President, Excellences, Ladies and gentlemen,
In awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 1969, the Nobel Committee referred to the motto enshrined in the foundations of the ILO’s original building in Geneva – “If you desire peace, cultivate justice.” As we mark the centenary of the ILO, it is worth recalling what inspired these words and why they remain relevant.
For 100 years, the ILO has been a driving force for active tripartite cooperation and binding international regulations aimed at ensuring workers’ rights, equal conditions of competition and social justice.
However, now is not the time to lean back and enjoy the long and successful history of the ILO. We have a responsibility for deciding the direction of the journey in front of us. Therefore, the ILOs Future of Work initiative and centenary celebrations is timely and most relevant.
Norway attaches great importance to this initiative. In the ongoing transformation of production and of the labour market, we see tripartism as a part of the solution in order to ensure rules of the game of our globalized economy. The ILO-established Global Commission calls for a human-centred agenda: investing in people’s capabilities, in the institutions of work and in decent and sustainable work. The report has a universal approach, and the pillars are relevant in a Norwegian setting as well as for the rest of the world.
Norway is a small country but committed to doing our share for our common future. We take pride in putting our money where our mouth is, allocating 1 % of gross national income to development cooperation. Norway is a consistent supporter – politically and financially – of the United Nations and a rules-based multilateral order. This certainly includes the world of work and the ILO.
The main role of any UN organization is to assist countries in implementing international norms and standards. And as financial resources are scarce, each UN organizations should cultivate its own unique role in its own field of work, according to its own mandate. This way each UN organization will best contribute to common results and to making sure, the UN fulfils its agenda of leaving no one behind. The ILO plays a crucial part of that agenda.
On this note I thank you all for your attention and I wish the ILO every success with the Centenary Year.