Giovanni di Cola appointed as the Officer in Charge of the ILO Office for Türkiye

News | 01 April 2023
Giovanni di Cola (PhD) was appointed as the Officer in Charge of the ILO Office for Türkiye and assumed his duties as of 1 April 2023, with a view to ensure a smooth and efficient dialogue with all stakeholders and strengthening decent work and high level of performance of ILO activities in Türkiye.

Mr. Di Cola brings more than 30 years of international policy and development experience, which he acquired across regions and at the Headquarters as Senior Adviser to the ILO Senior Management of the Organization.

A citizen of Italy, Giovanni Di Cola studied in Rome and Paris, earning a four-year Bachelor’s degree in International relations from the University of Rome La Sapienza, a Master’s degree (DEA) from Sciences Po Paris in Soviet Studies, and a PhD in Development Economics from the University of Paris X (Ouest).

Mr Di Cola has a wide experience within the United Nations System, having served in various UN agencies (UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, and ILO) with assignments at the UN Staff College and the UN Secretariat, on matters related to the UN reform, Youth Leadership and Sport for Development and Peace.

His field experience spans more than 30 years starting with West Africa (Senegal and Niger) from 1983 to 1986 working in national (UNICEF), sub-regional (ILO) and regional offices (UNESCO); then in the regional office for Latin America and Caribbean (ILO) between 1994 and 1998 and in Trinidad and Tobago (ILO sub-regional office and Decent work team for the Caribbean) between 2009-2015.

In the above capacities he dealt with topics related to strategic programming, gender, development cooperation and partnerships, labour-based programmes, youth employment and skills, human rights and sport and management and executive leadership.

He was three times member of the ILO DG mission to the Arab Occupied Territories, which is the only mission visiting Palestine and Israel and the Druze community of the Golan Heights.

He was UN Staff College trainer between 2001 and 2006 for joint UN programming to UNCTs in Jordan/ Iraq, Eritrea, Peru, Tajikistan, Cape Verde, Cameroun, Albania, Senegal.

He contributed to establish a network of 150 universities, on local economic development as ILO inter-regional programme (UNIVERSITAS) coordinator between 2001 and 2008 based in Geneva.

In this regard, he created with university partners, master programmes on: (a) labour diplomacy with West Indies University (Trinidad and Tobago), (b) skills development through sport with Kennesaw State University (USA) and Lille University (France), (c) disaster management and prevention with Ancona (Italy) and Sri Lanka Universities, and (d) industrial and labour relations with Cornell University (USA); e) human rights and sport management with UNIL Lausanne (Switzerland); f) SIDS dialogues with the ITC Turin training Centre of the ILO.

Between 2009 and 2015, as Director of the ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean he engaged in active dialogues to sustain a permanent Labour Minister’s Forum of 22 Caribbean countries and Territories. He reinforced the partnerships with the Caribbean region (CARICOM), with the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) as part of the Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) group.

The above included creating opportunities and projecting skills requirements in tourism through triangular and South-south cooperation and contribution as ILO delegate to the UN Summit on Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) in September 2014 and to the ACS Head of States Summit in Merida (Mexico) in April 2014.

In 2015, he was appointed Special Adviser to the Deputy Director General for Field Operations and Partnerships at the ILO in Geneva dealing with UN reform, Sustainable Development Goals, global partnerships, and Mega Sporting Events and human and labour rights.

Since 2016, he was instrumental in establishing the multistakeholder initiative as Centre for Sport and Human Rights in 2021, to which he ensured that ILO could be represented as founding member and permanent observer.

As Special Adviser he interacts with the constituents of the ILO Governing Body and of the International Labour Conference and with regional and interregional organizations including Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Arab League (AL) and with UN entities based in Geneva and in New York such as UN OHCHRs and DESA.

He was lead expert of the ILO Global Forum on Decent work in the world of sport of January 2020, in which the ILO Points of Consensus were adopted.

He published 20 articles and books on decent work agenda in sport, skills in and through sport, sport and tourism, human rights, and local economic development and sport.

He has been acting as ILO Focal Person on sport and development since 2001 and contributed to the first Report by the UN Secretary General on Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) in 2003. He assisted the UN Special Adviser on SDP (and former President of the Swiss Confederation) between 2003-2006.

He served as Board Member and Chair of reform committees of international sport federations in 2004-06 and in 2016-19 and provided advice to the IOC for its Sustainability strategy adopted in 2017.

He is fluent in French, English, Spanish and Italian (mother tongue).