The UN team responsible for promoting decent work commended the Cambodian government for its involvement in the decent work and social protection initiative.

Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Heng Sour also asked the UN agency to further intensify its efforts to develop the nation’s employment sector.

The commendations were exchanged during a meeting on August 29 between Sour and representatives from the UN and International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The meeting was focused on discussions related to the “Global Accelerator on Decent Work and Social Protection for Transitional Justice” initiative.

The delegations involved representatives from the ILO’s East Asia and Pacific branch; the ILO representative office that serves Thailand, Cambodia and Laos; as well as members of the UN’s Global Accelerator working group.

According to an August 30 press release from the labour ministry, the “Global Accelerator on Decent Work and Social Protection for Transitional Justice” is an initiative that started in September 2021.

The initiative’s goal is to assist member states in addressing crises, speeding up economic recovery, and preparing for both current and future challenges.

The UN delegation expressed appreciation for Cambodia’s participation in this initiative.

According to the press release, Oktavianto Pasaribu, deputy director of the ILO’s Decent Work Technical Support Team, said: “The initiative aims to support the creation of 400 million decent jobs and the expansion of social protection to 4 billion people who are currently excluded and to facilitate a fair transition for all”.

In response, Sour said that as an early adopter of this initiative, the government will focus on skill development and expanding social protection. These priorities will be outlined in a roadmap for implementing the programme.

He also requested the UN to continue close cooperation and development of the employment sector in Cambodia.

On August 30, Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, said his union had a separate meeting with ILO-Swiss representatives. The meeting focused on global social protection, and aimed to assess the nation’s progress in this area.

“We’ve demonstrated to the ILO that Cambodia is making good progress, but there are areas that need improvement.

“Active involvement from unions is essential for working with the government to monitor the social protection system. This will ensure it reaches workers in all sectors, both formal and informal,” he said.