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European Commission - Statement

Joint statement on the EU's participation in the Labour Rights' Initiative in Myanmar by High Representative and Vice-President Federica Mogherini, and EU Commissioners Cecilia Malmström, Marianne Thyssen and Neven Mimica

Brussels, 07 May 2015

High Representative and Vice-President Federica Mogherini, EU Commissioners Cecilia Malmström, Marianne Thyssen and Neven Mimica:

"We all very much welcome Council's decision today to endorse the EU's participation in the initiative to promote fundamental labour rights and practices in Myanmar. It is an important stepping stone in our engagement for decent work and responsible business conduct in that country.

By joining the initiative - launched by the Government of Myanmar, the United States, Japan, Denmark and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in November 2014 – we aim to contribute to promotion of the fundamental rights for Myanmar workers, create opportunities for Myanmar businesses and help transform the country into an attractive trading and investment partner.

We want the new multi-annual strategy to serve Myanmar's sustainable development and integration into the world economy. Therefore, we will support Myanmar's ongoing labour law reform, its alignment with international labour standards and development of enforcement capacity. This will – among others – require fostering strong relations between the Government, businesses, workers, civil society and other stakeholders in Myanmar.

To contribute to that aim, the EU will take an active part in the upcoming Stakeholders' Forum. The event taking place on 18-19 May 2015 in Yangon will give us an opportunity to provide the EU's views on the further development of the initiative, including creation of a collaborative system for all parties interested in the Myanmar's labour law reform.

When working together with the government of Myanmar, international organisations and stakeholders, we will build upon our previous experiences, including the Sustainability Compact for Bangladesh, in place since 2013, and follow EU's policy objectives set in the relevant strategy documents."

For more information:

Outcome of the Council meeting

Comprehensive Framework for the EU's policy and support to Myanmar/Burma

Joint statement upon the launch of the initiative

Commission's Communication of 2012: Trade, Growth and Development

Commission's Communication of 2014: 'A stronger role of the private sector in achieving inclusive and sustainable growth in developing countries'


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