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349th Session of the ILO Governing Body

ILO Governing Body closes; key decisions include endorsement of Global Coalition for Social Justice

The 349th session of the ILO’s Governing Body discussed a broad range of issues affecting the future of the world of work, including endorsing a proposal for a Global Coalition for Social Justice.

News | 10 November 2023
GENEVA (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Governing Body concluded its 349th Session with several key decisions, including endorsing the establishment of a Global Coalition for Social Justice.

The Global Coalition aims to generate increased political commitments and investments and to foster concrete actions for social justice and decent work, in support of national priorities. The Coalition will increase multilateral cooperation and partnerships and play a key role in galvanizing support for the recognition of social justice in the multilateral agenda, particularly at the UN Summit of the Future in 2024 and the proposed UN World Social Summit in 2025.

In a discussion on the ILO’s enhanced programme of development cooperation for the occupied Arab territories, the Governing Body members expressed grave concern and deep sadness at the loss of lives, the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the impact on the civilian population, including workers and employers. They called on all parties to respect international law and allow full, rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access. Delegates requested the Director-General to report to their next meeting on proposals for additional measures to promote social justice, strengthen the ILO’s mandate and mitigate the impact of the current situation. They urged Member States to provide financial resources to support the ILO’s efforts to realize decent work as part of UN relief and recovery efforts.

Delegates adopted a new Global Strategy on Occupational Safety and Health for 2024-2030 and a related implementation plan. The new strategy aims to guide the ILO’s support for its constituents as they promote, respect and realize the fundamental right to a safe and healthy working environment worldwide, including by improving national occupational safety and health frameworks; strengthening related coordination, partnerships and investment; and enhancing workplace occupational safety and health management systems.

The Governing Body reiterated its most profound concern at the continuing aggression by the Russian Federation, aided by the Belarusian Government, against Ukraine and deplored its devastating impact on the world of work. They again urged the Russian Federation to immediately and unconditionally cease its aggression and to fulfil all its obligations under ILO Conventions. Members reiterated unwavering support for the government, workers and employers in Ukraine, and requested the Director-General to continue to monitor the impact, to support the reconstruction and recovery efforts in Ukraine and to enhance resource mobilization efforts for other affected countries.

As part of the ILO’s supervisory procedures, the Governing Body examined several country cases, including Bangladesh, Belarus, Guatemala, Myanmar, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Other discussions covered developments in the implementation of the Quality Apprenticeships Recommendation, the Youth Employment Action Plan, the follow-up to the resolution concerning labour protection, the follow up to the resolution concerning a just transition, a review of the implementation of the strategy on the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work, and the ILO integrated strategy for the promotion and implementation of the right to collective bargaining.

On 10 and 11 November, the Governing Body held two special sessions on the right to strike and related issues, in which it was decided to refer the question to the International Court of Justice.

The Governing Body is the ILO’s Executive Body. It meets three times a year, in March, June and November, to take decisions on ILO policy, the agenda of the International Labour Conference and the draft ILO Programme and Budget.

The Governing Body meeting was held at the ILO’s headquarters from 30 October – 9 November. The 350th session of the Governing Body opens on 4 March 2024.