Co-funded by the European Union

IOE launches its Centenary Manifesto: a guide for the next centenary

  • On 2 September 2020, IOE members formally adopted the IOE Centenary Manifesto
  • The document details IOE core values inspired by its establishment a centenary ago and will continue to guide its work in the next centenary.  
  •  It elaborates on how governments and businesses can work together to meet emerging and future transformations in the world of work.   

The basis of IOE’s work today, as well as for the past centenary, is “entrepreneurship and innovation: the foundation for competitive enterprises, sustainable development, shared growth, and employment creation”.  

By looking at its past 100 years of activity  to date, IOE has defended the market economy as the best basis for economic progress and social wellbeing. It has represented a united employer and business community, whose strength lies in its powerful and balanced global network. Moreover, it has also been the trusted voice of business in global policymaking on all policy matters  relevant to the world of work.  

The Manifesto highlights the achievements as well as the challenges for social and economic progress. Among them, “low or stagnant productivity and lack of an enabling environment for sustainable business hamper growth and employment creation. Social protection systems face sustainability challenges, which are now exacerbated by the crisis, in both developed and developing economies. […] A key challenge is to ensure that people are not marginalised, but enabled, by technological progress, and that opportunities are fully harnessed and shared”.  

In order to address current and emerging opportunities and challenges through multi-stakeholder partnerships, the Manifesto emphasized the importance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and in particular, the achievement  of  Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 8 on “sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”, together with SDG No. 17 on a revitalisation of the global partnership.  

 Finally, the document underlines the positive collaboration with the private sector for shared progress through employers’ organisations, noting that “Employer and business organisations are an important bridge for companies that are ready and willing to partner with the public sector and UN agencies. Together with trade unions, they play an important role in shaping labour markets, contributing to the 2030 Agenda, and providing rapid assistance to their members in confronting crises. The work done by them in relation to the Covid-19 response and recovery initiatives demonstrate the important role they play”.  

In conclusion, the IOE Manifesto pledges to: 

  • Multiply efforts for a constructive dialogue with stakeholders, including trade unions and governments, to continue building a positive environment based on the market economy that delivers business resilience and competitiveness, inclusive growth and prosperity, and more and better jobs. 
  • Cooperate through innovative partnerships at national and international level to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. 
  • Raise the profile of the IOE community, and business in general, as credible and responsible partners. 
  • Expand capacity-building, peer-to-peer learning and knowledge sharing for employer organisations on trends and developments impacting business, in collaboration with other international partners and organisations. 
  • Contribute to changing mindsets towards skills development and lifelong learning. 
  • Promote gender empowerment and equality and strengthen diversity in the workplace. 
  • Intensify efforts to promote and implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the ILO MNE Declaration. 
  • Increase efforts to reduce barriers to global markets, particularly for companies in the developing world. 
  • Continue to be an outspoken advocate for the global ecosystem for doing business, multilateralism and the value of international organisations”.