100th ILO annual conference concludes with move toward new era of social justice

The annual Conference of the International Labour Organization (ILO) concluded its historic 100th session on Friday 17 June after taking a number of steps aimed at moving toward what ILO Director-General Juan Somavia called “a new era of social justice”.

News | 17 June 2011

GENEVA (ILO News) – The annual Conference of the International Labour Organization (ILO) concluded its historic 100th session on Friday 17 June after taking a number of steps aimed at moving toward what ILO Director-General Juan Somavia called “a new era of social justice”.

"I believe that future delegates will proudly look back and say: it was at the 100th ILC where the roots of a new era of social justice started to emerge,” Mr.Somavia said. “Where the dignity of domestic workers was upheld, when the new notion of a social protection floor took hold, when we were told once again by important world leaders that our voice, values and actions were needed for a more stable world."

Heads of State and Government and more than 4,000 participants representing governments, employers and workers from the ILO’s 183 Member States gave strong support to the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda and a stronger role of the Organization in the international system.

Special guests addressing the Conference included German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Finnish President Tarja Kaarina Halonen, Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete and Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey, as well as five former heads of State and Government members of the Club of Madrid.

During its 2011 session, the Conference featured:

A strong focus on the need for a new era of social justice, including discussion and debate of a new groundbreaking report by the Director-General on the state of the world of work in the aftermath of the crisis entitled “A New Era of Social Justice” and a high-level panel of five former heads of state and government from the Club De Madrid on the need for a new era of social justice.

Adoption on 16 June of a sweeping set of standards aimed at improving the working conditions of tens of millions of domestic workers worldwide, Convention No. 189 on “Decent Work for Domestic Workers”, and a supporting Recommendation No. 201.

The Committee on Labour Administration called on governments to build effective labour administration and labour inspection systems to cope with the challenges in a rapidly changing world of work.

The Committee on Social Protection discussed ways to establish social security for all as a powerful and affordable tool to promote economic growth, reduce poverty and mitigate the impact of crises.

The Conference Committee on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations examined 25 individual cases covering the whole range of concerns addressed by the ILO.

Four high-level panels on youth unemployment in North Africa/Middle East and other regions, employment and social justice in a globalizing economy, the role of decent work in a fairer, greener, sustainable globalization; and a vision of a new era of social justice completed the discussions on the state of the world of work after the global economic and financial crisis.

Discussion in the Conference Plenary of the ILO’s annual Global Report on discrimination with an address by special guest, Michele Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women, and the signing of a memorandum of understanding between UN Women and the ILO to promote empowerment of women in the workplace.

International events for the World Day Against Child Labour including the launch of a new report on children in hazardous work.

A special event on South-South and Triangular Cooperation on “A new path for social development”.

Discussion of The annual ILO report on the situation of workers in the occupied Arab territories.

The role of the International Labour Conference is to adopt and oversee compliance with international labour standards, establish the budget of the Organization and elect members of the Governing Body. Since 1919, the Conference has served as a major international forum for debate on social and labour questions of worldwide importance. Each of the 183 ILO member State has the right to send four delegates to the Conference: two from government and one each representing workers and employers, each of whom may speak and vote independently. For more information, please visit: /ilc