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Myanmar | Brussels, 7 May 2015

Joint statement on the EU’s participation in the Myanmar labour rights initiative

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

"We all very much welcome the 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 the promotion of 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 the fostering of strong relations between the Government, businesses, workers, civil society and other stakeholders in Myanmar.

The EU will take an active part in the upcoming Stakeholders' Forum. The event which is 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 the creation of a collaborative system for all parties interested in 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 the EU's policy objectives set in the relevant strategy documents."

For more information

Outcome of the Council meeting - Commission decision of 26 March 2015

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'