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HM King Philippe: “The protection of human dignity is an absolute principle”

Chris Simoens
24 June 2019
HM King Philippe acknowledges the efforts of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to achieve social justice during its 100-year existence.


The International Labour Organisation (ILO) – the oldest UN organisation – is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The annual two-week International Labour Conference, which took place in Geneva in June, was marked by this special anniversary. More than 30 heads of state – including HM King Philippe – paid tribute to ILO's efforts to achieve decent work for everyone. But they also highlighted the difficult conditions of the 21st century.

In his speech, HM King Philippe emphasised that Belgium has always been a committed member state. Not only did Belgium contribute to the elaboration of the ILO constitution, it also introduced the tripartite model 75 years ago: the social dialogue between employees, employers and the government. Belgium has so far ratified 113 ILO conventions.

He also mentioned a few serious challenges that the world faces today: growing inequalities which create a sense of insecurity, discrimination against women, migration, the withdrawal of nations into themselves, the technological revolution and global warming.



The classic growth model has reached its limits and something radically new will have to replace it.

HM King Philippe

“The protection of human dignity is an absolute principle that must guide us through the current and future turmoil”, he told delegates. “Working methods will have to change profoundly under the combined effect of technological change and the urgent need to preserve our environment. The classic growth model has reached its limits and something radically new will have to replace it.”

“The social advances of the past will have to be secured against new economic interests. The inclusive tripartite model and social dialogue must be protected and boosted. They are both stabilizing factors and great assets for better managing the transition.”

During the conference, a "centenary declaration" was adopted. It focuses on a future of human centred work. The 187 member states of the ILO also adopted a new Convention and Declaration to prevent violence and harassment in the workplace.


Read also:

ILO in a nutshell

ILO Centenary: how the organisation was founded

ILO centenary: milestones


ILO Decent work
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