World Day of Social Justice

"We must work together to ensure that no one is left behind"

"We now face the true acid test of the strength of our policies and depth of our commitment," says ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.

Statement | 20 February 2016
© A'Melody Lee / World Bank
The ILO has been constant in its belief that social justice is the foundation of peaceful societies.

As we celebrate this World Day, we are encouraged that social justice and dignity play central roles in the new global development vision.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change can be major catalysts for collaborative action and change that puts people and planet first.

Both global agreements will only deliver on their ambitions through partnership and dialogue, to ensure a sustainable environment, equitable economic growth and social inclusion for our generation and those to come.

Governments, employers and workers, the UN system, civil society and other key stakeholders all have a vital role to play and we must work together to ensure that no one is left behind.

There are challenges ahead. Our pursuit of environmentally sustainable economies and just societies demand structural transformations that will profoundly change the world of work for enterprises, workers and society as a whole.

Emerging technologies and new processes will continue to transform the global job market and are sure to create turbulence.

To ensure a just transition, we need strong social consensus, international coherence in policymaking and the guaranteed respect for fundamental rights at work. A participatory approach is fundamental to ensuring that livelihoods are assured, that work affirms and does not undermine human dignity, and is a motor of social, economic and environmental progress for all.

The greening of economies, for example, can draw on a wealth of knowledge and policy experiences brought by our partners. This can contribute to wider successes from managing natural resources sustainably, increasing energy efficiency and reducing waste, to reduced inequalities, increased resilience and decent job creation.

Transformations in the world of work will challenge us to improve educational and training systems, to foster the skills that are needed for the transition to environmentally sustainable economies and societies.

We now face the true acid test of the strength of our policies and depth of our commitment.

We must work together better, contribute more fully, and engage more deeply in creating an irresistible movement of social justice and dignity for all.