107th Session of the International Labour Conference

World of Work Summit

Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience

The International Labour Conference held a World of Work Summit to discussed the importance of employment and decent work for peace and resilience, with a specific focus on tackling the realities on the ground and on partnerships that can achieve real results. The Summit addressed the challenges of sustaining peace by providing opportunities in the world of work, especially for young people. It consisted of a High-Level Panel discussion and a speeches by high-level keynote speakers.

This year the Summit was honoured by the addresses of H.E. Mr Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, and of H.E. Mr Faustin-Archange Touadéra, President of the Central African Republic.

High-level interactive panel discussion


  1. Mr Helder Da Costa, General Secretary, g7+

    Mr Helder da Costa is General Secretary of the g7+ Secretariat, an association comprising 20 fragile and post-conflict affected countries, ranging from the Pacific, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, based in Dili, Timor-Leste. He served as Senior Advisor on Aid Effectiveness to the Ministry of Finance, Timor-Leste (2008-2014) and represented the g7+ in the Steering Committee of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation in 2012-2014.

  2. Ms Sylvia Escovar, President, Terpel, Colombia

    Ms Sylvia Escovar is an economist from the Andes University and has had a distinguished career in the public and private sectors. For the past five years she has been the president of Terpel, a large oil and gas corporation in which she has held various management positions for almost 15 years. Ms Escovar is recognized for her leadership position in governmental institutions such as the National Planning Department (DNP), the Republic Bank and the Departments of Finance and Education in Bogotá, as well as multilateral organizations such as the World Bank and IADB, and private institutions including Fiducolombia.

  3. Ms Rosa Helena Flerez González, General Secretary, Confederación de Trabajadores de Colombia (CTC), Colombia

    Ms Rosa Elena Flerez González is the Secretary General and Member of the Executive Committee of the Confederation of Workers of Colombia (CTC), and a Member of the ILO’s Governing Body. She has been actively engaged in the defence of workers’ rights as a trade union leader in Colombia’s textile sector for more than 25 years. Ms. González’s expertise is in human, labour and trade union rights, amongst many other areas related to the world of work. Ms. Gonzáles holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Instituto Pedagógico Athenas Bogotá.

  4. Mr Filippo Grandi, High Commissioner, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

    Mr Filippo Grandi became the 11th United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on 1 January 2016, after being elected by the UN General Assembly to serve a five-year term until 31 December 2020. Before his election Mr. Grandi was engaged in international cooperation for over 30 years, focusing on refugee and humanitarian work. He served as Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, UNRWA, from 2010 to 2014, after having been the organization’s Deputy Commissioner-General since 2005. Prior to that he served as Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Afghanistan, following a long career first with NGOs and later with UNHCR in Africa, Asia, Middle East and at the organization’s headquarters in Geneva.

  5. Ms Lucija Ljubić-Lepine, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Her Excellency Ms Lucija Ljubić-Lepine is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina. She served as Deputy Permanent Representative – Minister Counsellor, Permanent Representation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg from 2012 to 2015. Prior to that she served as Minister Counsellor, Division for Coordination of Activities with the Security Council of the UN, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

  6. Ms Rokia Traoré, Ambassador for the Fondation Passerelle, Mali

    Ms Rokia Traoré was born in January 1974 in Kati, on the outskirts of Bamako, the capital of Mali. She is a singer, songwriter and guitarist. She has also been involved in many theatre performances, notably with US director Peter Sellars. Ms. Traoré is the founder and president of the Fondation Passerelle in Bamako, which supports musical and artistic creation in Mali, musical training courses and multidisciplinary artistic creations along with talks and debates about Malian society, culture, and youth and the challenges they face. She was appointed a UNHCR Regional Goodwill Ambassador for West and Central Africa in 2015.

  7. The panel will be moderated by Ms Carolina Robino, BBC.

    Carolina Robino is a Chilean journalist with 30 years of experience. She began her career in Chile, working for the newspaper ‘La Epoca’, founded just before the plebiscite that ended the military regime of Augusto Pinochet. Ms. Robino was a reporter and editor for various Chilean media on political issues, education and health, culture and art and has covered globally-reported events from many regions of the world. She joined the BBC in 2000, where she worked on various projects in radio, video and internet. From 2012 to 2017 she was general editor of BBC Mundo and today is the Director.

The panellists will address four themes in particular:
- The importance of employment generation and decent work for sustaining peace;
- Recent experiences on the ground: the contribution of decent work to addressing the needs of the people affected, particularly women and young workers;
- The contribution of employment promotion programmes to conflict prevention, peace and resilience building;
- Strategic partnerships for peace-building and the sustainable development agenda, and the role of the ILO;

The High-Level Panel, will offer the opportunity for the audience to participate in the debates and discuss:
  • The role of the ILO, including through new strategic partnerships, in the emerging global architecture for sustaining peace.
  • The relevance and effectiveness of integrated strategies aimed at promoting employment, decent work and social dialogue for addressing the root causes of conflicts, including refugee crises, and supporting peace building.


The century-long history of the International Labour Organization (ILO) is closely connected with the global quest for peace. Read more