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United Nations Ministerial Conference - Social Impact of the Economic Crisis in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Turkey

On 7-8 December 2009, the ILO, UNICEF, FAO and UNDP, hosted by the Government of Kazakhstan, will organize a Conference on the social impact of the global financial and economic crisis in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

The Conference will bring together the Ministers of Labour and Social Affairs and senior officials from the Ministries of Labour, Finance/Economy and Agriculture of the 13 countries, as well as high-level representatives of the United Nations system, international and regional financial institutions (IFIs), regional organizations, bilateral cooperation agencies, international employers' and workers' organizations, civil society and regional academia.

Taking into account the respective areas of expertise of each organization, the Conference will focus on the areas of employment and labour market development, social protection and food security and agricultural development. As many regional governments are reviewing their initial responses to the crisis, the Conference will provide a good opportunity to take stock of and share experience on effective anti-crisis polices, and the lessons learned.

The Conference will also provide a platform for refocusing the debate onto how to stimulate recovery and shape longer-term strategies that can assist countries to move towards their optimal development paths.

Two parts to the Conference

The first will consist of a Ministerial Section, in which Labour Ministers from the region will share the latest developments and experience of national policy responses to the crisis and its effects on major thematic issues.

During the second part, the Technical Section, panels will assess national policy responses to the social impact of the crisis against the background of the longer-term labour market and social challenges faced by the countries in the region.

Reference will be made during the discussions to international experience of the application of anti-crisis policies in the fields of employment, social protection and food security, and policy options will be discussed to improve the efficiency of short- and longer-term national policies.

A final panel of regional directors of United Nations agencies and IFIs will focus on the future partnership with national stakeholders with a view to supporting a speedy recovery and sustainable development.

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