ILO head hails signing of Tunisian social contractListen /
The signing of a landmark social contract in Tunisia has been hailed by ILO chief Guy Ryder as "a major and historic initiative on governance" whose effects will reach beyond the country's borders.
He said "It will serve as an example to other countries in transition in the region, and even beyond," adding that "The main goal of this revolution has been – and continues to be – decent work and democracy".
Ryder stressed that the signing of the social contract was not an end in itself, but the start of a process whose success will depend on the strengthening of key conditions for continued social dialogue, including the rule of law that guarantees freedom of association and all civil liberties.
The Director-General of the International Labour Organization said in Tunis that in signing the document, the government and its social partners have demonstrated their commitment to the ILO's fundamental goals of social justice, freedom of association, social dialogue and decent work.
The agreement should pave the way for improvements in areas such as labour legislation and industrial relations, employment policies, vocational training and education, social protection, as well as balanced regional development.
Government, union and employer representatives took part in the ceremony, which coincided with the second anniversary of the events that led to the Arab Spring uprisings, first in Tunisia and then in the region.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.