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On this page you’ll find recent policy statements and discussions from a variety of U.S. agencies and international organizations working on labor sector and development issues. Contact us if you have suggestions for additional policy materials to include in this space.


On September 22, 2010, President Barak Obama signed a Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development, the first of its kind by a U.S. administration:

“Through an aggressive and affirmative development agenda and commensurate resources, we can strengthen the regional partners we need to help us stop conflict and counter global criminal networks; build a stable, inclusive global economy with new sources of prosperity; advance democracy and human rights; and ultimately position ourselves to better address key global challenges by growing the ranks of prosperous, capable and democratic states that can be our partners in the decades ahead. Our investments in development – and the policies we pursue that support development – can encourage broad-based economic growth and democratic governance, facilitate the stabilization of countries emerging from crisis or conflict, alleviate poverty, and advance global commitments to the basic welfare and dignity of all humankind. Without sustainable development, meeting these challenges will prove impossible.”

The President’s approach to global development addresses the new strategic context faced by the United States through the following three pillars:

  • • A policy focused on sustainable development outcomes that places a premium on broad-based economic growth, democratic governance, game-changing innovations, and sustainable systems for meeting basic human needs;
    •A new operational model that positions the United States to be a more effective partner and to leverage our leadership; and
    •A modern architecture that elevates development and harnesses development capabilities spread across government in support of common objectives.
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Dr. Rajiv Shah, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, issued the following statement in response to this historic new policy:

"From President John F. Kennedy to President Barack Obama, the United States has a rich history of providing assistance that improves the lives of men, women and children around the globe. Today President Obama issued the first-ever development policy by a U.S. President. In partnership with the host countries where we work, USAID is pleased to play a leading role in the implementation of President Obama's vision for global development. From building sustainable capacity to restoring performance monitoring and impact evaluation to promoting science, technology and innovation, we are transforming our capabilities to support the President's new development policy. USAID is poised and ready to reclaim our place as the world's premiere development agency."

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On June 8, 2010, Secretary Clinton presented welcoming remarks at the Working Together to Combat Child Labor conference. The Departments of State and Labor convened policymakers and practitioners from government, labor, business, and civil society to commemorate World Day Against Child Labor and highlight the difference we can make with coordinated, effective action. Themes from the conference include the strategies and policies necessary to combat child labor, including economic development and good jobs for parents, access to education, and responsible law enforcement.

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Secretary Solis hosts G20
On April 20 and 21, 2010, Secretary Hilda Solis and the Department of Labor hosted a meeting of the G20 Labor and Employment Ministers. It was the first time in history that Labor Ministers from the world’s 20 largest economies met as the G20. The G20 Labor and Employment Ministers discussed the impact of the recent economic crisis on employment in their countries. They shared results and insights from the wide variety of policies the countries have undertaken to preserve and create jobs, protect and assist the unemployed, and adapt to changes in labor markets. The Ministers agreed on a series of recommendations for G20 Leaders and went to the White House to deliver these recommendations to President Obama. Secretary Solis held the meeting at the request of President Obama and the other G20 Leaders. At their summit in Pittsburgh in 2009, the Leaders called on their Labor and Employment Ministers to meet, consult with labor and business, and provide policy recommendations that will put "quality jobs at the heart of the economic recovery."

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On September 13, 2010, the heads of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), along with other leaders, called for a broad international commitment to a jobs-focused policy response to the global economic downturn. At a historic conference in Oslo – hosted by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway and co-sponsored by the IMF and ILO – leaders from government, labour, business and academia met to tackle the sharp increase in unemployment and underemployment since the 2008 global financial crisis.

“The international community must respond to the very real impact the crisis has had on working people,” said IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn. “This gathering has helped to define the steps that must be taken to bring millions back into the workforce. Tackling the jobs crisis is not only critical for a meaningful global economic recovery, but also for social cohesion and peace.”

“When growth is not fair, it becomes unsustainable,” said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia. “This has been the overriding lesson of the crisis. High levels of employment creation should be a key macroeconomic objective alongside low inflation and sustainable budgets. We need to steer globalization in the right direction. For that we need coherence and balance across policies, as well as coordination and dialogue among institutions and nations. This conference has marked an important step in that direction.”

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USAID: From the American