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September 1994, Vol. 117, No. 9
Promoting social justice in the new global economy
Organizations constantly have to adapt to change. This has been true of the Intentional Labor Organization (ILO) throughout its existence and is more than ever true today. In recognition of the organization's 75th anniversary, the theme of this article, "Defending values, promoting change: social justice in a global economy," depicts the nature of new challenges facing member nations. While the basic mission of the ILO - promoting social justice throughout the world - remains unchanged, the world in which it is to be carried out has changed profoundly in recent years. The international arena is constantly driven by rapid change in the geopolitical scene, far-reaching technical progress, and the intensification of economic globalization.
While many of these changes promise greater efficiency, higher growth, employment creation possibilities, and ultimately, enhanced social welfare, such improvements will not be realized automatically. On the contrary, they will impose a heavy burden of adjustment in all countries and on all groups within countries, with the serious risk of rising inequality both among and within countries as a result. These are fertile conditions for social conflict that could frustrate the necessary processes of change. Thus, social issues need to be given substantial weight by the international community, and to be fully taken into account in managing the global economy.
Indeed, there is a great challenge to the international community today, and it is twofold. The first is to create institutions that promote effective international cooperation to manage the global economic and social transformations that are under way. The second is to adopt national policies and programs that support efficient and equitable ways for making the required economic and social changes.
This excerpt is from an article published in the September 1994 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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ILO labor statistics convention: U.S. accepts new obligations. June 1991.
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