FIRST MEETING OF THE AFRICAN UNION (AU) SPECIALISED TECHNICAL COMMITTEE 0N SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT, ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA, 20-24 APRIL 2015
The Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Honourable Edwin J. Batshu and the Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Honorable Frans Solomon Van Der Westhuizen attended the First Meeting of the AU Specialised Technical Committee on Social Development, Labour and Employment in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 23-24 April 2015. The Ministerial meeting was preceded by the meeting of experts on social development, labour and employment issues on 20 – 22 April 2015.
The AU Specialised Technical Committee on Social Development, Labour and Employment is one of the 14 Specialised Technical Committees of the AU, defined as Organs of the AU in accordance with Article 5 (1)(g) of the AU Constitutive Act. The purpose of the Specialised Technical Committee on Social Development, Labour and Employment is to contribute to the attainment of the AU Agenda 2063 objectives pertaining to the promotion of social and economic development.
The First Meeting of AU Specialised Technical Committee on Social Development, Labour and Employment was held under the Theme “Social Protection for Inclusive Development”. The meeting discussed, among others, strategies for employment creation, poverty eradication and inclusive development. Specifically, the meeting addressed challenges to social inclusion in Member States in order to enhance efforts to combat poverty and exclusion, and explored synergies between social development, employment and rights at work.
The meeting expressed commitment to:
i) Enhance political will in order to fully implement the AU Agenda 2063 in as far as it concerns social development, employment creation and promotion of rights at work.
ii) Fully pursue the right-based approach to social protection and social security for all citizens of member states, with a view to promoting inclusive development that leaves no one behind, through legal frameworks that supplement the AU Charter on Human and People’s Rights;
iii) Invest in social protection systems for multiplier effect that promotes social development, inclusive economic growth, job creation, expansion of local markets;
iv) Implement the African Common Position on the AU Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa.
The meeting resolved to request the AU Commission to:
i) Speed up the approval and implementation of the 1st Five Year Priority Programme for the implementation of the Declaration and Plan of Action on Employment, Poverty Eradication and Inclusive Development;
ii) Develop a social agenda for the AU Agenda 2063;
iii) Prepare an additional protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights involving the Rights of Citizens to Social Protection and Social Security;
iv) Promote South-South cooperation on social protection, in particular with Brazil, in collaboration with international development partners;
v) Facilitate the revision of the AU Plan of Action on the Ageing of 2002 and its alignment with the Protocol on the Rights of the Older Persons adopted by the meeting.
vi) Pursue the establishment of the AU Disability Institute to replace the defunct African Rehabilitation Institute (ARI), and to collect the arrears in contributions owed by member states to ARI.
Noting that the pursuit of social protection and inclusive development requires the participation of a variety of stakeholders in the public sector, including local authorities, private sector and civil society organisations, the meeting called for enhanced coordination and synergy among stakeholders through institutional infrastructure and partnerships at national and continental level.