Social Development, Labor, and Employment
The United States Mission to the Organization of American States is extremely involved in developing hemispheric programs on the topics of Social Development, Labor, and Employment. To implement policies, the U.S. Mission cooperates with countries, NGOs, and other organizations through several OAS mechanisms and committees, which already exist.
The OAS Department of Social Development and Employment provides assistance to Member States on their efforts to advance on development with equity, through the promotion of policies and programs of poverty reduction, decent work and employment creation. The Department fulfills its goal by promoting dialogue between the member states, promoting partnerships for development and employment, and coordinating with other sectors of society.
For social development, the main OAS organ is the Inter-American Committee on Social Development (CIDES, by its Spanish acronym). The main objective of the CIDES is to strengthen and reinforce Inter-American dialogue in order to support the creation of policies and develop cooperation activities in the area of social development, especially focusing on the fight against poverty and discrimination in the hemisphere. The CIDES also provides follow-up to the mandates of the Summit of the Americas, as well as those agreements reached in the framework of the Meetings of Ministers and High-level Authorities of Social Development. In addition, the CIDES seeks to identify multilateral initiatives and contribute to the execution of OAS policies on cooperation for partnership for social development.
The First Meeting of Ministers and High-level Authorities of Social Development occurred in Reñaca, Chile on July 9-10 2008. Among other things, this Meeting led to the creation of the Inter-American Social Protection Network. This network was launched in New York City on September 21-22, 2008. The launch was sponsored, in part, by the U.S. Department of State. The US Secretary of State, Hillary R. Clinton; the president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet; the mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg; the president of the Inter-American Development Bank, Alberto Moreno; and many other high ranking officials endorsed the network.
The Second Meeting of Ministers and High-level Authorities of Social Development was held in Colombia in 2010.
Labor and Employment
The Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor (IACML) is the main OAS forum for discussion and decision-making on labor matters in the Hemisphere. The Conference formulates priorities and approaches, which guide cooperation activities necessary to face the labor challenges of the region.
The IACML is unique among the other Inter-American Conferences in that it has two advisory bodies:
- The Business Technical Advisory Committee on Labor Matters (CEATAL, by its Spanish acronym) and;
- the Trade Union Technical Advisory Council (COSATE, by its Spanish acronym).
CEATAL is composed of one representative of the business organizations of each of the Member States and COSATE is composed by one representative of labor organizations of each of the Member States.
The IACML also has a mechanism for cooperation and technical assistance. This mechanism is the Inter-American Network for Labor Administration (RIAL, by its Spanish acronym). The RIAL was created in 2005 and supports multilateral workshops and seminars within the IACML work program. In 2007 the OAS established the RIAL Cooperation Fund, which directly finances Ministry-to-Ministry exchanges to share practices, provide training on programs, and help expand the capabilities of labor ministries. The RIAL is coordinated by the OAS Department of Social Development and Employment in collaboration with the International Labor Organization (ILO).
The United States is committed to supporting a variety of bilateral and multilateral exchanges with other ministries of labor to share best practices and review program development and implementation. The aim of the exchanges is to improve technical and administrative capacities in areas such as occupational safety and health, youth employment programs, and labor market information.
In the fields of Social Development, Employment, and Labor, the U.S. Mission works with several other U.S. agencies. These agencies include the U.S. Department of Labor (especially the Bureau of International Labor Affairs), the U.S. Department of Treasury, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
All downloadable documents on this page are provided in PDF format. To view PDFs you must have a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader. You may download a free version by clicking the link above.