109th International Labour Conference to be held virtually, opening in May

The 109th Session of the International Labour Conference will, for the first time in its history, be held virtually, reflecting changes imposed by the COVID-19 crisis.

Media advisory | 17 May 2021
GENEVA (ILO News) – The 109th Session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) will, for the first time in its history, be held virtually, reflecting changes imposed by the COVID-19 crisis.

In another special arrangement the ILC will open on 20 May (13:00 - Geneva time) to elect its Officers and set the Conference in motion. The Conference will then proceed in two parts; the first in June 2021 and a second in November-December 2021.

The June sittings will start on 3 June, with meetings of the Conference committees that are expected to run for two and a half weeks.

Work in plenary will commence on 7 June and will be addressed by the President of the Swiss Confederation. The ILO’s Director-General, Guy Ryder and the Chairperson of the Governing Body will also present their reports, which will cover two years. This will be followed by the introductory statements of the Presidents of the ILC’s Employers and Workers groups.

The items on the June segment of the ILC agenda include a special outcome document on the ILO response to COVID-19, the ILO’s programme and budget for 2022-23, the recurrent discussion on social protection, and consideration of the reports on the application of labour standards during the pandemic and related country case discussions.

The World of Work Summit, entitled, International action for a human-centred COVID-19 response, will take place on 17 and 18 June, with sessions running for about 90 minutes each day. The Summit will include a high-level segment with heads of state and government and a panel discussion with tripartite representatives.

Other ILC events will include for World Day Against Child Labour, on 10 June (World Day falls on a Saturday this year), and the launch of a report on child labour.

The June part of the ILC will close on 19 June.

The ILC will resume its work in November, with an agenda that includes two thematic discussions in committees, one on inequalities and the world of work and the second on skills and life-long learning. The Director-General is expected to close the 109th ILC on 11 December.

The work of the ILC can be followed via the “ILC live” section of the ILO’s website, which will include live coverage of the plenary sessions. There will also be a live blog with rolling coverage. A 30-minute “Daily Show”, covering key moments and themes, will go live at 16.30 CEST each day on the ILO website, as well as YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn.

All ILC coverage, as well as photos, videos and social media links will be available via the Conference webpages: https://www.ilo.org/ilc

The ILC, sometimes known as the world parliament of labour, is the largest international gathering dedicated to the world of work, attended by representatives of governments, employers and workers from the 187 ILO Member States. As well as discussing key world of work issues, delegates discuss, adopt and monitor International Labour Standards and set the ILO’s global agenda and budget.

The 109th session of the annual ILC was deferred from 2020 to this year by the ILO’s Governing Body, as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ILO’s Governing Body will meet twice during this period, on May 21 and June 25.

For further information and to arrange print media interviews, please contact the ILO Department of Communication: newsroom@ilo.org.

For broadcast coverage and interviews, please contact: multimedia@ilo.org.