20 February marked the second World Day of Social Justice. This Day, proclaimed by the General Assembly on 26 November 2007 (A/RES/62/10), aims to promote the implementation of the goals of the 1995 World Summit for Social Development and the 24th Special Session of the General Assembly through supporting international efforts to enhance poverty eradication, full employment and decent work, gender equality and access to social well-being and justice for all. It is also based on the notion that there is a strong relation between social development and social justice on the one hand, and peace and security on the other. Both cannot exist without each other.
In his message for the 2010 World Day of Social Justice, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted: “On the World Day of Social Justice we recognize the importance of tackling poverty, exclusion and unemployment, in order to promote solidarity, harmony and equality of opportunity within and between societies…. we reflect on the importance of social justice in our efforts to forge a more stable, equitable and secure world.” He also emphasized that "Social justice is based on the values of fairness, equality, respect for diversity, access to social protection, and the application of human rights in all spheres of life, including in the workplace,” principles that are now more important than ever.
To commemorate the day, a special event in the form of a panel discussion was organized by the Mission of the Kyrgyz Republic and the International Labour Office (ILO), in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) on 18 February at UN Headquarters. This event, entitled “The Global Jobs Crisis: assessing the pace and quality of growth,” brought together representatives from government, business, trade unions, academia and the UN system, and addressed global economic recovery efforts and future challenges in relation to the state of (decent) job growth worldwide.
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The ILO also launched a year-long Voices on Social Justice Campaign to provide a global platform for perspectives on what social justice means today and how it might be achieved in the years to come. Until now, interviews have been held with Mr. Juan Somavia, Director-General of the International Labour Office (ILO), Mr. Guy Ryder, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Mr. Antonio Peñalosa, Secretary General of the International Organization of Employers, Her Excellency Ambassador Maria Nazareth Farani Azevêdo, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, Mr. Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary-General and Director of the Kofi Annan Foundation, Mr. Pascal Lamy, Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and Prof. Alain Supiot, Director of the Institute of Advanced Studies of Nantes. To view the interviews, visit: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/sjd/
This article is available in Spanish.