The Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has urged members of the political class, thought leaders, members of civil society and other development actors to close ranks and engender a world of equal socio-economic opportunities.
He gave the charge in commemoration of the World Day for Social Justice, today, marked on February 20, each year.
According to the governor, “the rising tension in parts of the world is due to perceived and actual imbalance in the distribution of social, economic and even political opportunities fueled by man-made barriers such as class, race or gender.”
He called for reforms in governance to inspire the feeling of global brotherhood for peaceful co-existence despite socio-cultural differences and remove barriers to equal participation in social, economic and cultural activities.
Obaseki noted that globalisation has set the stage for integration and urged countries that are yet to open up their systems, to up their game and latch onto the global playing field for their share of the gains associated with globalisation.
He decried bad leadership that creates unnecessary and unsustainable social strata, protectionist policies on trade and social transactions which are antithetical to the concept of globalisation and the socio-economic integration of nations.
He said it was high time nations removed policies hostile to the spirit of globalisation to fast-track the interconnection of countries of the world through trade and cultural exchange.
“For the first time in human history, we have a common marketplace of ideas, goods and services, driven by Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Several opportunities abound in this marketplace and everyone must key into it with their peculiar products, ideas and services,” Obaseki said.
According to the United Nation: “Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. The global body said it “upholds the principles of social justice when it promotes gender equality or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants. We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability.”
It adds that “the pursuit of social justice for all is at the core of our global mission to promote development and human dignity. The adoption by the International Labour Organisation of the Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalisation is just one recent example of the UN system’s commitment to social justice. The Declaration focuses on guaranteeing fair outcomes for all through employment, social protection, social dialogue, and fundamental principles and rights at work.”
On this year’s theme: “Workers on the Move: the Quest for Social Justice” Obaseki urged world leaders to accord economic migrants the appropriate human dignity by providing them with opportunities to enhance their socio-economic well-being.
The UN said most migration today is linked directly or indirectly to the search for decent work opportunities. Even if employment is not the primary driver, it usually features in the migration process at some point.