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The ASEAN Confederation of Employers (ACE) and the ASEAN Trade Union Council (ATUC) identified mutual recognition of skills for medium and low-skilled workers, social protection for migrant workers, ethical recruitment and protection of migrant workers throughout the migration cycle as priority for joint actions during the first ACE-ATUC dialogue on 8-9 March 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand. A regular annual dialogue will facilitate a bipartite discussion and joint actions on these common concerns.  ATUC will host the next meeting. (The Outcome Statement may be downloaded here.)
 
In the opening session, Ms Susan Gregson, Assistant Deputy Minister for Asia-Pacific, Government of Canada, acknowledged the key role of employers and unions in migration, and offered to share Canada’s experience on migration. Brother Cedric Bagtas, ATUC Deputy General Secretary, reiterated ATUC’s full commitment to legal and safe migration, improved protection for migrant workers and ATUC’s full cooperation with the ILO and ACE to promote decent work for migrant workers. Mr. Van Sou Leng, ACE President, expressed ACE’s interest in migration with the adoption of its position papers on migration issues. Ms Tomoko Nishimoto, ILO Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, challenged the social partners to sustain this “historic'” milestone of social dialogue by ensuring fair and beneficial labour migration for all concerned.
 
ACE-ATUC Dialogue closing session

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In the closing session, Brother Maung Maung on behalf of ATUC re-stressed support for the institutionalization of this dialogue and looked forward to the implementation of what had been agreed. Brother Noriyuki Suzuki, ITUC-Asia Pacific General Secretary, congratulated ATUC and ACE on the successful conclusion of the joint meeting which would lead to sustainable efforts to promote the decent work agenda in the ASEAN process.

 Mr. Philip Calvert, Ambassador to Thailand, Embassy of Canada, representatives from ATUC affiliates and employers’ organizations from each ASEAN Member State, and specialists from the ILO joined the meeting. 
 
The dialogue was organized by the ASEAN Triangle Project of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Government of Canada.