Promoting climate resilience through decent work

Statement by ILO Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, Tomoko Nishimoto for the signing of the ILO-SREP partnership

Statement delivered on the occasion of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the ILO and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). The partnership was signed in the margin of the Climate Action Pacific Partnership (CAPP) Conference II – 2018 held in Suva, Fiji from 26 to 27 July 2018.

Statement | Suva, Fiji | 26 July 2018
We are delighted to take advantage of the CAPP conference, and have this MoU signing ceremony at the margin of the conference.

The signing of the MOU between SPREP and ILO is manifestation of the sprit and principles enshrined in both the Paris Agreement and the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development along with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Paris Agreement sets the global policy and international goals in tackling the compelling effect arising climate change. The Agenda 2030 and SDGs set the global policy and international goals to achieve a sustainable and inclusive world.  Both were signed almost universally in 2015. 

They both set a very ambitious targets. They both attempted to evoke a paradigm shift. They share at least three common guiding principles to achieve these ambitious targets:
  1. Both calls for an integrated approach. Be it mitigation or adaptation, effective climate action requires policy coherence and concerted effort and collaboration by different sectors and different ministries. We often describe this "breaking the silos". And when you break the silos, the possibility of creating innovative solutions become much greater. So when SPREP staff, who are specialists and experts in environment sustainability issues getting together with ILO staff who are specialists in fields in world of work issues, we firmly believe we will come up something very innovative and impact-making.
  2. Both calls for a transformative change with a sense of urgency not just incremental changes, which may take several decades to reach even half of the ambition level set forth. The ILO is the only UN organization which  is not just an inter-governmental organization. The ILO is the only UN organization which has official and institutional linkages in its governance structure with employers and workers. We believe the unique features of the ILO would be a great asset to SPREP as we team up together.
  3. Both the Paris Agreement and the Agenda 2030 SDGs attach an extreme impotence to partnership. The Paris Agreement inspired the COP 22 President Morrocco who was instrumental to institution the Mareakash Partnership. Under one of the 17 SDGs is specifically on partnership. We cannot overemphasize that no country alone, no organization alone can effectively tackle the unprecedented level of challenges. We need every one on board.
The MoU between the SPREP and ILO is signed today in this very spirit. It is the commitment of our two institutions bringing in our respective strengths and together making optimal contribution towards the achievement of the ambitious global goal.

From the ILO, as the international organization which is mandated with the issues of the world of work, we will bringing in the expertise, experience from different parts of the world and our tripartite partners (employers and workers) regarding Just Transition and Decent Work within the context of UNFCCC COP and CAPP. In the context of the MoU and through SPREP, we hope to intensify the already strong partnership with our BOSs - big ocean states.

Bula vinaka.