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Colombia H.E Mr Iván Duque Márquez, President

Speaker [00:00:00] Miss. Ali will.

Speaker [00:00:01] Speak. I would like to extend a special greeting to all of you. I would also like to pay tribute to the director general of the International Labour Organization Guy Ryder. I would also like. To extend my greetings to Jacqueline Mingo vice chair from the employers and I'll give you the Rosa. The men they set out from the governments and with them more drove from. The workers. I would like to extend my greetings to all the ambassadors ministers and members of the governing body. I am here as the president of Colombia and I am very proud and motivated to be in this plenary. One hundred years ago this organization was born. And this is an organization that since then has. Shown the world the best ways forward and the best policies. To create a tripartite understanding between the workers the private sector and states. And this is a unique and historic exercise because it's the first time. It was the first time that an organization was based on a tripartite structure. To foment policies that would be to the benefit of workers is now celebrating its 100 years. And I am pleased that Colombia as a founding member. As a founding partner is here to discuss with you. To reflect on this very important issue related to the future of work. It is not.

Speaker [00:02:02] I lied to anybody that when we look at the world today and when we speak of the Fourth Industrial Revolution we know that these those great challenges for the future of work and that is why it is important for all countries to adapt their policies and initiatives so that the labor force is triumphant. In light of all these technological changes because they create challenges and pressure. As they change. The conditions in which people work and are employed. They report on the future of work allows us to all understand that the challenge of informality is a great one that. This challenge the challenge of informality requires us to have the best tools. For our societies to have. Protection for. The elderly and also for us to have the greatest coverage for social protection. Decent work is also one of the pillars on which is based. The report and. It is in line with the sustainable development objectives because decent work is what will allow us. To make sure that human capital has dignity and it is what will make sure that nobody feels discriminated against or will be treated as inferior.

Speaker [00:03:52] And of course we have another great challenge to face and this is about youth employment. There are many countries in Latin America including Colombia that face this great challenge because. Young people. Have difficulty finding sustainable and formal jobs. We need to look at the rates of youth unemployment. And we also need to look at our regulations so that young people between the ages of 18 and 28. Can enter the labor market and also. Can have a Social Security thinking about their future and. Them in their old age. We have visible challenges. In terms of forced labor child labor and discrimination that we see across the world. But these issues that have been dealt with in the report and which are part of the reflections that we have made in this plenary. Motivates Colombia to join. This cause so that we can completely eradicate child labor and so. That we can ensure that there is dignified work and so that we can also wipe forced labor off the face of this planet. This will allow us to ensure that. Individuals are recognized and that they can be. That they can work to their full potential. And that is why delegates I have come here as the president of Colombia to reaffirm our commitment. To show you that we want to adopt the best practices. We have a. Pact for Colombia pact for equity which is our development plan and we want to close the gaps so that we can have a better level of development. I am very pleased to be addressing. The. Representatives and leaders of the employers as well as those from the judiciary and especially the trade unions because. Independent institutions such as the courts and workers have allowed us to understand that we need to have understanding so that we can meet these sustainable development objectives. In only a few months of government we have been able to show what task lies ahead of us so that we can meet the needs of our workers. And so that we can find a balance between entrepreneurship. And improving working conditions and that is why I am proud. To say as president that I took part for the first time in. The Labor consultation. Table of negotiation so that we could reaffirm that we need to have an agreement an agreement for decent work and this is something that we announced in September last year. And this is a milestone because workers employers and governments set ourselves common objectives. This agreement and the participation. Of our constituents have been fruitful and we have seen this in the few months of government. That if passed because we have achieved the highest increase in the minimum wage in real terms in the last twenty five years. This is great progress. And this. Has come hand-in-hand with the. The highest hike in transport subsidies by 14 percent in the last 14 years. And this shows that we need to also need to reduce taxation on a micro small and medium sized enterprises. We need to understand. What has happened in the last few years to affect the population's purchasing power. I am also proud to say that we have a new innovative form of fraternal transparent dialogue and through this we have ensured that through all our trade union confederations and with the government we have agreed an increase in public sector wages of four point six percent. Which goes about one point three percent above inflation. And this is the highest rate. Following this policy that was established in 2013 when we decide we are going to reach agreements then we do so and that is because we have common objectives and in these last 10 months of government we have tried to ensure that all our labor inspectors the 906 labor inspectors that we have in the country can access. A virtual education platform a virtual campus where they can see the best techniques but they can also see the best assessment tools so that they can protect workers rights. And in the last 10 months a. We have approved a resolution.

Speaker [00:10:15] There are three to twelve. To ensure that we have. The right. Protection for the health of workers. And this also gives guarantees for the private sector so that they understand what they have in terms of responsibilities. In these last ten months their delegates. We have also created their one stop shop. Which is. Looking at procedures and speeding up procedures and making it easier for workers to make complaints for them to have their rights protected but also for employers. To be able to act. More expeditiously and also so that we can reduce costs and provide more benefits to those who are part of our labor force. This was a titanic effort. An effort which requires us to look much be honored. The short term we must understand that great changes are needed in Colombia to protect those who are not currently protected by Social Security. And that is why delegates I can say that in the last 10 months and within our national development plan we have given life to an important. Figure which is a. Social protection floor through which the most vulnerable many of whom have been working in informality can now access pensions and now have an effective and transparent mechanism so. That they can have their conditions protected and also so that this can serve as the basis of making social protection universal as a fundamental principle added to these criteria and actions.

Speaker [00:12:28] We can show that the government.

Speaker [00:12:34] Has shown lead of leadership in its youth unemployment targets. We in Colombia like in other Latin American countries need to tackle this and within our national development plan we have set ourselves a target that 10 percent. Of the. The. Public sector will be employing eighteen to twenty eight year olds not based on their work experience but so that they can enter the labor market. And so that they can do this by providing a service to the state. Because this is transformational. And I cannot. Forget to mention training. The training of a labor force which must be able to rise to the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and that is why we've invested in education. With the highest budget allocated to this in the history of our country we have also. Set ourselves the target of increasing the school day two fold. And we have also increased. Employment opportunities so that graduates have both a degree in one hand and in the other hand they have a vocational training diploma so that these people. Can take part in the labor market and we have been thinking about the demands. Of the labor market so that we have the right people who are trained and this is also a huge step forward. Delegates. During the ILO's centenary. We need to be transparent and clear regarding the objectives that we need to set ourselves. We know we have many challenges to face. Nonetheless we believe that our development plan.

Speaker [00:14:53] When. We look in 2022.

Speaker [00:14:59] And we look back on our term we will have created one point six million new jobs and we want to have an unemployment rate that is below 8 percent. These are our targets. This is what we are investing in. This is the path that we are on and this is what we are doing in all the regions of Colombia. Because we understand that social justice starts.

Speaker [00:15:28] With clarity and with ambition. And.

Speaker [00:15:35] By being motivated to ensure that the labor market is the pillar of justice in a society that this Government believes in entrepreneurship as. A tool for creating jobs and. That is why. Can companies that work in technology for example have the ability to increase their competitiveness. But always in exchange for creating a minimum number of jobs and also so that they have a minimum positive impact on the economy. We believe that. The work of all trade union leaders must also be let. By thinking about the world of today and the world of work in the future so that this can be beneficial to the whole country.

Speaker [00:16:39] Trade union leadership.

Speaker [00:16:41] Cannot be contradictory and an obstacle to entrepreneurship. Quite the contrary. I can say proudly that when I was senator in the country.

Speaker [00:16:56] We promulgated a law. For. Collective interests of companies so that companies understood not only the financial use. But also the social use and social impact of their own policies. And we need to understand how to promote leadership how to promote strategic parties AP participation of the labor force. And that is why dear delegates this centenary for me is an opportunity. For me to share our government's achievements. For us to share what we want our country to be but also it is an opportunity for us to understand.

Speaker [00:17:52] That we can replicate the principles and pillars that we have achieved in the countries that are here present. We firmly believe that the ILO. Must be the leader. Of this discussion regarding. This debate on the challenges and benefits of this fourth industrial revolution to workers. But this must be done together with other entities so that we do not choose different paths but rather that we join together. And this must be done under the umbrella of the Sustainable Development Goals. I would like to conclude. By saying to all of you that my presence here today. As we celebrate this centenary.

Speaker [00:18:53] Has become a reality because A. We want. One hundred more years of existence one hundred more years of innovation and we as Colombia. Want to continue working with our workers with our employers so that we can build. The path for decent work. Thank you.