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Ministers of Labor Adopt the Declaration of Medellin: "50 Years of Inter-American Dialogue for the Promotion of Social Justice and Decent Work: Progress and Challenges towards Sustainable Development"

  November 12, 2013

The XVIII Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor (IACML), which was held in Colombia, concluded today with the adoption of the Declaration and Plan of Action of Medellin : "50 Years of Inter-American Dialogue for the Promotion of Social Justice and Decent Work: Progress and Challenges towards Sustainable Development."

The Conference, attended by Ministers and delegates from 27 Member States of the Organization of American States (OAS), and representatives of workers, employers and international organizations, was the occasion to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the ministerial meeting, which, over half a century, has made important contributions to the institutionalization of social dialogue in the hemisphere, strengthening labor ministries and the positioning of labor and employment policies within national agendas.

The Declaration adopted today during the closing session reaffirms the commitments of governments in the region to the articulation of economic and labor policies for the promotion of decent work and social inclusion. It reflects the agreement to promote the integration of policies that recognize the interdependence between employment, labor mobility, social protection, demographic and technological changes, regional disparities, the environment and economic growth.

The regional commitments reflected in the Declaration and Plan of Action of Medellin include supporting the formulation of active policies for youth access to the labor market, respecting labor rights and vocational training initiatives and employment services. It also reflects the need to coordinate economic and labor policies in support of minorities, and a commitment to explore alternatives to design and propose a mechanism to facilitate the recognition of nominal contributions to social security in all countries of the region.

The resolutions adopted in Medellin reflect the will of the authorities to view employment as a "central objective of public policy and as a foundation of equality, promoting the implementation of social protection and measures for the progressive formalization of jobs." It also highlights the need to continue working for the protection of the rights of workers and to promote inclusive social dialogue.

The IACML also renewed the commitment of all the countries of the Americas to continue "promoting the active participation of all sectors of society around the creation of an enabling environment to prevent and eliminate child labor" and to design, implement and strengthen public policies "aimed at improving access to decent, productive, and quality jobs, giving particular attention to groups that face greater challenges in the labor market.”

In the closing ceremony of the ministerial meeting it was agreed that the XIX Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor will be held in Mexico in 2015. The Secretary of Labor and Social Welfare of Mexico, Alfonso Navarrete expressed his gratitude for the organization of the event in Medellin.

In the closing of the event, ministers adopted by acclamation a resolution supporting the peace process in Colombia, the host country of the Conference, in which they express their hope that this process "comes to fruition for the benefit of the Colombian people and for all countries in the region."

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-434/13