Friday, April 19, 2019
This year, the international community and, above all, the world of labour are widely observing the Centenary of the International Labour Organisation, the only UN tripartite body where governments, employers and employees represented by trade unions cooperate on an equal basis.
Having endured the ordeal of the Second World War, the trying post-war development, the “Cold War” and the turbulent restructuring of world relations that followed in its wake, the International Labour Organisation has remained true to its values and ideals. These values imply that labour must be the source of human dignity; that labour is not a commodity; that poverty anywhere constitutes a danger to prosperity everywhere.
Over the hundred years, the ILO has made a truly invaluable contribution to the establishment and upholding of social justice principles in political life and labour relations. The role it has played in the struggles for the eradication of forced and child labour, the respect of employees’ rights and trade union freedoms, the promotion of genuine equality of men and women, and against ethnic, religious, political and other kinds of discrimination at the workplace can hardly be challenged. The ILO has always been and remains an active advocate, developer and promoter of social dialogue.
It would be hard to imagine what the world of work would look like today if it had not been for the ILO, with its rich array of instruments developed and adopted in a unique tripartite dialogue. Collectively, the ILO conventions and recommendations are often referred to as the “world labour code.” They serve as reference points for labour relation actors, a starting point for legislative and standard-setting activities at national and international levels, as a support for trade unions in their struggle to protect workers’ rights and interests. Being aware of the particular importance of these documents, the General Confederation of Trade Unions has for many years been monitoring the ratification and observance of major ILO conventions in the region’s countries, and their embodiment in national legislations and labour relation practices.
The GCTU is firmly convinced that, whatever the circumstances, the development of international labour standards in the form of conventions and recommendations must remain the top priority for the ILO. We hope the Organisation will successfully continue improving its standards-setting activity, and expand and enrich its normative framework, raising it to a level matching the challenges of time. 
Throughout its history, the ILO has been promptly responsive to new trends and turns in world development, primarily in what concerns the sphere of work and social policy. It was the first international organisation to launch a global campaign for a socially fair globalisation, unanimously supported by all trade unions of the Planet. Today, this is a mainstream goal in its activity.
The development and promotion of the Decent Work Agenda for all should by all right be regarded as the ILO’s main achievement in recent decades, as a kind of its calling card. The decent work concept is now a most in-demand universally recognised global goal. It enjoys strong support from the UN and its specialised agencies and regional bodies, the entire world community and, above all, the trade union movement. The efforts made by the ILO to get this Agenda implemented have placed it on the cutting edge of current world development, making it a leading force in the struggle to add a social dimension to world policies.
This is a new challenge it can successfully meet, given its wealth of experience and reliable instruments, such as the international labour standards, the Decent Work Agenda, the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Global Employment Programme, and, finally, the Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalisation. The GCTU and its affiliates, together with all world trade unions, are willing to actively assist it in a successful accomplishment of this mission.
The ILO enters its second century in a climate of geopolitical tensions, economic instability, conflicts and contradictions. With all the progress made in the sphere of labour over the past decades, the world is still a far cry from practical implementation of decent work principles and social justice. The Global Report, issued to commemorate its Centenary, specifies the significant, unique role the ILO is to play in today’s world of globalisation and rapid technological progress to ensure that employees’ interests and rights are duly taken into consideration. We expect that the means and ways of achieving this objective will be clearly identified in the Declaration on the future of the world of work to be adopted at the 108th session of the International Labour Conference this June.
The General Confederation of Trade Unions warmly congratulates the ILO on its Centenary and wishes it further success in its activities for the benefit of all labour market participants and, first of all, workers and their trade unions. We are positive that in its second century, the Organisation will be able to ensure that its ideals and values underlie all national, regional and global programmes aimed at improving labour relations and social policies in the interests of all workers, all peoples of the world
Executive Committee
General Confederation of Trade Unions 
Moscow, 11 April 2019