|In Focus Programme on Crisis Response and Reconstruction (International Labour Organization, 42 p.)|
Despite the above competitive advantage, there are a number of gaps which the programme will have to fill. To date the ILO has not met its full potential role in relation to the different crises in terms of demonstrating unequivocally its rapid response capacity to addressing their employment and other socio-economic challenges, possessing all the requisite knowledge, an explicit early warning system and having undertaken the necessary advocacy, technical cooperation and other services. For example, the few current ILO technical assistance activities specifically on the crisis issue pale against the magnitude of the problem. Furthermore, with few exceptions3 where new tools and concerted efforts have been developed, the activities appear to be ad hoc applications of the Organizations old products without serious consideration of the origins, nature and complexity of impacts and contexts of crises. Moreover, little is known about ILOs work and capacity in the crisis field. Marketing of our actual and potential contribution in this area as well as mobilization of resources for such action has been weak.
3 Such as Cambodia, Central America, Liberia and Mozambique.
Another gap is inadequacy of the Organizations institutional staff with the requisite experience of crises contexts both in the field and headquarters. Moreover, the Organizations logistical support is not often flexible enough to facilitate the provision of timely response to crisis.
The socio-economic needs emanating from crisis create a number of opportunities for ILOs action. Furthermore, there are many United Nations initiatives in response to the different crises which also provide other opportunities for ILOs contribution. Thus this InFocus programme will also constitute the ILOs contribution to: the follow up to the UN International Decade on Natural Disaster Reduction and the International Framework of Action for it which, inter alia, urged all the UN system organisations to accord priority to natural disaster preparedness, prevention, relief and recovery; the consensus on international cooperation for social development, emanating from a special event at the Copenhagen Social Summit; the Culture of Peace; the UN Secretary-Generals report to the Security Council on the Causes of Conflict and the Promotion of Durable Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa (April 1998) and the UN ACCs request (October 1998) to the UN agencies for follow-up to this report; UN Guidelines for a Strategic Framework Approach for Response to and Recovery from Crisis; the work of the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination Team; the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement to guide national and international bodies in providing assistance and protection to internally displaced people; outcomes of recent discussions by the IASC and by the ECOSOC (especially the latters humanitarian segment) urging UN system organizations to develop comprehensive approaches to countries emerging from crisis; and various Security Council and General Assembly resolutions on the different crisis-affected countries. There is clearly a common vision between the InFocus programme and these UN initiatives. It will also facilitate the ILOs active participation in relevant UN and non-UN networks and programmes, such as the Conflict Prevention and Post-Conflict Reconstruction (CPR) Peace building Network.