APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO GENEVA
ADDRESS OF HIS
Tuesday, 10 June 1969
Having solemnly commemorated in the General Conferences the fiftieth anniversary of the International Labour Organization, Our desire would have been to meet personally each of the members of the three great branches of this magnificent institution, the men of government, the delegates of the workers, the representatives of the employers.
A very heavy schedule forces Us to be content with a collective greeting to each group. Nevertheless, you may rest assured that the brevity imposed upon Us in no way lessens, on Our side, the pleasure and cordiality of this meeting.
This highly qualified group, to which We now speak, is without a doubt the group whose role is preponderant, whose responsibility is greatest. In the decisions discussed here in brotherly collaboration with the delegates of the workers and the employers, you present the viewpoint of the governments, that is, of the authority which will eventually have the duty of applying your common decisions in the various countries. Is it then exaggerated to state that you thus hold in your hands the destiny of numberless workers all over the earth? Or to say that your deliberations may lead for them to a lightening of their sometimes intolerable burdens, the efficacious recognition of essential rights, in fine, a higher quality of human life and happiness? You are well aware that this is a task to which the Church cannot be indifferent, and this is the reason of Our presence in Geneva today. When We accepted the invitation of your Director General, We intended to demonstrate once more the Church's passionate interest in the fate of labourers and in the action of all those who work to improve it. Among these, you, Gentlemen, as delegates of your governments to ILO, occupy the first rank. For this reason We wish to address to you a very special greeting, indeed, as it were, an expression of thanks—the gratitude of the Catholic Church for all the excellent activities which you perform here in favour of your brothers in the world of work. We express fervent good wishes, Gentlemen, for the increasing success of these activities. And with all Our heart We invoke upon you, upon your families and your Nations, the abundant blessings of Almighty God.
*ORa n. 25 p. 4.