ILO's Director-General visits Trinidad and Tobago

News | 13 September 2007
PORT OF SPAIN (ILO News) - Juan Somavia, Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), was in Trinidad and Tobago for the XV Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor (IACML) of the Organization of American States which was held from 11-13 September 2007 at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

This was the Director-General's first visit to the English-speaking Caribbean.

A Chilean national, Juan Somavia became the first representative from the Southern Hemisphere to head the ILO in 1999. In that same year he submitted his Decent Work Agenda which was endorsed by the ILO's Governing Body and the International Labour Conference.

The Decent Work Agenda is a contemporary expression of the ILO's historical mandate covering international labour standards and fundamental principles and rights at work, employment and enterprise creation, social protection and social dialogue. It has been endorsed as a global goal at international, regional and national fora. The Decent Work Agenda has been recognized as being critical to the realization of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and as an effective means of fighting poverty. This XV IACML has taken as its theme "Making decent work central to social and economic development."

An attorney by profession, Mr. Somavia has had a long and distinguished career in civil and international affairs. His wide experience in all areas of public life - as a diplomat and academic - and his involvement in social development, business and civil organizations, have all helped shape his vision of the need to secure decent work for women and men throughout the world.