ILO and Singapore agree continuation of efforts to support decent work across ASEAN region

The International Labour Organization (ILO) and Singapore will continue their joint collaboration efforts to support decent work aspects of the ASEAN regional integration process for a further two years.

A “Partnership Agreement for Collaborative Programme on Labour and Decent Work” was signed at the ILO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on 12 June 2024 between representatives of the ILO and Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower.

This partnership will see a variety of joint technical cooperative activities take place with a focus on occupational safety and health, skills development and South-South cooperation. Actions will take also place to strengthen the capacity of governments, employers and workers representatives in ASEAN to engage in social dialogue as a basis of preparing the region for the future of work.

Speaking at the signing, Chihoko Asada-Miyakawa ILO Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific said, “Singapore is a key partner for the ILO in helping deliver decent work and social justice across ASEAN. This agreement will see a continuation of our valuable collaboration which has delivered tangible benefits for many years across the region.”

Signing the agreement on behalf of Singapore, Ng Chee Khern, Permanent Secretary, Singapore Ministry of Manpower said, “Singapore is happy to extend this Partnership Agreement with the ILO. This reflects our commitment to work together to support governments, employers and workers in the ASEAN region. We look forward to continuing our work with the ILO to promote progressive labour and workplace practices, with a focus on fostering social dialogue, knowledge sharing and capacity building”.

Singapore and ILO enjoy longstanding cooperation to foster decent work in Asia and the Pacific. A range of cooperation activities have been successfully undertaken since 2012 focussing on the management and development of human resources to support ASEAN regional integration and cooperation.

Other notable actions include ILO’s collaboration with SkillsFuture Singapore that seeks to anticipate future skills needs as well as extend Singapore’s technical support to ASEAN countries to promote reskilling and upskilling.

The ILO’s Asia and the Pacific Regional Meeting was also hosted by Singapore in 2022, bringing together government, employer and worker representatives from across the Asia-Pacific and Arab States regions. The event saw the agreement of the “Singapore Statement” which identifies priorities to tackle wide range of existing and new employment challenges facing Asia, the Pacific and Arab States.

The Partnership Agreement will be valid for a period of two years from June 2024 to June 2026.