ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations

87th Session
1-17 June 1999

Note for the delegates

The Secretary-General of the conference presents his compliments to the delegates and submits for their information the following note concerning the work of the conference, dealing with:

  1. Material arrangements.
  2. Subjects to be discussed by the conference.
  3. Procedure.
  4. Entertainment during the Conference.

A. Material arrangements

Place of meeting

The necessary information concerning the place of meeting, including the location of rooms, offices and services, is contained in the Guide for Delegates which will be supplied by the Distribution Service (in the entrance hall) to members of delegations.

In the interests of the smooth running of the Conference, delegates are requested to read the Guide carefully and keep it for reference.

The main entrance to the Conference premises at the Palais des Nations is situated on the floor below the Assembly Hall, and members of delegations will enter by the door on the right-hand side of the Assembly block (Door No. 13).

The secondary entrance to reach meeting rooms XIX, XX, XXIII and XXIV is situated at door
No. 40 in Building E.

Duration of meeting

The Conference will open on Tuesday, 1 June 1999, at 11 a.m., and will continue until 17 June.

Registration of delegations – Quorum

On entering the Conference premises, delegates who have not already sent their registration forms should proceed immediately to the Information Desk in order to carry out their registration formalities.

The quorum is determined by the Credentials Committee on the basis of the number of delegates registered. It is therefore important that accredited delegates attending the Conference should register personally without delay, in order that the quorum may, from the beginning of the session, accurately reflect the composition of the Conference.

The information asked for on the registration form will also be required by the Secretariat of the conference for the purpose of arranging for the distribution of documents, letters, invitations, etc., during the session and for the delivery of documents that have to be forwarded to members of delegations after the conference is over. All members of delegations, in whatever capacity they are attending the conference, and observers are therefore asked to give the required information on the registration form supplied to them.

Identification cards (coded badges)

The identification cards issued to members of delegations upon their registration will be coded badges to be used for the purposes of voting, which will be conducted electronically (see section entitled "Electronic voting system").

In this connection, delegations may wish to note that members duly authorized to vote on behalf of titular delegates, either for the entire duration of the session or for a specific vote, must use their own badges for this purpose.

Participants are requested to note that strict security measures will be enforced at the entrances to the Conference premises and the Assembly Hall. The ushers on duty will ask them to produce their identification cards. Members of delegations and observers not already in possession of their identification cards should apply for them without delay to the Information Desk.

Seating arrangements for plenary sittings

Delegations of member States represented at the Conference will be accommodated on the floor of the Assembly Hall as well as in the fifth-floor galleries, and will be seated in the French alphabetical order of countries. Observers of non-member States and representatives of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations will be seated in the fifth- and sixth-floor galleries of the Assembly Hall.

List of members of delegations

A trilingual provisional list of members of delegations is distributed in time for the opening of the session. This list gives, in French alphabetical order of countries, the names and designations of the delegates and advisers as indicated in the official credentials and the names of representatives of the United Nations, specialized agencies and other official international organizations and the names of representatives or registered observers of non-governmental international organizations. A revised provisional list and a final list of members of delegations will be issued subsequently.

Programme of meetings and Daily Bulletin

Delegates may obtain information concerning the programme of the following morning’s meetings by dialling the following telephone numbers each evening after 10 p.m.



917 69 82



917 69 83



917 68 44

The complete programme for each day will be published in the Daily Bulletin, which will be available at the Distribution Service from 8 a.m.

The programme of meetings will also be posted up on special notice-boards in the entrance hall of the Palais des Nations and on Floor R.3 (near the delegates’ bar) of the ILO building.

No room, whether in the Palais des Nations or in the ILO building, may be used for meetings without prior authorization of the Secretariat Services (office A-519, telephones 76865 and 76866).

Reports I to VI concerning items on the agenda of the Conference

As an economy measure, the distribution of reports I to VI is strictly limited.

When they collect their badges from the Information Desk, delegates will receive a form for requesting reports which they should, if necessary, complete and return to the Document Distribution Service of the Conference. The forms will be kept by that Service, which will provide delegates with one report per subject upon presentation of their badges.

Provisional Record

A Provisional Record, giving reports of all the speeches or interpretations at plenary sittings of the Conference, the texts of committee reports and other official documents of the Conference, is published in English, French and Spanish.

Delegates who wish to have corrections made to the report of their speeches as printed should communicate these to the International Labour Office (Conference Record Service) in writing not later than ten days after the close of the Conference.

For the sake of economy, the press-run of the Provisional Record is limited. Participants in the Conference should therefore keep their copies and refrain from asking for additional copies.

The issues reproducing debates in plenary sittings will appear after an interval of one to two working days.

Consultation of the Conference website. Delegates may consult Conference reports, speeches delivered in plenary, as well as the Daily Bulletin on the Internet «». For this purpose, computers will be placed at the disposal of delegates from 8.30 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. at the Palais des Nations (office A-267, entrance hall of the Assembly Building) and in the ILO (level R.3 south, near to the meeting rooms).

Electronic voting system

Votes during plenary sittings of the Conference will be taken by means of the electronic voting system. This system will also be used for the elections of the Government members of the Governing Bodies.

the electronic voting system may be used for the three types of voting procedures provided for in the Standing Orders of the Conference: by show of hands, by a record vote and by secret ballot. The "voting stations" made available to delegates or persons empowered to vote on their behalf are equipped with a screen and a keyboard. The coded badge issued to them upon registration makes it possible to operate the voting station. When inserted into the voting station, it identifies the person voting and indicates the language used by this person.

When a vote is to be held, the subject to be voted on as well as an indication of whether the vote is secret or not appear on the screen of the voting station. Instructions regarding the next steps to be taken will also appear on the screen.

Vote by show of hands: It should be noted first of all that this type of vote will, strictly speaking, no longer be "by show of hands", but will differ from a record vote in that no record will be published as to how each delegate voted. Once all votes have been registered the final voting figures will be immediately displayed and subsequently published with the following indications: total number of votes in favour, total number of votes against, total number of abstentions and the quorum as well as the majority required.

Record vote: Once all votes have been registered the final voting figures will be immediately displayed with the following indications: total number of votes in favour, total number of votes against, total number of abstentions and the quorum as well as the majority required. These indications will subsequently be published together with a list of the delegates who have voted, showing how they have voted.

Secret ballot: Once all votes have been registered the final voting figures will be immediately displayed and subsequently published with the following indications: total number of votes in favour, total number of votes against, total number of abstentions and the quorum as well as the majority required. There will be absolutely no access possible to individual votes: each voting station will be equipped with a plastic cover in order to ensure the secrecy of the vote and there will be no record of how the delegates have voted.

In all three cases it is important that delegates should have previously decided whether they or another member of their delegation will exercise their right to vote in a given case and that these persons use their own badges. Where more than one vote is nevertheless cast on behalf of a delegate at two different moments or from two different places, only the first vote will be recognized, whether made by the delegate, by a substitute delegate or by an adviser who has received a specific written authorization to that end. A standard form for this purpose will, as in previous years, be at the disposal of delegates at the Information Desk which is situated in the entrance hall of the Assembly Building. Delegates may also obtain these forms at the Secretariat of the Credentials Committee or at the office of the clerk of the Conference. These specific authorizations must be submitted to the Credentials Committee Secretariat preferably the day before the vote and, in any event, at least one hour before voting begins.

The names of titular and deputy Government members of Conference committees should be communicated to the Clerk’s office in order to allow those members to express their vote in committees.

B. Subjects to be discussed by the Conference


With regard to the second item on the agenda, the Conference will be called upon to examine Report II: Draft programme and budget for 2000-01 and other financial questions, as well as any further related matters that may be brought to its attention by the Governing Body.

Other business

1. Standing Orders. The Conference will have before it proposals for the amendment of its Standing Orders submitted by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office. The text of the proposals appears in Provisional Record No. 1.

2. Election of members of the Governing Body of the International Labour Office. In accordance with article 7, paragraph 5, of the Constitution of the International Labour Organization, elections to the Governing Body will be held during the present session of the Conference, during the morning of Monday, 7 June, to select the Governments which have elective seats (regular and deputy members) and the Employer and Worker members and deputy members of the Governing Body.

C. Procedure

The procedure of the Conference is governed by the Constitution of the International Labour Organization and by the Standing Orders of the International Labour Conference. The following brief outline of the procedure may be helpful to members of delegations.

Group meetings

The Government, Employers’ and Workers’ groups will meet separately on the eve of the official opening of the conference to elect their own officers. They will make proposals for the nomination of the three Vice-Presidents of the Conference, as well as for the nomination of the members of the Selection Committee, the Credentials Committee and of the various committees which will be constituted by the conference. Only accredited delegates and their advisers may be so nominated. Information concerning the manner in which these nominations should be made is given to each group during its meeting.


The conference will meet in plenary sitting on Tuesday, 1 June, at 11 a.m., to elect its President and nominate its three Vice-Presidents. In accordance with paragraph 3 of article 25 of the Standing Orders, the conference will also establish various committees and appoint their members on the basis of proposals made by the groups. The Selection Committee will hold its first meeting immediately after the plenary sitting. The plenary sitting will resume at 3.00 p.m. to adopt the first report of the Selection Committee and to conduct a brief examination of the draft programme and budget for 2000-01 before it is submitted to the Finance Committee of Government representatives.

General discussion in plenary

The discussion in plenary of the Reports of the Chairman of the Governing Body and of the Director-General will begin in the afternoon of Monday, 7 June.

Committee meetings

The committees will begin their work on Tuesday, 1 June, in the afternoon or on Wednesday, 2 June, in the morning.

The time and place at which the various committees will meet will be announced in the Daily Bulletin and on the notice-boards.

The procedure of committees is governed by Section H of the Standing Orders of the International Labour Conference.

In committees dealing with the items on the agenda, equal representation is given to the three groups in the Conference – Government, Employers and Workers. This is achieved by a weighting system.

At its first sitting each committee elects a Chairman. It also elects two Vice-Chairmen, one from each of the other groups. The Reporter and Drafting Committee are also appointed, either at the beginning or at a later stage of the committee’s work. Separate meetings of the Government, Employers’ and Workers’ members of the committee may be held. As far as possible these meetings are announced in the Daily Bulletin and on the notice-boards but, to ensure that they are informed, members of committees should keep in touch with the Officers of their group.

Members of delegations wishing to speak at committee meetings should send their names up to the Chairman or secretariat of the committee (especially at the early meetings; it is desirable to send up names instead of merely "catching the eye" of the Chairman). Speakers are called on in the order in which their names are received. All speeches made in English, French or Spanish will be interpreted into the other two languages; interpretation inter alia from and into Arabic, Chinese, German and Russian is also given as required.

The work of committee secretariats is facilitated if members always sit in the same places.

Amendments to proposals before a committee must be handed in to the secretariat of the committee in writing.

In the interest of smooth and speedy working, members of committees are requested to make their speeches as brief as possible.

Space permitting, the public is admitted to committee meetings, unless a committee decides or the Standing Orders provide otherwise.

Committee reports

The report of each committee is prepared by the Reporter and submitted in draft in the first instance to the Officers of the committee and then to the committee itself. With the approval of the report the committee’s work comes to an end. The report is then published in the Provisional Record and is considered by the Conference in plenary sitting; the time is announced in the Daily Bulletin and on the notice-boards. Amendments to the committee’s proposals for consideration by the conference must be given in writing to the Clerk of the Conference. In the case of a proposed Convention or Recommendation, after the committee’s proposals and any amendments thereto have been discussed and voted on by the Conference in plenary sitting, the text is referred to the Drafting Committee of the Conference to be put into final form. The text prepared by the Drafting Committee is then published in the Provisional Record and the final record vote is taken in plenary sitting at a time which is announced in the Daily Bulletin and on the notice-boards.

Members of delegations who are in any doubt or difficulty should not hesitate to apply to the Officers of their group or to the secretariat of the committee.

Discussion of the Report of the Chairman of the Governing Body and of the Report of the Director-General

In accordance with article 12 of its Standing Orders, the Conference will discuss a report on the work of the Governing Body of the International Labour Office which will be presented by its Chairman. The Report of the Director-General, entitled Decent Work, will also be submitted to the Conference.

The discussion of the reports of the Chairman of the Governing Body and of the Director-General will begin in the afternoon of Monday, 7 June.

Delegates who wish to take part in the discussion are requested to give their names to the office of the Clerk of the Conference (room A-523, telephones 76864 and 76863) as early as possible and in any event before the closing day for the list of speakers which will be fixed by the Selection Committee at its first sitting. They are requested to hand in to the Clerk’s Office eight copies of their speeches for the use of the interpreters and the Conference Record Service at least one day before they are scheduled to speak in plenary. A ninth copy is requested from delegates who wish their speeches to be made available to the press and radio. In order to facilitate the text processing of their speeches for publication in the Provisional Record, delegates are also encouraged to submit these texts on diskette (WordPerfect format).

The attention of delegates is called to the resolution concerning freedom of speech of non-governmental delegates to ILO meetings, which was adopted by the International Labour Conference at its 54th Session (June 1970). In this resolution the Conference affirms the importance it attaches to the application of article 40 of the Constitution in such manner that the right of Employers’ and Workers’ delegates to the Conference to express themselves freely on questions within the competence of the ILO is completely safeguarded.

Time-limit for speeches

The Conference will have before it a recommendation to set the time-limit for speeches at five minutes during the discussion of the Director-General’s Report.

Ministers attending the Conference and delegates who wish to take part in that discussion will certainly wish to bear this provision in mind so as to avoid the risk of being interrupted before they have concluded.

D. Entertainment during the Conference

Before deciding on a date and making arrangements for receptions, delegates should contact the Protocol Service (room A-515, telephone 76997), which will be pleased to help with any necessary information and advice.

Updated by HK. Approved by RH. Last update: 26 January 2000.