BRICS statement by
Shri Ajit Kumar, Ambassador & Permanent Representative of India
to UN office and other International Organizations 4 November, 2016
at the 328th Session of Governing Body, 27 October-10 November 2016
INS Section – (GB.328/INS/5/1)
Follow-up to the resolution concerning decent work in global supply chains (general discussion) - 4 November, 2016
Thank you Chair,
1. We thank the Office for the agenda paper on ‘Follow-up to the resolution concerning decent work in global supply chains (general discussion)’. BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers met recently at New Delhi, India. The BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers’ Declaration acknowledged the importance of the global supply chains and its contribution to job creation, recognized the current challenges in addressing labour issues in global supply chains and endeavoured to evolve an approach towards the new policy options.
2. BRICS take note of the agenda and the proposed plan of action 2017-21 on the conclusions of ILC 2016 concerning decent work in global supply chains.
3. We refer to the Action Area 1, “Knowledge generation and dissemination” and agree that a lot of research and data repository needs to be created to understand the challenges of decent work in global supply chains. However, we believe any process of developing key indicators as suggested in Para 13 requires caution and a better understanding of how we want to approach this aspect. We also believe that the key indicators should be adopted by the countries through a national consultation process.
4. BRICS support the proposed role of ILO in becoming a repository for international framework agreements (IFA). However, we feel that ILO should abstain from monitoring IFAs and should only engage in such an activity if the member states involved have granted express consent. Regarding the proposal at Para 38 of the agenda paper on considering review of the MNE Declaration by the tripartite ad hoc Working Group and considering setting up of mechanism to address disputes, more clarity on the issue is required. While trade disputes are already being taken up and negotiated by other fora, primarily WTO, we would just like to put a word of caution that any proposed framework should not lead to conflicting effects.
5. BRICS welcome the proposed partnerships and thank ILO for recognizing BRICS as a proposed partner in the process of policy development. The Global Supply Chain operations are essentially driven by complex business equations which have a profound impact on local labour markets. Any global intervention in this regard should therefore be exercised with extreme caution. We feel that ILO’s efforts should focus on helping nations to strengthen domestic laws and policies so that rights of the workers can be ensured without questioning or undermining the sovereignty of the country. ILO, in this context, may work with tripartite partners to facilitate this transition through appropriate channels. We support cross border tripartite dialogue and encourage ILO to work with social partner for capacity building. In addition, ILO should consider campaigning for further ratification of conventions and application of recommendations relevant to GSC, as per paragraph 17 of the document on INS 5/1.
6. Turning to the decision points, BRICS support the proposed programme of action with the comments that we just made. As regards Para 43 (b), we take note of the advance preparations (Para 40 and 41) needed. We also note that the March 2017 GB session will discuss the budget for the next biennium and the standing orders of technical meetings will also be reviewed at that session. In view of the above, we look forward to see detailed inputs on the preparations at the November 2017 session of the Governing Body to take appropriate decisions regarding Para 25 of the 2016 ILC Conclusions on Decent Work in Global Supply Chains.
I thank you.