The 12th International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Caribbean Labour Ministers’ Meeting has concluded with a commitment to focus on social justice. They intend to do this through policies and practices which address disruptions to labour markets and inequalities notably worsened by the impacts of multiple crises ranging from COVID-19, the Russian aggression in Ukraine, and climate change.

The three-day meeting, held in Guyana between 23 and 25 May 2023, culminated with the affirmation of three social justice priorities: labour migration and mobility, the just transition to sustainable and resilient Caribbean societies and economies, and fundamental principles and rights at work related to health and safety. The ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to tripartite cooperation and social dialogue as necessary for the realization of social justice across the Caribbean and the world.

At the Opening Ceremony, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of Guyana, called on the Ministers to “craft regional solutions for regional problems”. The delegations comprised of Ministers and senior officials from 13 member States and 9 non-metropolitan territories representatives of the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL) and Caribbean employers, represented by the Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF) and the Employers’ Consultative Association of Trinidad and Tobago (ECATT), as well as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat.

“Drawing on the ILO’s Constitution which affirms that universal and lasting peace can only be realized if it is based on social justice, the Ministers and other senior officials have made it clear that they intend to uphold social justice as the foundation of building a prosperous Caribbean, particularly as the region faces the impacts of the current global polycrisis,” said Dennis Zulu, Director of the ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean. “The ILO remains a steadfast partner to work with regional policymakers and social partners to find solutions to these unprecedented challenges.”

The Caribbean Labour Ministers’ Meeting is a biennial forum organized by the International Labour Organization Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean for English- and Dutch-speaking Caribbean member States and non-metropolitan territories. The meeting facilitates the exchange of views and ideas on issues relevant to the labour portfolio, including the latest regional and international developments, as well as discussions on ILO’s programmes of benefit to the ministries and the region.

The articulated priorities for the Caribbean by the Ministers and other senior officials will also be shared at the 111th annual International Labour Conference, taking place in Geneva from 5–16 June 2023.

To download the conclusions of the 12th ILO Caribbean Labour Ministers’ Meeting in their entirety, visit the ILO Caribbean [website ](—americas/—ro-lima/—sro-port_of_spain/documents/meetingdocument/wcms_883729.pdf “‌”).


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