by the General Confederation of Trade Unions
on the 90th Anniversary of the International Labour Organisation
10 April 2009

The session of the GCTU Executive Committee held 9 April 2009 approved a special statement on the 90th anniversary of the International Labour Organisation, which reads as follows.

"The 11th of April 2009 marks the 90th Anniversary of the International Labour Organisation, the only world tripartite body where employers and employees are represented alongside of governments.

Over the years, the ILO has made a huge, truly invaluable contribution to the establishment of social justice principles in social policies and labour relations. The role it has played in the struggles for elimination of forced and child labour, respect for employees rights and trade union freedoms, genuine gender equality in labour relations, and against ethnic, religious and political discrimination in the world of work can hardly be challenged. Taken together, the 188 ILO conventions and over 200 recommendations make a world labour code whose strict observance by state authorities, employers and workers can guarantee finding successful solutions to all conflicts and differences arising in the sphere of work.

Today the ILO conventions and recommendations have become a global benchmark, and provide the starting point for aw-making and standard-setting activities at national and international levels. For this reason, the General Confederation of Trade Unions has been conducting regular monitoring of ratification and observance by CIS states of major ILO conventions, and their embodiment in the national legislations. We are positive that, proceeding from its vast experience, the ILO will further develop and improve its standard-setting activity, and broaden and enrich its body of standards, bringing it up to a level where it can better meet the challenges of the globalisation era.

Throughout its history, the ILO has always been keenly responsive to new phenomena and trends in world development, particularly, in the sphere of labour relations. The organisation was the first to launch a worldwide campaign for a socially fair globalisation unanimously supported by all trade unions of this planet. A vast contribution to this campaign was made by the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation set up in 2003 under the ILO auspices whose findings have been successfully developed and specified in the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalisation of 2008. We regard this landmark policy document as a key to understanding the ILOs mandate in todays globalised world. CIS trade unions appreciate particularly the apparent socially-oriented character of this Declaration.

The development and implementation of the Decent Work Agenda is the principal ILO achievement of the last decade. Today the decent work concept is a most in-demand and universally accepted global objective, powerfully supported by the UN and its specialised agencies and regional structures, as well as by the entire world community and especially by the trade union movement. The efforts being taken by the ILO to implement this Agenda have brought it to the forefront of todays world development and made it the leading force in the struggle to add a social dimension to world policies.

The GCTU and its affiliates agree with the conclusion of the ILO 8th European Regional Meeting (Lisbon, February 2009) that the current financial and economic crisis could be overcome with minimum loss for workers through implementing the Decent Work Agenda. To meet this end, all components of the world community will have to pool their efforts, with the leading role being played by the ILO. We are certain that the ILO will cope with this new task, considering its broad experience and solid theoretical basis comprising the Decent Work Agenda, the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Global Employment Agenda, and, finally, the Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalisation. Both the GCTU and its member organisations are ready to actively assist the ILO in accomplishing this mission.

The General Confederation of Trade Unions congratulates the ILO on its 90th Anniversary and wishes it further success in its activity for the good of the worlds workers and trade union movement. We are positive that in the decade to come the ILO, with the assistance of its tripartite constituents, will get its ideals and values to underlie all national, regional and global action programmes aiming to improve labour relations and social policies, and promote the ILOs social and economic goals in the interests of workers and their families, enterprises, and nations.

Moscow, 9 April 2009"