Statement by the Honourable Mr. Gokarna Raj Bista at the Plenary of the 108th Session of the International Labour Conference

Statement by the Honourable Mr. Gokarna Raj Bista, Minister for Labor, Employment and Social Security of Nepal at the Plenary of the 108th Session of the International Labour Conference,
Palais des Nations, Assembly Hall, Geneva
13 June 2019

President of the Conference,
Director General of the ILO,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my honor to address this Centenary session of the International Labour Conference.
The Centenary celebration is an opportune time to reflect on the key role played by ILO in promoting peace, equality and social justice. On this occasion, speaking at the High-Level Section of the ILO Centenary Conference on June 10th, our Right Honourable Prime Minister underlined among others the significant contribution of ILO in promoting fundamental principles and rights at work, social protection, tripartism and social dialogue.
Let me commend the excellent contribution of the High-Level Commission in preparing the human-centered report on ‘Work for a brighter future’ and the Director General’s coordination to put it into action.

Mr. President,
Decent work, social security and harmonious industrial relations have taken the center stage in Nepal’s reform agenda. We have initiated multiple policy and legal reforms in the field of labour, employment and social security.

We have introduced a labour audit system that enables enterprises to enhance the compliance of labour laws. Our efforts are ongoing in the implementation of these reforms in collaboration with the social partners.

The Government of Nepal has launched the Prime Minister Employment Program to create decent job opportunities and ensure work-based social protection to every citizen. Our efforts are also directed to promote dignity and worth of labour at the grass-root level. With a view to improve productivity and living standards of workers, policy measures have been put in place to ensure minimum wages in a timely manner.

Mr. President,
We are committed to fight against potential violence and harassment in the world of work. We are implementing a master plan to eliminate all forms of child labour by 2025. Having joined the Alliance 8.7 as a pathfinder country, Nepal is also committed to end all forms of child labour, forced labour, human trafficking and modern forms of slavery.

Our efforts in labour migration reforms are in line with the spirit of the Global Compact on migration. We believe that cooperation and partnership is the key to safe, orderly and regular migration. Migrant workers deserve equality of treatment in destination countries. Nepal is actively promoting these concepts through the Colombo Process, of which we are the current Chair.

Mr. President,
I would like to commend the ILO for its continuous cooperation and support to promote decent and productive work and implement labour reforms in Nepal. This is important for the promotion of productive and decent work opportunities, universal social security and shaping the future of work in Nepal.

Finally, I am confident, the unique tripartite constituents of ILO would be able to forge a better future for the rapidly evolving world of work and set another milestone in ILO’s glorious history.

Thank you.