Employers call for mobilising resources for the UN-led global Covid-19 fund
Roberto Suárez Santos
Director of Communications
The world’s employers call for mobilising resources for the UN-led global Covid-19 fund to save lives and save jobs.
The global employer community, united in the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), supports United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres’ Covid-19 response plan to assist governments in safeguarding jobs, maintaining liquidity, avoiding bankruptcy of companies particularly SMEs, providing social protection and wage support schemes, and preparing for the swift resumption of economic activity and international trade as soon as the pandemic is under control. The UN and its related financial institutions must help all member states affected by the crisis.
In the face of an unprecedented health emergency and economic collapse, the world must assist businesses, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and their workers, as well as the most vulnerable people, including the self-employed and non-permanent, casual and informal workers to prevent a humanitarian crisis.
“This crisis requires a historic response and a global one, particularly to help emerging economies prepare, mitigate and recover from a situation like no other. Both the virus and the drastic economic consequences are threatening the lives of billions of people,” declared IOE President Erol Kiresepi.
He added that “Decades of efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals could be wiped out within weeks. We need to urgently mobilise sufficient resources for the UN-lead Covid-19 response fund. I call on governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, private sources including companies, foundations and individuals to contribute.”
IOE Vice-President to the International Labour Organization (ILO) Mthunzi Mdwaba added that “the ILO must lead the response to the employment and social crisis, working jointly with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other UN agencies. Never has it been more pertinent to see the United Nations Reform in action. Enhanced cooperation and coordination are required among all actors in the multilateral system, based on their respective expertise and mandate. The ILO has a century of experience promoting employment, social protection and social justice as well as an extended and well-working field-structure. It must now deliver in addressing the employment and social impact of the pandemic.”
Social partners play a key role in the crisis response. Together with governments and the United Nations system, they can define the urgent and necessary social protection and stimulus measures to save jobs and save business. IOE and International Trade Union Confederation insisted in a recent joint statement that employers and workers can ensure that funds are spent meeting real needs and achieving results. In addition, to reviving the global economy, it is crucial to fully involve social partners at global and local level in the negotiation, implementation and follow-up of crisis-related measures.
IOE members, representing more than 50 million companies, are committed and ready to do what is necessary to save lives, protect the global economy and the world’s supply chains, and ensure that jobs and businesses emerge from this crisis stronger than ever.
Together we can reverse the economic and social damage caused by this pandemic. The world’s businesses are ready to do their part. Let’s show the power of unity.