Report submitted to the Conference in June 1997
The present report on the work of the Governing Body is submitted to the Conference in accordance with article 14 of the Standing Orders of the Governing Body. It covers the period since the last general session of the Conference (June 1996), i.e., the Governing Body's 266th (June 1996), 267th (November 1996) and 268th (March 1997) Sessions. This report focuses only on the highlights of the Governing Body's year, and does not cover matters that are otherwise before the Conference. Those wishing more extensive and detailed information on the work of the Governing Body as a whole are referred to the notes at the end of the report. They may also consult the minutes of its proceedings, or the documents submitted to its committees and to the Governing Body itself.
Employment and social policy
Follow-up on the World Summit for Social Development
The principal exercise in this field has been the ILO's work as lead agency for the ACC Task Force on Full Employment and Sustainable Livelihoods, created as part of follow-up on the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action. Its mandate is to help governments give effect to the commitment made by heads of state and government at the Social Summit to promoting the goal of full employment. The Social Summit recognized the need to promote tripartite dialogue and social consensus in policy-making, and called on governments "to safeguard the basic rights of workers and, to this end, freely promote respect for relevant International Labour Organization Conventions, including those on the prohibition of forced and child labour, freedom of association, the right to organize and bargain collectively, and the principle of non-discrimination".
In November 1996 the Governing Body examined progress in the work of this Task Force with regard to the latter's decision to carry out country employment policy reviews.(1) It noted the outline for and modalities of the reviews, which involved the full consent of the government of the countries being reviewed and close tripartite consultation and participation of the ILO's constituents. The ILO was responsible for the reviews concerning Chile, Hungary and Nepal, and shared the leadership role with UNDP for the review concerning Zambia. The ILO retained overall responsibility for coordination and preparation of a synthesis report based largely on the reviews, including those conducted by UNDP on Morocco and by UNESCO on Mozambique, submitted to the UN ACC meeting in April, in order to provide the main lessons from country experiences in pursuing the objectives of full employment and sustainable livelihoods. A preliminary paper on the synthesis report was submitted to the Governing Body in March.(2)
As part of ILO contributions to the March 1995 World Summit for Social Development was the preparation of the report on World Employment 1995. In November 1995 the Governing Body had approved, in principle, the regular publication of World Employment as continued ILO follow-up on the Summit. In March 1997 the Governing Body conducted a discussion on World Employment 1996/97: National policies in a global context. The usefulness of the report and its renewed commitment to the objectives of full and freely chosen employment were noted.
In March the Governing Body took note of further information on work in relation to the Commission for Social Development(3) which selected "Productive employment and sustainable livelihoods" as the priority theme for its 1997 regular session and asked the ILO to serve as task manager for the preparation of a substantive document. In doing so the ILO has worked very closely with the United Nations secretariat, while obtaining the constructive involvement of other members of the UN system in preparing the draft report.
The Governing Body also noted the ILO's involvement in the work of the two other Inter-Agency Task Forces and one Inter-Agency Committee established by the ACC with a view to providing effective UN-system support for the integrated implementation, at the country level, of the action programmes that have emerged from recent UN summit conferences. These are the Inter-Agency Task Force on Basic Social Services for All, with the UNFPA as the lead agency, the Inter-Agency Task Force on an Enabling Environment for Economic and Social Development, with the World Bank as the lead agency; and the Inter-Agency Committee on Women and Gender Equality (see below, section on discrimination). The ILO has taken an active part in the work of the task forces and the committee, provided written contributions and assumed other responsibilities consistent with its mandate and work programme.
In November the Governing Body considered a report on the Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II), held in Istanbul in June 1996.(4) It welcomed the adoption of the Habitat Agenda: Goals and Principles, Commitments and Global Plan of Action, and in particular the recognition given by the Conference to the role of the ILO in employment-related areas; requested the Director-General to ensure that the ILO was actively involved in the action taken by the United Nations system to implement the Habitat Agenda, that such follow-up was incorporated into appropriate ILO programmes and activities, as reflected in the Office's proposals for the Programme and Budget for 1998-99, and that the ILO's constituents and field structure were fully involved, since implementation would take place mainly at the national and local levels; and requested the Director-General to ensure that ILO activities on Habitat II were integrated into the follow-up machinery of the World Summit for Social Development, and in particular that issues relating to urban and local-level employment, including the informal sector, were addressed through the ILO's leadership of the UN Inter-agency Task Force on Employment and Sustainable Livelihoods.
In March the Governing Body examined a detailed report on progress in the ILO's ongoing work on the elimination of child labour and its participation in related international developments.(5) The paper reported on progress in the signing of Memoranda of Understanding on child labour, which by March had been signed with 23 member States as a basis for long-term commitments in a joint effort to build up their capacity in the search for long-term solutions to the child labour problem. It reported on donations and total contributions pledged since 1992 and for the next 5 years to the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC). The report also covered the Letter of Intent signed between the ILO and UNICEF to guide their joint efforts. It described programme activities, through the promotion of standards and the IPEC programme, and discussed country programmes and the roles of government and of the social partners, as well as that of non-governmental international organizations.
The Governing Body also requested the Director-General to report annually on the operational aspects of IPEC to the Committee on Technical Cooperation at its March session.
In November the Governing Body noted the Director-General's decision to initiate a preliminary research study on the issue of voluntary labelling programmes and child labour with the aim of describing existing programmes and reviewing assessments that may be available of their effect on child labour and on industry and consumer behaviour in the industrialized and developing countries. This preliminary study is expected to be completed by June 1997 and will, in addition to providing a detailed review of existing programmes, provide the basis for possible proposals for further ILO research and activities in this field.(6)
In November the Committee on Sectoral and Technical Meetings and Related Issues examined the report of the Tripartite Meeting on Social and Labour Issues concerning Migrant Workers in the Construction Industry (Geneva, March 1996), which made various recommendations concerning ILO activities in this area, in particular calling on it to play a leading role in follow-up on the Habitat Agenda and to support technical cooperation activities which encourage and promote urban employment.(7)
The Governing Body also approved a proposal for a general survey on Conventions concerning migrant workers, inviting governments to submit reports in 1998 under article 19 of the Constitution on the Migration for Employment Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 97), the Migration for Employment Recommendation (Revised), 1949 (No. 86), the Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention, 1975 (No. 143), and the Migrant Workers Recommendation, 1975 (No. 151).(8)
The Governing Body also approved the composition and agenda of the Tripartite Meeting of Experts on Future ILO Activities in the Field of Migration (Geneva, April 1997), which was to discuss guidelines on the protection of workers engaged under temporary migration schemes; guidelines on the protection of workers from one country recruited by private agents for employment in another country; and pattern or practice studies of the exploitation of migrant workers not falling under Convention-based procedures.(9)
ILO Enterprise Forum
In November the Governing Body took note of information concerning the outcome of the ILO Enterprise Forum, held in that month.(10) Some 550 participants had attended the Forum, which saw debates on several panels. The aim of the Forum was to bring entrepreneurs and senior managers of major enterprises together with the constituents of the Organization to discuss possible solutions in the ILO to the worldwide unemployment crisis, and its main theme was the promotion of social progress and enterprise competitivity in a global economy. It discussed the implications for enterprises and the ILO of a changing world economy; enterprises and jobs; social initiatives by enterprises; and the future role of the social partners at the enterprise level. Presentations were made of background papers and the ILO's Enterprise Strategy.
Working Party on the Social Dimensions of the Liberalization of International Trade
In November the Working Party discussed the recent OECD publication Trade, Employment and Labour Standards.(11) It paid tribute to the analysis in the report and noted the support it lent for the ILO's own role, mandate and means of action. All agreed that it would continue to be important and increasingly urgent for the ILO to address these issues.
This role was further reaffirmed at the first Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organization in Singapore in December 1996. In March the Governing Body considered a paper summarizing developments at that meeting, which highlighted the many statements made at the meeting in support of the ILO's role. One of the main topics in Singapore concerned whether and how a reference would be made in the final documents of the meeting to labour standards, and in particular to the internationally recognized fundamental labour standards. The topic was ultimately addressed in paragraph 4 of the official final Declaration. This is of particular significance, as it represents the official point of view of the WTO as expressed by ministers of trade.(12)
The debate on the ILO's role concentrated on two issues. The first was the question of how to improve and strengthen the ILO's supervisory system and normative action more generally. This issue is described below in the section on international labour standards and the strengthening of supervisory procedures. Among the other additional suggestions made were the idea of regional monitoring mechanisms, peer reviews, and country policy reviews. The role of technical cooperation in promoting core labour standards, and the question of how to focus technical cooperation more effectively on such core standards, was also stressed.
The second issue was how to improve the research capacity and knowledge base of the ILO on those issues. Suggestions were made concerning a comprehensive programme for analysis of the issues and options concerning the social implications of globalization, and it was agreed that overall a more strategic approach was needed, incorporating the country studies and the research proposal and other relevant proposals included in the Programme and Budget proposals for 1998-99, developing criteria and methodology, and ensuring a balanced approach. The Working Party will in November 1997 discuss the full range of ILO research on related issues with a view to developing an overall research strategy.
In November and March the Working Party examined replies to the Office questionnaire distributed to constituents in member States to obtain their views on current developments with regard to globalization and the liberalization of trade, and the impact they have had on social standards. The exercise met with mixed success, as the response rate was low (35 per cent), making it difficult to draw conclusions.(13) One outcome was that the Office was requested to prepare a short factual document on voluntary codes of conduct and labelling schemes for the Working Party's next meeting. The Working Party highlighted two important points regarding any future work the Office might carry out, whether in specific country studies or in wider research: first, the impact of globalization differed greatly between countries and sectors, and any analysis should take account of this variety of experience. It was also thought desirable to develop methodology and criteria for judging objectively, on the basis of national and enterprise-level data, both the extent and the social impact of globalization.
In March attention was also given to a paper bringing together various recent reports by UNCTAD, OECD, the World Bank and the IMF on aspects of foreign direct investment.(14) This paper covered four main issues: the growing significance of foreign direct investment in the global economy; the impact of foreign direct investment on economic growth and employment; the link between foreign direct investment and labour standards; and the implications for policy. This subject also formed the background to a set of proposals on investment and employment intended as an item for the 1999 Conference agenda.(15)
The Working Party also examined progress in identifying countries willing to be the subject of special studies on the social implications of globalization and trade liberalization. Seven countries (Chile, Jamaica, Jordan, Mauritius, the Republic of Korea, Poland and Switzerland) have so far volunteered. The Working Party encouraged the Office to continue its contacts with member States to see whether a few more countries, perhaps particularly from Africa and from among the developing countries, could be identified.
Information was discussed on a research item included in the Programme and Budget proposals for 1998-99 concerning the economic impact of implementing core labour standards in developing countries.
International labour standards
Working practices and methods in the area of standard setting
Continuing the work begun in 1994 in response to the Conference resolution concerning the 75th anniversary of the ILO and its future orientation, the Governing Body gave further discussion to adapting the ILO's working practices and methods in the area of standard setting.
In March its Committee on Legal Issues and International Labour Standards reviewed progress in the ratification and promotion of the ILO's fundamental Conventions, on which subject the Director-General had addressed a letter to all member States that had not ratified them in May 1995, followed by other subsequent letters.(16) Some 29 new ratifications had been registered since the letter was sent, and more were expected.
In November and March the Governing Body's Committee on Legal Issues and International Labour Standards considered further papers on the strengthening of ILO supervisory procedures in relation to the implementation of fundamental human rights within its mandate.(17) These set out a catalogue of possible methods to be used and opened debate on the specific standards concerned, namely, those on discrimination in employment and occupation and forced labour (including child labour). This subject-area is also addressed by the Report of the Director-General to the Conference at its present session, and in the report of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations. Work will continue on this subject in the coming year: in November the Governing Body will examine a paper that will take full account of the discussions to date and of those that will take place at the present session of the Conference on the Report of the Director-General; it will analyse the discussions, identify options, contain concrete proposals and a calendar for action, and will indicate the legal, financial and organizational implications of the different alternatives.
Revision of standards
The Working Party on Policy regarding the Revision of Standards continued its work in November and March(18) by examining the needs for the revision of Conventions concerning standards in various subject-areas. The Governing Body's decisions on these involved recommendations for the revision of, or general surveys on, certain Conventions, requests to Governments to consider ratifying the standards or to provide information or engage in consultations on other Conventions, or simply to maintain the status quo.(19) This work will continue in the coming year.
On the question of abrogation or termination, in November the Working Party examined a detailed document on the procedural aspects, the necessary safeguards and the various problems related to a constitutional amendment permitting the abrogation or termination of obsolete international labour Conventions by the International Labour Conference. A set of amendments to the Constitution and the Standing Orders of the Governing Body and the Conference are as a result before the Conference at the present session.(20)
In March the Committee on Legal Issues and International Labour Standards examined a general status report prepared by the Office on ILO action concerning discrimination in employment and occupation.(21) This provided in particular further information on ILO action to promote equality for women as follow-up on the Fourth World Conference on Women. The Governing Body also noted that the ACC had decided to set up a permanent committee, the Inter-Agency Committee on Women and Gender Equality, under the responsibility of the UN Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Gender Issues, as a standing subsidiary mechanism of the ACC. The ILO has taken an active part in its work.(22) In November the Committee on Technical Cooperation reviewed strategies to enhance women's employment and income opportunities in the light of experience from technical cooperation.(23)
In November the Committee on Legal Issues and International Labour Standards reviewed the activities of the multidisciplinary teams in relation to standards, noting in particular the increased attention given by the teams to the promotion of fundamental Conventions.(24)
Freedom of association
The Committee on Freedom of Association continued to receive a high number of complaints dealing with complex industrial relations and human rights issues.(25) In October 1996 two missions visited Colombia and Swaziland for direct contacts with the authorities to discuss the problems related to freedom of association. In March 1997 a request was addressed to the Government of Korea to examine the possibility of a high-level tripartite mission being undertaken to the country. The Governing Body is in contact with the Government of Nigeria in order to set a date for an ILO mission to be held as soon as possible.
During the past year the Governing Body received a number of representations submitted by industrial associations under article 24 of the ILO Constitution. It established committees to deal with representations concerning Brazil, the Russian Federation, Uruguay and Venezuela, and referred two representations concerning Denmark to its Committee on Freedom of Association. It also adopted recommendations made by committees it had set up to examine other representations concerning Brazil, Congo, Costa Rica, Greece, Guatemala, Peru, Turkey, Uruguay and Venezuela.(26)
As regards the complaint concerning the non-observance by Myanmar of the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29), made by delegates to the 83rd Session (June 1996) of the Conference under article 26 of the Constitution of the ILO, in November the Governing Body requested the Government of Myanmar to communicate its observations on the complaint by 31 January 1997. In March the Governing Body examined the reply and referred the complaint to a Commission of Inquiry which it appointed in accordance with article 26 of the Constitution, deciding that the members of the Commission should be nominated in accordance with the same criteria, and would serve in the same conditions, as the members of previous such commissions.(27)
Reports of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations
The Governing Body approved changes making the separate publication of Parts 1, 2 and 3 of Report III to the Conference unnecessary, deciding that the contents of Part 1 of Report III would be published in a simplified form as an appendix to the report of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations; Part 3 of Report III would be published as an appendix to the report of the Committee of Experts; and the Office would make available for consultation the texts of all reports received under articles 19, 22 and 35 of the Constitution, and would supply copies of these reports on request to members of delegations.(28) In March the Governing Body discussed information on international labour standards on the Internet, and in particular the arrangements for the publication of the report of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations on the Internet.(29)
Active partnership and technical cooperation
Through its Committee on Technical Cooperation, in November the Governing Body reviewed progress in the implementation of the Active Partnership Policy, ILO technical cooperation activities, and the ILO strategy for technical cooperation during the previous year.(30) The Office paper presented a review of ILO technical cooperation activities over the previous year, providing statistical data and analyses. The Governing Body noted the stabilization of the resource situation, and requested the Office to prepare proposals for an innovative strategy designed to enhance the resources available to the technical cooperation programme, which it will examine in the coming year.
Following up on its November discussion, in March the Governing Body decided on an internal evaluation of the Active Partnership Policy, for which purpose it decided to establish a tripartite working party, consisting of three Government, three Employer and three Worker members, in order to review the results. The working party will meet in June 1997, November 1997 and March 1998, and will conduct visits to four regions, each by three members of the Working Party.(31)
The Committee in November also reviewed strategies to enhance women's employment and income opportunities in the light of experience from technical cooperation on the basis of a paper(32) that examined the relative strengths and weaknesses of project strategies. Further developments concerning operational activities in the United Nations system, including principal measures taken by the ILO concerning General Assembly resolution 50/120, were the subject of a further paper.(33)
In March the Committee on Technical Cooperation reviewed its working arrangements and decided to meet at both major sessions of the Governing Body each year, with a standard agenda.(34)
In March the Governing Body included on the agenda of the 1999 session of the Conference a general discussion on the role of the ILO in technical cooperation.
In March the Governing Body discussed the sixth survey on the effect given to the Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy and adopted a series of conclusions and recommendations.(35)
In November the Governing Body approved amendments to the Financial Rules required to strengthen the decentralization process and to hold officials at headquarters and in the field accountable to the Treasurer and Financial Comptroller in respect of delegations of financial authority made to them.(36) It also approved amendments to the Staff Regulations and the Financial Rules so as to afford a greater measure of autonomy and independence to the Chief Internal Auditor.(37)
The Governing Body authorized the purchase of the premises of the ILO Liaison Office with the European Communities and the Benelux in Brussels and approved expenditure for the extension of the building of the ILO Regional Office for Africa in Abidjan. In March the Governing Body approved the installation of air-conditioning equipment for the premises in Islamabad, which are under construction.(38)
In November the Governing Body selected 12 sectoral meetings for inclusion in the Programme and Budget proposals for 1998-99,(39) deciding in March on their composition and purpose.(40) It also evaluated practical experience with the new sectoral meetings format.(41) The Office paper reviewed participation in the meetings, their output, the role of the Officers of the meetings, experience with the new Standing Orders and panel discussions, and participants' comments. Conclusions were drawn on the desirable size of meetings and level of participation, and the structure of panel discussions, as well as on various other minor aspects.
International Labour Conference
In November the Governing Body undertook an assessment of the reforms in the functioning of the International Labour Conference.(42) It decided that all the measures applied in 1996 be continued at the present session, on the understanding that various facilities also be introduced;(43) and that the responsibility for the approval of non-controversial changes in the composition of committees should be delegated to the Selection Committee.
In March the Governing Body decided to include items on the agenda of the 1999 session of the Conference for the revision of the Maternity Protection Convention (Revised), 1952 (No. 103) and Recommendation, 1952 (No. 95) in a double-discussion procedure, and a general discussion on the role of the ILO in technical cooperation.(44)
In March the Governing Body also discussed various proposals made by the Office concerning possible changes in the manner of selecting items for future sessions of the Conference. These covered consultation procedures and a possible portfolio approach.(45)
Following the decision taken in 1995 that, as part of the Programme and Budget adjustments for 1996-97, the ILO would hold three-day regional meetings, with a single agenda item, instead of the originally planned regional conferences, in November the Governing Body adopted a set of draft Rules for Regional Meetings, and decided to give effect to them as from 1997 for the Regional Meeting to be held in Asia, on an experimental basis, before they are submitted to the International Labour Conference for confirmation. The proposed new Rules are designed to accommodate the arrangements for the Regional Meetings, which are intended to provide a platform for tripartite delegations to express their views on the ILO's regional activities.(46)
Use of the Internet
The ILO set up a site on the Internet in summer of 1996. Since the beginning of 1997 part of the site(47) has been devoted to the Governing Body. Documents are available on-line, as are standard reference texts related to its work. In March the Governing Body discussed the practical arrangements involved.(48)
In November, in approving the report of the Meeting of Experts on Workers' Privacy (Geneva, October 1996), the Governing Body authorized distribution of the Code of Practice on the Protection of Workers' Personal Data and the revised Office Commentary on the Code.(49)
In March the Governing Body reviewed its own functioning, deciding that in future all committees can meet twice a year, adopting a schedule for the systematic discussion of programme and budget issues and placing a fundamental policy issue, programme orientation or potential standard-setting topic on the agenda of each major session.
12. GB.268/WP/SDL/1/3. Paragraph 4 of the Declaration adopted at Singapore reads as follows: "Core labour standards: We renew our commitment to the observance of internationally recognized core labour standards. The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the competent body to set and deal with these standards, and we affirm our support for its work in promoting them. We believe that economic growth and development fostered by increased trade and further trade liberalization contribute to the promotion of these standards. We reject the use of labour standards for protectionist purposes, and agree that the comparative advantage of countries, particularly low-wage developing countries, must in no way be put into question. In this regard, we note that the WTO and ILO Secretariats will continue their existing collaboration."
14. GB.267/WP/SDL/3. The reports reviewed were: UNCTAD's World Investment Report 1996, and the section on foreign direct investment in the OECD report entitled Trade, Employment and Labour Standards (1996). Material was also drawn from the World Bank's World Development Report 1995: Workers in an Integrating World, an IMF working paper entitled Foreign Direct Investment in the World Economy (June 1995) and a 1995 OECD monograph entitled Foreign Direct Investment, Trade and Employment.
17. Standard-setting policy: The strengthening of the ILO's supervisory system (GB.267/LILS/5 and GB.268/LILS/6). See also reports of the Committee on Legal Issues and International Labour Standards: Second report -- International labour standards (GB.267/9/2; GB.268/8/2).
26. Brazil: GB.268/14/4; Congo: GB.268/14/6; Costa Rica: GB.266/8/1; Greece: GB.268/14/7; Guatemala: GB.267/15/3; Peru: GB.266/8/4 and GB.267/15/2; Turkey: GB.268/14/5; Uruguay: GB.267/15/4; Venezuela: GB.268/14/9.
34. The standard agenda is: November: 1. Annual report on technical cooperation; 2. The ILO's resource mobilization strategy. 3. Operational developments in the UN system; 4. UN Joint Inspection Unit report. 5. Internal measures taken to enhance the ILO's technical cooperation programme. March: 1. Report on the implementation of the Active Partnership Policy; 2. Impact assessment/evaluation paper on ILO technical cooperation. 3. Information on the development of new global programmes; 4. Child labour.
39. GB.267/11, paras. 5-18. These were: Chemical industries: Voluntary initiatives affecting training and education on safety, health and environment; Commerce: Human resource implications of globalization and restructuring in commerce; Food, drink and tobacco: Technology and employment in the food and drink industries; Health services: Terms of employment and working conditions in health sector reforms; Maritime, ports, fisheries and inland waterways: Safety and health in the fishing industry; Mechanical and electrical engineering: The impact of flexible labour market arrangements in the machinery, electrical and electronic indus tries; Mining (coal mines and other mines): Social and labour issues in small-scale mines; Oil and gas production and oil refining: Employment and industrial relations issues in oil refining; Postal and other communication services: The human resources dimension of structural and regulatory changes and globalization in postal and telecommunications services; Public service: Human resource development in the public service in the context of structural adjustment and transition; Transport (including civil aviation, railways and road transport): The social and labour consequences of technological developments, deregulation and privatization of transport; Utilities: Managing the privatization and restructuring of public utilities.
43. These are: the details of any vote taken, as well as the reply by the Secretary-General, will be produced immediately; a secretariat service will be set up where delegates can obtain, on request, copies of individual speeches as submitted by the speakers; the record of statements made in plenary will be produced as soon as possible after the conclusion of the Conference.
46. GB.267/9/1, Appendix I. The main changes proposed in the new Rules as compared with those for Regional Conferences are the following: (a) there is no provision for a Governing Body delegation; (b) composition of the meeting is simplified as far as the participation of official and non-governmental international organizations are concerned -- they would now all need to be specifically invited by the Governing Body (Article 1, para. 6); non-governmental organizations would only be able to circulate statements (Article 9, para. 4); (c) the only Committee provided for is a Credentials Committee, and therefore resolutions could only be submitted on items relating to the agenda of the meeting. As there would be no Selection Committee, the Officers of the Meeting would arrange the programme of work of the meeting (Article 6, para. 5); (d) concerning credentials (Article 8), in view of the short duration of the Meetings, these would have to be submitted 30 days in advance of the opening so that a provisional list could be made available before the opening of the meeting. Objections would have to be submitted by 11 a.m. on the first day of the meeting. The Credentials Committee would have to submit a report promptly on each objection it received; (e) in view of the reduction in duration of the Meetings, the time-limit for speeches would be reduced and further restrictions made on the right to address the Meeting (Article 9); (f) decisions would, whenever practicable, be taken by consensus or, where this could not be achieved, by show of hands (Article 10, para. 3). There would be no provision for a record vote or secret ballot, although voting by such means would not be excluded (see the word "normally" in Article 10, para. 4).