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Minister participates in opening of special Ecosoc meeting and stresses importance of decent work to achieve prosperity

Tuesday, January 23rd 2024

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alberto van Klaveren, participated in the inaugural session of the special meeting of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (Ecosoc), titled "The Future of Work: Towards a Productive, Inclusive and Sustainable Global Society".

The meeting, which will be conducted until tomorrow at the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), is led by the Permanent Representative of Chile to the United Nations, Paula Narváez, in her capacity as president of Ecosoc, one of the main bodies of the United Nations, whose mandate is to promote the realization of the three dimensions of sustainable development -economic, social and environmental- and to ensure the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.

The purpose of the special meeting is to discuss policy recommendations to take advantage of the opportunities brought by changes in the labour market and manage the challenges they pose to decent work, as well as to explore the opportunities and constraints of technological advances and digitalization, including artificial intelligence, and their impacts on the labour market.

During his speech, the minister noted that "persistent inequalities, economic insecurity, growing impacts of climate change, escalating conflicts and an expanding digital divide are obstacles that threaten our goal of achieving prosperity for all." For this reason, he indicated that "decent work emerges as key to this purpose. It is not only a means to reduce poverty and inequalities, but also a promoter of inclusion."

"The International Labor Organization stresses that decent work encapsulates people's work aspirations. This implies access to productive employment with fair income, job security and social protection. It also includes prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom of expression and participation in making decisions that affect their lives, as well as equal opportunities and treatment for all," the Minister added.

Lastly, he pointed out that this is the second time that an Ecosoc meeting has been held in Chile, the first having been held in 1951. "This is an important milestone for our country, an achievement that we value and welcome with deep appreciation and commitment," he said.

The outcome of the special meeting will be a summary of the ECOSOC presidency, which will serve as input for the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2024, the Summit of the Future and the World Social Summit, proposed for 2025.

The meeting will include plenary sessions, interactive roundtable discussions, a side event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of ECLAC and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as a special celebration of the legacy of Chilean diplomat Hernan Santa Cruz, one of the initial drafters of the declaration.