ILO panel looks at ways to expand benefits of globalization

ILO panel looks at ways to expand benefits of globalization

Meeting just days after the conclusion of a landmark United Nations conference in Mexico that reached important decisions on fighting poverty, officials from around the world gathered in Geneva today to seek ways of making sure that the benefits of globalization are shared equally in all parts of the planet.

When the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization – a new body set up by the UN International Labour Organization’s (ILO) – opening its first meeting this morning, it heard appeals for action from its co-chairs, President Tarja Halonen of Finland and President Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania.

President Halonen, who had just attended the UN Conference on Financing for Development in the Mexican city of Monterrey, called on the panel to seek ways of turning “words to reality” by making “practical, real world proposals and recommendations for the conduct of globalization.”

Echoing this view, President Mkapa said globalization must produce “the kind of growth, cooperation and development that adequately rewards entrepreneurs, fairly rewards the workers that create wealth, fairly and sustainably serves communities,” and ultimately fosters prosperity in all nations and stabilizes the international community.

ILO Director-General Juan Somavia expressed hope that the 25-member Commission would provide an opportunity to “build consensus for action to expand the benefits of globalization.”

The World Commission, which wraps up its first session tomorrow, is scheduled to hold a series of meetings over the course of this year before reporting back to the ILO.