Today the UN’s message is: “if you want peace and development, work for social justice”. The ILO is built on this precept: carved into the foundation of its first headquarters are the words “si vis pacem, cole justitiam” – “If you desire peace, cultivating justice”. For one hundred years the ILO has pursued its mandate to promote social justice through the world of work.
Undoubtedly, there has been much economic and social progress. Yet the fruits are often unevenly distributed. Many people have been lifted out of poverty but many are in danger of falling back. Technology has generated jobs, opened up opportunities and alleviated drudgery, yet billions are still barely surviving in the informal economy. Many societies are scarred by deep social and economic divides; populations are torn apart by war and conflict. And in a changing world of work, established relationships, norms and standards are being called into question and fundamental rights at work are still to be fully realized.
The ILO will continue to be an advocate for the rights and standards that underpin decent work, for the policies that foster decent work, for the conditions under which enterprises can generate decent work. It will promote social dialogue that can build a common vision of a shared future, including a just transition to environmental sustainability.
Statement by Guy Rider
Director General, International Labour Organization.