As one of the founding member States of the ILO, the United Kingdom (UK) has been a valued partner of the ILO since 1919. The United Kingdom has ratified 88 Conventions, including the eight fundamental ILO Conventions as well as two Protocols. In addition to annual, assessed contributions made by the UK Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to the ILO’s regular budget, the Government of the United Kingdom is a major contributor to the ILO’s development cooperation programme through its Department for International Development (DFID) and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) . It was the ILO’s fifth largest development cooperation partner in 2018.
The United Kingdom's strategic contribution to the ILO
The United Kingdom funds the ILO through:
- Assessed contributions paid by all ILO member States by virtue of their membership, which constitute the ILO’s core funding or regular budget. From 2010 to 2019, the UK contributed over US$ 220 million.
- Voluntary, non-core funding contributions provided as earmarked funds for priority programmes and projects in addition to assessed contributions. From 2010 to 2019, the UK contributed over US$ 70 million.
The United Kingdom’s voluntary contributions to the ILO, 2010-2019
The United Kingdom’s strategic priorities for development cooperation:
- The UK’s development strategy, ‘UK aid: tackling global challenges in the national interest’, outlines four priorities: 1) strengthening global security; 2) resilience and response to crisis; 3) promoting global prosperity; and 4) tackling extreme poverty.
- The strategy explicitly links “promoting global prosperity” with strengthening UK trade and investment opportunities and promoting global security with strengthening UK security, committing DFID to allocating at least half its budget to fragile states and regions.
- In 2018, the United Kingdom announced a new focus on Africa with a partnership promoting economic development and enhanced security. This partnership goes beyond ODA, advancing diplomatic ties, trade and private-sector investment.