The recent world economic and financial crisis has dramatically increased the credibility of UN, civil society and other voices calling for a major overhaul in current approaches to economic governance. An essential anchor to leverage such change is the 2005 commitment of all Heads of State and Government to strongly support a “fair globalization” and to make “full and productive employment and decent work for all” a central policy objective in all relevant national and international policies, including to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
This decision represented a major paradigm shift in the global economic and development discourse as it was the first time governments formally acknowledged the importance of full and productive employment for people to get out of the cycle of poverty and as a means to achieving equitable, inclusive and sustainable development. The new target on full employment and decent work that was added under MDG1 brings with it a much more comprehensive and incisive analytical framework to assess whether economic policies are helping or hindering progress towards the realization of the MDGs.
The policy implications of reintegrating full productive employment on the global economic and development agenda have not yet been fully explored. Decent Work and Fair Globalization: A Guide to Policy Dialogue aims to map out what the ramifications of this commitment mean in terms of better holding economic governance institutions (whether finance ministries, central banks or international economic and development bodies) accountable to full and decent employment goals. It also aims to help strengthen the advocacy of civil society organizations campaigning for greater economic and social justice by providing tools for more informed policy dialogue on how to align macroeconomic, trade and financial policies with these new objectives.