The next United Nations Summit scheduled in September 2005 to review the Millennium Declaration should promote renewed international efforts to build a social dimension of globalization, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, told delegates to the annual conference of the International Labour Organization (ILO) here today.
"Like many other citizens in the world I dare to nourish hope that the next United Nations Summit … will give an international impulse to build a social dimension of globalization which contributes to the maintenance of peace and international security", Mr. Bouteflika told a special session of the International Labour Conference.
Reminding delegates that "globalization moves forward quickly, creating great fear all over the world" and referring to the "globalization trap" and a general "lack of work", the Algerian Head of State called for decent work for all to give "globalization its indispensable human dimension".
In his introductory comments, ILO Director-General Juan Somavia said "We are happy to salute you as a Statesman and a true defender of ILO values and ambitions: social justice as a way to peace, a fair globalization to promote prosperity, decent work as a development tool".
According to President Bouteflika, one of the founding fathers of the New Partnership for Development in Africa, NEPAD and the message of the special summit of the African Union on poverty and employment held in Ouagadougou last year call for a "globalization with a human face".
Speaking before more than 3,000 delegates from all over the world, the President also called for a "humane and modern" model for development.
This model "doesn't make any sense if we cannot assure the right to decent employment to all people old enough and capable to work", the President said.
In his speech, the President also referred to the Algerian experience with democracy and employment. According to the President, his country's strategy includes fighting unemployment, particularly among youth: "Youth unemployment is a critical challenge for Algeria because more than 73 per cent of the 1.7 million unemployed in the country are young people under 30…. and some 11 million people or 34.5 per cent of the 32 million Algerians are younger than 16".
To fight youth unemployment in Algeria, the government has launched an integrated policy based on multi-level training activities and economic growth stimulating and enabling job creation and employment. According to the President, the promotion of youth employment through the creation of micro-enterprises, microcredit programmes, pre-employment contracts, rural development programmes and temporary employment schemes have shown good results.
"In Algeria, the life expectancy of the population has risen from 72 to 74 over the last six years; poverty based on the assessment of the number of people living on one dollar per day and per person, fell from 3 per cent to less than 1 per cent; the guaranteed minimum wage rose by 80 per cent and the unemployment rate was reduced from more than 30 to 17.7 per cent according to the criteria of the ILO", Mr. Bouteflika told the assembly.
The President also announced the ratification by Algeria of four new ILO Conventions and the establishment of a tripartite National Economic and Social Council in the country including government, workers' and employers' representatives.
"In the Southern hemisphere, and particularly in Africa, people are mobilizing all their energy to obtain support from developed countries to give globalization its indispensable human dimension", he concluded.