October 29, 1998

Report to the SIRG on Labor Items by the United States

I am pleased to attend this meeting of the Summit Implementation Review Group (SIRG) to report on progress being made with regard to implementation of two items in the Santiago Plan of Action:

1) Modernization of the State in Labor Matters-, and

2) Basic Rights of Workers.

The United States is the responsible coordinator for these two items, with Brazil as co-coordinator.

- They issued a Declaration -- the Declaration of Viņa del Mar together with a Plan of Action.

- They agreed to the establishment of two working groups to follow-up the work that they identified in the Declaration and the Plan of Action and to a procedure to ensure that the work gets done. In particular, they agreed that the Working Groups should develop a program of activities by April 1999.

- They also agreed that they need to meet more often than every three years -- some countries proposed annual meetings -- and that their next meeting at the Ministerial level will be held in the Dominican Republic in 2000; at that meeting, they will review progress made in implementing the Plan of Action and will make decisions regarding the venue for future meetings.

- One on Globalization of the Economy and Its Social and Labor Dimensions, coordinated by Peru assisted by Uruguay.

- The other on Modernization of the State and Labor Administration, coordinated by Costa Rica with the support of Venezuela.