15 JUNE 2010

Mr Chairman,
Mr Director-General,
Ladies and gentlemen,

The crisis, unemployment and poverty – words we have heard more often than we have ever wanted and predicted. Is the worst still to come? When so many people lost their jobs and so many households lose their financial stability recovery and growth with decent work sound like a promise and hope, however a new wave of the financial crisis related to public debt raises doubts concerning the economic growth, which determines the increase in employment and progress in combating poverty.

The basic growth indicators, including GDP and employment rate remain at a relatively high level in Poland during the crises. As we all know the crisis is not over. Lessons have to be taken on a daily basis. What can we learn from each other? What can we learn from the crises? How to manage the crisis? How to save our values under such extreme conditions?

It is essential to diagnose the process we are participating in. It gives us a chance to manage the crises properly. We need pragmatism in actions, adequacy, but also innovation in measures applied, balance between short-term actions and strategic objectives, taking into account the fact that any crises usually herald a change. That is one of many reasons why the document presented by Director General is so important and valuable.

The current crises revealed that, regardless of the origins of the crises, all its consequences finally lead to the labour market. In fact, it is the quality and level of employment, access to health care and the quality of social security that are affected by economic growth or recession. This lesson – an importance of new social policy – which presents the challenge of professional activity of all social groups is especially important. We believe that keeping positive rate of economic growth and reducing the increase in deficit and State debt at the same time are of the crucial importance as far as the anti-crisis measures are consider.

Another lesson from the crises – the importance of social dialogue. I have to confess that a vast majority of solutions implemented in Poland, which are aimed not only at mitigating the current consequences of the crises but also achieving strategic objectives, has their origins in our dialogue with social partners, carried out primarily within the Tripartite Commission.

The main objective of our mid-term economic policy is creating conditions for better, faster, sustainable growth, with providing optimal public finance consolidation rate and high structural investment level. Demographic changes and the need to balance the social security system require the increase in professional activity. In this regard, we consider solutions encouraging people to stay longer in the labour market.

In Poland, one of the most important long-term challenges ahead - twenty years after the beginning of social and economic transition - is defining the direction of development for decades to come. That is why, even in the middle of the crises our government initiated a public debate on strategic development goals, by announcing the document “Poland 2030. Development challenges”. It analyses 10 most important challenges for the country to be addressed in the two approaching decades. Demographic challenges, high professional activity and adaptability of labour resources, knowledge-based economy and development of intellectual capital. The improvement of social cohesion and the increase of social capital are also high on the priority list. The document presents five key factors to help us to address the challenges: creating conditions for investment growth, increasing professional activity and mobility, developing productivity and innovations, efficient regional and social diffusion and supporting social capital and State efficiency.

Mr Chairman,

This session of International Labour Conference is another evidence of the role of ILO within the international community, in particular as regards anti-crisis actions and post-crisis recovery. The Global Jobs Pact gained international recognition. It is considered a valuable resource of measures to address employment and social security. The ILO engages also in shaping of a new future, a fair globalization. The efforts to prioritize employment growth merit our support and implementation.

Thank you for your attention!