This year marks the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

In 1998, when globalization was gaining momentum, the delegates to the Conference reached an agreement and adopted a document confirming the most important and the most fundamental of workers’ rights - human rights at work. The unquestionable success of the Declaration is the rapid increase in ratifications of the fundamental ILO Conventions; however, the Global Reports prove that there is still plenty to be done to ensure full compliance with the Conventions in all countries. The result of the Declaration is also the decent work concept; the idea which had its origin in this house is currently recognized and supported around the world as one of the main instruments for achieving a social dimension of globalization. The efforts of the ILO helped the leaders of countries and governments, but also the international business community, to understand that the largest possible number of people should have access to the achievements of globalization.

During this session of the Conference, the Director-General is addressing this extremely important issue in his Report, Decent work: Some strategic challenges ahead, by giving the solutions for the practical implementation of the decent work concept. These days, when the world is searching for a new, hopefully more stable, approach to growth and development, decent work proves to be a sustain able option. of decent is no single definition concept includes different elements in different countries, there is no doubt that fundamental rights at work are at the core of this concept. I agree with the Director-General that the common ground for the developed and developing countries with regard to the decent work concept is the lifecycle approach. Each country must develop its own road map in order to achieve the decent work goals.

Poland, like other European Union Member States, focuses on the community acquis, the Lisbon Strategy for growth and employment of the European Social Agenda and efforts aimed at the ratification and application of up-to-date ILO Conventions. At the same time, numerous developing countries receive invaluable assistance from the ILO in this regard through Decent Work Country Programmes. These ILO activities merit support and recognition. Decent work contributes significantly to poverty reduction as it supports employment - the most certain way out of poverty. The creation and maintenance of new jobs and the reduction of unemployment are among the priorities of the Polish National Reform Programme for 2008 to implement the Lisbon Strategy. Special attention is being paid to the most disadvantaged people, who are the target groups of programmes such as the Active Forms of Social Exclusion Prevention Programme, the Social Cooperatives Support Programme or the Solidarity between Generations Programme - all measures to increase the vocational activity of people aged 50-plus. The long-lasting tendency of decreasing unemployment and increasing employment facilitates the struggle for decent work in Poland.

The decent work goals cannot be achieved without social dialogue. We work together with employers' and workers' organizations within the Tripartite Commission for Economic and Social Affairs on the most important social and economic problems of the country, such as the model and mechanisms of wage increases, vocational activation of people aged 50-plus, the coherent pension system and the strengthening of social dialogue. We also undertake efforts to reinforce dialogue at the enterprise level by providing employees with the right to participate in the management of enterprises through employees' councils. These allow employees to enter into dialogue with an employer, to get involved in the matters concerning the enterprise and to build mutual trust. Furthermore, together with our social partners, we have planned activities aimed at the development of social dialogue within the framework of the Human Capital Operational Programme, co-financed using European funds.

Next year, we will be celebrating the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the ILO, the Organization that has proven its value in the most difficult and crucial moments in history. The ongoing global financial turmoil which, in the longer term, may adversely affect both workers and employers, calls on the ILO to be ready again. The ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization developed by the Conference this year, which will integrate the docent work goal with the previous ILO goals, is set to prepare the Organization for new challenges and to strengthen its ability to assist member States to cope with the requirements of a new social and economic reality. Although we believe that this Declaration is extremely important, it is only one stage of the implementation of the decent work goals and of shaping fair globalization.

Perhaps it is too simplistic to imagine an idealized world of decent work and a balanced economy; however, we believe that the ideals of decent work, social justice and fair globalization are undoubtedly efficient vehicles into the future.