As the 110th International Labour Conference (ILC) officially takes off at the weekend, the director-general of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Guy Ryder, has stressed the need to defend the rule of law in the face of those who “resort to war to deny social justice.”
Addressing the opening of the 110th session of the ILC, Ryder said lasting peace depends on social justice, and the achievement of social justice depends upon peace.
“Those who resort to war deny social justice. And those who obstruct social justice endanger peace,” emphasized Ryder.
With countries experiencing an uneven and sometimes “fragile recovery” in their labour markets from the COVID-19 pandemic , Ryder warned that there is “all too likely worse to come” for the global economy because of the impact of the Russian aggression against Ukraine.
The situation “is generating global crises in respect of food, of energy and of finance,” said Ryder, and “has put international cooperation under considerable and maybe unprecedented pressure.”
“Just as the flouting of the UN Charter by military aggression is not to be tolerated and must not prevail, so the violation of international labour standards must not go unanswered,” added the DG. He urged delegates to show “that multilateralism in this house allied with tripartism ‒ actually works.”
As at every ILC, delegates will examine specific country cases that are brought before the Committee on the Application of Standards.
Introducing his report to the ILC, entitled The least developed countries: Crisis, structural transformation and the future of work , Ryder said that “the LDCs are the most in danger of being left behind. “So, if we are serious about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development , we must be serious about the LDCs because it is there, above all that the fate of the Agenda will be played out.”
The DG welcomed key discussions that will take place during the conference. Among them will be the possible amendment of the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, 1998, to include safe and healthy working conditions.
Referring to the three million lives lost each year because of work-related accidents and diseases, he stressed the “stark and clear” responsibility of the ILO to protect workers against sickness, disease and injury arising from employment.