Workshop of challenges of contemporary economy and their impact on industrial relations

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1 Workshop of challenges of contemporary economy and their impact on industrial relations Address of ILO DG Guy Ryder 8 May 2015, Luanda- Angola. Thank you Minister, Dear friends, I am pleased to be here. The history of your country and the history of our organization are interconnected. The ILO has played a modest part in the history of your country, and Angola plays a big part in the history of our organization. Angola is a member of Security Council, and it is the chair of ILO GB. I am pleased that we have done a lot here in this visit, and I am very interested in making our cooperation practically We live in a period of an extraordinary change in our world. Process of globalization offers opportunities for our society, our people but it poses challenges as well. Our mandate is to preserve social justice. We have felt from the beginning that social justice is the only way to preserve peace and stability of our countries while at the same time achieving sustainable growth. We need jobs, decent jobs, good quality jobs, which offer our people, particularly young people, a chance for decent lives and to their families. The dramatic situation is that there are 200 million people without jobs today in the world. What is worrying is that the figure is likely to increase. The global crisis of destroyed 60 million jobs. And despite recovery the bad news is that global unemployment is continuing to increase. The number one priority for Angola as well as for the whole world is to create jobs, decent jobs. The global economy is growing more slowly than it did before the crisis, and this seems to be a global trend.

2 The first thing we need to do is to re-stimulate global growth and extract from that growth the maximum number of good jobs. The situation in Africa is particularly interesting. The continent has been a success story in terms of economic growth. However this has not been reflected in social development. Angola is tackling the question of diversification of the economy and broadening the base of growth. We took the view that modernization meant moving out the people from rural economy into the urban economy and the industrial economy. And had some positive effects under certain circumstances. But we all believe now that we have to re instate the rural economy as a very important part of the search for decent jobs, and the ILO has decided to make the rural economy one of its priority. Informality: ILO is engaged and will have major discussions in Geneva on the formalization of informal economy. There was a time that many governments informal economy was a source of dynamism in our economies and that it would produce growth and would create entrepreneurial talents. I think the mood has now changed. In the ILO, governments have decided that the right approach to informality is formalization. That is the way you get decent jobs, to taxation and to social security. Employers have understood that informal enterprises represent unfair competition to formal enterprises who abide by the rules. And trade unions worry that informal economy is low quality unprotected work. The big question is that we all agree on the agenda of formalization is how to make it happen. We have to make it easier to enterprises to make it formal. We have to simplify public administration system, and I know you are an expert on these matters Mr. Minister. I have seen what Angola government has been doing to address informality. This is not a small question. This is a question that affects the majority of the workers in the world. Let me touch on a question we all know it is important, and that is the place of women in the world of work. I discovered today that there are good representations of women in the government of Angola. Ministry gave me the figures, and I met a lady governor of one of

3 Angola s provinces (Luanda Sul), and I have met very strong Angolan women in the trade union movement as well. Here is the bad news: Despite the good work that we have done for nearly half a century, and discrimination laws, laws on equal pay...etc., women today get 22% less money for the same job. It is as someone said to me last week, as if women work 5 days a week and get paid for 4 days. We have to do something about this, it is not just legislation, it is about social attitude, it is about child care, and it is about the whole attitude to women in labour life. The rate of participation is 26% less than men in labour market, and when they are in market they are offered low quality jobs in informal sectors. Another challenge is the one of sustainability. Over the years, we have accepted that SD has three components: the economic, the social, but also the environmental dimension. I think we have all understood that we have to move for a sustainable development path which will not pose a threat to environment. Let me underline that this is a challenge to world of work. Because the understanding was for many years that you have to choose either jobs, or development or protecting the planet. These were seen as alternatives. And the notion was that to protect the planet and receive jobs was a very difficult idea to accept. I must say, and I am very pleased by this, that the idea of protecting the environment can do hand in hand with decent jobs is now well accepted. It will not happen automatically, but if we adopt the right approach we can easily reconcile the approach of protecting the planet with the future for jobs for our people. And I want to mention some interesting conventions this year. In the UN system we have three major conferences this year which I think Angola should be very concerned about them. In July we go to Addis Ababa for Financing Development. We have to mobilize resources for development. This is a very difficult process. There is a feeling that in current circumstances the development assistance is much squeezed and we have to look to levering resources from private sector and enterprises. Unfortunately today even when the profits are high in global economy enterprises are simply not investing. We have something like investment strike in the world. We have to get the global economy, development moving through financing. In September this year, the world will adopt at the General Assembly the post 2015 Development. This is what comes after MDGs. It is a vital process. It will be the global agenda for Dev. for up to We need to produce 600 million jobs to stabilize. The ILO works hard to make sure that Decent Work Agenda figures as an explicit goal for the post 2015 Development Agenda. And here once

4 more Mr. Minister, I need to pay tribute to Angola, because in NY we set up a Group of Friends for Decent Work Agenda to lobby to have decent work included in this Agenda, and the Presidency of that Group is co-chaired by Angola and Belgium, so thank you again Angola for your leadership. And I am convinced that in September we will have Decent Work as a key goal of the UN. The third is the Conference on Climate Change in Paris in Dec And that is when the world must adopt a binding agreement on how to arrest climate change and prevent damage to environment. The ILO is working hard to ensure that in that conference the need for jobs and employment will be a key element of the transition to sustainable future, we call it a process for just transition, a fair transition. Ladies and gentlemen, There is a lot more items We should never forget that absolute rights at work are fundamental. I am very pleased that Angola has ratified the 8 Fundamental Conventions, and I congratulate you for that. Yet in the world today, and is something of a shock, half of world population live in countries which have not ratified the fundamental convention on the right to organize. Half of the world population does not have that protection. There are 168 million children who still work in the world. The good news is that is reduced by one third since the beginning of the century but we still have a lot to work on this. There are still 21 million victims of forced labour. And we need to understand that forced labour is a phenomenon which does not belong to a distant historical past. It is appearing in new forms. We see it in trafficking and this is something which we have to open our eyes to and the global community will have to fight against it. I say all of this because I think that the fight for social justice is not yet completed. I suspect it will never be completed. But as the ILO approaches its one hundred anniversary, in 2019, we are launching a major reflection of the future of work. What the new technologies mean to our people. What does the organization of global value chain bring to our enterprises? How do we govern globalization so that is fair to all countries and all our people? How do we prevent abuses in one country from undermining good working conditions in other countries? How do we deal with demographics in the world where the young continents of the world, Africa and south Asia, coexist with the aging continents of the world in Europe and America?

5 We know that migration will be a major feature for the world of work because there will be major labour shortage in the aging world and probably surpluses in the young world. But we are not doing a good job if we look for example to Mediterranean migration. So I want to invite Angola to contribute to all this, I said to Minister that ILO is a good friend to Angola and that I want it to be also a useful friend. Thank you all.

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