On June 1st, the ILO’s Director General, Juan Somavia, welcomed the tripartite social partners of the ILO – employers, workers, and governments – to Geneva on the occasion of the 100th International Labour Conference. He called for a commitment to a new era of social justice and economic growth based on sustainability and decent work.
Mr. Somavia called attention to the social, political, and economic context of this year’s ILC – the challenges posed to the eradication of poverty and the attainment of prosperity by financial, economic, and social crises worldwide. He highlighted the important role of social protection in peacemaking, and of ensuring dignity for all workers as a means of progress towards meeting these pressing challenges. ILO policies “contribute to a world with fewer tensions, greater fairness, and strengthened security. With our values and policies, we are on the right side of history.”
Emphasizing the important work that will be carried out over the next 2 weeks, Mr. Somavia focused in particular on the need to establish standards of decent work for domestic workers, in line with the theme of the conference, Building a Future with Decent Work. He called on all of the delegates to ensure that, through their contributions and consensus building, the 100th ILC will become a milestone for economic and social success.