CAR calls for assistance from ILO to build peace through job creation

Geneva, Switzerland (PANA) - The Central African Republic (CAR) has called on the United Nations labour agency to provide special assistance to the conflict-torn nation and make it a “pilot-country” for the implementation of a programme to build peace and resilience through job creation.

“Creating income- and wealth-generating jobs is essential in order to consolidate peace and reinforce resilience” in the country, CAR’s President, Faustin Archange Touadéra, said in a keynote address during the World of Work Summit convened in Geneva by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Entitled ‘Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience,’ this year’s Summit highlighted the importance of employment and decent work for peace and resilience, with a specific focus on tackling the realities on the ground and on partnerships that can achieve real results.

Fighting between the mostly Christian anti-Balaka militia and the mainly Muslim Séléka rebel coalition has plunged the CAR into civil conflict since 2012. A peace agreement was reached in January 2013, but rebels seized the capital, Bangui, in March of that year, forcing the country’s former president, François Bozizé, to flee.

A UN statement said President Touadéra highlighted the challenges of restoring an economy ruined by years of conflict, and invited the ILO to send a high-level technical mission to the country’s capital Bangui, with a view to help resolve employment and decent work issues.

This would involve reinforcing governance capacities, establishing a working social protection system, promoting social dialogue and women’s employment, as well as putting in place an innovative partnership for employment promotion, he said.

Outlining the gravity of the crisis in his country, Touadéra said that reducing unemployment, especially for youth, was a priority, to better fight against poverty and risks of radicalization.

“The economy of survival has taken over the formal sector,” he said, underlining that the informal employment now represents more than 75 per cent of national economic activity.

He said that employment is “a determining factor for a lasting peace” but “the battle to promote employment and decent work in favour of peace and resilience is a daily challenge.”

In his welcoming address, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder underlined the strategic location of the CAR in the sub-region.

“By recognising the link between work and peace, your main priority is to bring jobs for the people of the Central African Republic to help them reach a decent standard of living,” Mr. Ryder said.
-0- PANA MA 8June2018

08 juin 2018 05:05:35




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