Addressing the closing session of the Regional Meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said that while there is a considerable amount of uncertainty as to the direction the world of work is heading in, determination and ambition must replace optimism and pessimism.
“We all have to come together with a feeling of determination and ambition,” he said, stressing that ambition means not accepting, not being passive spectators to processes of change, but instead having the determination to be the architects of change, “so that the future of work can be shaped according to what we want.”
The three-day gathering focused on the dynamic processes shaping the future of work in the region, which include rapid technological advances, globalization, demographic trends, large movements of refugees and migrants, as well as environmental challenges.
The so-named ‘Istanbul Initiative’ presents a policy framework to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks relating to the future of work in the region. It also calls on the ILO to provide tripartite constituents in member States with the advice and support they need to design these policies.
“The ILO has not been a passive spectator to change over the past century. It has been a historic architect of change and we have done a lot to make sure that that change has bent in the direction of social justice. That is what we must continue to do,” he concluded.
The ILO European Regional Meeting takes place every four years. It brings together government, employer and worker representatives from 51 European and Central Asian countries. The theme of this year’s meeting was What future for decent work in Europe and Central Asia: Opportunities and challenges.