Meeting outcomes aim to promote ‘green jobs’

The 25th Asean Labour Ministers’ Meeting (ALMM) and its related meetings/conference, which concluded on November 29, have adopted three outcome documents which were released to the media late on Tuesday.

They were: The Asean Declaration on Promoting Green Jobs for Equity and Inclusive Growth of Asean Community; the Action Plan to implement the Asean Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers; and the List of Asean-OSHNET initiatives to implement the Asean Labour Minister’s Statement on improving Occupational Safety and Health for Sustainable Economic Growth.

ALMM is the highest-level meeting that is entrusted for decision-making on programmes and activities based on the Asean Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint and the Asean Labour Ministers’ Work Programme 2016-2020.

Themed Promoting Green Jobs for Equity and Inclusive Growth of Asean Community, the meeting this year was chaired by Malaysia’s Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran.

He said all three documents were unanimously agreed by Labour Ministers from Asean member states and its Plus Three Dialogue Partners – China, Japan and South Korea.

“Promoting green jobs will include producing decent employment opportunities, enhancing resource efficiency and creating low-carbon societies."

“This is a very good achievement, and a win-win for Asean and Malaysia,” he told a media conference after the meeting was closed by Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Kulasegaran said an action plan to implement avenues for policy formulation and governance at the regional level to promote and create green jobs and green skills will be worked out soon.

Malaysia as the Chair of the Asean Labour Ministers, he added, will spearhead this action plan.

The Asean labour sector should enhance the capability of its workforce by attracting more skilled workers, in particular, those relating to green jobs, said Wan Azizah.

She also noted that the promotion of green jobs would include the creation of decent employment opportunities, enhancement of resource efficiency and the production of low-carbon societies.

In addition to fostering green jobs, the meeting also encouraged an engagement among governments, trade unions and employers’ associations to strengthen social protection and improve occupational safety and health at workplaces.

Such actions would spur improvement related to migrant workers’ rights and occupational safety.

Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training spokesman Heng Sour could not be reached for comment.