ANTIGUA, Guatemala – Focused on equal, decent and sustainable employment, ministers and representatives of the 22 Ibero-American nations on Thursday in Guatemala began a conference seeking to agree on labor policies for Agenda 2030.
Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales inaugurated the meeting, in which Spanish Labor, Immigration and Social Security Minister Magdalena Valerio, among others, participated.
Morales called for “paving the road” to deal with the big challenges facing the region, adding that in his country, where 80 percent of the population lacks social security due to a large amount of “informal entrepreneurship,” authorities are pushing for legal certainty, security, competitiveness and dignified jobs.
Meanwhile, the Spanish minister, who emphasized Madrid’s close relationship with Latin America – calling it one of the government’s “essential pillars” – said that one of her main commitments in her post is to “return to the citizenry their snatched-away rights” in the labor, healthcare and educational realms.
“We want to push for a new transparent and responsible development that protects the social achievements and builds economies in our country and, ultimately, throughout the Latin American region” since the challenges in both areas are very similar, including creating secure jobs, the new working relationships in the fourth industrial revolution, extending social coverage and pushing for a plan to foster youth employment.
All that, she said, will serve to unite efforts among governments and make progress within the regulatory framework that allows governments to do away with all types of instability and, at the same time, foster social protection systems so that “nobody is left behind.”
Apart from bilateral agreements, Valerio called for strengthening the Ibero-American multilateral social security agreement, which is in effect in 11 countries, although it was signed by 15, and to analyze the proposal for an agreement to “push for the circulation of talent in the Ibero-American space” to overcome barriers and strengthen ties.
During the two-day summit, the representatives of the 22 attending nations – including Spain, Portugal and Andorra – will discuss the importance of dignified and sustainable jobs.
The conference is a prelude to the Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State to be held in Antigua, Guatemala, on Nov. 15-16, 2018.