Virtual Summit

ILO Global Summit on COVID-19 and the World of Work - Building a better future of work

The International Labour Organization is to hold a virtual Global Summit to address the impact of COVID-19 on the world of work.


The Global Summit will provide a high-profile platform for government, employer and worker representatives, and other high-level actors, to address the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The summit will be an opportunity to discuss the challenges and responses of countries and regions that are still battling with the pandemic and of those are starting the recovery process. A concept note provides further details on the rationale, context and main topics for discussion and invites participants to draw on the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work in the immediate response to the pandemic and as a framework for building back better in the post-pandemic recovery.

Dates of the Summit

Regional events will take place on 1–2 July, followed by three global events on 7–9 July, which viewers in all time zones will be able to follow.

Following the Summit: Invitations and instructions on accessing the virtual platforms

The events will be open to all.

Governments will receive the invitation from the ILO by e-mail addressed to their permanent missions (and to their relevant ministries where their email addresses are available).

Social partners will receive the invitation by email from the Secretariats of the Employers and Workers groups.

The invitations will contain the link and password to join the event as well as basic instructions for the use of Zoom, including login protocols to facilitate the identification of participants by group, country and name.

Constituents who face restrictions in the use of Zoom may wish to contact the ILO at GLOBALSUMMIT@ilo.org for support. Where those restrictions are due to security considerations, the ILO wishes to draw attention to the security and privacy enhancements introduced in the latest versions of Zoom through end-to-end encryption of the meetings. For further details, please consult the instructions for the use of Zoom.

In addition, all events will be broadcast live from the Summit’s webpage.

Languages of the events

Interpretation services will be available both in Zoom and on the public platform in all seven ILO working languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Russian and Spanish) for the global events, and in the ILO working languages of each region for the regional events as follows:

Africa (Arabic, English and French)
Americas (English and Spanish)
Arab States (Arabic and English)
Asia and the Pacific (Chinese and English)
Europe (English, French, German, Russian and Spanish)

Note to participants willing to follow the meetings in Arabic: Due to technical limitations of the platform, Arabic can currently be listened to on the Korean interpretation channel. Zoom has already been requested to insert a dedicated Arabic channel on its next release of the platform.

Programme of the Global Summit

Regional events, 1–2 July

The programme, structure and main themes of each regional event have been sent to the tripartite constituents of the member States geographically covered by each of the five ILO regional offices. The scheduling avoids overlap between events and takes into account the time zones prevailing in each region.

► 1 July 7h00-10h30 GMT Arab States
  12h00-15h30 GMT Europe
► 2 July 4h00-7h00 GMT Asia and the Pacific
  9h00-12h30 GMT Africa
  15h00-18h30 GMT Americas

Global events, 7–9 July

All global events will be scheduled between 12h00 and 16h00 CET to facilitate participation from all time zones. The exact times and duration of each event will be finalized based on the number of speakers and will be communicated with the Zoom invitation and updated on this webpage.

7 July    Regional Day
This event will feature highlights from all five regional events, in a mix of live and recorded segments along with interviews with each ILO regional director and videos of ILO responses to COVID-19.

8 July    Global Leaders’ Day
This day features addresses from Heads of State and Government, and prominent global employer and trade union leaders on the challenges and opportunities of the pandemic in the world of work.

Heads of State and Government interested in contributing a statement should inform the ILO as soon as possible and no later than Friday 26 June by e-mail addressed to CABINET@ilo.org with the name of the responsible official in the Permanent Mission or in the capital with whom ILO Protocol will liaise. The Office will issue formal invitations to confirmed heads of State and Government along with Protocol guidelines for the submission of the recorded statement by 1 July 2020.

The order in which leaders’ statements will be broadcast will be determined with reference to United Nations Protocol practices, taking into account, if necessary, the time zone of the country of the speaker concerned.

9 July    ILO Constituents’ Day
This live event brings together ministers, and workers’ and employers’ leaders from member States to reflect on the previous days’ events and discuss the implementation of the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work in the context of the pandemic. The focus will be on the urgent and immediate challenges of the early phase of the pandemic in the world of work and on the responses that are proving effective, as well as the process for building back better.

The discussion will be guided by questions that take into account this need to address the range of situations - from the pressing needs of the early phase of the crisis to strategies for recovery and building back better. The questions, as identified in the concept note, are grouped as follows:
  1. COVID-19 responses to support full and productive employment and decent work for all

    How will COVID-19 responses promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all? How can they be designed to lift the global economy quickly out of recession and put it on a course to navigate the challenges of just digital, demographic and environmental transition?

    Do we want to accelerate the use of technologies to enable new ways of working in the light of the experience of pandemic? If so how should such work be regulated?

  2. COVID-19 – the first shock: Tackling informality and gaps in social protection

    What needs to be done to address the massive vulnerabilities in the world of work made evident by the pandemic? How do we scale up the task of formalizing the informal economy and to move decisively towards universal social protection coverage?

  3. COVID-19: Spotlight on most impacted sectors of economic activity and vulnerable populations

    What are the sectors of economic activity and categories of worker who require particular support and attention? Can the recovery process embody a transformative agenda for gender equality and a platform for the advancement of young people in the world of work?

  4. COVID-19: Working together to build back better

    How can the reduction and elimination of poverty and imperatives of rights and social justice be placed as central objectives of the recovery process.

    At a time when multilateral cooperation is more than ever indispensable, but facing unprecedented challenges, how can the international community come together with real common purpose and rededicate itself to the delivery of the UN 2030 Agenda?
The Director-General will open the discussion and representatives of each of the three constituent groups will also be invited to provide the group’s perspective on the role of the ILO during the pandemic and in the recovery phase. Similarly, at the end of the thematic discussions, representatives from the three groups will have the opportunity to deliver their concluding remarks on the information shared during the Summit and the lessons learned.

Given the time constraints of a virtual session, the speakers for each theme will be organized through the Government Group Regional Coordinators and group secretariats to ensure an appropriate tripartite and regional balance. Once identified, the ILO will approach each speaker’s secretariat ahead of the event to check connectivity and respond to any technical queries that may arise.

Contributions from heads of international organizations will also be featured in the course of the Global Summit.

Procedures applicable for the conduct of the Summit

Rules of procedure or standing orders of official meetings do not apply to the Summit. However, all participants will be requested to respect parliamentary language and refrain from comments directed against other countries, individuals or groups. Should any country or group feel targeted by comments made in the course of the various events of the Summit, they will be allowed to reply at the end of the event where the comment was made.

There will be no record of proceedings of any of the Summit events, but the video recordings will remain available on the ILO website.

The Summit will not produce any outcome document or decision. The discussions will provide guidance on the work of the Organization in the response to the pandemic both in the early phase of the crisis as well as in the recovery process, taking into account the principles and guidance contained in the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work.

General queries

Constituents may direct questions not covered in this note in English, French or Spanish to GLOBALSUMMIT@ilo.org.