President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Ryder, colleagues, I am very glad to see you. Welcome, this time to St Petersburg.
First of all, I would like to congratulate you on this significant occasion, the 100th anniversary of the International Labour Organization. Russia and the ILO have established close and constructive cooperation. Together we work to provide employment, fitting wages, labour protection and do many other things in coordination and consultation with you.
During this trip to Russia, you took part in Russian Labour Protection Week, which was held in Sochi. We have a cooperation programme between Russia and the ILO until 2020. As far as we understand, this document is being successfully implemented.
We are pleased to see you in Russia. Welcome. I am happy to have a chance to discuss our cooperation.
There is also another thing I would like to mention. I mean presenting you with the Order of Friendship, a Russian state award. I would like to wish you further success in your work and hope to present it to you in accordance with our protocol, during a ceremony in Moscow.
Director-General of the International Labour Organization Guy Ryder:
Thank you very much, Mr President. Thank you for the opportunity of meeting and thank you for your generous comments about the ILO’s 100th anniversary.
It is a matter, I think, of some satisfaction that this centenary arrives at a moment when the relationships between the Russian Federation and our organisation, I think, are at their strongest in living memory. We have developed, I think, a very solid programme of cooperation together. I would say, Mr President, that it is a two-way relationship. We hope that we contribute something to the efforts and the objectives that you have set for the Russian Federation, that certainly the ILO benefits as well from the inputs of our Russian colleagues.
We have decided to dedicate our centenary to looking forwards, not backwards to our history, but forwards to the future of work and the challenges that lie ahead of all of us. And what I think is striking, Mr President, is the work that we are doing brings up the same issues that you have highlighted here in Russia, for example, in the national programme that you set out in May of last year and your recent Address to the National Assembly in February.
We have to prepare our peoples for a new technological era – digitalisation. And our Russian colleagues have been very clear in saying that we need to look towards the humanisation of work, work that really benefits the health, the well-being of people and their families; and these are messages, Mr President, that you are expressing very, very strongly.