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Working hand in hand to promote further development of decent work--Address at the 102th Session of the ILC by Vice Minister Wang Xiaochu of China
2013/06/18

Mr. President,

The Chinese government delegation appreciates the Director-General's report to the conference, endorses the centenary initiatives put forward by the Director-General for the ILO, and supports the reform to boost ILO's dynamism to achieve decent work and social justice.

Over the past 5 years, in the complex and austere global economic context, the Chinese government has set the country unwaveringly for comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development, accelerated transformation of economic development mode, and implemented the Employment First Strategy and a proactive employment policy. Each year, over 11 million new jobs are created in urban areas, and the urban registered unemployment rate has been kept under 4.3%. The overall employment situation has remained stable.

In 2012, China realized universal coverage for basic old-age insurance in both urban and rural area, which covered 788 million people. Basic medical insurance schemes in urban and rural areas covered 1.3 billion people. China has put in place the largest basic old-age and medical insurance systems in the world. The coordination mechanism for labor relations in the country is functioning better. Workers' remunerations are rising steadily. The legitimate rights and interests of workers are under more effective protection.

Looking ahead to the future, China is forging ahead towards the goal of completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all aspects. We will push forward the following work in the domain of human resources and social security:

First, implementing further the Employment First Strategy and a proactive employment policy. We are placing employment generation as a priority goal in economic and social development, continuously improving public services for employment, and devoting more efforts to upgrade workers' competence and employability in order to achieve better quality employment. High attention is given to youth employment, and university graduates are identified as the priority targets.

Second, continuing to deepen the reform of social security system. We will enforce Social Insurance Law, upgrade the pooling level of social insurance, and make efforts to cover all eligible people in insurance schemes, so as to deliver the benefits of social security to all groups of the population.

Third, we will forcefully enforce Labor Contract Law, upgrade basic labor standards, improve working conditions, and make efforts to dissolve problems in labor relations and increase the remunerations of low-income workers. We will, in a step-by-step way, register eligible rural migrant workers as permanent urban residents, so that they will enjoy equal access to all basic public services in urban areas.

Mr. President,

At present, the world economy is weak in growth momentum, and the underlying impacts of the international financial crisis are ever increasingly felt. China stands ready to work hand in hand with tripartite constituents of other countries, to actively encourage the ILO to deepen its reform, explore innovative gateways to realize social equity and justice, and respond to the challenges in the world of work. To this end, we put forward the following proposals:

First, actively advocating job-rich development strategy. We should develop the concept that securing employment is securing growth, and define employment as the basic foundation of economic recovery and sustainable development. The ILO should motivate the international community to set employment as a core economic indicator. The ILO should underscore youth employment as a key element and support all countries in adopting economic, financial and fiscal policies conducive to employment generation so as to forcefully promote and stabilize employment.

Second, applying labor standards in line with national conditions. Labor standards are essential for protecting workers' rights and interests. The ILO should encourage each and every country to follow the spirit of the two ILO Declarations adopted in 1998 and 2008, and establish and improve its system and mechanism for protecting workers' rights in accordance with its own national circumstances. Countries should also be encouraged to strengthen tripartite cooperation and labor law enforcement, and to implement international labor standards in a tangible way at the ground level for the protection of workers' legitimate rights and interests.

Third, advancing ILO's reform. China supports the ILO to enhance its capacity to address the challenges in the world of work through reform. Reform of the functioning of the ILC should be geared up to increase efficiency of the organization. Open and transparent tripartite consultation should be reinforced. The working method of the labor standard supervisory mechanism should be further improved. Priorities should be set for the programs, and resources should be integrated and optimized so as to further consolidate the professional authority of the ILO. The representation of emerging market economies and developing countries in the Office should be elevated.

Fourth, stepping up vocational training. Vocational training and skill development are the essential means to enhance the employability and entrepreneurship of the workers. Stronger assistance from the ILO is needed to support all countries to improve their system of vocational training and skill development, and to promote experience sharing, and which will increase workers' competence, promote the realization of decent work.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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