PARIS (ILO News) – Mr. Juan Somavia, Director-General of the International Labour Office (ILO), has welcomed French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s recognition of the key role a tripartite organization such as the ILO can play in strengthening the social dimension of globalization.
“A more solid, stronger globalization that benefits workers and advances social progress – such is the ambitious roadmap that has been entrusted to you”, the French president on Monday referring participants to the meeting of the G20’s Labour and Employment ministers, which will be held in Paris on September 26-27 ahead of the November summit in Cannes.
In response, Mr. Somavia said: “In calling for the strengthening of the social dimension of globalization, the French presidency of the G20 wishes to bring it more in line with people’s concern for employment, dignity of work and security. The G20 should listen to this appeal for more coherence between macroeconomic policies and social gains, as well as the employment these should promote.”
The head of state of France, which currently holds the G20’s rotating presidency, stressed the need to “ensure that globalization draws upon social progress to boost economic progress”, adding that social progress is “the best way to ensure economic prosperity in the long-term.” His remarks reflected the ILO’s recent statements on social justice and decent work.
Calling for closer cooperation between “a world economic governance embodied by the G20, and the leading international economic institutions”, the French head of state pointed out that the ILO’s Director-General has long committed his organization to achieving “a fairer and more efficient international governance.”
President Sarkozy cited the “Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization” (2008) and the “Global Jobs Pact” (2010), and pointed out that in 2010, the International labour Conference underlined “the need to improve coherence between economic, financial and social policies and the institutions that implement them.”
Speaking of the need to put employment at the heart of economic choices, he praised the work the ILO and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have already done for the French presidency of the G20. “If we want to recover in 2015 the level of employment that prevailed before the crisis, we must create 110 million jobs throughout the G20 countries, or 22 million a year over five years”, he said, citing the work of the two organizations.
Addressing the development of social protection floors across the world, the French president hailed the “remarkable” work achieved by the global advisory group on social protection and highlighted the contribution of its chairperson, Ms. Michelle Bachelet.
President Sarkozy also addressed the need for increased respect for rights at work, speaking out against “competition without rules that would drag everybody down.”
“France cannot accept that the G20 members, most of whom are also ILO members, have not all ratified the eight ILO conventions on the fundamental rights at work.”
He stressed that France attaches great importance to the participation of the social partners in discussions within the G20 on social issues, and reiterated that France intended to closely involve those partners during its presidency of the group.