On the final day of the 104th International Labour Conference, the ILO Director-General Guy Ryder praised delegates for what he called the “triumph of tripartism” in its work over the past two weeks.
At this year’s ILC, which ran from the first until the 13th of June, four committees deliberated on key issues including the transition from the informal to the formal economy.
On June the 12th, the ILO adopted a Recommendation – with massive support -- designed to help hundreds of millions of workers around the globe move into the formal economy.
“You worked to produce an international instrument which touches on the lives of that nearly half of humanity where livelihoods depend – precariously – on informal activity and offers hope for the transformation of that reality.”
Delegates discussed labour issues and planned the way forward for the ILO’s work.
Nearly 4,500 delegates from 169 ILO member states and more than 160 ministers took part in the ILC this year.
Ryder congratulated delegates for their work on employment creation and labour protection.
“You worked out how governments, employers and workers can optimize the decent work potential of small and medium-sized enterprises. You looked at the challenges we all face on the fundamental issues of wages, working time, health and safety, and maternity protection and mapped the way forward.”
The Director-General also recapped other moments at this year’s ILC, which included addresses at the World of Work summit on climate change - from French President François Hollande, the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela and the 2014 Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi.
The Conference also admitted the Cooks Islands as the 186th member of the ILO:
“Consider this. There was not a single vote taken in any of the technical committees of this Conference. On each and every occasion decisions were taken by consensus. I personally cannot ever remember that happening.”
Elsewhere this week, the Committee on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations of the ILC adopted conclusions on 24 individual cases related to problems in the implementation of labour rights.
Ryder also noted that his report last week focusing on the proposed Future of Work initiative received strong support. The initiative would include work and society, decent jobs, and the governance of work. The initiative would include a high-level commission on the future of work be set up to prepare a report to the ILO’s centenary Conference in 2019.
“And there was widespread interest and support for the concept of a Centenary Declaration for adoption at Conference in 2019, but this again was subject to clear understanding of its political purpose.”
Also during this ILC, Niger became the first country to ratify the 2014 ILO Protocol to the Forced Labour Convention.
Many conference participants showed their support for ending modern slavery, which affects 21 million people, by signing up to the 50 for Freedom campaign. Hundreds added their signature to a large panel backing an end to modern slavery. Signers included a number of high-level dignitaries from member States, regional organizations and agencies.
For ILO Radio, this is Carla Drysdale reporting from the Palais des Nations in Geneva.