ILO Montenegro organized Presentation of expert analyses in the field of occupational safety and health (OSH)
Dear Minister Adrović, dear representatives of social partners, dear representatives of EUD, my fellow colleagues and friends of the United Nations
Let me start by welcoming you all here today and thanking the Government and our sister agency ILO for joint efforts on emphasizing this important topic – improvement of Occupational safety and health national framework in Montenegro.
Safe working conditions are a basic human right and a fundamental part of Sustainable Development Goal number 8 which regards to the Decent Work agenda. The Resolution on the inclusion of a safe and healthy working environment in the ILO's framework of fundamental principles and rights at work was recently adopted by the 110th Session of the International Labour Conference in Geneva. Occupational Safety and Health becomes the fifth category of Fundamental Principles and Rights at work, completing the existing four categories:
- freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining,
- the elimination of forced or compulsory labour,
- the abolition of child labour and
- the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
Today in these post-pandemic times, it seems this topic has once more become more important than ever. The ILO estimates that over 2.3 million workers in the world die each year from work–related accidents and diseases.
Information on the economic burden of work injuries and diseases is vital for policymakers attempting to allocate scarce resources to priority areas in the occupational health and safety policy arena. The International Labour Organization estimated that 4% of global GDP is lost due to work accidents and diseases. A recent project by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU OSHA) found that the burden of work injuries and diseases is 3.9% of global GDP and 3.3% of European GDP.
We seek further improvement of the state of affairs in the area of Occupational Safety and Health not the least here in Montenegro, and the adoption of the country’s new Occupational Safety and Health Strategy later this year, represents such an important and key condition for the successful closure of the Negotiation Chapter 19 on the country’s path towards the European Union. More importantly, the improvement of the Occupational Safety and Health system is of vital interest to the citizens and the economy of Montenegro, as the work-related accidents take a regular toll in human lives and economic losses every year even here in this country.
The complex institutional framework requires further improvement in terms of clearer and more efficient division of responsibilities that would lead towards a more effective Occupational Safety and Health framework in Montenegro.
The development of the expert reports that will be shared with you here today is a positive step forward, towards stronger society of Occupational Safety and Health standards, it will hopefully help contribute in bringing the national system in line with international labour standards and EU Directives.
These steps are also essential in the process of building ownership and commitment, paving the way for more rapid and more effective implementation of policies, and for stronger, well supported, and efficient institutions and authorities to effectively lead the processes forward.
We hope that these recommendations colleagues will present today will become a foundation for joint actions on a tripartite level, starting with today’s discussion, and that it will serve as important tool for future navigation through an Occupational Safety and Health improvements, and where we all must work harder together to move towards a stronger safety and health culture for all here in Montenegro.
To conclude my opening remarks, it is only when Occupational Safety and Health is fully applied at all working places, and when we can witness strong culture of Occupational safety and health in all institutions and educational system, we can truly speak about reaching our targets from the recently signed UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework: SDG 8 – referring to Decent work and economic growth. I am sure that together we will help Montenegro achieve these important human rights in the workplace.