Asia and the Pacific

Indonesian Vice President opens ILO’s 16th Asia and the Pacific Regional Meeting

Indonesia’s Vice President Mohammad Jusuf Kalla and International Labour Organization (ILO) Director-General Guy Ryder opened the ILO’s 16th Asia and the Pacific Regional Meeting (APRM) in Bali, with a call for a greater emphasis on social justice in development.

Press release | Bali, Indonesia | 06 December 2016
His Excellency Mr Mohammad Jusuf Kalla, Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia at the Opening Session of the 16th APRM
BALI, Indonesia (ILO NEWS) – The four-day meeting is discussing issues affecting employment and the world of work in the Asia, Pacific and Arab States region, which together account for 60 per cent of the global workforce.

“The ILO’s mandate of realizing social justice is in line with Indonesia’s constitution: equal welfare and justice for all,” the Vice President told delegates.

“Of paramount importance is focusing on positive developments and working together to realize decent work, and meet the aspirations of workers and employers, who ultimately share similar needs and concerns,” he added.

The ILO is the United Nations specialized agency dealing with work-related issues. The APRM is being attended by more than 400 delegates – including 22 ministers – representing governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations from almost 40 countries.

Mr Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General
Speaking at the opening session, Director-General Guy Ryder reminded delegates of the need for “strong inclusive, balanced and sustained growth for the people of this region”. While remarkable progress had been made in raising incomes during the last decade, important challenges remained.

“The quality of everyday life cannot be fully captured just by macroeconomic aggregates and generalities,” he said. “It is striking that the region’s economic dynamism has not been fully translated into social progress”.

One in ten of the region’s workers still lives in extreme poverty, and more than a billion workers are in vulnerable employment, often without access to social and legal protection, while other groups – including youth, migrant workers, child and forced labourers, displaced people and women – were in particular danger of being excluded from progress.

“Together we need and must do more, better and faster. It is a question of economic prosperity just as much as of social justice.”

Looking to the future he reminded delegate that progress made so far could only be equitable and lasting if built on strong, effective labour market institutions, and he called on them to strengthen social dialogue and collective bargaining and make progress in ratifying the ILO’s eight Fundamental Conventions, which provide “internationally accepted foundations for building sustainable, equitable, economic and social progress.”

“Asia and the Pacific has demonstrated its leadership in the world in so many areas – why not in labour standards and social dialogue too?”

Delegates elected Indonesia’s Minister of Manpower Hanif Dhakiri to Chair the APRM. Bahrain’s Minister of Labour and Social Development Jameel Humaidan became the Vice Chair representing government delegates, Hariyandi Sukamdani of the Employers Association of Indonesia was elected as Vice Chair representing employers, and Naoto Ohmi, Secretary General of the Japanese Trade Union Federation, Vice Chair for workers.

The conclusions of the APRM will help to shape national labour and employment policies in the region, as well as the ILO‘s work.

Follow the meeting online at or on Twitter #ILOAPRM.

For further information please contact:

Sophy Fisher
Senior Communications Officer, ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok
Tel.: +662 288 2482

Salwa Kanaana
Communications Officer, ILO Regional Office for the Arab States,
Tel.: +961 (1) 752400 ext 117

Gita Lingga
Communications Officer, ILO Country Office for Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Tel.: +6221 391 3112 ext. 115