ASEAN ministers at the 24th ASEAN Labour Ministers Meeting (Photo: VNA)

Vientiane (VNA) – The 24th ASEAN Labour Ministers Meeting (ALMM 24) convened in Vientiane on May 15 with a focus on creating sustainable jobs and a competitive workforce in the ASEAN Community.

Under the theme of “Transition from Informal Employment to Formal Employment Towards Decent Work Promotion in ASEAN”, participants reiterated commitment to realising the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the ASEAN Socio-cultural Community Blueprint 2025, of which developing a competitive workforce and improving social security is among key tasks.

The ministers approved the ASEAN Labour Ministers (ALM) Work Programme for 2016-2020 and action plans of the Working Group on Progressive Labour Practices to Enhance the Competitiveness of ASEAN (SLOM-WG), the ASEAN Committee on the Implementation of the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers (ACMW), and the ASEAN Occupational Safety and Health Network (OSHNET).

Those programme and plans are expected to lay the foundation for regional human resources cooperation throughout the five-year period.

During discussions, Vietnam’s Minister of Labours, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung underlined the country’s commitment to boosting cooperation among ASEAN members in protecting migrant workers’ rights and interests and improving competitive edge of the bloc’s work force.

At the same time, ASEAN labour ministers took note of the importance of protecting the rights of migrant workers in the region while taking into account difficulties in drafting relevant documents due to different views of bloc members. They urged the drafting board to complete negotiations as soon as possible so that it can be submitted to the ministers and subsequently to high-ranking leaders for approval and signing by April 2017 at the latest.

In the afternoon, the ministers adopted the Vientiane Declaration on Transition from Informal Employment to Formal Employment towards Decent Work Promotion in ASEAN and the ALMM 24 joint communique.

They agreed to convene their next meeting in Singapore in 2018.-VNA