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U.S. Department of State

Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Statement on the Occasion of Labor Day 1999
Washington, D.C., September 3, 1999
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
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On Labor Day, September 6, America pays tribute to working men and women and their tradition of seeking worker rights in the United States and around the world.

As Secretary of State, I am proud to see America's labor diplomacy striving to ensure that the global economy becomes one that, as President Clinton has stated, "rewards work everywhere, that gives all people a chance to improve their lot and still raise their families in dignity."

We are cooperating with others in the International Labor Organization (ILO) to raise core worker standards. We welcome the ILO's unanimous adoption of a convention in June banning the worst forms of child labor. We are increasing our contribution to the ILO's anti-child-labor program by a factor of ten. We are using our influence within the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to see that the human and environmental impacts of financial and trade arrangements are considered more seriously. We are encouraging multinational corporations to develop and observe model business principles.

And with President Clinton leading the way, we are focusing on the impact of globalization on workers and their families. Before the International Labor Convention in Geneva in June, the President called for putting "a human face on the global economy, giving working people everywhere a stake in its success, equipping them all to reap its rewards (and) providing for their families the basic conditions of a just society."

This means building the foundation of global prosperity on trade that is not only free, but fair. It means recognizing that democracy is not complete unless the voices of working people can be heard; and that labor rights are an essential component of universally recognized human rights.

As we celebrate Labor Day this year, we renew our commitment to serving and strengthening the rights of working people in this country and around the world.

[End of Document]

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