Juan Somavia, who has been elected for the third term as Director-General of the United Nations International Labour Organisation, has pledged to work to ensure social justice amid a series of challenges faced by the global economy.
Somavia ran unopposed to continue his stint as the ninth director-general in the Geneva-based agency's 89-year history, and will formally begin his new five-year term in March 2009.
He assumed office as ILO chief in early 1999. During the past decade, the Chilean has led the promotion of the ILO's Decent Work Agenda and overseen the implementation of the Organisation's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, which was adopted in 1998.
During his tenure, the ILO witnessed a huge increase in the number of ratifications in labour standards as well as its own adoption of a landmark Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalisation in June of this year.
"We stand today at a significant moment in this Organisation's history," Somavia said.
"Unemployment is rising. The crisis continues to batter economies and individuals across the world. The number of working poor is increasing. And there is a growing chorus of concern over the balance, fairness and sustainability of the current model of globalisation," he added.