14th African Regional Meeting

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder's closing remarks at the 14th ILO African Regional Meeting

Statement | Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire | 06 December 2019
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His Excellency Mr Kouakou Pascal ABINAN, Minister of Employment and Social Protection, President of the 14th African Regional Meeting,
Vice-Presidents of the Meeting,
Officers of the Governing Body,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

As we reach the end of this 14th African Regional Meeting it is time to reflect on what we have been able to achieve this week in Africa.

When I spoke on Tuesday at the opening I noted – as many delegates have done – since then - that this meeting marked the culmination of the ILO’s Centenary and that this year had served to raise very significantly the visibility and influence of our organization, and also the engagement with it of our tripartite constituents. My only reservation here is in respect of the important but still inadequate representation of women.

And the presence here of delegates from no less than 49 of our member States in Africa is the clearest possible sign of that engagement – reinforced by the participation of the key regional institutions.

This follows on the participation of no less than nine African Heads of State and Heads of Government at our Centenary Conference in Geneva last June.

So I take this as conclusive evidence of the strength the ILO’s partnerships, and role in Africa, and also the weight of the responsibilities of meeting your expectations of us in the years ahead.

In that regard, the Abidjan Declaration which you have just adopted provides the road map to guide our efforts in the years ahead. I see two essential features of this Declaration.

The first is that it is aligned strongly to the Human Centered Agenda to the Future of Work set out in the Centenary Declaration adopted by our Conference in June, with its insistence on the need to invest: in strengthening the capacities of people; in the institutions of work; and in inclusive and sustainable development and growth, full and productive freely chosen employment and decent work for all.

And secondly, it has identified, within this framework, the key priorities for Africa, and has done so in some detail.

So it seems to me, President, that our meeting has fulfilled its fundamental purpose, that of translating the ILO’s Centenary Future of Work Initiative, and Declaration into the realities of Africa and providing the necessary guidance for its operationalization. I believe that all concerned can take satisfaction from this result.