As Nepal is heading towards becoming prosperous, there is the need to enhance the quality of work as well as work place. In the context, the recent visit of ILO Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, Tomoko Nishimoto, was highly significant.
During her four-day visit to Nepal, she called on all constituents to “work beyond the normal” to help realize social justice and decent work for all.
The visit was part of her commitment to reinforce relations with ILO constituents, comprising the Government, and organizations of employers and workers, and to generate general public discourse on the ILO Centenary Initiative on the Future of Work.
Meeting from prime minister K.P Sharma Oli to Finance Minister Dr. Yubaraj Khatiwada, she also talked with Minster of Labor, Employment and Social Security Gokarna Bista, secretary and other officials for labor unions.
Nishimoto paid a courtesy visit to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli where she briefed the Prime Minister on the ILO's Centenary Initiatives on the Future of Work. Prime Minister Oli highlighted the reforms being made by Nepal, including increment on minimum wages, launching of contribution based social security scheme and labor legislations. He also appreciated the role of the ILO in promoting fundamental rights at work, equality and social justice.
In her meeting with Finance Minister Dr Yuba Raj Khatiwada, the two discussed the challenges and opportunities of Nepalese labor market and translating provisions outlined in the contributory social security law for workers. She shared the ILO initiative on the Future of Work, and made references to the experiences of ASEAN countries in this regard. Minister Khatiwada highlighted some of the key initiative taken by the Ministry in support of application of minimum wage, contribution-based social security, labor rights, and strengthening of labor administration including inspection.
The ILO Assistant Director-General also called on Minister for Labor, Employment and Social Security, Gokarna Bista and took stock of the developments in the labor administration of Nepal. The Minister spoke on the key priorities of the Government including application of labor legislations, contribution-based social security scheme and creation of employment in the country. He emphasized on the need of more ILO technical support as Nepal is passing through a very crucial stage of political transformation.
Secretary at the Ministry Mahesh Prasad Dahal briefed Ms Nishimoto about the initiatives of the Ministry, the need to enhance capacity of labor administration towards protecting and promoting the rights of Nepali workers. He also said that the Government is mulling to ratify some ILO conventions relevant to Nepal this year.
Similarly, Ms Nishimoto held separate meetings with Ms Bhawani Rana, President of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and prominent trade union leaders on contemporary issues related to labor, social and economic changes unfolding in the world of work and how growth could go alongside unionism.
On 20 May, Ms Nishimoto attended a National Tripartite Discussion Program on the Global Commission report on the Future of work co-hosted by the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security and the International Labor Organization (ILO).
According to a press release of ILO, during the discussion program, the speakers shed light on, among others, the concept of life-long learning, universal labor guarantee, need to increase investment in people’s capabilities, institutions of work and decent and sustainable work.
During her stay in Nepal, she also had separate discussions with representatives of a number of development partners in Nepal, including Ms Valerie Julliand, UN Resident Coordinator.
The visit of high-level ILO officials and her meeting with top government will contribute to build Nepal's capability.