ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations

276th Session
Geneva, November 1999


International Institute for Labour Studies

Report of the 41st Session of the Board

1. The Board of the International Institute for Labour Studies held its 41st Session on 11 November 1999. It had before it the report of the Director,(1)  the Programme and Budget for 2000-01,(2)  and a paper concerning the acceptance of contributions and gifts in support of the Institute's activities.(3)  The meeting was chaired by the Director-General of the ILO.

1. Report of the Director

2. As many members of the Board were new, and since 1999 had been an exceptional year for the ILO and for the Institute, the Director of the Institute provided a detailed introduction to the report. The Director recalled that the Institute had traditionally performed three major functions for the ILO:

The central theme addressed by the Institute was the relationship between labour institutions, economic growth and social equity. Its means of action were research networks, educational programmes, publications and social policy forums.

3. The Institute's programme had certain features that deserved mention. The Institute had always been distinguished by a rolling programme horizon with new programmes in every biennium. Its research networks consistently linked academics with practitioners. Finally, wherever possible the Institute sought to associate ILO departments in programme formulation and implementation.

4. The Director drew attention to paragraphs 6 to 10 of the document on the Programme and Budget for 2000-01, which contained an assessment of the role of the Institute. In essence the Institute has been effective in promoting new programme ideas within the ILO: it was perhaps the first unit in the house in the late 1980s and the early 1990s to identify the emerging issues of globalization and their impact on the international organization of production. The Institute was also successful in disseminating ILO concerns to the academic community by linking practitioners with researchers, and its educational programmes had been widely appreciated by all constituents. However, the linkage with mainstream ILO activities had often been less than systematic, constrained by organizational structures and the limitations of strategic planning within the ILO itself.

5. The Director recalled the rationale for the choice of research areas in the 1998-90 biennium. In recent years it had become clear that social change and a new individualism was transforming both economic and social processes and social institutions; they were changing the institutional environment of trade unions, of employers' organizations and the State. To address these issues, two new programmes had been launched in 1998-99, to examine the changing relationships between labour and society, and between business and society. It was also planned to undertake preliminary work on the changing role of the State in social policy.

6. Programme implementation in 1999 had taken place under exceptional circumstances. In the last year, nearly one-third of the Institute's staff, including the Director, was involved in preparing the Director-General's Report to the 1999 Conference entitled Decent work. For most of 1999 the Director had held new responsibilities in the Office of the Director-General of the ILO. Furthermore, in 1999 the Institute had undertaken a far-reaching review of its future activities in the light of the four strategic objectives of the ILO itself, which resulted in the programme proposals for 2000-01. In addition to programme implementation, Institute staff were also involved in planning for programme transition. These were all unforeseen activities, of major importance for the ILO, that involved intensive staff time and effort, and inevitably led to delays in programme implementation.

7. As regards the individual programmes, Labour and Society addressed three major issues: the changing environment of labour and unions; trade union responses to the changing environment; and the identification of promising approaches for the future. The innovative aspect of the programme was a fully interactive electronic network set up to elicit the views of trade unionists themselves, and to promote a greater exchange between them and key academics. The website served as a reference tool for trade unions worldwide, and had gained recognition as one of the best websites for the international trade union movement. The interactive conference facility launched last September has secured widespread participation. In addition, in 1999 the Institute undertook 16 case studies on trade union responses to globalization in different parts of the world to provide the basis for a series of planned regional meetings.

8. As a result of the reorganization of the ILO departmental structures, issues relating to labour and society would now fall within the Social Dialogue Sector. As a transitional measure, the Institute would complete the current phase of activities in the course of 2000, and prepare a report based on the main findings of the network discussions, the case studies, and the regional meetings.

9. The second programme, on Business and Society, addressed the issues faced by business in reconciling global competitive pressures with public expectations for corporate social responsibility. It had two aspects. One was the impact of social transformation on enterprise performance; the other was the role of employers' organizations as a major mediating institution between business and society. In the area of social transformation and enterprise performance, Institute staff participated as resource persons in meetings of senior business executives discussing corporate codes of conduct and conditions of work in global supply chains. The Institute also organized a workshop on lessons learned from corporate community involvement programmes, as the Institute's contribution to the ILO's Second Enterprise Forum. In the area of employers' organizations, the Institute organized an international workshop on employers' organizations, development and jobs, which highlighted the factors leading to the success of employers' organizations and pointed to new priorities for research in this area. In particular, the programme explored the role of local and regional initiatives in promoting quality employment, and the importance of business associations mediating between the market, the State and civil society, to promote decent work in a global economy. In the next biennium, the issues relating to business and society would become the concern of the Employment Sector, specifically the Job Creation and Enterprise Department.

10. The objectives of the third programme, the Educational and Intersectoral programme, were to enhance the capacity of ILO constituents to undertake social policy research and analysis, and to renew the constituencies of the Organization. In 1999, substantial changes were made to the structure and content of the International Internship course, to relate it more directly to the new strategic objectives of the Organization, and to utilize new teaching methodology.

11. In line with the new ILO strategic objectives, the Institute's programmes in 2000-01 would be qualitatively different from preceding years. Following the reorganization of the Office, issues relating to the two programmes on Labour and Society and Business and Society fell within the purview of the newly created ILO sectors. The ultimate objective of both programmes was to strengthen social partners and social dialogue. This objective had been recognized and endorsed by the Organization as a whole through the establishment of the Social Dialogue Sector. The Institute had therefore fulfilled, in this instance, one of its major aims -- to promote new programme perspectives for the ILO as a whole.

12. Mr. Khurshid Ahmed (Worker member) expressed his personal satisfaction that, after many years, the Board had the privilege of the presence of the Director-General of the ILO. This was the best recognition of the important role played by the Institute in inspiring fresh thinking within the ILO, and in providing assistance to the social partners through its research, outreach and education activities. He hoped that these activities would be strengthened in the future. On behalf of the Workers' group, Mr. Ahmed congratulated the Institute and its Director for the good work done in the preparation of the Director-General's Report on Decent work. He also conveyed the appreciation of the Workers' group for the activities carried out under the two programmes on Labour and Society and Business and Society. The Workers' group encouraged the Institute to make the outcome of these projects more widely available to labour and business practitioners in the three official languages of the ILO. In particular, the 16 case studies carried out under Labour and Society covered themes of great relevance to trade union centres.

13. The interactive conference on organized labour also was an innovative initiative that deserved to be brought more broadly to the attention of trade unions, in particular in developing countries, through either electronic means or ad hoc publications. A booklet containing key speeches and other material, and explaining how trade unions could take advantage of the conference's facilities, could be a particularly useful tool for dissemination. The ICFTU Conference to be held in Durban in 2000 provided a good occasion for circulating such information to trade unions from all continents.

14. Given the importance of the interactive conference, he recommended that the Institute's computing facilities be further strengthened. With regard to the regional meetings planned in Asia and Latin America under Labour and Society, he stressed that the discussion and the preparatory studies should clearly reflect how social dialogue was maintained, and how employment, industrial relations, social security, training arrangements and safety and health schemes were affected by the process of globalization. It was important to ensure adequate trade union representation, and he expressed his appreciation that similar events were planned in other continents.

15. Turning to the other programmes, he stressed the importance of involving the trade unions in dealing with issues covered by Business and Society. He also hoped that due importance would be given by the Institute to the basic concerns of workers, from fundamental trade union rights to unemployment, social security, safety and health, training and social dialogue. It was equally important to mainstream the gender perspective in the Institute's various activities, as rightly emphasized by the Director-General in his Report. The problems of workers in the rural sector of developing countries, and of women workers in particular, also deserved close attention.

16. Finally, the Workers' group attached great value to the autonomy of the Institute. He looked forward to the strengthening of its activities, and was confident that under the leadership of the Director-General, a proper institutional framework would be found to promote closer and more productive cooperation between the Institute and the Office.

17. Mr. Barde (Employer member) joined Mr. Khurshid Ahmed in welcoming the presence of the ILO's Director-General at the Board's meeting. This was a clear demonstration of the interest of the Office in the Institute. The Employers' group had always been supportive of the Institute through difficult times. Mr. Barde congratulated the Director of the Institute for his report. He noted that attention was given in the work of the Institute to the theme of globalization and its implications for trade unions, and suggested that there was a need to carry out case studies of the implications of globalization for the employers as well. Much emphasis was given to the negative impact of globalization on employment levels. Closer scrutiny would show that the main impact was on patterns of employment rather than its absolute levels. The industrialized economies were experiencing not only downsizing and the shedding of jobs, but also a rapid growth of self-employment and part-time jobs, the latter partly in response to workers' desire for part-time work. In the developing economies, the main consequence of globalization was the expansion of informal sector activities rather than a reduction in the total volume of employment.

18. As regards future Institute activities, he emphasized the importance of developing closer collaboration with other institutes, in particular regional institutes, in order to ground research more deeply in economic and social realities and multiply its impact. The need to ensure a reality check in academic research was an important principle that should provide guidance for the activities of the forthcoming Academic Consultative Council. The Council should also include outstanding individuals with practical knowledge of the needs of society and of enterprises, in addition to academics. The need to combine academic vision and practical experience should also guide the choice of the new Director of the Institute. Mr. Barde expressed the deep appreciation of the Employers' group to Mr. Gopinath for his outstanding contribution to the Institute over the years.

19. The representative of the Government of the Dominican Republic thanked the Director-General of the ILO, Mr. Juan Somavia, for his presence, which reflected the importance of the Institute to the ILO. She also congratulated the Institute for the quality of its work. Her Government was very pleased that the Institute's activities had focused on strengthening ILO constituents. As for the future, attention to the topic of decent work was particularly welcomed. The fact the Institute could reach out to the academic community and all those working on labour and social affairs was noteworthy. The budget for the year 2000-01 was a sound financial basis for the activities planned. As suggested by Mr. Khurshid Ahmed, a greater effort had to be made to publicize the work of the Institute to reach a wider audience.

20. The representative of the Government of Saudi Arabia noted the presence of the Director-General as an indication of the importance the ILO attached to the work of the Institute. He thanked the Director for his report, which provided a clear reflection of the role of the Institute. The Board meeting was of special importance for Saudi Arabia, which was a member of the Board for the first time.

21. He hoped that the studies and research work conducted by the Institute would serve the interests of the social partners and constituents in the light of the strategies highlighted by the Director-General. The Institute had great potential in his region, but its work should be made better known to the Arab countries. The ministers of labour and social security of the Gulf Cooperation Council had previously emphasized this point and had met with the Director of the Institute. Finally, he recommended that a greater number of the Institute's publications be translated into Arabic.

22. Mr. Anand (Employer member) thanked the Director-General for his presence as Chairperson of the Board, thereby restoring the principle of collaboration between the ILO and the Institute. Research into the successes and failures of trade unions should be duplicated for employers' organizations, in consultation with the Enterprise Department, which had the resources for this.

23. Regarding the meeting on "Decent work and global competition: New roles for enterprises and their organizations", he suggested holding meetings in all the regions, as this was a critical time to promote the concept of decent work. The Second Enterprise Forum had provided much valuable material which should be widely disseminated to employers' organizations, trade unions and academic centres, in several languages.

24. Mr. Patel (Worker member) noted that the interactive conference and its theme were excellent ideas. He hoped that the Institute could build a coherent programme of work around it. He noted the high demand for the interactive conference as indicated by the number of subscribers. At the same time, he noted that, given the difficulties users sometimes faced, there was room for improvement with the technical side of the conference. Mr. Patel referred to the New York Times website and its series of online discussion as an example to take into account.

25. The case studies could be used to build the capacity of the social partners while conducting research. Mr. Patel noted that during the discussions at the International Labour Conference in June the importance of building such a capacity had been emphasized. The South African case study was an example. By using the resources that exist within employers' associations and trade unions and by undertaking research in collaboration with these social partners, their research and learning capacity could be strengthened.

26. Mr. Patel requested information on the cost of each of the regional meetings and on how the participants, particularly trade union participants, would be selected. It was important to assess the cost-benefit of these meetings in terms of the optimal way of disseminating the findings of the case studies at the regional level.

27. Referring to paragraph 35 of the report of the Director, dealing with associations of micro-enterprises and enterprises in the informal sector and a recent ILO seminar on trade unions in the informal sector, Mr. Patel suggested examining the prospects for trade union activities in the informal sector, to provide a perspective embracing both entrepreneurs and workers. Both sides were important components in developing a strategy for the future.

28. The Director of the Institute thanked the members of the Board for the support to the Institute and to him personally, and for the level of interest and involvement with the programmes of the Institute. He thanked Mr. Khurshid Ahmed for his comments on the need for dissemination of the case studies and for the suggestion to produce material for distribution to trade union centres at the forthcoming ICFTU Conference. He promised to follow up on these issues with the Bureau for Workers' Activities. As regards the activities of enterprises with respect to social dialogue and social protection, the Institute was planning a regional workshop on the subject of extending social protection and social dialogue to SMEs.

29. In response to Mr. Barde's comments relating to the importance of examining the impact of globalization on the world of employers, the Director said that the paucity of existing information on the subject was an important reason for initiating a programme on Business and Society. As a result, the Institute had started to identify the future research priorities. This research agenda would now no doubt be taken into account by the sectors concerned.

30. The Director agreed with the need for greater publicity of the work of the Institute, expressed by the representative of Government of the Dominican Republic. He also took careful note of the comment by the representative of Saudi Arabia regarding the need to bring the work of the Institute to the attention of the countries of the region. Mr. Anand's comments on Business and Society would be followed up with the ILO sector concerned. The Director also acknowledged the point made by Mr. Patel that the interactive conference should, in future, be a tool not merely for research, but for strengthening institutional capacities.

31. Mr. Servais (the Institute's Research Coordinator) explained that Labour and Society was a two-track programme because of the lack of experience with electronic interactive networks; the papers served as a backup if the network failed. Despite some technical difficulties and lack of staff experience in this field, the network was generally considered a success.

32. Regarding Mr. Patel's point on the case studies, Mr. Servais said that the case writers had indeed been specifically asked to be in touch with the trade unions concerned and to have inputs from them. The objectives of two forthcoming meetings in Seoul and Sao Paolo were to boost the regional dimension and to try to promote the interactive conference in different parts of the world; to post their conclusions on the interactive conference site, and by this means to disseminate the conclusions of the meetings and promote the interactive conference itself. The cost of each meeting was around $40,000. The selection of the trade union participants to the meetings was being done in consultation with ACTRAV. After these two meetings, a decision would be taken on whether it was worthwhile to have such meetings in other regions in the future, or whether the resources should be used to improve the interactive conference itself.

2. Future role of the Institute

3. Programme and Budget for 2000-01

33. At the suggestion of the Chairperson, these items were presented and discussed together.

34. Introducing the items, the Chairperson observed that the Board of the Institute embodied what the ILO was about; it combined ideas with action, and practical experience and knowledge with academic expertise. His own interest in the Institute arose not only from his past experience as the director of a research institute, but also from the respect he had developed over time for the Institute's work. This was based both on the work the Institute had done for the UN Social Summit, and specifically on the Institute's contribution to his Report, Decent work. On his election as Director-General, the first person whose counsel he had sought was Mr. Gopinath, the Director of the Institute. He took this opportunity to thank the Director and the staff of the Institute for their contribution to Decent work, which provided the basis for the preparation of the Strategic Budget of the ILO.

35. In Decent work, he had expressed his intention to carry out a review of the Institute's programme and to synchronize the Institute's activities more closely with the new strategic framework of the ILO as a whole, while maintaining the Institute's flexibility and autonomy. He had requested the Director to explore possibilities for the Institute in three areas. First, to undertake prospective and policy-oriented research to develop the paradigm of decent work. Secondly, to establish international knowledge networks for the ILO with the academic community. It was essential to reach out to the "thought leaders" of society, those pioneering new ways of thinking about the future of the world of work. In this way the ILO could reach out both to those who had to cope with change, as well as those who might have insights into it. Thirdly, to strengthen the multidisciplinary capabilities of the Office and to develop a coherent conceptual framework for the ILO's strategic planning. Here the issue was to examine how the four strategic objectives of decent work related to each other, and to put the thinking capacity of the Institute at the service of the operational needs of the ILO in terms of strategic planning. This represented a new approach, but there was an enormous potential for synergy once this relationship between the Institute and the ILO as a whole was fully developed. The programme and budget proposals of the Institute were to be viewed with this perspective in mind.

36. The Chairperson also stressed two aspects of the programme and budget proposals. First, the ILO needed to strengthen its intellectual capacity in order to fulfil its programme and to establish credibility for its views. Following conversations with Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, it was proposed to establish an Academic Consultative Council to provide advice to the Chairperson of the Board of the Institute. The Academic Consultative Council should be seen as the beginning of an international network of thought-leaders working informally to advise the Chairperson on the best proposals to bring to the Board and to assist in the effective implementation of the Institute's programme. It was his intention to ensure that the members of the Council were chosen from a wide variety of sources, taking into account their understanding of the problems faced by both business and labour and their familiarity with economic and social policies.

37. Secondly, an International Policy Group has been set up to support the ILO's dialogue with the international financial institutions in particular, and the multilateral system in general. The Chairperson expected the Institute's research on the decent work paradigm to be an essential complement to the work of this International Policy Group. Since many members of the Board had highlighted his personal presence, he concluded by saying that this presence was indeed indicative of the role he envisioned for the Institute in the future of the ILO, and of his desire to maximize the use made of it.

38. The Director noted that the programme and budget proposals before the Board were the result of the review process launched by the Director-General. The review called for a frank assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the Institute, and concluded that the new system of strategic programming for the ILO provided new opportunities to ensure better utilization of the work of the Institute for the benefit of the ILO as a whole. The Director called the Board's attention particularly to paragraphs 3 to 10 of the programme and budget, dealing with the assessment of the role of the Institute; to paragraphs 11 and 12, dealing with the new context for the Institute created by the new strategic orientation of the ILO; and to paragraphs 13 to 20, dealing with the proposed future programme.

39. In essence the proposals envisaged two new technical programmes. The first was a research programme to develop the paradigm of decent work. The objective was to provide a guide to policy-making. The research programme would involve analysing the causal relationships between the different components of decent work: rights, employment, social protection and social dialogue; identifying the policy frameworks that could synthesize these four elements; exploring the relationships between the economic and social domains and particularly the complementarities and trade-offs involved. These included, for example, those between the quality and quantity of work; between working conditions and productivity; and between social security and the quantity of employment. The research programme was expected to utilize the gender perspective as an integrating element to achieve decent work, and to study institutional structures that could protect rights at work and promote social dialogue and enterprise development.

40. These issues were to be studied not only at the theoretical level, but also through an examination of the practical effects of legislation, institutions and public policies in promoting decent work. It was intended to prioritize attention on the problems of realizing in practice the principles contained in the ILO Declaration. The research programme on decent work would therefore work closely with the InFocus Programme on Promoting the Declaration, and define specific research areas in the light of field experience. This would ensure that the Institute's work in this area was linked to practical needs in carrying out the ILO's own programme.

41. The second technical programme was an outreach programme to establish the Institute as the principal centre in the ILO for informal policy dialogue and interaction with ILO constituents, academics and other policy groups in the labour and social fields. In addition to seminars and research networks, the programme aimed to establish systematic relationships with two categories of stakeholders: parliamentarians and labour judges. Both parliamentarians and labour judges were of central importance for the ratification and implementation of ILO standards. More attention had to be paid to cultivating the ILO's dialogue with these two parties on a systematic and sustained basis. The traditional educational activities would be strengthened as part of the outreach programme by upgrading the internship courses, and by promoting academic partnerships through fellowships, visiting scholar programmes, and student internship programmes.

42. Paragraph 17 of the report addressed the issues of strengthening the ILO's relationship with "thought-leaders" in the international community, including not only academics but also other policy-makers. The abolition of the academic component of the Institute's Board in 1995 for reasons of economy had reduced the profile of the ILO in the international academic community and weakened the ILO's capacity to draw on external expertise and build partnerships. The proposal to establish an Academic Consultative Council aimed to remedy the situation without changing the existing composition of the Board. The Council was essentially a network which could be the basis for wider networks in the future. The Council would include individuals familiar with, and sensitive to, the practical problems of trade unions, business, and governments. The Council would be purely consultative and advisory to the Chairperson of the Board of the Institute, and was intended to enhance the quality of the Institute's programmes.

43. The programme and budget proposals also aimed at enhancing the Institute's contributions to the ILO in a more systematic and organized manner. They would so in four ways.

44. First, the research on the paradigm of decent work would support the process of strategic planning and programming in the ILO. Examination of the relationships between the four components of decent work would highlight the complementarities of sectoral programmes and prevent any tendencies towards isolated or insulated activities. The Institute would be closely associated with PROGRAM in the preparation of the ILO's new Strategic Plan.

45. Secondly, the Institute would assist the sectors in setting an overall research policy for the Office as a whole. While research would be carried out by each sector in their respective areas of competence, the Office had a need for machinery to facilitate the better exchange of research findings within the ILO; for the maintenance of overall research quality, and for the feedback of research into future programme formulation.

46. Thirdly, the Institute would focus on assisting ILO programmes of high priority, notably follow-up on the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and developing better outreach to key ILO stakeholders, including parliamentarians and labour judges. More generally, it would work closely with all four sectors concerned and support the development of national research capacities to support ILO programmes.

47. Finally, as the Chairperson had pointed out, the Institute would provide support to the work of the new International Policy Group, which had been set up to promote a more coherent global dialogue between the ILO and the international financial institutions.

48. To achieve greater focus and create a critical mass, the Director noted that the Institute's activities were now concentrated on two, rather than three, areas. It was the intention of the Institute to actively seek extra-budgetary funding to support the proposed level of activity in subsequent biennia.

49. Mr. Anand congratulated the Director on the programme and budget proposals. They would be of considerable help in restoring the position and reputation of the Institute. It was essential for the ILO to have a strong research and development component. The Institute's relationships with the International Industrial Relations Association had the potential to multiply the impact in the field of the decent work research programme. With regard to paragraph 11, he noted that the concepts of social equity, equity within the enterprise, and enterprise development were all interrelated. It was important to ensure the success of enterprises, and particularly the success of small and medium enterprises. That was essential for social equity, employment promotion and poverty eradication.

50. He supported the structure of the research programme, as indicated in paragraph 14 of the programme and budget. He also attached great importance to outreach activities. Regarding the Academic Consultative Council, he suggested that the Council meet the day before the Board of the Institute. This would allow the Board to benefit from interaction with the members the Council, thereby providing optimum guidance to the Institute.

51. With regard to paragraph 52, Mr. Anand noted that outreach activities targeted at parliamentarians and labour judges should not be conducted in the absence of workers' and employers' representatives. In support of this view, he indicated his knowledge of a number of judgements and decisions that worked against the interests of both employers and workers. Regarding paragraph 56, he suggested that holding meetings in a wider range of locations could better and more efficiently promote the activities of both the Institute and the ILO.

52. Finally, the 40th Anniversary of the Institute was a great occasion to disseminate the Institute's work. A number of lectures might be organized in several cities of India. Through the involvement of universities, chambers of commerce and trade unions, these lectures could help in furthering the notion of decent work.

53. On behalf of the Workers' group, Mr. Khurshid Ahmed welcomed the presence of the Chairperson and his support to the Institute and its continued autonomy and flexibility. He noted the need for the evolution of a regular institutional framework to facilitate interaction between the Institute and the ILO. The Workers' group also supported the creation of the International Policy Group to collaborate with the Bretton Woods institutions to safeguard and promote the fundamental principles of the ILO as regards social development and the values of working people. Regarding the Academic Consultative Council, he shared Mr. Anand's views that the Board should also benefit from interaction with the Council. Those with experience of business and labour should be considered for membership on the Council. As regards Mr. Anand's reference to SMEs, employment generation should not come at the cost of the suffering of workers. He argued that a collaborative role between management and trade unions could facilitate industrial relations and that good practices of human resources development could contribute not only to employment but also to productivity and the well-being of workers.

54. With regard to the planned meetings with parliamentarians and judges, the presence of representatives of the social partners was important. Likewise, it was important to ensure an adequate representation of women participants. As regards paragraph 36, which stated that "the notion and substance of decent work would vary with economic and social structures and different stages of development", the view of the Workers' group was that the core labour standards should apply regardless of these differences between countries, as they were fundamental and universal standards. Social dialogue and labour policies were as important as fiscal and trade policies in promoting decent work.

55. Mr. Khurshid Ahmed noted that workers' organizations had fewer resources than employers, particularly in developing countries, and expressed the hope that the Institute could play a collaborative role in developing the research capacity of workers' organizations. Finally, he expressed his support for the Institute and his wish for its future success.

56. The Chairperson found Mr. Khurshid Ahmed's comments very pertinent. The decent work concept had been elaborated in the Conference Report, but had been expressed in the paper under discussion in a synthesized and condensed form. All the issues mentioned by Mr. Khurshid Ahmed were in fact in the Director-General's Report to the Conference. It was indeed all those dimensions of decent work which needed to be further developed.

57. Mr. Anand, responding to Mr. Khurshid Ahmed's comment on the trade-off between social and economic performance of enterprises, suggested that one should distinguish between multinationals and SMEs. The latter had to be given some leeway in their policies.

58. Referring to paragraph 14 of the programme and budget document, Mr. Patel emphasized the importance of examining institutional structures within the research framework on decent work. He stressed the importance of studying not only current structures, but also possible future structures; not only national state structures, but also regional and global structures. He pointed to the importance of studying reciprocal relationships between decent work and economic growth, and between decent work and public policies. Decent work was not only affected by economic growth and public policies, but in turn shaped them. Decent work was a developmental paradigm that reshaped macroeconomic policy and many other elements of policy. It would be helpful to take account of this in the Institute's research programme. Regarding the expanding relationships with ILO stakeholders, he pointed to the importance of the media. In this regard he made two suggestions: first, to consider awards for the best journalism in the area of the ILO's mandate; secondly, to promote good short commentaries on ILO subjects to be published in popular journals or newspapers. The choice of South Africa as the venue of the next ILO social policy lecture was an inspired one.

59. The representative of the Government of Canada said that Canada, together with other governments, welcomed the reorientation of the Institute in line with the ILO's four strategic objectives, and in particular its proposed role in developing the paradigm of decent work by creating a framework of economic and social policy that linked the four strategic objectives together. This initiative had already been welcomed in the Programme, Financial and Administrative Committee. The Institute was a proper place to do this work. The Institute's programme and budget proposals were very stimulating and challenging. It should play a major role in formulating the ILO's strategic plans and guiding the technical programmes of the ILO. Canada certainly welcomed the return of the academic component to the Institute through the establishment of the Academic Consultative Council.

60. Ms. Rozas Velasquez (Worker member) suggested that, of the four strategic objectives, two -- the promotion of fundamental human rights and social dialogue -- were primary. This distinction should be borne in mind. She also hoped that the Workers' group would have access to the Academic Consultative Council. She supported the point made by Mr. Khurshid Ahmed that, aside from academics, the Institute needed people with experience in areas of social dialogue.

61. Mr. Barde said that employment issues could not be ignored, and that employment should remain one of the priorities for both the ILO and for research institutes.

62. The Board adopted the programme and budget for the International Institute for Labour Studies for 2000-01, and accordingly transmits the programme to the Governing Body of the ILO for endorsement, and the budget for final approval, in accordance with article II, paragraph 6 of the Regulations of the Institute.

4. Acceptance of contributions and gifts

63. The Director of the Institute provided a brief introduction to the paper.

64. Mr. Khurshid Ahmed stated that the Workers' group approved the point for decision in paragraph 7 of the paper. He expressed its regret that no contribution had been made to the Endowment Fund in 1999. The Institute's new directions would lead to greater visibility, and also to better chances of obtaining support for its research. The Workers' group also commended the acceptance of the Phelan Legacy and welcomed the idea to use its proceeds to offer grants to young researchers. It was important that trade unionists with the proper requirements be considered for the fellowship, and to widely publicize the fellowship itself, through the web page and across the regions.

65. Mr. Anand expressed his appreciation for the contribution provided by the Nordic employers. He hoped that they would as far as possible enlarge their contribution to this noble cause in future.

66. The Board recommended to the Programme, Financial and Administrative Committee of the Governing Body of the ILO the acceptance, with thanks, of the additional sums received under the Phelan Legacy, and for the contribution by the employers' confederations of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden to the internship course.

Geneva, 15 November 1999.

Point for decision: Paragraph 62.

1. INS.B.XLI/1.

2. INS.B.XLI/3.

3. INS.B.XLI/4.

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