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Employment and social protection fund for Palestinians gets backing at UN meeting

Employment and social protection fund for Palestinians gets backing at UN meeting

The creation of a fund to help Palestinians with employment and social protection has received strong support from the United Nations International Labour Organization's (ILO) Governing Body, which concluded a two-week session today in Geneva.

In approving the Palestinian Fund for Employment and Social Protection, the Governing Body encouraged the ILO to assist in the establishment of the Fund, and appealed to donors to support it.

The Governing Body also approved the establishment of a pilot project to test the concept of a "Global Social Trust" that could ultimately help to provide basic social security for up to 100 million people in poor countries. Financing would come from networks of individuals in developed countries, who would systematically make regular, voluntary donations of a few dollars a month to create basic social protection systems in developing countries and support benefit payments until those systems become self-supporting.

The session also took up the situation in Myanmar, discussing the possibility sending an ILO mission to the country to conclude a plan of action for the elimination of forced labour there.

Concerning developments in Colombia, where reports indicate that some 100 trade unionists have been killed this year, the Governing Body discussed an ILO project for the country aimed at securing the rights of trade unionists, promoting freedom of association and the right to organize, and furthering social dialogue as a means of stopping violence.

The Governing Body, which meets three times a year, has 56 principal members - 28 representatives from governments, 14 from employers' organizations and 14 from workers' groups.