On April 11, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave an intervention during the High Level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the International Labor Organization (ILO).
In his statement, Archbishop Auza said that ILO’s centenary is an opportunity to renew the commitment to collaborate for social justice. He noted that ILO’s motto, “If you desire peace, cultivate justice,” and its Constitution, which emphasizes that “universal and lasting peace can be established only if it based upon social justice,” is something that for 100 years the organization has been striving to establish, but he asked whether after 100 years, work conditions and the role of labor are still considered cornerstones to social justice and peace. He praised the ILO’s Global Commission Report on the Future of Work for recognizing the importance of anthropology, specifically how work is a necessary component of human fulfillment but one that must be harmonized with other parts of human nature, like the importance of family and community. Work, he said, is important, above all, for forming a person’s character and dignity in accordance with personal creativity and responsibility. He also addressed the issues of access to work and social security protections for those who cannot work, as well as the necessary legal, political and ethical underpinnings to ensure fairness in employment and not reducing the dignity of workers to commodities. He finished by emphasizing that the Holy See looks forward to continued collaboration with the ILO.
The statement can be found here.