DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL ANGELA ELLARD
DDG Ellard participated in a high-level panel conversation on decent work in supply chains, together with Martha Newton, Deputy Director-General of the International Labour Organization, and Fernanda Hopenhaym, Member of the UN Working Group on Human Rights.
In her intervention, DDG Ellard underscored the importance of multilateralism, now more than ever. She emphasized its value in bringing countries together, regardless of their size, economic weight, and form of government.
With respect to ensuring decent work in supply chains, DDG Ellard noted the efforts of many WTO members to introduce supply chain due diligence and enhanced transparency requirements in their domestic regimes, bilateral trade agreements, and positions taken in multilateral negotiations. Highlighting the member-driven and consensus-based nature of the WTO, DDG Ellard encouraged businesses, NGOs, and governments who wish to see more multilateral work on human rights and decent work to take a proactive approach to gaining consensus.
DDG Ellard remarked that the value of supply chains is now being challenged as some seek to bring key manufacturing activities home no matter the consequences.
“But supply chains are essential to trade, and trade is essential to job creation,” she said. In this regard, she underlined that firms that engage in trade create better and higher-paid jobs, especially for women.
While DDG Ellard agreed with the importance of making supply chains more secure and resilient, she also emphasized that the value of supply chains must be defended. At the same time, business must be responsible and forthcoming about those left behind due to shifts in production and actively seek to address these shortcomings, she concluded.