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Thank you, chairperson.
I am speaking on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA country Norway, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Georgia align themselves with this statement.
We would like to reiterate the importance we attribute to the promotion, respect of fulfilment of human rights, as safeguarded by ILO Conventions and other human rights instruments. The EU and its Member States also promote health and safe workplaces for all. Moreover, we believe that labour inspection is fundamental to promote decent work.
We confirm our commitment to the political association and economic integration in the framework of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement with its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), based on core values, notably respect for democratic principles, rule of law, good governance, human rights and fundamental freedoms. We also welcome the results of the EU- Ukraine summit held last November.
We note with interest that in 2014 the government of Ukraine initiated a reform with a view to strengthen labour inspection services and requested ILO's assistance for this purpose. We will support the development of the State Labour Service with an important technical assistance project to be implemented by the ILO.
However, a moratorium on labour inspection was introduced between January and June 2015. As a result of this measure, the number of inspections has considerably dropped and there has been a significant rise in the number of complaints made concerning labour law violations.
In this context we welcome the government’s decision to lift the moratorium for unplanned inspections from 1 January 2017 on. We believe that this is a step in the right direction in view of the principles of ILO Conventions. We strongly encourage Ukraine to seek a further modernisation of its labour inspection scheme going forward and are ready to continue supporting this process.
We note the highly politicised debate on the envisaged adoption of the new Labour Code. We strongly encourage the government of Ukraine to pursue the adoption of this essential legislation with due regard to the comments provided by the ILO, in particular in the areas of working conditions, occupational safety and health and mining. We welcome the intentions expressed by the government to include appropriate clauses on anti-discrimination in the Labour Code, in line with Ukraine's obligations arising from the Association Agreement.
We firmly expect that following these consultations, the government will take the necessary steps to bring the national legislation and practice related to labour inspection into conformity with the Conventions and that it will continue to avail itself of ILO's expertise.
We remain committed to our close and constructive engagement and partnership with Ukraine.
Thank you, chairperson.
 *The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.