GENEVA (AFP) - Market volatility and the European debt crisis are putting at risk efforts to cut unemployment which hit historic highs in 2009, the International Labour Organisation said Tuesday. In a report on the eve of its annual conference, the ILO said there were growing concerns the sovereign debt crisis could hit growth prospects. The risk of a new phase of the financial crisis around sovereign debt has appeared, jeopardizing prospects of growth for some countries, potentially affecting the global economy and again raising doubts about the stability of the international financial and monetary system, said Juan Somavia, ILO director-general. Measures taken by governments to counter the impact of the global economic crisis have helped to create or save 21 million jobs, the ILO said. At the same time, some 34 million people lost their jobs between 2007 and 2009, and the number of unemployment reached a record 212 million people last year while those workers in precarious unemployment was around 50 percent. We know that there is no sustainable recovery without jobs recovery, said Somavia. The test we have to face is to secure and accelerate a jobs-rich recovery and get onto a path of strong, sustainable and balanced growth that leads to the social stability provided by decent work for all. This is the foundation of a sustainable process of reducing (budget) deficits and debt, he added. The issue will be at the core of discussions at the 99th ILO conference which opens Wednesday in Geneva. The annual conference, which gathers some 4,000 representatives from governments, unions and employers, will be chaired this year by a French delegate, former minister Gilles de Robien, according to diplomatic sources.