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Assemblea Generale – Evento di Alto Livello su “Future of Work” organizzato in occasione del 100mo Anniversario dell’ ILO

Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatrice Mariangela Zappia, Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, all’Evento di Alto Livello dell’Assemblea Generale su “Future of Work” organizzato in occasione del 100mo Anniversario dell’ ILO —

Thank you Mr. President,

the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the International Labour Organization comes at a critical time, where labour and social policies are at the center of crucial transformations in our societies.

As was pointed out in the course of this debate, a number of drivers are structurally reshaping the world of work and having a profound impact on the type and quality of jobs:

technology and innovation are driving us towards a new paradigm in the relation between labour, productivity and employment;

critical changes in our societies – in terms of demography, education, social norms and lifestyles – are directly impacting on the way work is organised and implemented;

globalisation has increased the potential of labour markets, supply-chains and workforce mobility, but, in some situations, it has also deepened inequalities and left vulnerable groups behind, both across and within Countries.

Harnessing the benefits of these structural changes while at the same time addressing their potentially disruptive implications requires a new mix of social and economic policies that can combine greater investments in human capital with more effective and extended social protection.

Mr. President,

Article 1 of the Italian Constitution reads “Italy is a democratic Republic founded on labour”. Labour stands at the core of our democracy.

The Italian Government has made of inclusivity one of its priorities, by promoting, consistently with EU goals and policies, people-centred reforms that aim at eradicating poverty and social marginalisation. The strategy being implemented is based on three pillars and well fits the issue of multi-stage working lives. The first pillar is a basic income scheme that will support people in need during non-employment spells or when wage is not adequate to ensure a decent life. To make this benefit effective, the system of active policies will also be strengthened and integrated with social services. Also, employability will be enhanced through lifelong learning policies.

The ultimate objective is to ensure a fair transition for workers and sectors that are progressively ousted from the market, due to the changes in the work system, through the adaptation of our labour, welfare and social protection policies.

The second pillar is to effectively address the gender pay gap and to further advance gender equality and women empowerment in the workplace.

Finally, Italy is committed to international cooperation in order to better adapt to the new dynamics and achieve SDG 8 globally; we need more international cooperation, in terms of exchanging good practices, improving standards, and strengthen capacity-building and technical assistance.

Governments, international institutions and non-governmental stakeholders need to collectively steer these rapidly evolving dynamics towards balanced, productive and sustainable solutions. In this context, the 100 years old mandate of ILO “to advance social justice and promote decent work by setting international labour standards” is more relevant than ever before and can help us to adapt to the new reality while keeping a strong rights-based approach to our labour policies.

Italy, as one of the nine founders of the ILO and original drafters of its Constitution, is a steadfast supporter of ILO. We are particularly proud to host, in the City of Turin, the ILO International Training Center, a center of excellence in the field of skills development and capacity-building, especially for Developing Countries, in the area of labour, jobs creation, social policies and employment.

We will also continue to be actively engaged in the discussions on the future of work at the UN. In this spirit, we look forward to the next High Level Political Forum in July and, particularly, to the related review of SDG 8.

I thank you.