The choice of this theme is timely as there is now consensus that productive employment and decent work have to be at the centre of economic and social policies designed to achieve the internationally agreed development goals, particularly the central Millennium Development Goal of halving extreme poverty by 2015. This view was endorsed by Heads of State and Government at the 2005 World Summit who declared: “We strongly support a fair globalization and resolve to make the goals of full and productive employment and decent work for all, including for women and young people, a central objective of our national and international macro-economic policies as well as poverty reduction strategies. These measures should also encompass the elimination of child labour. We also resolve to protect the human rights of workers”.
In order to contribute towards a successful outcome of the High-level segment of ECOSOC, a major informal preparatory event was held at United Nations Headquarters in New York on the 4-5 April 2006, to allow Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, and stakeholders (employers and workers organizations, non-governmental organizations, academia, foundations) to examine the issues and make recommendations on the theme of the High-level segment.
A common theme which runs through all the roundtables is that making decent work a global goal needs stronger commitment and partnership by donors and international institutions, and a clear sense of common purpose at the country level.