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									INTERNATIONAL LABOUR CONFERENCE                                                         C.Pl./TD(Rev.1)
98th Session, Geneva, June 2009
Committee of the Whole on Crisis Responses

                                            THEMATIC DIALOGUES

                                           (Room XIX, Palais des Nations)

Wednesday, 3 June
Session 1 – TD1:              Is recovery in sight? Are prospects for jobs improving?

Is the worst behind us? What is suggested by global and regional economic forecasts and employment
trends? Are current policy responses, in particular national measures to stabilize the financial system
and to boost aggregate demand through fiscal stimulus, up to the task? What did the G20 deliver and
what more should be done to promote not just renewed growth but an employment upturn? How can we
shorten the gap between economic recovery and employment recovery for women and men?

         Mr Richard Newfarmer, Director, World Bank, Geneva
         Mr Marco Terrones, Deputy Chief of the World Economic Studies Division, IMF
         Mr Hazem El Beblawi, Adviser, Arab Monetary Fund, Former Executive Secretary UN
          Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
         Mr Yilmaz Akyuz, Special Economic Adviser, South Centre, Former Director, UNCTAD

Thursday, 4 June
Session 2 – TD2:              How to ensure that employment and social issues are effectively addressed
                              in the policy responses to the crisis including fiscal stimulus packages
                              (developed countries)?

To promote recovery and full employment most developed countries are having a two-target approach:
targeting aggregate demand through fiscal stimulus and low interest rates and targeting the financial
sector to restore credit flows to levels compatible with full employment.

What mix of policies to achieve these two targets is most appropriate to promote employment and
mitigate negative social impacts of the crisis? What assessment can be made to date of fiscal stimulus
packages in developed countries in terms of their size, composition and speed as an effective response
to the crisis? Was non-coordination of fiscal stimulus in the G20 meeting a missed opportunity? How
can fiscal stimulus packages be given more punch in terms of employment and income generation?

What components are more important for job generation and mitigating negative social impacts of the
crisis? – investment in infrastructure, unemployment benefits, skills training, enterprise support, active
labour market policies? How can employment outcomes be achieved most effectively, rapidly and
sustainably? Should initiatives under the fiscal stimulus packages be just timely, temporary and
targeted, or should they be used as an opportunity to strengthen the provision of public goods much
needed in the long term? Is fiscal stimulus leading to excessive government borrowing? How is fiscal
policy affecting the middle class? Can fiscal stimulus work in a context in which the financial system
has broken down? Are measures taken so far to increase bank lending enough?

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       Mr Jonathan Coppel, Senior Economist, OECD
       Mr Jiri Rusnok, Executive Adviser to the RMC and Chief Economist and Director Pensions,
        Czech Republic, former Finance Minister
       Mr Robert Straus, Directorate General, Employment, European Commission

Thursday, 4 June
Session 3 – TD3:        How to ensure that employment and social issues are effectively addressed
                        in responses to the crisis and fiscal stimulus packages (developing

Developing countries are affected by the crisis through different transmission channels. Some with
strong fiscal space are putting in place policy responses and stimuli packages, others, especially the
poorest, face stringent fiscal space and shrinking development resources. Infrastructure investments are
a major component of stimulus packages and crisis response.

What assessment can be made to date of fiscal stimulus packages in developing countries in terms of
their size, composition and speed as an effective response to the crisis? Are countries with low fiscal
space receiving sufficient international support to engage in countercyclical policies? What sets of
policy responses (investment in infrastructure, skills training, enterprise support, unemployment
benefits, employment guarantee schemes) are most effective in countries with large rural and informal
economies? How can these policies address immediate employment and income needs but also prevent
long-term negative effects on development and poverty reduction?

How can the employment and environmental impacts of infrastructure programmes be maximized?
How to overcome insufficient administrative and technical capacities with a fast-track approach? How
to ensure access to public procurement for SMEs?

How is the crisis impacting the informal and rural economies? What policies can better support the
coping strategies of the self-employed, wage employees and returning migrant workers?

       Mr Jose Antonio Ocampo, Columbia University, Former Head UN-DESA
       Mr Samir Radwan, Member of the Board of Directors, Egyptian Investment Agency
       Mr B. Susantono, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Regional Development of CMEA
        (Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs), Indonesia
       Mr K.P. Kannan, Professor, Expert unorganized sector, India

Thursday, 4 June
Session 4 – TD4:        The role of international labour standards in crisis response; the
                        standards package

During the crisis, is respect for fundamental principles and rights at work jeopardized? Or do we see
that international labour standards, especially freedom of association and the right to collective
bargaining, promote effective and fair responses? What is the role of labour inspection?
Which international labour standards comprise a necessary package at the national level in response to
the crisis? What measures ensure that acquired rights and social gains are not undermined or sacrificed
during the crisis? In particular, how can workers’ rights be preserved in the case of enterprise

       Ms Mary Robinson, President, Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative
       Ms Janice Bellace, Chair, Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and

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Friday, 5 June
Session 5 – TD5:              Social dialogue and industrial relations in the context of economic
                              downturn: Strategies of social dialogue tripartite actors to address the
                              consequences of the crisis and prepare for recovery

What is the experience of tripartite social dialogue in formulating responses to the crisis at the national
level? How can tripartism be strengthened so that it can meet its potential to protect workers and
enterprises and to reverse the economic downturn? What is the experience of collective bargaining in
facilitating enterprise adaptability while at the same time protecting workers’ rights and jobs? What role
can governments play to support effective institutions for collective bargaining and industrial relations
so that management and workers can agree equitable and successful responses on equal terms? What
kind of leadership does it take by workers, employers and governments to put innovative arrangements
in place?

         Ms Jenni Myles, Director of Employee Engagement and Human Resources, G4S PLC, UK
         Mr Philip Jennings, General Secretary, UNI Global Union
         Mr Richard Hyman, Professor in Industrial Relations, London School of Economics
         Mrs Josephine Mapoma, Lecturer Mass Communications, University of Zambia, Former
          Permanent Secretary Ministry of Labour, Zambia

Friday, 5 June
Session 6: General Discussion (3 hours: 15:30–18:30)
Session 7: General Discussion (2 hours: 19:00–21:00)

Saturday, 6 June
Session 8 – TD6:              Policy packages: Wages and working conditions

How to avoid wage deflation and an international race to the bottom through competitive wage cuts?
What wage policies in addition to fiscal policies are needed to maintain aggregate demand? When wage
reductions are necessary, how can we ensure that their size and duration do not put unbearable pressure
on workers while delaying economic recovery further? What type of minimum wage policies are
needed to protect the most vulnerable workers and how can these policies be supported through
collective bargaining? What trade-offs in terms of remuneration and working time can be negotiated at
the enterprise level to avoid lay-offs?

         Mr Steffen Lehndorff; Abtellingsleiter und Arbeits Organisation, Institut Arbeit und
          Qualification/ IYQ Univeristat, Duisburg-Essen
         Mr Marc Lavoie, Professor, University of Ottawa
         Mr Claudio Dedecca, Professor, Institute of Economics of Unicamp, Brazil, Former President
          Brazilian Association of Employment Studies, ABETT

Saturday, 6 June
Session 9 – TD7:              Policy packages: Active labour market policies

Public policies and services can help enterprises and workers cope with the crisis and even help them
invest in training to boost their later productivity and adaptability.

When there is weak demand for labour, how can active labour market policies help avert job loss? In
circumstances where job losses do occur, what services can help workers find new jobs quickly? How
can public employment services be mobilized to implement these programmes efficiently and fairly?

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What combination of policies work best in countries at different levels of development to lessen the
employment and social impact of the recession as well as to reduce the time lag between economic
recovery and labour market recovery? For example, how do work-sharing programmes help limit
outright job loss while providing some income protection and opportunities for job training? Which
active labour market policies have been used successfully in responding to the particular needs of
women and of vulnerable groups, such as young people, older workers, and migrant workers? How
have countries financed their active labour market policies and employment services during the crisis,
and are these sustainable?

       Mr Stefano Scarpetta, Head, Employment Analysis and Policy Division, Directorate for
        Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, OECD
       Ms Ankica Paun Jarallah, Director General, Croatian Employment Service, Croatia
       Mr Camille Moute à Bidias, Former Vice-President for Africa World Association Public
        Employment Services (WAPES), Director of Public Employment Services, Cameroon

Saturday, 6 June
Session 10 – TD8:       Policy packages: Sustainable enterprises

How is the crisis affecting employment and access to finance in different types of enterprises? Are they
constrained by credit, by lack of demand, by high debt, or by shrinking assets in their balance sheets?
What is the impact of the crisis on entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship development? What measures
are both developed and developing countries putting in place to support enterprises and their workers?
Why is a viable public sector and strong social economy important in the process of economic recovery
and job creation? What is the role of social dialogue in measures taken for adjustment and restructuring
at the enterprise level? How can responsible enterprises react to the crisis and support their workers and
the communities in which they operate? How does the crisis affect MNEs and supply chains and which
measures are needed to address these impacts?

       Mr David Audretsch, Director, Institute for Development Strategies, Indiana University;
        Director Max Planck Institute of Economics, Germany
       Ms Alessandra D’Amico, Managing Director, HR Inc., Cambodia
       Mr Luc Hendrickx, Director, Enterprise Policy and External Relations, European Association of
        Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises
       Ms Rachel Kyte, Vice-President, Business Advisory Services, IFC
       Ms Nancy Neamtan, Présidente-directrice générale, Chantier de l’économie sociale, Canada

Monday, 8 June
Session 11 – TD9:       Social protection
                        (11:00–13:00, continued in the afternoon 15:30–16:30)

Social protection systems are important social and economic stabilizers in times of crises. What policies
and emergency priority measures can strengthen that role in particular for the protection of the most
vulnerable groups at the country level? How can a basic level of social protection for all be
implemented to cope with a sudden economic downturn? How should unemployment and social
assistance schemes react to the crisis? How can such emergency policies and measures be implemented
so that they also contribute to the long-term sustainable architecture of national social protection
systems? How are existing social protection systems affected by the crisis? How can the fiscal space for
social transfers be increased? How are different agencies reacting in their approaches and policy advice
on employment and social protection and their combination? Are their approaches coherent? Are they
cooperating? How can cooperation be made more effective, including on extending social protection in
the informal economy?

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         Mr Nicholas Barr, Professor of Public Economics (European Institute), London School of
         Mr Jomo Sundaram, Assistant Secretary-General, UNDESA
         Ms Joy Phumaphi, Vice-President, Human Development Network, World Bank
         Mr David Evans, Director of Health Systems Financing, WHO

Monday, 8 June
Session 12 – TD10:            Shaping a fair, inclusive and sustainable globalization

The present crisis is an opportunity to rethink policies of the past, promote innovative patterns of
growth and secure a fair, inclusive and sustainable globalization. Governments, enterprises, trade
unions and civil society should effectively address mounting inequalities, take up environmental
concerns and promote sustainable development and decent work.

What international policies and frameworks can help promote a global economy that works for the
workers, the poor and the vulnerable? How to move rich and poor economies to a high employment,
low carbon emission growth path? What should be the role of social dialogue, tripartism and the
involvement of social partners? How to prevent the occurrence of similar crises in the future? How can
the ILO and the multilateral system assist?

         Ms Teresa Ribera Rodriguez, State Secretary, Ministry of Environment of Spain
         Mr Tariq Banuri, Director, Division for Sustainable Development, UNDESA
         Mr Richard Samans, Managing Director, Centre for Public–Private Partnerships, World
          Economic Forum, and Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
         Mr Charles Gore, Special Coordinator, Division for Africa, LDCs and Special Programmes,

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