Change doesn’t just happen. We collectively make it happen.

The primary goal of the ILO is to promote opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equality, security and human dignity. Social dialogue plays a key role in building democracy and achieving decent work. The ITC-ILO workshop on “Social Dialogue and Labour Dispute Prevention” is taking place in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, from 7 to 11 December 2009.

This event will bring together government representatives, employer and worker representatives from Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, with the objective to foster consensus-building and democratic involvement of the main stakeholders in the world of work.

Social dialogue structures and processes have the potential to resolve important economic and social issues, encourage good governance and boost economic progress. 

In many countries, there has been an important move away from an adversarial industrial relations system to a more needs or interest-focused approach.

The change tends to deliver, as far as possible, outcomes of mutual gain rather than sub-optimal compromise or win-lose outcomes. Negotiating skills have, as a consequence, assumed a much greater importance in that they provide government, workers' and employers' representatives with useful tools to establish a culture of social dialogue and labour dispute prevention.

The extent of social dialogue has a direct impact on the climate of social peace and stability.  While there is no "one size fits all" model of social dialogue that can be readily exported from one context to another, there is a rich diversity in institutional arrangements, legal frameworks and traditions and practices of social dialogue throughout the world.  Adapting social dialogue to the specific situation is key to ensuring full ownership and sustainability of the process.

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