GENEVA (ILO News) – At the 100th Session of the International Labour Conference Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete called for new approaches to address globalization by promoting an efficient growth path for a new era of Social Justice.
“The recent world economic and financial crisis has posed new challenges in the realization of the decent work agenda and threatens to erode some of lofty gains that the world has made in the past decades. These new challenges demand new approaches”, President Kikwete said in an address to the 100th International Labour Conference.
“Globalization, therefore, demands an objective and transformative leadership that can respond to these challenges by designing and promoting policies that can steer the world economy to a more just, equitable and sustainable development”, President Kikwete told more than 3,000 governments, worker and employer delegates from the ILO’s 183 Member States.
“We highly appreciate ILO’s leadership role in this important matter”, emphasized President Kikwete by recalling that “the ILO was among the first international organizations, if not the first, to raise the alarm on the negative trends of globalization”.
In introductory remarks, ILO Director-General Juan Somavia recalled that in 2007 President Kikwete spoke of “the necessity for a fairer globalization in the attainment of our development goals. In a way your words then augured many of the problems we are facing today”.
Mr. Somavia stressed: “You are a key actor – in Africa and the international stage – in this new era of social justice, that must emerge if we want peaceful world.”
“By focusing on “New Era of Social Justice”, the 100th Session of ILC (...) put the emphasis on the importance of creating opportunities for decent work (...)”, acknowledged President Kikwete who urged “developing countries to design policies that promote efficient growth patterns that are inclusive, environmentally friendly and sustainable”.
“Achieving social justice and decent work in a globalized era has proven to be a daunting task for many developing countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa”, highlighted Mr. Kikwete.
“We also need to address the problem of unemployment which is ever increasing, particularly among the youths in developing countries. It is steadily becoming a serious challenge with undeterminable consequences”, he warned participants of the historic ILC session.
The ILO Director-General praised Tanzania’s commitment “to the promotion of youth employment – an issue of critical importance not only for Africa, (...) but for the world as well –” and to the extension of social protection to the informal economy workers.
“In situations of extreme poverty and high unemployment, the informal sector becomes the saviour”, reaffirmed the newly re-elected President of the United Republic of Tanzania. “This is a challenge to all of us to find a suitable answer” which could enable millions of workers in Africa make a living and lift themselves from poverty under work conditions that are decent, he added.
According to national estimates, some 5.4 per cent of the total labour force of 16 million people in Tanzania is currently covered by the social security schemes.
The ILO is currently supporting Tanzania’s Decent Work Country Program including the entrepreneurship and skills development components of the Danish Africa Commission Assistance to Tanzania, a “Delivering as One” pilot country.
“We look forward to a future, full of optimism that social justice for all will be realized”, President Jakaya Kikwete said.