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Special event ENG2ENG

Speaker [00:00:05] Ladies and gentlemen and I think on this very fraternal occasion I can say Dear friends this is a very special moment of our centenary conference for a number of reasons I believe we have over the last two weeks received a whole series of heads of government heads of state high level visitors to our conference who have contributed enormously to the work of the conference. But today we have our last two invitees who are not ready invitees. They are people who are returning to their yellow home and I refer of course to the two previous directors general of the ILO Mr. Michel Anson and Mr. when some of. I know we all want to welcome in the warmest possible way back to their ILO home. I would just ask you to consider one small fact from the. People on the podium before you. You have before you here because you shall you began your mandate in 1989 if I'm not mistaken you have the three directors general who are responsible have been responsible for leading this organization for 30 years of its hundred year history. I find that quite a frightening prospect but it's a remarkable one you have here people who have led the organization for all of that proportion of its history and I think it's very important quite remarkable and very valuable moment to reflect together at the moment of the ILO's centenary on where the organization has come and in keeping with the centenary theme of the future of work where we think on the basis of the past history of the organization the organization is and must go in the future as we take up as I say this challenge of the future of work. So we're looking forward very very much to what I hope is going to be a conversation between us. You have the three directors general you also have on my right hand side two other personalities who have marked the history of this organ at this tripartite organization. Sorry Trutmann who has was for many years the leader of the workers in this house and Daniel Fournier stereo who led the employers and for a long time worked together as a social partnership of this house and when they've we've heard from the directors general we're going to invite Saroyan Daniele to add their thoughts on this profound moment of reflection. So let's get started. May I turn to you in the first instance. You led the organization at a moment when the Cold War was coming to an end and we had to deal with that extraordinary change in the history of the organization because I think today it's difficult for some to understand how profoundly the Cold War marked the organization for a number of decades. And you had to manage the exit of the organization from its Cold War logic and into the first period of globalization that raised many challenges and I think many of us had to think very carefully about where the ILO was going. Your response was to lead the organization towards the adoption of the 1998 Declaration on Fundamental principles and rights at work which is very much still recognized as a landmark of the organization. I also remember you deploying I think they were called multidisciplinary teams at the time expanding the ILO's presence in offices around the world. I'm wondering what your memories are of that period. What do you think were the most important challenges at the time and how you see them from the perspective of our current circumstances. So we're very keen to listen to you. Michel Anson.

Speaker [00:04:10] MFC thank you.

Speaker [00:04:13] My first mandate started in 1989 and ended in 1994.

Speaker [00:04:22] These are two important dates because 1980 9 was the year of the fall of the Berlin Wall the end of communism the end of the Cold War the end of a bipolar world in 1994.

Speaker [00:04:37] We don't remember this quite as well but 1994 was the signing of the Marrakesh agreement the birth of the World Trade Organization and thus the signing of the end of the act of the birth of the globalization of the economy. And these are the two dates that marked my first mandate and had a major impact on the working of the International Labour Organization. The first change was linked to the globalization of the economy.

Speaker [00:05:17] Some countries or most countries indeed were having to deal with the agreements of the arising from the WTO agreement in Marrakesh and therefore entering a new era for world trade and therefore many countries were hesitant about having to follow the rules set by the World Trade Organization. They felt that the WTO rules would be a handicap for them in terms of ensuring their competitiveness in the New World Order.

Speaker [00:05:55] So we had countries saying to us well no we're not going to ratify any new kind of conventions and in fact we're going to be pulling out from some of them. And then the second aspect would have which had a major impact on the ILO was the end of the Cold War.

Speaker [00:06:12] And like it or not the I L O was a so shrew Democratic response to the challenge from the communist world and the end of this long period of tension between the free world shall we say and the communist world. Was that some countries and some leaders felt there was no need any longer for an organization such as the ILO that an end should be put to it and the major question that was posed not only to me but to all of the world leaders and the heads of employers and trade union federations was what role will we play in this new era. And this is what I set out in my report to the IOC in 1994 it was entitled values to uphold changes to be undertaking thereby reflecting our concern at the time shorter to some of the issues that you've raised them.

Speaker [00:07:29] WAYNE SOMERVILLE you uh you became a director general on the the end of Mr Johnson's second mandate. You came to the organization in 1999 and let us until 2012 and I think above all. I certainly remember the beginnings of your mandate because of the putting in place of the decent work agenda something which I think has now become deeply imprinted in the mandate it's the definition I think of the ILO's mandate these days. But you had to pick up then this accelerating process of globalization the issues that Michel had begin to grapple with the decent work agenda was in many ways a response to that. You led the organization through the early years of the century and of course you also had to confront the consequences of the the crack of 2008 the great crisis and of course the ILO found its way into the G 20 process at that time. So very much in the same lines as I asked Michel. What do you think were the you know the really important things that you had to address and how do you see them in the perspective of today's situation and our centenary.

Speaker [00:08:49] Well thank you. Thank you so much. Director General. First of all thank you for having us here. I think that this initiative is a is a very generous initiative is a very. People who have held this post before you and but also a very reminder as you were saying 30 years together of the fact that you know this institution through its director generals play a role which has been very important in simply servicing the trap the tripartite system. And it brings me to mind you was mentioning you know we we built on what was done before and I certainly build to what happened under Michele Henderson's period. But it makes me think that you know all of these director generals it's almost like of course where you you ended and you persist of battle. I don't know how you would say that in English.

Speaker [00:09:46] Well you know handle her hand over the baton but the baton has spread it has a big strength. It's not just any baton it's a baton full of values it's about the full of history it's a baton that obliges you almost to to to follow what has been done before.

Speaker [00:10:04] And I think that Michelle's description of his period very much explains some of the things that that we that we did it was it was it was a moment in which we were coming out of the World Summit for Social Development that was 1985 and that was the first time there was an initiative that I presented in the name of the government of Chile in the United Nations I was the first Ambassador of of Chile after we ended the Pinochet dictatorship. I had been an exile but I was able to come back to the country about seven years before we had the change.

Speaker [00:10:42] So I came there with two things in our mind first that we had been a sort of a guinea pig of neoliberalism because after the coup d'etat the whole Friedman policy was simply applied you know without democracy so you could do whatever you wanted so that our reaction to that was almost instinctive.

Speaker [00:11:04] And secondly that we wanted to make social issues a sort of a central part of all of our policies that is the that is the origin of the Social Summit. But in putting the social something together and this is of course before being coming here but it has a lot to do with the manner in which I looked at things. We proposed this and the secretary general was asked by a Cossack to consult government. He calls me in one day and he says Juan this is a great idea so I'm going to appoint you as my personal representative to consult with governments and of course you consult of course but make sure you convince. So that was the mandate I had from the from the secretary general. Why am I seeing all of this. Because after that consultation what were the issues poverty employment and social cohesion social integration. That that's that that that that was a framework within which we you know I began my my my period here. And you mentioned decent work because what it got came very clearly my consultation on the results of the Social Summit was that every country developed or developing was worried about what was happening on the employment side. It was you could already feel the discontent you know that it was around and that Michel had to confront in terms of the globalization process. So what happened is that coming here we took the traditional work off of the ILO around rights social protections Social Dialogue et cetera. But we put it in a much more global context of saying look we have to distinguish between the cost of.

Speaker [00:12:52] Work and the value of work.

Speaker [00:12:55] And this was simply a way of proceeding on the basis of that work is not a commodity. So we said look work cannot be simply a cost of production. Okay. If it's not a cost of production what more is it. And that's what decent work explained. It's a sort of it's a source of personal dignity. We prove ourselves in work. It is a it's an essential part of our of our being decent work is a source of family stability or whichever way people choose to to live together. It's a source of peace in the community because the community at work is a community much more peaceful much more secure and probably the most important one to explain some of the things that are happening today. The worker is a citizen. The worker looks at its own work but draws political conclusions and those political conclusions express themselves not necessarily in the space of labour but in the space of society. And you can already sense that there was an enormous reaction against what was happening at the end. In the space of the world of work. So the decent work agenda stems from there. And it somehow touched a nerve in the sense that people felt that this explanation of the societal impact of work was very essential and that it wasn't just you know the rights and the things that the ILO is about. But it was also the implications of work in society that went much beyond that. And I think that that was the that's the way it came. It came around but it was very much linked to the Social Summit because that's where I got the feeling of what was you know of the employment preoccupation in the world.

Speaker [00:14:39] Thank you very much. You know it's very interesting both listening to you and just looking at the images that are coming up on the screen which bring back at least for me very many memories. I said you're on me shall I think of all of the images of the history of the ILO the one I like most is a view bringing Nelson Mandela into this very chamber. I'm one of the most emotional moments I think of the ILO's history. There's a great one on one interview with President Clinton I remember that day very well.

Speaker [00:15:08] But here's the thought that comes to my mind looking at these images and listening to you both. There are some things but they're not very many that I think with the ILO can consider that we have contributed to a definitive solution to I think of the fight against apartheid and President Mandela's visit was the moment when we could begin to celebrate the defeat of apartheid. I would add as well that we are on the brink at this conference of celebrating for the first time the universal ratification of an ILO Convention I think we still want ratification short of universal ratification of Convention 182 against the worst forms of child labour. A great moment you'll agree. But otherwise. The issues that you've raised Michelle you talked about the debate that began on trade and labour standards. The creation of the World Trade Organization a debate that is still going forward. The whole issue of coherence in the international multilateral system. I wonder if looking back at it you think you know do we face exactly the same issues that you had to deal with in question of trade and labour standards a question of. Justice and. Balance in the sustainability. Of globalization. Do you think. That these discussions. Have evolved. Positively.

Speaker [00:16:39] Since your mandate. And if you have any helpful advice to me this start to generally be extremely grateful for it. About how we might move forward. I know you didn't want me to ask that question Michel. What do you think.

Speaker [00:16:56] Well let's start off with your comment about Mandela's visit which was preceded some years before with the by the visits of Lufthansa. And if you still remember Mandela's visit I think what you have to remember is that what was significant for the international organization was its determination to uphold the rights of workers and human rights.

Speaker [00:17:37] Mandela at the time and violence both came to the I allow to thank the ILO. These two historical figures came to thank us for the efforts that had been made by the International Labour Organization as part of the fight to uphold try to trade union rights and also in the fight of this part of the fight against apartheid.

Speaker [00:18:10] So to come back on the basis of those both of those examples and to go back to what we were saying about world trade I've always felt that what was one of the distinguishing features of the ILO was this major standard setting machine that we have established over time. What are standards. Basically standards mean that you call on all nations all peoples to comply with a specific set of rules. And it's like those little trains that go up the side of a mountain. You have little barriers to prevent them falling back and the whole role of the conference of the ILO is to remind Member States that if there is no international social justice then there cannot be peace. And that's the role of the ILO. Now when at a given time. And I didn't choose this time in history but when a given time some countries say no we are entering an era where the rules and the laws governing legislation a handicap then that is a very serious situation indeed for the ILO because that means that we serve no purpose. It means that we are handicapped or part of the handicapped so my task involved through the declaration.

Speaker [00:19:55] It involves saying Right well there may be some criticism that can be levelled at us and maybe there are too many rules too many conventions and maybe in the present circumstances we should change our approach and that's why we saw to give some thought to what those actual standards and fundamental rights are. What are these standards that no civilized country can fail to respect and how should we organize ourselves in order to turn them into something that is universally recognized as we were unable to achieve ratification of all of the conventions governing fundamental rights to rights at work. Would it be possible to agree on a declaration that would be universally accepted or at least to which there would not be any opposition and I remember very well this was my last act almost as the serving DG in this very hall at a given moment. There was a vote on this declaration and there was not a single vote against and for me that was a major accomplishment in everything that we'd set out to do from 1994 onwards in order to help the International Labour Organization to enter the new era in which it had to work mentioned your role and in a sense a seminal role of the World Summit for Social Development and of course you came into this debate on globalization at a time I think when there was that early generation of contestation of globalization it was a Porto Alegre devils years.

Speaker [00:21:48] The ILO was much involved you personally were much involved in that and of course you put in place the World Commission on the social dimension of globalization. How do you see the debate on Globalisation also with your particular perspective of the ILO's only director general from the director general for the developing world. How do you see that having developed and where do you suspect we're going next.

Speaker [00:22:11] Well let me let me pick the going next because what we now have as a framework is the fact that we are moving towards sustainable development and something inevitable that climate change is an essential part of what future policies are going to be. That the technological processes that brings artificial intelligence atomization digital economy is going to change the manner in which the economy works also with lots of implications for workers and for employers. If you look at it from that perspective the first thing that I have to say is that I have to congratulate you for the manner in which the law was able to negotiate the presence of ILO issues in the 2030 Agenda. The decent work is at the core of the of the agenda social protection floors of social protection is their reference to the Global Jobs Pact as a response to the crisis is there. And in general the ILO has a space with its own identity and ILO that is tripartite that has workers and employers which is or give us always a different a different dimension. What what does it mean for us that these are not easy questions. The 2030 Agenda tells us that we have to integrate the social economic and environmental and integrating these three issues. What is the complexity that we have a habit of thinking sector really where educated sector really were organized sector really. We. We do sectorial cooperation but integration is a different matter. How do you deal with those three dimensions without culture in a in a in a relevant manner. This implies that we have to take a look at the models of growth. Just had lunch today who were discussing this with. Of that that we have the the the challenge of being able to discuss at the same time quality growth which means sustainable growth and quality work which means decent work. And these things have to go together and they go together because the eighth objective of the of the 2030 Agenda puts growth and decent work together. That is a totally a new space a new global space to understand the ILO. We have always been put as a as a question as a social question and suddenly we appear as part of the matter of the economy has to organize itself. What does all of this have to do with globalization. That it began with what Michele Hanson was mentioning. But it continued in our time with the with the clearly growing discontent that globalization was in distributing Well the benefits and we finally approved a declaration on social justice for the fair for a fair globalization. And that has continued. And the essence of the whole thing is that the growth models continue to be old growth models. Today the King said something which I find extremely important. He said look forget about the growth models that we've been using up to today. Now if we are to have a new vision of growth that responds to a sustainable vision and to the technological changes that are going on in response to the disquiet. Where do you begin. You certainly begin at home. We're not going to invent four different countries with the same solutions we have the values that we are pursuing and the objectives. But this is going to be national national realities and national priorities.

Speaker [00:26:03] Any of you say that moving forward in the future has this very strong national dimension. It means that ILO with its tripartite characteristic can if it wishes have an enormous influence and enormous influence on how this works because if you look from a national reality you will want to move from down up. And and what is it that you look if you look at your city. Well what is happening in the enterprises. You know what would happen if the different enterprises workers and employees come together and say look we share a problem of seeing how the hell do we deal with this you know sustainable development thing and all of these new technologies that can be a more common problem than that. So. So I think that what has happened with the 2030 Agenda. That's why I celebrate the way you negotiated it is that they have thrust on us an enormous opportunity to be relevant to to to utilize our mechanisms to show the importance of dialogue to show the importance of listening to the other and to finding common solutions of very complex problems. What. But we are celebrating 100 years and you can't say that we have that doesn't work. It has tensions as difficulties. You know it has a lot of things that happen but we would be crazy to believe that the ILO with its tripartite dimension and its social dialogue instruments is not called upon to play an incredible role towards the future. And I find that particularly attractive. I have to say that it stimulates me enormously to think about the role of the of the. Of the ILO in the future.

Speaker [00:27:52] Thank you. One. Listening to you both.

Speaker [00:27:57] You know it's worth reflecting on the fact that we all came to the ILO from different places. Michel you came as a very distinguished very visible Minister of Labour in Belgium and you presided over some extremely important important processes of restructuring in Belgium. When you came after as you've mentioned the remarkable role in the restoration of democracy in your own country via the multilateral system your experience as an ambassador in New York and I came from a different place. So we all sort of came to this organization from. From from along different roads. The question which which I asked myself and I wonder what your views are is at the time and the centenary coincides with this when everybody is talking about change at work changed because of technology change because of what we have to do to combat climate change change because of demographics the uncertain path of globalization more uncertain now than before. I guess the question many people are asking the ILO people from outside were looking at the organization from their particular perspective is now what is it that the ILO has which others do not which can help us meet the challenges of the future. The classic answers the classic answers are that the incomparable advantages of the ILO are firstly a mandate for social justice. Which I think never goes out of fashion. Tri partisan are instruments of social dialogue a normative function of Michelle you've referred to that. And yet other people would see some of these things as handicaps social dialogue is difficult. Representatives t of workers and employers organizations is questioned. It seems to me in the world it is dialogue is becoming more problematic. The question of the international rule of law the rule of international law is also questioned. It's an interference in national sovereignty. So how well equipped do you see the ILO through these traditional advantages that it has to face these challenges of the future. Do you think we just hold on to these instruments that we've always had and use them very much in the ways that we previously have with success. Do we have to add to them that we have to substitute. What do you think.

Speaker [00:30:27] Who wants to go first if it's a.

Speaker [00:30:30] Joe. To answer your question I'd like to dwell on the personal memory when I arrived in Geneva.

Speaker [00:30:41] My son had in his set of toys and a small articulated lorry with eight wheels a small articulated truck. Now this was rather exceptional because this little lorry was able whatever obstacles you put in front that it was able to go over them because there was always at least one wheel that would adhere that would take the lorry forward enable it to move forward. And for me this little articulated lorry that was my son's toy is probably the most wonderful analogy I could ever find for the ILO. So what is the driving force behind the ILO. Well sometimes it's the fundamental role of work in our society and over the past hundred years it hasn't changed it's still the case today. When we talk about if we're still talking about decent work at present that means that our work is not yet finished. It can also be the relevance of our Constitution and as you've recalled guy You've recalled the ideal of social justice which is still very much in people's hearts and unquestionably it's the tripartite nature of the organization. It's a standard setting system. It's also the clear thinking from time to time of its leaders not always. But we do hope so that this happens from time to time and it may also be the quality of its of its staff. All these are the the cogs of the International Labour Organization and so far in its 100 year history we call this this morning.

Speaker [00:32:33] This has covered a huge number of dramatic situations where many prestigious organizations other organizations have failed.

Speaker [00:32:47] So we must be aware of the fact that we must set a priority or high hierarchy amongst all these cogs.

Speaker [00:32:55] What we need to remember is that what we have what we're driving is an articulated lorry that has many functions and we have to try to ensure that everything all these aspects are properly interlinked and that also means that we must not fall in to some kind of broad international situation.

Speaker [00:33:25] We have a specific role mission set of institutions and all of this is essential and I think that we don't know what the future holds.

Speaker [00:33:43] And it is.

Speaker [00:33:46] Quite possible that things will become difficult but I think it would be very difficult to find a book written about the ILO over the past hundred years where you do not have a chapter entitled What is the future of the ILO. So quite frankly I'm not very worried. I think that we will find solutions and to go back to my little truck and so I will stick to the analogy I started off with this little lorry couldn't work without batteries. In fact it used up an awful lot of batteries it was a very expensive toy because you kept on having to replace the batteries and. What this means is you is that you need to put energy into this.

Speaker [00:34:41] You have to believe in it.

Speaker [00:34:44] And I think that the only message I would seek to convey at the end of this International Labour Conference on the centenary anniversary is that we must believe. I would say we must have faith in ourselves the employers federations the trade unions must believe that it's still here that you have the dialogue and social negotiation. If they no longer believe in that then we will indeed die. But I don't think that's going to happen and I think that the future of the International Labour Organization is for us to write it for this gathered assembly to write the history and I have absolutely no reason to believe that if we do not continue to doing what is made the legacy of this organization over the past 100 years is not other people will be asking questions about our futures it's that they who will be asking questions about their own future.

Speaker [00:35:51] That's a very strong message of encouragement and confidence in our organization and the image of that truck will stay in the minds of many of us. I'm sure in the future when exactly the same question How do you see it.

Speaker [00:36:06] Well I think that Michelle just made the next ordinary presentation of his own their plight and expressed in the reaction that you had. I think that he was describing what happened in different stages. The ILO has always responded to different situations. Our first director general spent about 13 years. Telling the world that we needed you know local labour conventions and he was successful. He was successful because a lot of work had been done before. Then comes the crisis. And of course in the middle of the crisis to be talking about worker's rights was almost impossible but we adapted to that to that reality.

Speaker [00:36:55] Came the war we moved to Canada to be a safe place and then then came after the war. And after the war one has to remember that from 1945 till 1980 more or less the policies that were put in place were policies that created the middle classes of Europe of the United States and of Japan of the developed world of the time.

Speaker [00:37:21] And when people for people today feel that the middle classes are not moving forward because they have the remembrance of of those years. So we are going very well and they all respond to basic visions of the ILO. Then comes the 80s and suddenly the two look you know this thing Yeah it's working well and you know we've done things but we we need to change the the basic rationale and we find ourselves in what we call a neo liberal view of things that it expresses itself in politics in Reagan and Thatcher. And then yes we begin to find this globalization that we've talked about but yet we have answered we responded to this. And to be very frank to go to a debate today with somebody the defence of neo liberal view or us that defend what the ILO is about. I can tell you you know the views of that debate on television are clearly on this side and not on the other. So something and I was Germanic because the IMF and the World Bank and others were bringing it forward certainly did not left. And when you look at what the U.N. decides that U.N. decides that decent work the job of a unit of the ILO is at the heart of how the governments are looking at the future. So I wind up exactly with the same conclusion that Michele had. We have to have complete trust in ourselves put trust in ourselves that don't mean that we cannot change because change has been. Part of the whole thing. So the question then is what are the changes. You know. How is it that we we are going to make social dialogue work. Is it the old way or there are a lot of our new ways. Are we going to take into account that youth we're talk about 20 to 30 are looking at the different lifestyles. The idea that you have one job or two jobs in your life is no longer does no longer exist. It first disappeared in Japan where it was sort of conceived. But it doesn't. It doesn't exist anymore. The notion that the only way in which is citizens can organize itself is a trade union is not so. Now that you have the political parties that have their own problems. But we are moving into a society in which the organized citizen is going to behave to to begin to have much more significance. And we're moving because of this this disconnect that people are having with the institutions and with the the the elites that manage the system as they see it say look they they don't think about us. They're not responding to what we need either are different languages in that and we have to be able to be sensitive to that. This that the changes in society are so profound that unless we are able to look at it and say OK this is certainly not the same society as of 20 25 years ago. So where do we fit with our values. And that I believe that that is the most important challenge we have in front of us and I absolutely certain that we're perfectly capable of responding it. But it supposes that today we cannot be to have a worker. Employer relationship of the old style. That style is out. And if you try to repeat that style would you certainly going to do is that we as an institution are going to work if you decide to say no that is a style that has to do with thinking together about problems that not depend on hitting on the other or kicking the other. It depends on thinking together and being able to look together towards the future. That's our future. It's dialogue among ourselves working well together.

Speaker [00:41:24] Thank you very much. And I always dreamed what you used to say about constructive tri parties answer you used to talk about that a great deal. Very very quickly because I want to bring in our other guests.

Speaker [00:41:37] After these strong messages of confidence in the organization and indeed encouraging all of us to have confidence in the organization. Just one more point. And we can cover it quite quickly in over these hundred years. The ILO has grown from being an organization formed by what 40 some 40 organizations to quite a universal membership 187 member states and quite naturally and in different ways at different times of its history. This has posed the organization with the challenge of being able to respond effectively equitably to working life and working conditions in all possible scenario from the least developed countries that the most highly industrialized countries. And I have heard very often the question of well how on earth can an organization such as yours with its normative mandate how can you really address this extraordinary diversity of realities. Do you think that this is a challenge to the organization or or one that we need to think more about. We talk a great deal about the challenge of informality at work. You know what fairly one normative framework. When some 60 percent of workers are still working in informality. Do you feel that this challenge of universal relevance and universal representativeness of our member states in the ILO is something that we need to give further attention to and I I take advantage of the fact we have one director general from Chile and one from Belgium. Perhaps I'll start with you because you've got the developing country perspective in all of this. Do you think that the universality of ILO's membership which is by definition an advantage something we need to think through a bit more and of course Michelle made a great breakthrough in his mandate when you actually brought the ILO closer to the service of its constituents by making our technical cooperation operations much more dispersed around the world something we need to think about some more.

Speaker [00:43:43] No I think that our universality is an enormous strength universality and means that we have common goals but we can defined individually or regionally or subregional the manner we go about it. And I think that that's a big change development cooperation began because there were developed countries are developing countries and developed countries came around and say look we've already done it. Let me explain to you how it's done. And at the beginning we accepted that that way by today it is evident that the developing world has a capacity to find its own priorities and its own objectives. So yes we have the 2030 Agenda. We have common goals but we have to work in the context of each one of our realities. As I was saying before but in order to do that we don't only have to make dialogue function that social dialogue function and we need to develop the capacity of societal dialogue that goes beyond not in terms of the internal way in which the ILO works but the manner in which we project our social dialogue in total societies because we've done it. We know how to do it. Let's let's be useful for societies to discuss this incredible difficult to say well what does sustainable development mean. What are the key things that we need to answer in terms of of climate change. What are we going to do with the new technologies. We can't just say look get some expert there to see how we solve it. You know it has to stem from society.

Speaker [00:45:12] Among other things because if we're going to move forward we need personal consciousness of what it means to move into a sustainable world. And this means you know our own our own conduct. From you know washing your teeth and letting water run. Do whatever you do with with the banks which you do you have when you go and buy something. It is very much about personal conduct. If. Tomorrow the 2000 delegates that came to this meeting said Look from now onwards I'm going to have 10 ideas of how is it that I can. Help move towards a sustainable development vision.

Speaker [00:45:58] Can you imagine the consciousness that would emerge when the citizen begins to take the decision to do it on its own. Because you believe and you're convinced that you have to move in that direction. And I think that that's the sort of thing that we have to think as I know. You know we should now be with our system but also at the service of citizenship so that so that the people in our countries see that this the the norms that we have the manners of working that we have you know are an essential part of what the countries need in order to agree. This doesn't mean that you limited government on the road know that they play their role but if you only have that and you have a society that is absent is not thinking about these types of changes you know the movement is going to very big it cannot be very slow. If on the contrary you have any society that is increasingly conscious because of our own conduct but also because you analyze it at the at the at the local level within your community within your city et cetera you know that may signify an enormous change in the manner we can move forward. That is totally new. Well societies don't work that way. And I believe that the ILO has the potential of stipulating that that sort of reaction.

Speaker [00:47:16] Thank you Michel. Any reflections on this same challenge of universality.

Speaker [00:47:22] We set out our foot. Yes. It's both a challenge and also recognition. If so many countries have decided to join the International Labour Organization that means that they expect something there. So we also have to be aware of that. They have expectations from us. So there are two things when we try and think about to diversity the different contexts in different countries. There are two things that seem to me that we should be paying attention to. On the one hand we mustn't think that standards are a type of luxury for rich countries. I think that's fundamental to bear that in mind even if it's not necessary to force everyone to adopt an arsenal of rules or standards which will give them a situation that's difficult to maintain. But the contribution that we can give to the informal sector for instance in terms of development must be fed from these standards that we stand by.

Speaker [00:48:33] We're not there to just offer development cooperation.

Speaker [00:48:40] NINA All manners we can't be expected to solve all of the problems of developing countries but we can try to bring assistance by thinking about the wealth of experience that we have acquired over these hundred years to deal with a certain number of subjects and to contribute with other international organizations for labour and for development. We are not here to be the U.N. DP or the United Nations.

Speaker [00:49:12] We are called to be partners within a complex system where we bring our expertise and skills which now bring into the conversation our social partner representatives the two personalities I introduced at the beginning of this conversation and who have played such an important role in the history of our organization. I don't know who wants to go first. I've learnt as director general never to ask want to go before the other I let them decide. So Danielle for the employers or Sir Roy for the workers and simply the question is what does this conversation and inspiring you and your reflections on the on our organization.

Speaker [00:50:04] Good to save you. First let me just to start in English. But just to recognize something here at my left. Is not only my colleague my counterpart but also my friend. During many years we worked together with mutual respect Paramount and dialogue. Even with many difficulties because he said it's normal and constructive cooperation and I am very satisfied with that because I think that that is the key. This is tripartite This is social dialogue and social dialogue could be. Couldn't we build up just with government or with one pilot. If not working together and we did it we did with it. And that's the reason by which my all my respect to Sarai Leroy my friend. Let me turn to Spanish to say just a few words on Conoco.

Speaker [00:51:09] I would recognize two aspects over the last 30 years. They've been mentioned. By Michelle Larson and by Juan Somavia. Summing them up the guy reiterated them. So one part of this is. The architecture the strategy from the standard setting. And to. Adjusting functions the governing body the conference and so on. And seeking space room for.

Speaker [00:51:52] Our work starting in the 1998 declaration which is fundamental through world trade and fundamental working conditions all of this has to be put together we cannot function otherwise. And we must respond to crises. We had this with the global job pact. There we thought that we had to respond very quickly to a crisis which was going to have an immediate impact on the world of work. And then there's a more long term epic aspect to this and that's due to our hearts. It's been mentioned. We had apartheid. We had like four lanes. We had South Africa excluded from the organization and returning to it. In the case of Lake Valencia. The International Labour Conference says Mr Hansen's was telling us. We saw this. We had the case of Myanmar's well and then a number of other episodes. Which we must not lose sight of when we look at the ILO agenda. After all these reflect the common values that you referred to. And the reaction to violation of these common values. So if we can merge the strategic and architectural aspects with the these episodes. That's the only way we can continue to celebrate the centenary.

Speaker [00:53:23] Boy would you like to follow on.

Speaker [00:53:31] Thank you very much Director General and good afternoon to all of you distinguish participants even if you do not speak. I'll say something about what Daniels spoke to earlier. But I've said towards the end. Right now I would wish to make two or three very sharp comments hopeful that I can say some. Much more than that later. The first thing I would say is that in relation to the very positive suggestions made by directors and directors Somavia and Hansen as they look towards what we can expect from the ILO I would wish to say that Geneva is good and is a good starting place in that it endeavours to treat with the matter of tripartite ism and endeavours to bring together ideas of divergent areas and divergent opinions. But I would wish to say that. Perhaps we are making two errors. One is in believing that because we find that it is satisfactory here in Geneva and because we think it works here that the sometimes the level of the leadership be at trade union be an employer or be at government and or officials we make the error of believing that it automatically will work in our constituent assemblies in our individual nations. And that could be a major problem and I would wish to say that there has to be a much more vibrant tripartite social. Dialoguing. My language tripartite that must expand outwards and downwards. I think that many times the tripartite bodies come to Geneva and the report in that five minute period regarding beautiful things that they they are doing. And I have the suspicion and I hope you don't criticize the decency of my thought. I sometimes get the impression that we are trying to preach to ourselves to convince ourselves regarding just how good we were during the preceding year and what we need instead is to have that report of social dialoguing which reaches out. To the shop floor. Reaches out to the small business man within the larger business community in such a way that when we come back and report. To the officials of the Ayalon. Auto.

Speaker [00:56:33] This conference that we are truly reflecting what is happening to humankind at the national level. I think there may be a problem in that we are not doing that. If we were to do that I would think that we would reach the stage where we would not necessarily consider that when we yield space or yield time we yield a point to another person. That we can only do so. Because that person is bigger or stronger than we are. We have to remember and to recognize that in the global community where we exist. The signs that you may think you have is not going to be the final judge of where the end a debate. You don't have to have a major axe to cut down on a small tree. And if you keep forcing people to follow what you want simply because you're bigger or your economy is greater than you might be making your country great. Now or again.

Speaker [00:57:50] But the reality is that you may be bringing about stages of poverty and worse than that stages of unrest and disquiet. Which leads me to the third point I would make very quickly is that we have to recognize that notwithstanding the work of the ILO that there is a level of this quiet.

Speaker [00:58:15] Which is.

Speaker [00:58:18] Perpetuating itself every time you get results from a national political election. Extremism is becoming the order of the day and it must be the workers who are part of that because the workers who are the majority in any voting electorate. Something is fundamentally wrong that people who have. Grown up under different ideals and who have different examples that they are driven by are loving themselves and are perpetuating the view that a new system a more extreme system is perhaps better than what is the current system and perhaps the question that I owe the ILO itself. Has to be looking at is to what extent are we as the people who treat in the world of work. To what extent are we involved in this question of war. And peace and social justice.

Speaker [00:59:25] Thank you Sir Roy for those challenging comments. Now this is I think been a really extraordinary conversation but some of you probably have noticed two slight defects in the in the conversation so far. One is it is demonstrated in the most obvious way the rather masculine nature of the past leadership of the organization and its tripartite constituents. No need to hide Mr Hun Sen It's okay. And secondly probably if we added up the combined age of the participants it would come to a considerable multiple of the hundred year old history of the ILO and we need to rectify these two slight imbalances and we intend to do so by inviting two very important people at the ILO to join in the conversation. The two young women who have joined the platform. Can I ask you to greet them and to welcome them. They are the two co-chairs of the intern board. This is the people who represent the young people who come to the ILO to get work experience and to contribute and very importantly to the work of the organization we're proud of that and we take our intern program very very seriously and simply I would like to ask both of them. Their names are yet Cannon yay parent JP excuse me if I get that's right you're wrong you're from India and a chick Harriman from Turkey and in the order that you please I'd love your reflections on the conversation that you've heard and you have the floor.

Speaker [01:01:07] Thank you. Good afternoon everyone. We would like to begin by thanking everyone for giving us this opportunity to present our thoughts on how the future of work looks like the last two weeks of the ILC. Actually the last few months. Have been at a low having race Kerry and eye opening at the same time. We have had the chance to hear about the current debates on technology climate change and jobs and skills for the future. There have been discussions around the challenges that we face the uncertainties of the future and the ways in which these challenges can be turned into opportunities. The skills and training that the young people should be provided with in order to be ready for the kind of jobs that will exist in the future. They have made us ponder and think about our life till now. That kind of life we want and the one that we are living in the present. For a hundred years now ILO has been constantly striving to deliver social justice. Some say you need to understand your past to be able to catch your future. Thus this this session is about the past but also about the present and the future. Today millions of young people are entering the workforce every day. They're looking for jobs that match their skills education the qualifications and aspirations. These young people are looking for a job now and the need to get a job is no longer an activity we can push to next week or month or year after reading hundreds of articles and watching too many TED talks. One thing has become clear to us. We need to adapt and like a tech chess player. Think about what moved the job market will make. As millions of people. Will be looking for dumps we wonder whether there will be millions of decent jobs waiting for us out there. We're optimistic people and we hope these jobs exist. But are they the jobs that we are inspired to do. Our data dumps that fit our skills and education. We know that the future is always uncertain and the world of work is changing with uncertainties.

Speaker [01:03:29] Today you're looking at two individuals. Today you're looking at two individuals two individuals who are soon going to finish their internship in a month's time and are ready to take on the challenges and uncertainties that our future will certainly bring. As Asia said we are optimistic optimistic about our future and not just about the future of work. Optimistic enough to imagine a world where a woman becomes the next director general of the ILO. A world where people talk about climate change seriously and a world where sustainable development is the new part but hoping and not just hoping. We strongly believe that the future will bring gender equality for everyone where people don't have to come out on the streets and try to convince governments that maternity and paternity leave and equal wages are our rights. But things like not having social protection are not a normalized aspect of our lives. A world where all types of unpaid work in the name of gaining experience are not many people's realities. A world where both right to social security and right to health are provided equally by the stakeholders as part of human rights. We're looking for places where we can actually make a difference. Over the last six months of being an intern at the ILO we have witnessed ILO's efforts in the areas of social protection diminishing inequalities at work lifelong learning continuing education and culture of prevention and much more. But grateful to all the people who are present here who all have been and are tirelessly working towards a better world. During this conference and throughout the hundred years. But aware that it has been a struggle to bring these issues to the light. And we know that everyone in and out of this room will continue to do their best for the future. But at the same time we're wondering are we actually ready for this future even after two weeks and six months. Will we be alone in this struggle to find our way or will our policies have provided us protection that will support our efforts. How will organizations like the ILO support us in this new world of work. There are challenges. And then there are fears that is and will be a constant need to reinvent ourselves and constant fear that the skills we learn could become redundant even in the next 10 years. There's frustration about not speaking four languages about not having the time or the energy or the money to keep on learning new skills in online courses. Even when we haven't had the chance to use the ones we actually possess at the moment. But we continue to look towards the future with a lot of belief and hope the belief that we will find a perfect C.D. of jobs and not just one. And face this challenge together and we're counting on you the ILO to support us through this challenge.

Speaker [01:06:58] Well thanks to both of you for those those great interventions. I think you've done exactly the job that we asked you to do. Not easy to follow on those interventions but we've got a few minutes left and I would like to ask Michelle first and then when if you have any closing comments or reflections Michelle you haven't. It is a difficult act to follow I sympathize with you Juan. You have to be you have to say you have to help us all here.

Speaker [01:07:24] But with a microphone.

Speaker [01:07:26] I'm going to say something completely banal to our interns. When I write with the ILO interns when I paid. And the fact that you paid today's apology that I put in place. Has continued up to now. No I I think I'll pick up on something that Roy said. The state of the world. And we have to acknowledge that we're being told some time by powerful countries that you know you do what I want to do. No you're gonna be punished. Mexico has just been told that they better change their migration laws or else the terrorists are going to go up.

Speaker [01:08:14] And I have to be very honest. I'm a Latin America. The way in which. The people of Mexico and the people of Central America are referred to is a total lack of respect for Latin America. This is completely new unacceptable. But get a reality of power. So I just want to give that example saying this. The implication of this for the functioning of the multilateral system is enormous and we as ILO because we are tripartite not because you are just government but because we are tripartite. We have the obligation to make it work. And then the obligation to make sure that we protect multilateralism. That is absolutely absolutely essential. We know that others prefer unilateralism. Because when things are unilateral the most powerful one always wins. So it's essential that we defend that. But in order to defend it we have to be able to be together. We have to be able to understand the value of social dialogue. The essential value the contribution that it gives to society. And my by conviction and my feeling. Is that we gonna be able to do that. And I have to but part of my conviction part by necessity part by they believe that we can actually do it. But let me finish with something that I feel very strongly. I have not had a background in the ILO matters when I arrived at the ILO. So much so that I asked the predecessor of Mr. Hun Sen his blah Schaaf during my campaign in the first years of my tenure here to say look to help you understand this type of autism Help me understand what it's about etc. I've been I've been in another part of the multilateral system and that was extremely useful for me. But I have to tell you when I left the ILO because the personal reasons with with we parted we decided with our wife to go a little bit before my third term ended because we needed to go back to Chile. I said that I had fallen in love with this organization. You know it's such is the respect I have for it. The belief of what we represent the specific unique contribution that it makes during these hundred years is something absolutely extraordinary. And so I can't finish without saying that that because I have these feelings in me. It's what keeps you going and keeps you going Why. Because the ILO will always be swimming against the current because we stand for values that are difficult to have implemented that will stand for things that we believe in. We live in a world that with great beliefs are not there. We're being told that we have to be cynics rather than believers and I absolutely reject the notion that through cynicism or through strength we're going to get the world a better one. So we go on and we do it.

Speaker [01:11:34] Thank you.

Speaker [01:11:35] One where we are coming to the end of the time available to us a couple of very quick reflections on what I've heard anyway what I've heard from both of my predecessors as director general from the social partner benches and then from the interns as well. A tremendous message of confidence in this organization confidence I think and self belief if I can put it like that that comes from two things. One is our adhesion to values. It's a choice. We we believe in this mandate of social justice. And secondly the record of achievement over 100 years. This wild dream as it was initially phrased actually produces results. It works and we have as Michelle has said we have the tools to hand to continue to produce positive results. But that confidence in itself and self belief should not be on reflecting this is what we've heard from from from from zero in particular. We do need to think about what we do and how we do it. There does need to have to be self reflection and an examination in what we do. This is not an organization which stands still and certainly not in times of such extraordinary change as we are living right now. I think we've heard from our two intern representatives some very powerful messages about what you expect from the organization in the future. I think it's very much consonant with what we've been hearing from other participants. But it's absolutely a reminder of the tasks that lie ahead and the responsibilities that we all share. So thank you for that. Ladies and gentlemen it does. Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen this has been a session which has been I think one of the successes of an extraordinarily successful conference. It's been for me at least very very moving to share a platform with two people who preceded me in the job that I now do and to people who I knew from different angles when I was either one of the constituents Mr. Johnson or working in a cabin a few one. So it's been great to have you both here. Our conference. I think we would all agree would not have been complete had we not had this session. And to make it absolutely complete. Let me thank all of you. This hall is very full full of delegates to the conference full of colleagues working in the secretariat full of colleagues who have previously served this organization. And I think coming together in this way is a remarkable moment in the conference and again an expression of our self belief our confidence and our collective purpose. So to all who have participated this afternoon thank you very much indeed. Thank you. Applause.

Speaker [01:14:57] Musical director the director general director general. Thanks to you all.

Speaker [01:15:06] I was listening and I was thinking this is truly impressive. We need the legitimacy of your message in order to build what we are now and what we are going to do tomorrow.

Speaker [01:15:21] As was announced by the charming young ladies who spoke earlier would also need the legitimacy of the workers and the employers as we have heard you have borne tri partisan the tripartite dialogue and you have contributed to the proper working of the multilateral system. Without you we would not be where we stand today and we would not be able to build the future of work in the future of the organization. So very warm thanks and I think all of this gathering will join me in thanking you very warmly indeed not only for the messages that you conveyed today but also for the contribution that you have made to the organization.

Speaker [01:16:12] Thank you and all your presence reflects the faith in the ILO's capacity to renew itself to rise to existing challenges to ensure a decent future for future generations. You have worked in order to shape the ILO as we know it today you shaped it during a period of historic change. This round table was very good and a link for all this it reflects the importance of having continuity in change and this is what has made our organization both viable and relevant in past decades.

Speaker [01:17:02] So on behalf of the ILC I wish to thank you very much for your words of wisdom and encouragement as we set out the path to follow as we enter the second centenary of our organization. I would simply add on a personal note to directors general that you are at home here. You represent as well as we all do. The director general does the legitimacy of this institution. Thank you so much for this discussion that enables us to move forward to protect ourselves into the world of work. I think that this even in their session has come to an end and I wish you a very pleasant evening. Thank you so much.