Acknowledging the critical importance of productive employment and decent work in lifting people out of poverty, HLCP, in July 2005, selected employment as one of the priority issues on the inter-agency agenda. This decision was reinforced by the 2005 World Summit Outcome, which identified the goals of full and productive employment and decent work for all, including for women and young people, as a central objective of relevant national and international policies and national development strategies in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

HLCP, at its February 2006 session, welcomed the active contribution of the system to the forthcoming high-level segment of the Economic and Social Council to be held in July on the item “Creating an environment at the national and international levels conducive to generating full and productive employment and decent work for all, and its impact on sustainable development”. It noted that ensuring productive employment is both an end in itself and a means by which other key development objectives would be reached.

The Committee acknowledged that employment cuts across the programmatic and sectoral interventions of most of the organizations of the system. In that light, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has been requested to consult with other organizations of the system on how they view the issue of employment in the context of their own work and on ways of strengthening common orientations to the system’s actions in support of national efforts towards full and productive employment. CEB will revert to this issue at its fall 2006 session in the light of the outcome of the high-level segment of the Economic and Social Council and options to be presented by ILO on approaches to enhance the capacity of the system to support countries in adopting effective employment generation strategies.