavia and by Secretary General Mr Josep Roig.
First practical cooperation took place on 8 November, where UCLG and ILO organized a peer learning activity in Maputo, Mozambique, on the informal economic sector in Maputo, and more specifically the conditions of informal vendors in the city.
Participants included representatives of the local authorities of the capital city and other cities in the country. Conceived as a South-South and triangular cooperation initiative, the event saw presentations by representatives of the cities of Durban (South Africa), Belo Horizonte and Porto Alegre (Brazil). The discussion focused on the current situation of the informal sector in Maputo and how to improve it in terms of health and social vulnerability. The representative of the authorities of Durban gave a presentation on the tranformation of an important market in Warwick. The ILO presented a study of women working in the informal sector, showing gender differences in access to health, security, resources and education. The municipal authorities of Durban and of Belo Horizonte have worked with the ILO in improving access to decent work in the informal sector, and their experience was highlighted.
At its conclusion the workshop adopted a roadmap, committing to the development and implementation of South-South and triangular cooperation between local authorities in the area of local economic development and decent work. This roadmap will be submitted to the Local and Regional Leaders World Summit to be held during the next UCLG Congress (Rabat, 1-4 October 2013).