High Level Meeting of the General Assembly
NEW YORK, 23 May 2014
H.E. Karel J.G. van Oosterom Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations during the High Level Meeting of the General Assembly “Achieving poverty eradication through full employment and decent work for all in the post-2015 development agenda"
Thank you for organizing this important and timely debate on achieving poverty eradication through full employment and decent work for all in the post-2015 development agenda.
Your concept note explores in an excellent way the challenges and opportunities in the field of poverty eradication, full employment and decent work.
[The Netherlands aligns itself with the statement made by the EU]
Allow me to also make a few remarks in a national capacity.
Today I would like to make three points on the link between poverty eradication, full employment and decent work. All very important issues for the Netherlands.
[1. Poverty eradication and productive employment]
Jobs and employment must be a high post-2015 priority. Over 80% of households that have escaped extreme poverty have done so because the head of household got a job.
Pro-poor economic growth, undertaken in the context of sustainable development is the most effective way to raise incomes, generate jobs and permanently lift people out of poverty.
Growth must be twinned with economic transformation: shifting labour into higher productivity and more diversified uses.
Quality education is needed to enable this transformation and move people into more productive jobs.
Private enterprise provides over 90% of jobs in the developing world so conditions must right for firms to grow and employ more people productively and sustainably.
Businesses can play a crucial role in poverty eradication and sustainable development through innovation, technology and taking responsibility for social and environmental impacts.
[2. Decent work]
But jobs must also be decent: secure, safe and fairly paid. People should have the freedom to organise and participate in decisions that affect them. Promoting decent work standards helps formalise jobs in the informal sector.
Women, youth and people with disabilities are often excluded from or discriminated in labour markets. Access to employment and career opportunities must be equal for all.
Women should have the same economic rights as men - to inherit property, sign a contract, register a business and open a bank account.
Stigma and discrimination are often the greatest barriers to people with disability obtaining employment - they should be supported to obtain and maintain employment.
A necessary condition for these rights is an end to all forms of violence against women and girls.
[3. Social Protection]
Social protection can be used as part of a wider strategy for inclusive, sustainable growth to end poverty. It can guarantee a basic income and reduce barriers to accessing basic and maternal health care, nutrition, education and a healthy environment.
Social protection systems must contribute to a government's wider priorities and accompany economic transformation.
Interventions need to be tailored to the country context - considering when, why and how to use social protection systems — and we must promote equality of opportunity, first and foremost.
To wrap up. Linking jobs, poverty eradication and sustainable development is vital for the post-2015 development agenda.
At the same time our focus continues to be on the disparities in achieving the MDG's to make sure that no one is left behind.
Our mission statement is "Kingdom of the Netherlands, your partner for peace, justice and development". We want to be a partner in sharing expertise and experience in these areas with UN and other countries to accelerate action on sustainable development and contribute to the post 2015-agenda discussions.
Thank you for your attention.