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Highlights of keynote speakers at the ILO Forum on Decent Work for a Fair Globalization

Political and opinion leaders from around the globe are meeting in Lisbon, Portugal from 31 October to 2 November 2007 to discuss the role of decent work as the key to economic, social and environmental sustainability and a fair and inclusive globalization. Here are highlights of keynote speeches delivered in plenary sessions.

News | 01 October 2007

Mr. José Sócrates

Prime Minister of Portugal

“Decent Work is the best, the most powerful and the most sustainable guarantee of economic development and social cohesion on a global scale. That’s why I can see in the decent work agenda the mobilizing and integrating potential for Europe”.

Mr. José António Vieira Da Silva

Minister of Labour and Social Solidarity of Portugal

The concept of Decent Work is agalvanizing concept. It galvanizes political will and also civil society. Perhaps we can say that it even galvanizes individual citizens. We can say that it is a galvanizer because it’s an effective instrument for scrutinizing decisions and the way in which these decisions influence our life as a community.

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Chairperson of the ILO Governing Body and Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva

Decent Work is an axial concept. It opens a road for constructive discussions on a range of vital global issues, from climate change to violence and terrorism. (…)

The roots of violence and terrorism cannot be eliminated without a fair globalization which provides decent work.

Mr. Daniel Funes de Rioja

Employer Vice-Chairperson of the ILO Governing Body

Economic and political freedom consolidate each other, contribute to social and economic development and together hold the solution to inclusion in the process of globalization.

Sir Leroy Trotman

Worker Vice-Chairperson of the ILO Governing Body

We reaffirm the centrality of the Decent Work Agenda and the goal to achieve decent work across the world through the programmes of all multilateral institutions. The call for integration of all four strategic objectives (rights at work, employment creation, social protection and social dialogue) allows the ILO to establish a powerful, coherent package of development tools, recognizing a national and a global component in the response to the challenges of our times.

Dr. Surin Pitsuwan

Secretary-General designate of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Old approaches and obsolete strategies are no longer adequate and effective; We do not want the Millennium Generation and future generations to pass judgement on our generation, our assembly here in Lisbon, now at the end of 2007 that we have not prepared a better world for them, that e passed on to them an indecent world full of indecent workplaces. (…)

Let's make it a fairer globalization Let's make the world a better place to live through decent work and decent life.

Mr. Vladimir Spidla

EU commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities

Le concept du travail décent agréé au niveau mondial facilite le dialogue et la coopération entre les pays industrialisés, les pays en développement et les économies émergentes ainsi que le dialogue avec les acteurs non étatiques.

Mr. Mats Karlsson

Vice Chair High-Level Committee on programs of the UN system Chief’s Executive’s Board for Coordination (CEB) and Country Director, World Bank

Success is measured in number of decent jobs. Let’s give the policy leaders the tools they need to do their jobs. That’s our job!

Mr. Abraham Katz

President of the International Organisation of Employers (IOE)

The challenge for the ILO has been how to develop a policy set to help enable national economies to embrace globalization, while mitigating its adverse effects. In other words: globalization with a human face.

Mr Guy Ryder

General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)

This Forum marks the end of phase one of the Decent Work Agenda and the beginning of phase two. Phase one was about advocacy, as well as understanding and acceptance of common and different responsibilities for Decent Work. (…) Phase two is about delivering results, closing Decent Work deficits, and impacting on people's lives.

Mrs. Mary Robinson

President, Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative

Just as human rights are universal and apply to all of us, the right to social protection applies to all of us, no matter what kind of work we do, or where we live. I look forward to working with all of you to bring about the paradigm shift needed to get to the decent work second phase and a globalization fairer for all.