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Nepal's Statement at the High-Level Plenary Meeting to Commemorate the Centenary of the Establishment of ILO

Thursday, 11 April 2019
H.E. Amrit Bahadur Rai, Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations
New York


Madam President 
Director General of ILO
Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates 

At the outset, I thank Madam President for organizing this high-level commemorative meeting. 

In its 100 years of operation, ILO has built a strong legacy of labor standards and fundamental principles and rights at work. My delegation appreciates the role of ILO in promoting decent work agenda globally. 

I align my statement with the statements of Group of 77 and China and Asia-Pacific Group (APG).

The world of work has undergone quite a transformation. Women's participation has increased significantly. Countries have seen unprecedented demographic shifts. In this age of rapid technological revolution, those who catch up with the rapidity of change may reap the benefits of fourth industrial revolution. But those in the lower rung of development lag further behind. Such plight is not only morally hollow but economically unproductive.

Against this reality, ILO has an important role to play to ensure the dignity and worth of human labour. The looming divergence resulted by technological change implores us to invest in life-long education and digital literacy. 

Therefore, the principle of decent work has become more relevant today. Labour migration should be a matter of choice but not compulsion for the workers. Similarly, the rights of migrant workers must be respected and ensured.

Achieving the SDGs, including the Goal 8 on Decent Work and Economic Growth, depends on enhancing human capabilities and ensuring inclusivity in the labour market. Countries in special situation including LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDS need stronger international cooperation to create gainful employment opportunities. 


 Let me briefly share Nepal's initiatives. 

The government of Nepal has enacted Labour law to implement the constitutional provision of right to employment. 

Minimum wage has been enforced in all sectors. 

Flagship programs such as Prime Minister Employment Programs and President Women Entrepreneurship Program will create additional jobs. 

In addition, Nepal has recently introduced contributions-based social security system for all workers.

Finally, I would like to stress on two points: 

The centennial commemoration of ILO as the oldest specialized agency of the United Nations is the fitting answer to the skeptics of the achievements of multilateralism. 

The locus of economic activities is increasingly shifting towards robots, AI and codes. Our focus must remain on the human. The ideals of ILO continue to be the guidepost in that regard.

I thank you.