New York, 10 april 2019

Secretary General of the United Nations,
Madam President of the General Assembly,
Madam President of the Economic and Social Council,
Director-General of the International Labor Organization,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honor to be here today at the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations, to commemorate the one-hundredth anniversary of the International Labor Organization.

As one of the oldest international organizations in the global context, the effectiveness and longevity of the ILO are clearly connected to its tripartite functioning system with the involvement of governments, trade unions and employers. This dialogue, this coordination, and this gathering of ideas make the ILO one of the most socially representative international organizations of our planet. It is to the ILO that we owe, largely, the establishment and the consolidation of social dialogue as an instrument of democratic governance applicable to industrial, regional, national and international levels.

Founded to pursue a vision based on the premises that lasting universal peace can only be achieved if based on social justice and on the dignification of work, ILO keeps nowadays the same initial goals. During these one hundred years of existence, ILO has been strongly committed to the creation of fair and decent working conditions that increased the labour status worldwide.

It is from the ILO that a universal concept emerged, the concept of decent work, which has become one of the most innovative and most structuring for social and human progress. The Decent Work Agenda is more than an objective, it is the engine for social, sustainable and sustained development. It is also an Agenda that is applicable to diverse economic and social contexts. It is truly a Global Agenda.

I would also like to thank the ILO for presenting the report of the Global Commission on the Future of Labor. This is a moment of consolidation that will allow launching of a new chapter of discussion on this crucial issue for our future: The work we have and the future of work we want.

I conclude by recalling that Portugal is a founding member of the ILO. That is why the history of this relationship is also centenary. It was not always an easy relationship. It suffered the impacts of complex and contradictory historical paths. But I can say that today our commitment to the ILO is stronger than ever and we will do everything to continue honoring it.

Thank you.

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