ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations

275th Session
Geneva, June 1999


Report of the Director-General


Alfonso Sánchez Madariaga

1. The Director-General announces with deep regret the death, on 3 April 1999, of Alfonso Sánchez Madariaga, Worker member of the Governing Body and its oldest serving member.

2. The trade union career of Alfonso Sánchez Madariaga dates back to 1925, when at the age of 21 he was elected member of the Executive Committee of the Union of Dairy Workers. Later he was detached to serve as a Director of the Mexican Confederation of Workers and presided over its fifth and seventh Congresses in 1950 and 1962. As of the second Congress of the Inter-American Regional Organization of Workers of the ICFTU, he became a member of the organization's Administrative Committee. At its fourth and fifth Congresses he was elected Secretary-General and President respectively. Among his outstanding accomplishments was his part in the founding of the Mexican Institute of Social Security.

3. Alfonso Sánchez Madariaga was a regular Worker member of the Governing Body for the last 42 years, since 1957, with only one interruption. Before then he served as a deputy member. He was the longest serving member of the Committee on Freedom of Association.

4. He participated regularly in the International Labour Conference from 1954 onwards as Workers' delegate, and was in turn Vice-President of the Conference, Vice-President of the Workers' group and regularly a member of the Workers' Bureau.

5. He will be remembered for his great patience and courtesy, his faith in the values of democracy and liberty and his constant work to promote them in Latin America, as well as for his sense of duty, hard work and solidarity.

6. The Governing Body will no doubt wish to request the Director-General to convey its sympathy to the family of Alfonso Sánchez Madariaga and to the Mexican Confederation of Workers.

Fernando Yllanes Ramos

7. The Director-General announces with deep regret the death, on 6 May 1999, of Fernando Yllanes Ramos, former Employer member of the Governing Body.

8. It is no exaggeration to say that Fernando Yllanes Ramos was one of the historic figures of the ILO. In 1944 he participated in the Conference in Philadelphia and was a member of the committee that drafted the Declaration of Philadelphia. In 1945 he participated in the session of the Governing Body held in London and became one of its 32 regular members. He also participated in the first extraordinary session of the Conference after the war, held in Paris in 1945. In 1946 he was one of nine members of the Conference Delegation for Constitutional Questions, which met in London for nearly four weeks and which prefigured the discussions on the structure of the ILO.

9. In 1957 and 1971 he served as Employer Vice-President of the Conference, and between 1969 and 1982 he was appointed Employer Vice-Chairperson of seven different Conference committees. In 1976 he was the Employer Vice-President of the World Employment Conference. He also participated in all American Regional Conferences of the ILO and served as its Employer Vice-President on many occasions.

10. Between 1945 and 1985 he attended the Governing Body as a regular, deputy and substitute Employer member and served on several of its committees. Between 1960 and 1985 he was appointed five times to the Committee on Freedom of Association. He was Employer Vice-Chairperson of the Meeting of Experts convened in 1986 to examine the possible revision of Convention No. 107, having participated in its original drafting in 1957.

11. Since his appearance on the international scene, Fernando Yllanes Ramos represented the Mexican Employers on the Executive Board of the International Organization of Employers, of which he was a Vice-Chairperson. From 1958 to 1959 he presided over the IOE General Assembly.

12. The Governing Body will no doubt wish to request the Director-General to convey its sympathy to the family of Fernando Yllanes Ramos, to the International Organization of Employers and to the Mexican Organization of Employers.

Geneva, 26 June 1999.

Points for decision:

Updated by VC. Approved by NdW. Last update: 26 January 2000.