The International Labour Organization (ILO) has established a high-level Global Commission on the Future of Work.
The global body is expected to undertake an in-depth examination of the future of work that can provide the analytical basis for the delivery of social justice in the 21st century.
The Commission will focus in particular on the relationship between work and society, the challenge of creating decent jobs for all, the organization of work and production, and the governance of work.
Speaking at the launch, ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, said these were key issues of our time which increasingly occupy political life and define hopes, and sometimes fears, of families across the world.
"It is fundamentally important that we confront these challenges from the conviction that the future of work is not decided for us in advance. It is a future that we must make according to the values and preferences that we choose and through policies that we design and implement," Ryder stated.
The ceremony was attended by two serving Heads of State or Government co-chairing the Commission: President of Mauritius, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim and Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven.
In her address, Gurib-Fakim strongly encouraged "all countries and stakeholders to come up with comprehensive recommendations and novel ideas on how to address the opportunities and challenges of the future of work. We can accomplish this by ‘putting people first’, by recognising that labour is more than simply a commodity in the labour market in the spirit of the ILO Constitution, or even just a factor of production."
Meanwhile Löfven argued that, "We cannot stop development, nor should we even try. What we need to do is come together: to harness innovation to improve the daily lives of millions, to use new technology to build cleaner and more sustainable societies, and at the same time create new jobs with better conditions for everyone. These objectives lie at the heart of this Commission."
The Global Commission on the Future of Work has 28 members, including the co-chairs themselves and its four ex-officio members - ILO Director-General Guy Ryder and the Officers of the ILO Governing Body.
The Commission was set up under the ILO’s Future of Work Centenary Initiative launched by the ILO Director-General in 2013. The members of the Commission will produce an independent report that will be submitted to the Centenary Conference of the ILO in 2019.
Over the past 18 months, the ILO’s tripartite constituents - governments, employer and worker organizations - have held national dialogues in over 110 countries in the run-up to the launch of the Global Commission. The outcome of these dialogues will feed into the report of the Commission.