Calls for a comprehensive approach to address the impact of the novel coornavirus pandemic was given by global leaders at a summit of the United Nations labour agency.
Covid-19 had plunged the world of work into “unprecedented crisis”, said Guy Ryder, the chief of the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO), said during the online event.
Recorded messages of dozens of heads of state and government were aired at the summit.
“Let’s be clear: it’s not a choice between health or jobs and the economy. They are interlinked: we will either win on all fronts or fail on all fronts,” Antonio Guterres, the UN chief, told the ILO summit.
“Looking ahead, policies should lay the foundation for a low-carbon, resilient recovery that would create millions of jobs while helping address the climate crisis,” said Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund.
“We are especially concerned that the crisis will jeopardise the important development gains of the last years,” she said.
An important role in fostering the recovery will be played by keeping markets open to trade, said World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevedo.
“In the short run, raising trade barriers would threaten access to food and medical supplies,” he said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic struck the world like a massive earthquake and just like a tsunami that comes in its aftermath, ’employment shock’ has already hit upon us,” said Moon Jae-in, the president of South Korea.
The long-term impact of the Cvodi-19 pandemic on Africa would be “quite severe”, said South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“We have an immense task before us: to rebuild our shattered lives and economies,” he said.
It was a special duty of the world to protect the millions of healthcare workers at the front line of the crisis and who were also being affected with the disease and resultant deaths, said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of World Health Organization.
“Together we have a duty to protect those who protect us,” he said.
The ILO said last week that in the second half of 2020, the general overall outlook for the global labour market is “highly uncertain” and the recovery rate that has been forecast for the global economy will not be enough for the rate of employment to return to pre-pandemic levels anytime this year.
During the first half of the year, the drop in the global working hours was “significantly worse than previously estimated”, the UN agency said.
(Adapted from AlJazeera.com)