The International Labor Organization (ILO) is one of the many international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) affiliated with the United Nations. Representing labor unions and workers worldwide, this organization is one of the longest-standing lobbies for a significant portion of the world’s population–employees.
In a meeting held alongside the 65th General Assembly on September 20th, organized by the ILO, Mr. Somavia emphasized the idea that work is not only “a means of production, but a means of personal worth, social dignity, and family cohesion.” He argued that increased employment will lead to the fulfillment of many of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Another speaker on the panel, Michelle Brachelet, the Executive Director for UN Women, said it is essential to link decent work with social protection. She argued that jobs should have decent pay and working conditions and that requires high-quality workers. People that have good health, security, and education make better workers, she added.
Rising unemployment is one of the major challenges for human society, and near full employment should be a goal. Governments depend on sound economic systems and too often impede economic development by failing to provide a rule of law that provides the security and the social incentives for people to pursue meaningful work. Particularly, there cannot be jobs for workers if there are no employers, and employers need the freedoms and incentives to engage in production and employ workers.