Trinidad and Tobago host OAS Conference of Hemisphere’s Labor Ministers

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago – The fifteenth Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor opens in Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday, September 11, when the hemisphere’s labor ministers will discuss an agenda of topics under the theme, “Making Decent Work Central to Social and Economic Development.”

The oldest Organization of American States (OAS) sectoral conference, the Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor is the hemisphere’s main forum for discussion and decision-making regarding policy priorities and actions on labor issues.

During the three-day conference, to be chaired by Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Labor and Small and Micro Enterprises, Danny Montano—at the Hilton Trinidad & Conference Centre in Port-of-Spain—the delegates will consider in plenary sessions such issues as: Decent work challenges in the Hemisphere; Strengthening the capacities of Ministries of Labor; Gender mainstreaming; Creation of employment with emphasis on youth; and Social dialogue.

OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza will address the opening session, alongside Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister, Patrick Manning; Minister Danny Montano; Mexico’s Secretary of Labor and Social Welfare Javier Lozano Alarcón; and Director General of the International Labor Organization, Juan Somavia.

Before concluding their conference, the labor ministers will elect the chair pro tempore for the next Conference, and issue a Declaration and Plan of Action of Port-of-Spain, and hold a press conference.

The OAS Department of Social Development and Employment serves as technical secretariat for the Conference. Organized in conjunction with the Trinidad and Tobago government, the upcoming Port-of-Spain meeting marks the first time an Anglophone Caribbean country is hosting the forum of labor ministers from the 34 member states.

To fulfill the mandates of the Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor, the technical secretariat works in close coordination with other international organizations, primarily the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will also participate at the Conference.

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