Opening Remarks at the Meeting to consider Networking of National Institutes for Labour Studies

by Mr Yasuyuki Nodera, Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific

Statement | Bangkok | 28 May 2001

Mr Shiraishi, Mr. Yamazaki, Mr Shingai,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning - It is a pleasure to welcome you to Bangkok and to our office.

First of all, I would like to express my sincere thanks for the continued support you have given the project, "Networking of National Institutes for Labour Studies".

In the seven years since it began, this network has played an important role in addressing the impact of globalization on the world of work. It has produced many fine country reports, as well as two excellent synthesis reports. The Network is now launching a new joint study focusing on the impact of ICT – Information and Communications Technology.

In the rapid development of ICT – we see a revolution in progress. The effects of this revolution will be profound. It is changing the structure of markets and organizations. It is changing established patterns of economic behaviour. These changes in the economy will transform the world of work. In fact, the changes that ICT brings will touch every facet of work. ICT will create jobs. ICT will cost jobs. ICT affects the content of work, and the quality of work. ICT affects the skills people need. ICT affects the way work is organized. ICT will change the way that governments, and employers’ and workers’ organizations operate. Over the past two decades, we have seen extraoardinary change. We know that there is a great deal more to come. And yet, like weather forecasters, we cannot draw an exact map. The effects of ICT will vary from one country to another; from one society to another.

The ILO’s mission is to improve people’s situation in the world of work. Our Organization’s primary goal is to promote opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. This, in short, means decent work. And we must keep this aim firmly in mind when we consider ICT.

This meeting’s main purpose is to finalize the framework for a joint study to analyze this complicated phenomenon in our region. The cooperation between JIL and the ILO will complete the schemes to guide this network. I hope that the end result of the Network’s efforts will throw further light on this important subject. I hope, also, that the findings will help us all move closer to our shared goal of Decent Work.

Once again, I thank you for your presence here today and wish you well with your deliberations.