GENEVA (ILO News) –Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that Russia’s policies are in step with the International Labour Organization’s Decent Work Agenda and offered to host an international conference in Russia next year focusing on how to make more progress towards achieving its goals.
In an address to the 100th session of the International Labour Conference he called for a “more sustainable and balanced” model of economic growth that would benefit not only selected countries but the world community as a whole and underlined the important role of the ILO in shaping economic recovery policies.
He said that it is the ILO’s unique tripartite structure that has enabled the Organization to come up with initiatives such as the 2009 Global Jobs Pact as part of its response to the global financial and economic crisis of 2009-2010, adding ”We in Russia not only support the Global Jobs Pact. We do everything possible in order not to put the burden of economic problems solely on our people’s shoulders”.
He emphasised the “social mission” and the “fundamental responsibility” of governments, business and international political and financial institutions toward citizens, adding, “We believe that was the main lesson learned from the global crisis, the lesson we should keep in mind when formulating long-term development policies”.
Mr Putin said that Russia did not abandon earlier commitments. “We did not ‘freeze’ pensions, benefits or wages. Russia is the only country in the world that at the height of the crisis undertook a large-scale modernization of its pension system”, he said. In addition, more than 4 million jobs were created or restored in Russia in 2009-2010.
He also said the government has set up a goal to make Russia one of the five largest economies of the world in the next 10 to 15 years, adding that to achieve this goal the country will need to at least double labour productivity and create at least 25 million modern well-paid jobs.
In his welcoming speech, ILO Director-General Juan Somavia noted that Mr. Putin’s address was historic, as he was the first Russian Head of Government to address the International Labour Conference.
“At a time of transition, Russia recognized the significance of the ILO’s values and the role of its tripartism, Mr. Somavia said. “You have paid particular attention to the ILO standards system in achieving better outcomes for your people with the ratification of important conventions.”
The ILO Director-General praised Russia as a “strong partner of the ILO and its objectives” in the context of the United Nations, the G8 and the G20 and stressed the Russian government’s commitment to the social dimensions of life.
“We are certain that you, that Russia, will not hesitate to defend those balances that work better for all, for workers as well as for enterprises; for families and communities as well as the economy; for an individual country as well as the world community”, Mr. Somavia said.