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UN Secretary-General, Swiss authorities, mark ILO’s 100th anniversary

The ceremony at ILO headquarters in Geneva included the unveiling of a commemorative plaque and the inauguration of an avenue of trees celebrating 100 years of the ILO.

Press release | 09 May 2019
GENEVA (ILO News) – UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, has praised the ‘absolutely remarkable’ contribution made by the ILO to the rights of workers around the world during its 100 years of existence.

He was speaking at an event at ILO headquarters in Geneva to mark the ILO Centenary.

“The International Labour Organization is the symbol of the vision that multilateralism goes beyond relations between governments. Multilateralism is more and more something that all important actors should embrace at the societal, national and global level,” Guterres said.

“So, I don’t know how the world will be in a hundred years. I have no idea how economies and societies will work, but I am absolutely sure that the trees that we have been planted will be there and that the ILO will also be there.”

The ILO is known for its tripartite structure [...]. Its main mission is to ensure universal peace through decent work."

Federal Councillor of the Swiss Confederation, Ignazio Cassis
ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder and Federal Councillor of the Swiss Confederation, Ignazio Cassis, unveiled a Centenary plaque, in the presence of the President of the State Council of the Republic and Canton of Geneva, Antonio Hodgers and the Mayor of Geneva, Sami Kanaan.

Members of the Chief Executives Board of the UN, which brings together the executive heads of the UN organizations, were also present.

“I am honoured to welcome the Swiss and Geneva authorities and social partners and the UN SG to the ILO. The Centenary is an important occasion on which to reinforce our friendship and collaboration with Geneva, the Swiss Confederation and the multilateral community,” Ryder said.

Federal Councillor Cassis described the ILO as “the most important legacy” of the League of Nations, both of which were established as part of the Treaty of Versailles which ended the First World War.

The ILO, he said, “is known for its tripartite structure and is both unique and futuristic. Its main mission is to ensure universal peace through decent work.”

“We are here to celebrate 100 years of history but also and above all to construct a future for all. The trees that have been planted symbolise deep-rooted resilience in the face of crisis but equally vitality, strength and beauty.”

An ILO Centenary Swiss stamp representing the tripartite structure of the ILO was also exhibited at the ceremony.