Dear Secretary-General Angel Gurría.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The ILO and the OECD have a long standing relationship of cooperation. In recent years this cooperation has greatly expanded. We collaborate in a range of areas in the world of work, from employment to social protection, labour migration, green jobs, occupational safety and health and statistics. The employers and workers members of the ILO also have close working relationships with the business and trade union advisory committees of OECD.
The intensification of our cooperation has led us to develop a new memorandum of understanding replacing the one we signed in 1961. I am especially pleased to sign this new agreement in the week when OECD is celebrating its 50th anniversary and when the ILO will open in a few days its 100th International Labour Conference.
Both events mark important milestones that invite us to assess the journeys travelled and those lying ahead. As we embrace this 21st century there is no more strategic mode of action than cooperation among multilateral institutions.
Globalization is changing the face of the world at a very rapid pace. The ILO’s response to the challenges of globalization is work in conditions of freedom and dignity, security and equity. Decent work so defined is a universal aspiration and a response to the many imbalances upsetting economies and societies in all regions. Greater decent work opportunities for all working women and men hold the promise of a fair globalization. It lays the foundations of universal and lasting peace through social justice, as enjoined by the ILO Constitution of 1919.
The OECD is committed to better policies for better lives. And better lives derive in large part from better lives at work through decent work.
There is ample scope for the ILO and the OECD to continue to exchange analysis and expertise, to participate in each other’s institutional events, and to jointly reflect on how best to deliver on the social and economic challenges of globalization in the new century.
The G20 Leaders have called on the ILO and the OECD to work together, with other multilateral institutions, in preparing analyses on employment, social protection and skills policy challenges, in response to the global crisis of 2008-09 and in preparing the recovery and onto stronger and balanced growth and development.
In all these areas the Memorandum of Understanding we have just signed is a testimony of our determination to pursue effective collaboration building on our common purpose and institutional comparative advantages.
I thank Secretary-General Gurría and his staff for our excellent cooperation and look forward to continued strong ties between our two institutions.