Full Employment and Decent Work

Baha'i International Community’s Statement to the 46th Commission on Social Development
New York

The Baha'i International Community is pleased with the Commission’s focus this year on “Full Employment and Decent Work for All”, and we noted with appreciation the interventions of the various Member-States, the Under-Secretary General, the International Labor Organization, and Non-governmental Organizations.

Although, the Baha'i International Community will not speak to specific policy recommendations to add to the already rich pool of suggestions, we would like to make a comment on the framework in which work is addressed.

In all policies aimed at tackling unemployment and providing decent and secure work for all, the conception of work needs to transcend just the economic dimension and encompass also the human and social purpose that employment fulfills.

Work needs to be seen not only as a means to securing an individual and family’s basic needs, but also as a channel to developing one’s craft, refining one’s character, and contributing to the welfare and progress of society. Work, no matter how humble and simple, when performed with an attitude of service, is a means to contribute to the advancement of our communities, countries and global society.

Within this context, we can start to see the masses of unemployed not only as a ‘problem’ but as a ‘resource’ to be tapped into in order to achieve national priorities and fulfil the Millennium Development Goals.

We hope that this work paradigm can expand the vision of workers, the private sector, governments, and other agencies; and that this broad vision of work can encompass all policies which are adopted at national and international level to address the issue of full employment and decent work for all.

Thank you.