U.N. Labor Agency Urged to Promote Justice in Globalized World

Holy See Addresses International Conference

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GENEVA, JUNE 27, 2002 (Zenit.org).- The International Labor Organization has a key role to play in guiding the process of globalization process «so that it responds equitably to the needs of all persons,» the Holy See says.

In this context, work is an essential «dimension of human existence,» Archbishop Diarmuid Martin pointed out, during his address at the 90th International Labor Conference, held here from June 3-20.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) is the U.N. specialized agency which seeks the promotion of social justice and human and labor rights. It was founded in 1919.

In his capacity as the Vatican’s permanent observer at the U.N. Office and Specialized Institutions in Geneva, the archbishop emphasized the need to «verify objectively» what are the positive and negative points characterizing globalization.

«We must identify what is the optimum mix of elements that leads to a socially favorable integration into the globalization process, and which are the elements that foster marginalization,» Archbishop Martin clarified.

In this connection, he emphasized the importance of the Independent Commission on the Social Dimensions of Globalization, created by the ILO’s director general.

The Holy See hopes that the commission «will focus not on sterile ideological debates, but give rise to a process, which is forward-looking and results-oriented and foster coordinated, integrated responses,» the archbishop continued.

«Successful transformation of the globalization process requires policies that foster greater inclusion and integration and less fragmentation,» Archbishop Martin stressed.

In this connection, the Vatican aide pointed out that the «tripartite structure of the ILO is an integrating element quite unique in international life, and a powerful means of overcoming polarization. It forges links between the creative spirit of entrepreneurship, the initiative and the fundamental needs of the workers, and the requirements of the global common good.»

This tripartite reality «must adapt itself, so that it can work more effectively within the realities of globalization,» Archbishop Martin said.

It «must clearly identify areas where it has specific advantage and value. It must vigorously defend its role in those areas,» he said in his address June 17.

Yet, the ILO’s tripartite structure «cannot remain static. The worlds of employers, of labor, and of government have changed,» the archbishop continued. «While maintaining integral the tripartite system, new partnerships can be established through dialogue with various sectors of civil society,» he added.

«The world needs new alliances in favor of work,» the Vatican permanent observer added. It is not only a «fundamental dimension of human existence,» he added, but also «the key to the global social question and to advancement in the fight against poverty. Work is a key factor in creating social cohesion and sustainability. Broad social dialogue is, therefore, a common interest and a common responsibility of all.»

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