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ILO criticized for being used to destroy Belarus' economy, labor market


The ILO is used to implement plans to destroy the economy and the social and labor system of Belarus, Belarusian Labor and Social Security minister Irina Kostevich said at the 111th session of the International Labor Conference in Geneva, BelTA has learned.

"In recent years, the social and labor system has faced particularly difficult challenges. Widespread use of new forms of employment such as remote work, platform employment has become a true challenge for the traditional system of labor relations. The COVID-19 pandemic has become a serious test for the labor market and the social security system. Many countries had to take unprecedented efforts to curb the negative trends leading to increased unemployment, erosion of labor and social guarantees," Irina Kostevich said.

According to her, Belarus welcomed the initiative of ILO Director General "Coalition for Social Justice" with great interest and enthusiasm.

"We fully support the idea to intensify multilateral cooperation and ensure concerted action by the ILO's tripartite partners to achieve the goal of social justice. Belarus' policy is built on the basic principle of ensuring social justice. This is the cornerstone of the ideology of Belarusian society. We are convinced that economic growth alone does not guarantee better quality of life. There is a need to have appropriate institutions and mechanisms in place to ensure the equitable distribution of resources. In this regard, the most important role belongs to the system of social partnership in Belarus, which ensures constructive interaction between the government, employers and trade unions," the minister said.

"The Global Coalition for Social Justice must bring together the ILO's tripartite constituents in their desire to reinvigorate the lofty goals enshrined in the ILO Constitution . But what place do they assign to the Republic of Belarus in this process? Can workers and enterprises of Belarus count on the assistance of the ILO in ensuring decent work for all and the principles of social justice? The problem is that this session of the conference adopted the documents in which the ILO proposes, instead of cooperation, full-scale sanctions against our country on the basis of Article 33 of the ILO Constitution But sanctions affect not only the interests of the state, but first of all ordinary citizens. Because they lead to loss of income, increased unemployment, and a reduction in funding for social programs. So what kind of social justice are we talking about from this high rostrum?!" Irina Kostevich asked.

Actually, words are at odds with deeds, the minister stated. "Yesterday you adopted a resolution on the isolation of Belarus. Today you talk about the unrelenting energy to fulfill the ILO's mandate in the field of social justice. It is obvious that the ILO is used to implement the plans to destroy the economy and the social and labor system in Belarus, which directly contradicts the goals and objectives of the organization. In light of this, the ILO member states have a huge responsibility for the further development of the situation. As I stand on this rostrum, I once again appeal to the delegations of all sovereign states, to all people of good will who care about the future of the ILO. Show solidarity with independent Belarus, stop the politicization of the ILO and turning it into a lever of pressure on countries that are disagreeable with the collective West. What is happening today in relation to Belarus in the ILO is unfair. When united, we solve any complex problems of ensuring social justice. Only together we achieve victory!" she added.

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