Speech of H.E Salah Ahmed Jama, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of Somalia Delivered on 106th International Labor Conference

Mr President, Director-General, Representatives of Governments, workers, employers.

It is indeed a great honor to represent my country Somalia and address you all at this 106TH International Labor Conference at the ILO.

First I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the president for his election and effective chairing of the conference. Similarity I must commend Director Guy Ryder and his team at the ILO for his visionary leadership, innovative ideas that compel this important organization to address issues that are important to the world of work as well as humanity at large.

Mr. president ladies and gentlemen,

The key thematic areas deliberated during the last week or so such as: Labor migration, decent work for peace and resilience and fundamental principles are all very relevant to Somalia and speak to our every day trials and tribulations.

Mr. President, Allow me to give you a brief update on recent developments in Somalia contrary to how media portrays Somalia. there are many positive developments on the ground,

On 8th February 2017 Somalia successfully concluded a long and complicated election process that resulted in peaceful transfer of power where by newly elected members of parliament of which 30% where women and 45% youth, voted for change and new direction for the country.

The overwhelming support that Somali people have shown puts huge responsibilities on the government to deliver. The sustainability of the popularity and the legitimacy of the state very much hinges on our ability as a government to deliver on the most basic of public goods and it is also has a bearing on our state building efforts.

The legacy of decades of sustained conflict, insecurity and state fragility has led to high –Un-employment rate, poverty, infrastructural gaps and week state institutions. To address these daunting developmental challenges and bring about transformational change that uplifts the living conditions of our citizens and attain social justice our government has embarked on radical path of structural, legislative, and institutional reforms.

As identified in our national development plan some of the key priority policy areas include: reforming the financial sector, Civil service, security sector and the adoption of country strategies for poverty reduction with the creation of decent and environmentally friendly jobs at the center.

Mr. President The issue of Labor migration was highly discussed and debated in the respective subcommittees. In an era of globalization, understandably so, the increased mobility of human resources as well capital from one part of the world to the other is becoming a very sensitive subject.

Somalia, however, welcomes the pragmatic approach of the ILO to deal with the issue of labor migration and the need to think about the governance of labor migration both domestically and globally.

If I might share my country’s mixed experience with Labor migration with you all: on one hand, the Somali diaspora sends about an estaimited 2 billion dollars back home which serves as life line to hundreds of thousands of Somali house holds, on the other hand the dangerous and inhumane conditions that the Somali youth are exposed to while traveling through the north African desert and the unforgiving Mediterranean sea in which thousands have paid the ultimate price of losing their life is a matter of serioud concern for the Somali government and must come to an end through the creation of decent jobs at home.

Therefore, the Somali government and the Somali people the creation of decent jobs is not singular objective we seek to deal with unemployment in its the ‘traditional sense’, the absence of social protection schemes, places the Somali youth in a very difficult situation where their choices for survival comes down to either taking on the dangerous north African desert and the Mediterranean ocean to reach Europe or even worst becoming vulnerable to being recruited by extremist and anti-statist forces such as Al-shabaab

Mr. President.

During this conference we have spoken greatly about the need to align the ILO tripartite and decent work programing with the country development goals specially post conflict societies

With over 75% of youth, and job creation as a national priority Somalia could indeed be the litmus test for the success or failure of the ILO’s instruments for addressing decent work challenges in post conflict society

While the government faces budgetary constraints, we have a very vibrant and innovative private sector and a young and energetic work force. Setting the right policies and regulations should allow the government to partner with private sector in creating decent jobs. And we cannot think of better framework than the social dialogue and Tripartite arrangements promoted by the ILO.

Mr. President This year’s comprehensive report by the Director highlighted the need for a ‘just transition’ to environmentally and socially sustainable economies. It is indeed, undisputable reality that climate change has and will continue to shape the future of employment and decent work agenda.

Somalia commends the ILO’s leadership in making climate change an integral part of its policy and programing instruments. We do so for we witness first hand the direct and dire consequence of climate change on our people and how it threatens our very ways of live and our environment. In the last 6 years we have witnessed at least two deadly famines and recurring droughts that as we speak risk the livelihood of millions of Somali nomads and pastoral and render them jobless.

Mr. president ladies and gentlemen

Finally, the successes of this conference will not only be judged by global institutions and states, but by the people at the community level who directly benefit from our efforts. We hope to benefit from the technical support, experience and expertise of the ILO as the world’s premier institutions on labor related matters to help us build the capacity of state and societal institutions that empower citizens to attain decent employment and dignity.

I thank you all for your time. it’s being great honor.

Ministry of Information, Culture & Tourism


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