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Our strategy is "Overcoming poverty through work". The Prime Minister participates in the International Labor Conference


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Today, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan participated in the international conference entitled "Promoting Social Justice. The future of labor in the current period”.

The event was also attended by the President of the Republic Vahagn Khachaturyan, Director General of the International Labor Organization Gilbert Houngbo, representatives of the legislative power, Cabinet members, high-ranking officials of various countries, experts, representatives of science and youth.

The Prime Minister made a speech in which he stated,

"Honorable President of the Republic of Armenia,
Dear Director General of the International Labor Organization,
Dear attendees,
Dear Cabinet members,
Dear MPs,

I welcome all of you at this important event.

Issues related to work and labor relations, of course, contain great challenges and, as it is said in such cases, also great opportunities. Finally, it should be noted that work is the factor underlying civilization and development. According to this logic, work, its logic and content, its relations change significantly over time. Of course, the winners are those countries and societies that manage to address the emerging challenges and contradictions.

During the period of the first industrial revolution, craftsmen attacked and destroyed factories and machine tools, pushing forward a very simple and logical question: if machines have appeared that will work for us, then what will we do and how will we earn? This was a very legitimate question. But over time it turned out that the labor that was freed as a result of the emergence of factories, that same labor provided all the further scientific and technical progress, because people, having free time, began to think about flying into space. And now the people, to put it very figuratively, who became unemployed as a result of the first industrial revolution, here they are, or their descendants, are conquering space today.

We are essentially in the same situation today, because with the advent of artificial intelligence, hundreds of millions of jobs on the planet will simply be closed. And this situation needs very specific management, addressing, planning.

In addition to global challenges, the Republic of Armenia has its own local challenges related to social policy and labor policy. In general, the biggest challenge is that, firstly, the state and society be able to realize their development potential through work, and secondly, which is equally important, that the individual is able to develop and reveal his potential. These two needs do not always coincide, because one task is to ensure that people have the opportunity to work and another task is to ensure that people have the opportunity to do their favourite work, that provides them with a certain standard of living, as well as some discovery and development of potential.

Here are the dilemmas, at this crossroads, because there are people who work but do not enjoy their work, there are people who have to work just to make ends meet, and there are people who do not work for all sorts of reasons. Of course, in recent years, we see that unemployment is significantly decreasing in Armenia. But I must also record that we are facing such challenges that, on the one hand, operate according to the logic of some social declarations, on the other hand, do not ensure the full disclosure of the country's economic and individual’s work potential. For example, the social security system, which is implemented in the Republic of Armenia today and has been operating for many years, does not meet modern requirements at all.

Basically, we are dealing with a situation every day where the system of social benefits encourages people to continue to be and remain poor, in conflict with our strategy, which is to "beat poverty with work" because, to be honest, I don't know any other way to overcome poverty other than work. But we see examples when individuals in a socially disadvantaged situation and beneficiary families sometimes receive health care and other services, and from the moment when a person decides to work, that is, he tries to contribute to the development of the country's economy and his own well-being, we immediately deprive them of a number of privileges, which means that our policy at the level of mechanisms is that the poor should continue to be poor and not take any steps to overcome this poverty.

Now, of course, we have been discussing the reforms of the social security system for many years, and I hope that we will be able to implement these reforms, because the challenges here are really serious. We are determined to implement these changes, just the tasks that are placed before us, they are not really easy to solve, but we have to go that way. As in other cases, in this case too, in terms of the transformation of the times and the content of work, education and the reforms carried out in the field of education are of great and key importance, because only education will enable a person to find the work that he likes most, to find the work methods that will bring him greater returns and reveal more of each individual's potential.

Dear attendees,

I am sure, and as the Director General of the International Labor Organization already outlined in his speech, all these issues will be the subject of discussion and will be on the agenda of the conference. I also hope that as a result of the conference we will be more confident in our decisions or we will find answers to questions in which we are not so sure that these are the right answers to the questions that are placed on our table and included in our agenda.

I wish successful conference.

Thank you."

The event is being held in Armenia for the first time. The main themes of the conference are: Social Justice in a Time of Global Transformation, Emerging Challenges in the Labor Market and Social Justice, Social Justice and Women's Economic Empowerment, Social Justice and the Future of Labor.



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