Note to correspondents: ILO Conference to discuss challenges of globalization and EU accession

High-level representatives of workers, employers and governments from the Nordic and Baltic States and Poland are to meet in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 14 May to discuss regional aspects of globalization and EU accession issues

News | 13 May 2004

GENEVA (ILO News) - High-level representatives of workers, employers and governments from the Nordic and Baltic States and Poland are to meet in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 14 May to discuss regional aspects of globalization and EU accession issues.

The Conference is the first of a series of national and regional follow-up meetings to discuss the follow-up to the report of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization published in February 2004. In its report, "A Fair Globalization: Creating Opportunities for All" , the Commission called for an "urgent rethink" of current policies and institutions of the governance of globalization and provides a series of recommendations for creating a fair globalization, promoting employment and reducing income inequities.

Taking up the recommendations of the report, tripartite representatives of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are to discuss on how to shape globalization for the better and the central role Europe has to play in this.

The Commission report proposes a series of coordinated measures across a broad front to improve governance and accountability at both national and international levels. These measures include fairer rules for international trade, investment, finance and migration; policies to make decent work a global goal; measures to promote core labour standards and a minimum level of social protection in the global economy; and new efforts to mobilize international resources to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals.

A press conference with Ms. Vilija Blinkeviÿiÿté, Minister of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania, and ILO Director-General Juan Somavia is scheduled at the SAS Radisson Hotel in Vilnius, Didzioji 35/2, on 14 May at 9.45 a.m.

In his opening address to the Conference, Somavia referred to the recent accession to membership of the European Union of the Baltic States and Poland as a chance for the region "to shape its destiny in a new political framework. I believe a key part of this new project will be how Europe works together to create more and better jobs".

"Lithuania and the new members of the EU are jumping on to a big and fast moving train", Somavia said, adding that "the rest of the world has much to learn from the way Europe is evolving the open method of coordination and linking employment to economic and social policies".

The conference was opened by H.E. Arturas Paulauskas, Acting President of the Republic of Lithuania and ILO Director-General Juan Somavia. Lithuania joined the ILO in 1921 thus becoming one of the earliest members of the Organization. It rejoined in 1991 when it became an independent state again after 51 years as a republic within the USSR.