GENEVA — Leaders of the world’s seven largest advanced economies — the U.S., Japan, Germany, U.K., France, Italy and Canada — on Monday declared their support for the establishment of a “Vision Zero Fund,” in cooperation with the International Labor Organization, to reduce workplace related-deaths and serious injuries and enhance international standards.
The initiative, spearheaded by Germany, which holds the rotating G7 presidency for 2015, aims to strengthen mechanisms to prevent another industrial calamity such as the Rana Plaza factory collapse in April 2013 in Bangladesh that killed over 1,100 workers.
G7 Labor and Development ministers are slated to meet in October to flesh out the details of the fund. The objective is to have the fund up-and-running by the end of the year.
Guy Ryder, ILO director-general, who attended the G7 Summit in Schloss Elmau, Germany, expressed particular satisfaction at the announcement of the initiative.
The purpose of the fund, he said, is to “add value to existing ILO projects with its aim of preventing and reducing workplace-related deaths and serious injuries by strengthening public frameworks and establishing sustainable business practices.”
“Export-oriented industrialization is an important part of the global drive to reduce poverty and inequality and the G7 Vision Zero initiative will play an important catalytic role in making such strategies socially, environmentally and economically sustainable,” said Ryder.
The summit declaration also noted that access to the fund will be conditional.
“The Fund will support those recipients that commit themselves to prevention measures and the implementation of labor, social, environmental and safety standards,” the statement said.