China and ILO sign partnership agreement to promote South-South Cooperation

Singapore (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) China have signed a partnership agreement promoting the Global Development Initiative with a focus on South-South Cooperation in employment.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by MOHRSS Vice Minister Yu Jiadong, and ILO Director-General Gilbert F. Houngbo, during the Asia and the Pacific Regional Meeting in Singapore.

“The ILO recognizes that China has played a very active role in promoting South-South Cooperation,” said ILO Director-General Houngbo. “The signature of this South-South Partnership agreement opens up new opportunities for mutual learning in ASEAN in the important area of employment promotion.”

MOHRSS and the ILO have been implementing South-South projects in ASEAN since 2012 and have established a strong record of cooperation in the fields of human resources and social security.

The new South-South Cooperation agreement will provide an initial sum of USD 1 million to promote high-quality employment, public employment services and entrepreneurship in ASEAN countries. As the COVID-19 pandemic severely affected the ASEAN labour market with 9.3 million job losses in the first year of the pandemic, the ILO and MOHRSS are in agreement about the critical role of employment promotion.

The ILO recognizes the importance of the Global Development Initiative (GDI) initiated in 2021 by the Chinese government to foster a development paradigm featuring benefits for all, balance, coordination, inclusiveness, and mutual cooperation. The themes of the agreement, namely high-quality employment and public employment services, are critical for the ILO’s Global Social Justice Coalition and the Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions.