ILC Radio Round-up

Day 7: Delegates’ hopes at the 104th International Labour Conference

Participants talk about the roles and hopes for this year’s ILC, plus Regional Director for Africa discusses the significance of African media coverage of the conference.

Audio | 09 June 2015
Over 4,000 delegates representing Government, Employers and Employees have gathered in Geneva for the 104th International Labour Conference. This year’s agenda includes the transition from the informal to the formal economy, employment creation and small and medium sized businesses as well as labour protection.

Participants spoke to ILO Radio about why they travelled to the Geneva conference. 

Adnan Abu Al Ragheb is First Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Jordan Chamber of Industry.

ILO Radio: What do you hope to achieve for Jordan at this conference?

Adnan Abu Al Ragheb: As you know Jordan is now in some different things because of Syria, Iraq and Palestine.

ILO Radio: You’re talking about the refugee issue?

Adnan Abu Al Ragheb: Yes, yes, I talk about the refugees from Syria and all countries. I hope the conference will help Jordan to pass this stage -- and we need the help of the ILO.

ILO Radio: In getting jobs, for example, for refugees?

Adnan Abu Al Ragheb: Yes, getting jobs for refugees and Jordanian people.

For those attending the ILC for the first time, a sense of enthusiasm seemed to follow them from meeting to meeting. Outside the grand Assembly Hall where the plenary was in session, I spoke to Doris Sammut Bonnici from the Malta Employers Association.

Doris Sammut Bonnici: This is my first time here.

ILO Radio: What do you hope to take away from the ILC this year?

Doris Sammut Bonnici: Experiences from other countries. And also it puts you in perspective of what’s happening around you. Because sometimes we see our own problems. And you hear about other problems from other countries and you think well we’re not doing so bad. And the feeling of having an international audience is so great. It makes you feel everybody’s joining in for the same objective. And that’s a very good feeling.

One floor down, delegates stood and sat, networking and having a break at a small café. Among them, I found Janaka Adhikari, General Secretary of the Inter Company Employees’ Union in Sri Lanka.

Janaka Adhikari: I want to raise the workers’ voice here. Still I believe there is a chance to protect the workers’ rights.

Sitting nearby was Nicholas Mgaya, Secretary General of the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania.

Nicholas Mgaya: Well in principle I’m in the recurrent discussions on social protection that includes labour. So, I’m looking forward to getting the details on how we’re going to achieve the minimum wage and have social protections for the workers from the ILO perspective.

Elsewhere at the conference, I spoke to Aenaes Chapinga Chuma, ILO Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Africa. He was to hold a press conference with African journalists later in the day to discuss the connections between the ILC and African priorities.

2015 is an important year for the International Labour Organization and Africa, with significant summits on the horizon including the post-2015 development agenda, the African Regional Meeting and the Climate Change Summit.

Aenaes Chapinga Chuma: For African journalists it’s very important to participate in these debates, to understand how they impact on their own countries and they inform their readers at home on what the issues are going forward. And to some extent encourage them to monitor and work with their leadership to ensure that the commitments made are adhered to.

Reporting for the ILO at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, this is Carla Drysdale.