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PREPCOMS 1999

  Statement by H.E. Mr. Ludek Rychly, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Head of the Delegation of the Czech Republic to the First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the Special Session of the General Assembly on the Implementation of the Outcome of the World Summit for

  • Statement by H.E. Mr. Ludek Rychly, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Head of the Delegation of the Czech Republic to the First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the Special Session of the General Assembly on the Implementation of the Outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and Further Initiatives
    New York, 19 May 1999

  • Statement by H.E. Mr. Ludek Rychly, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Head of the Delegation of the Czech Republic to the First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the Special Session of the General Assembly on the Implementation of the Outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and Further Initiatives
    New York, 18 May 1999


Statement by H.E. Mr. Ludek Rychly, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Head of the Delegation of the Czech Republic to the First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the Special Session of the General Assembly on the Implementation of the Outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and Further Initiatives

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation fully agrees with the conclusion contained in the report of the Secretary-General that the employment growth should be regarded as the highest priority. Without the decent work opportunities for both men and women, implementation of all other commitments will remain a mere illusion.

The present stage of the Czech economy and society calls for a new approach with regard to the employment policy which has to become an integral part of overall economic, social and educational government policies and it has to respond adequately to the changed situation on the labour market.

After rather a long period of the average unemployment rate at about 3 per cent, the unemployment trends have rapidly deteriorated in the Czech Republic in 1998 as a result of the negative economic growth and more rigorous restructuring of certain parts of industry. In last two years, the low unemployment rate in the Czech Republic has increased sharply and, it has reached 8 per cent of the active labour force. Even though it still appears below the European average, this trend is alarming.

In response to this development, the Government of the Czech Republic has adopted the National Employment Plan two weeks ago. The Plan was approved after extensive consultations with social partners and all political parties and, its structure corresponds to the European Union employment guidelines. This structure is very logical and it reflects the main labour market characteristics common to the Czech Republic and EU states.

Government employment policies anchored in the National Employment plan will be directed towards the fulfillment of the following basic aims and objectives:

* introducing new economic policy measures in order to promote creation of new job opportunities and to achieve more productive patterns of the present employment

* enhancing incentives for those unemployed who accept available jobs by a marked promotion of income from work and discouraging the reliance on social benefits

* harmonizing vocational training and education in general with labour market needs

* eliminating any kind of discrimination labour market and adapting public employment services to these new task and needs

* creating better employment perspectives for disadvantaged workers

* combating illegal labour migration and illegal work in general

* increasing the scope and efficiency of active labour market policies

Mr. Chairman,

My government fully subscribes to the EU statement on employment and supports the idea of the future international cooperation in this field, especially the exchange of the best practices and methods.

Thank you.


Statement by H.E. Mr. Ludek Rychly, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Head of the Delegation of the Czech Republic to the First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the Special Session of the General Assembly on the Implementation of the Outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and Further Initiatives

Mr. Chairman,

Let me share with you some ideas and experience reached by my country in previous years when trying to achieve the strategic goals of the Copenhagen Summit, the goals fully acknowledged by my Government: eradication of poverty, strive for full employment and promotion of the social integration.

I believe that the Czech situation is interesting for several reasons. In years coming after the Copenhagen Summit, we have accomplished the transition to the market economy, we accelerated our preparations for the accession to the European Union and we experienced the period of strong economic growth but also a phase of stagnation and even the decline of GDP. It is even more interesting that, during these years, we could have tested effects of two very different social and political conceptions - one very liberal and another based much more on the European traditions of the social solidarity.

Our experience could be summarized into the following conclusions, while it is not surprising that some of them are close to those contained in two commendable reports submitted to this body by the Secretary-General:

1. We believe that the social policy must be viewed as the integral part of economic strategies. Economy must pursue the social goals and investing in social policy must be recognized as the investing to the economic development.

2. Social policy cannot be limited to the mere protection against social risks. On the contrary, it should become a real policy of human resources, coordinating the means also in such fields as education, housing and even transport.

3. Economic growth is essential but it cannot generate full employment and to preserve the social cohesion as the only mean.

4. Of course, we should not underestimate the role of politicians in elaborating the social policies. Those policy measures which are not discussed with citizens, esp. social partners, are often weak and not acceptable for the population.

5. Social policy should be based on long-term objectives and radical changes should be avoided. The Government should, when considering the long-terms policy measures, take into account some possible major dangers (as political and economic crises, natural disasters etc.).

6. We consider the European Social Model (i.e. high level of social protection, social dialogue and solidarity) to be the most efficient basis for the social stability and economic development.

7. We are convinced that, in this globalized world, the solidarity among states and among nations is more vital than ever before. U.N. and its specialized agencies have their important role to play in this respect and, in this field, the essential part is that of ILO and, we hope that new Director-General Mr. J. Somavía will bring the fresh impetus to its activities.

Thank you.