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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09STATE90944 2009-09-01 14:05:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Secretary of State
Cable title:  

PREPARATORY MEETING OF THE XVI INTER-AMERICAN

Tags:   AORC ELAB ETRD OVIP PREL 
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WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS
					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 STATE 090944 

SENSITIVE

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (ADDED SENSITIVE CAPTION)

SIPDIS
DEPT PASS DOL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AORC ELAB ETRD OVIP PREL
SUBJECT: PREPARATORY MEETING OF THE XVI INTER-AMERICAN
CONFERNCE OF MINISTERS OF LABOR

REF: NONE

STATE 00090944 001.2 OF 002




1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The Preparatory Meeting of the Sixteenth
Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor (IACML) took
place in Buenos Aires, Argentina July 22-24. The U.S.
Department of Labor (DOL) led the U.S. delegation, which also
included officials from the Department of State's Bureau of
Western Hemisphere Affairs and the U.S. Permanent Mission to
the Organization of American States (OAS). Negotiations on
the draft Declaration and Plan of Action were generally
agreeable, though slow-moving and at times intense. The U.S.
succeeded in advancing all priorities, and in deleting or
nuancing text that was problematic. The group agreed to have
DOL serve as the candidate for the chair of Working Group 1,
which examines policy matters. The Preparatory Meeting was
preceded by a one day seminar on gender equity. The Meeting
of the Sixteenth Inter-American Conference of Ministers of
Labor will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina October 6-8,


2009. END SUMMARY.




2. (SBU) Declaration and Plan of Action
The issues where the U.S. expected the greatest problems --
migrant workers and the definition of sustainable enterprises
-- were resolved in small group negotiations. The U.S.
successfully negotiated out language in the draft Declaration
suggesting:
- measures by host countries to assist those countries
experiencing declining remittances;
- support for welfare-economy production units (NOTE: These
are undefined entities promoted by Venezuela and has probably
associated with the operations of seized private property
that the government has designated as "unproductive" END
NOTE);
- a role for governments in legislating the balance of
work/life responsibilities between men and women;
- harmonization throughout the region of all government
policies on labor; and
- a flow of resources from developed to less developed
countries.
The U.S. gained approval for adding "protection of workers'
rights" to one of the ministerial sub-themes.

Unexpectedly, tensions peaked during negotiations over
language in the draft Plan of Action, in a debate that pitted
El Salvador, Chile, the U.S. and Canada, among others,
against Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua. Venezuela tried,
unsuccessfully, to add new language implying endorsement of
worker takeovers of struggling enterprises into the mandate
of Working Group 1. A battle of competing points of order
ensued and ended with language that altered significantly
Venezuela's original proposal and agreed to by consensus.



3. (U) IACML Leadership
The group proposed to the US delegation that we serve as the
candidate for the chair of Working Group 1, which examines
policy matters. In this capacity, DOL contributes
significantly to the implementation of the IACML's action
plan. Vice-chair candidates include Brazil, El Salvador and
Guyana. Canada, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay
are the candidates to lead candidates for Working Group 2,
which addresses ministry of labor capacity building. All
candidates are expected to be endorsed by consensus at the
October meeting of ministers.



4. (U) Logistical Preparations for the Sixteenth IACML
Argentina announced October 6 through 8 as the revised dates
for the Sixteenth Ministerial. The meeting will be held in
the San Martin Palace. Meetings of senior officials below
ministerial rank, COSATE, and CEATAL will take place the
morning of October 6, with sessions for ministers beginning
mid-day.

It was confirmed that Secretary Solis would speak at the
second plenary session on October 7, "Coordination of
Policies and Programs for Promoting Employment and Protecting
Workers Rights: A Guiding Framework in Facing the Crisis."
Other speakers in this session will be the Ministers of Labor
from Argentina and Trinidad and Tobago.



5. (SBU) Bilateral Cooperation

STATE 00090944 002.2 OF 002


Argentina's Ministry of Labor expressed interest in pursuing
active bilateral cooperation with DOL. U.S. Embassy
officials confirmed that Argentina also has raised this issue
in conversations with them. Two areas of interest mentioned
by Argentina are employment services (One Stop Centers) and
dispute resolution. Argentine officials also suggested that
our countries could cooperate to provide technical capacity
building to third party countries. DOL is consulting with
officials in Argentina's Ministry of Labor regarding options
for moving forward with bilateral cooperation.




6. (SBU) G-20
The U.S. informed Argentine officials that an invitation will
be extended to International Labor Organization (ILO)
Director General Juan Somavia to attend the September 2009
G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, PA. Argentina suggested that it
would be interesting for the U.S. to consider hosting a jobs
conference similar to that held in London prior to the March
2009 G-20. The U.S. will take this suggestion into
consideration.



7. (U) Gender
Officials from the OAS and the ILO spoke to DOL about their
interest in DOL taking a lead in advancing gender issues in
the IACML. DOL agreed to facilitate a dialogue between the
ILO gender experts and DOL's Women's Bureau.

The delegate from Costa Rica made a special point to
communicate to DOL that her labor ministry's special unit on
gender equity had been created as part of the DOL-funded
Cumple y Gana project. She highlighted the achievements of
the unit and thanked DOL for our support.



8. (U) Sixteenth IACML
The theme of the upcoming meeting of Ministers of Labor is
"Facing the Crisis with Development, Decent Work and Social
Protection." Member states chose this theme in view of the
current economic situation and its impact on employment. The
discussions at the meeting will be framed by the following
topics: the role of the Ministries of Labor in addressing the
crisis; the coordination of policies and programs for
promoting employment and the importance of strengthening
social dialogue and social protection.
CLINTON