ILO Director-General congratulates Colombia for "historic step" towards peace

Guy Ryder says that the Havana bilateral and definitive ceasefire agreement to end hostilities and lay down arms will bring opportunities and challenges, including employment, and that the ILO stands ready to assist.

News | 24 June 2016
GENEVA (ILO News) – The Director-General of the ILO, Guy Ryder, congratulated Colombia for having taken an "historic step" in signing a bilateral and definitive cease-fire that seeks to end an internal conflict that has lasted for more than 50 years.

“Peace, especially when it builds on dialogue, is always excellent news,” Ryder said. “We should congratulate everyone involved in a negotiation process that has not been easy and still requires yet more determination, perseverance and willingness of the parties to reach a conclusion.”

The ILO and Colombia have signed a memorandum of understanding that provides a framework for developing technical cooperation in favour of generating more and better jobs in the rural economy and allowing a transition after the end of the conflict through decent work.

In this regard, the ILO Director-General highlighted the crucial role that decent work can play in ensuring a lasting peace and social justice.

“The generation of quality employment, access to social protection for the most vulnerable groups, respect for fundamental rights at work and overcoming differences through dialogue are essential ingredients that can help seal this peace that Colombia has been waiting for so long.”

Ryder highlighted the tripartite nature of the ILO and reiterated its willingness to continue working with the Government, as well as organizations of workers and employers, and civil society in order to help develop and implement employment programs at a crucial moment for Colombia.