ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations

276th Session
Geneva, November 1999


Reports of the Programme, Financial
and Administrative Committee

Second report: Personnel questions



  1. Statement by the staff representative
  2. Amendments to the Staff Regulations
  3. Report of the International Civil Service Commission
  4. Pensions questions
  5. Matters relating to the Administrative Tribunal of the ILO
  6. ILO human resources strategy
  7. Review of recruitment and selection procedures
  8. Other personnel questions


1. The Programme, Financial and Administrative Committee of the Governing Body met on 10 November and was chaired by Mr. Elmiger (representative of the Government of Switzerland, Chairperson of the Governing Body). Mr. Blondel (Worker member, France) was the Reporter.

I. Statement by the staff representative

2. The staff representative drew attention to the importance attached by the staff to the personnel policy and the discussion of the proposed new human resources strategy, as well as the numerous changes it involved. A comprehensive policy and a systematic approach to personnel issues were in themselves very positive and the staff representatives had often emphasized the need for them. The proposed policy aimed to make personnel policy more dynamic and introduce important changes, and this was a good thing. However, the changes envisaged called for a number of comments, in particular with regard to recruitment and selection. They also raised questions about the reasons for changing policy in this area, which had already been the subject of in-depth discussions within the Governing Body in the early eighties, leading to the adoption of the current provisions of the Staff Regulations. The current system of recruitment by competition was criticized for being extremely slow; however, this slowness was neither inherent in it, nor was it the fault of the procedure itself. This system of recruitment and selection provided the staff with a guarantee of fairness and protection against arbitrariness, on which the Governing Body itself had insisted when it had been set up; moreover, it was the rule in the national public services of many countries. At the time of the evaluation carried out in 1986, the Director-General had pointed out that the Selection Board enabled the high-quality officials that the Organization needed in order to be effective to be selected in a methodical and impartial manner, and that this provided a safeguard against illicit pressure in the selection of staff. This was an element that should not be overlooked. The fact that the Board consisted of two independent representatives jointly agreed by the Administration and the Staff Union, and one representative each of the Staff Union and the Administration, guaranteed fair treatment and protection from pressure of any kind. Of course there was room for improvement in the procedure. Of course it was also somewhat in contradiction with what appeared to be the key objective of the proposed new policy: giving managers broader discretionary powers in selection and recruitment. The proposed strategy gave a major role to external recruitment, which at some point would come into conflict with the guarantees for existing staff. Hence the need to be more specific on the use of external recruitment in order to limit it to competitions for entry into lower grades. The proposal to establish generic profiles for jobs and to assess individuals against these profiles, forming a resource pool, so that when a vacancy arose managers could draw on a list of persons certified as having the required profile for the job in question and having expressed an interest in the position, also raised some questions. With the broad powers that it was intended to give them, managers could very well say that none of these persons were suitable for the job or, even worse, that none of these persons suited them. This was a possibility that should not be ignored. These issues were also linked to another point: performance appraisals. The Staff Union had often urged the Administration to establish machinery that would enable performance appraisals to be made of responsible chiefs as well. The broader their discretionary powers, the more desirable it was for chiefs themselves to be subject to performance appraisals by the persons they managed. The speaker pointed out further that, while she shared the view that the initial focus should be on sexual harassment and the establishment of procedures to ensure that such allegations were handled fairly and discreetly, consideration should be given to the general issue of harassment at work. Concerning collective bargaining and the proposal to set up an appropriate mechanism in the event of failure to reach agreement, it should be recalled that the Staff Union had submitted proposals with a view to concluding an agreement with the Director-General providing for recourse to arbitration in the event of disagreement between the parties.

3. One last subject of importance to the staff had to be raised: the crèche. In line with the Director-General's commitment to equality between men and women, one could only welcome recent measures to promote women to the top of the hierarchy. However, measures of concern to a broader segment of women were necessary. As the Director-General had stated last March, it was essential that a childcare service in Geneva be set up so that men and women could devote themselves fully to their work without having to sacrifice their professional efficiency, their career or their family. It was essential that a decision be taken on this matter. Hence one had to know whether the Governing Body was going to provide the Director-General with the necessary means to apply his equality policy and to keep his commitments to the staff. If the answer was yes, as the agreement of principle reached last year appeared to indicate, could not the Governing Body give a clear mandate to the Director-General to proceed with the crèche project, on the understanding that all the necessary rules and financial limits to be set by the Governing Body would be adhered to? If the answer was no or, even worse, if there was no answer, the Staff Union could only deeply deplore the fact that it had invested an enormous amount of time in formulating projects that had come to naught and that everyone's valuable time had thus been wasted.

II. Amendments to the Staff Regulations
(Eleventh item on the agenda)

Amendments approved by the Director-General

4. The Committee took note of a paper(1)  on the amendments approved by the Director-General during the preceding 12 months under the authority delegated to him by the Governing Body.

5. In response to a request from the representative of the Government of the Russian Federation, a representative of the Director-General (the Director of the Personnel Department) drew attention to the decision taken by the Governing Body in 1974 to delegate to the Director-General the authority to amend the Staff Regulations, firstly, where in the Director-General's judgement there were no significant financial implications and there was no controversy on the issue and, secondly, where the amendment was in line with the policies of the common system or was not a common system matter. It was in this context that the amendments concerning personal files had been approved by the Director-General.

III. Report of the International Civil Service Commission
(Thirteenth item on the agenda)

6. The Committee had before it a paper(2)  informing the Governing Body of the recommendations of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) submitted to the United Nations General Assembly in its annual report for 1999, which have financial implications for the Office and were submitted to the Committee for early consideration so as to avoid the need for costly retroactive adjustments. The paper also provided information on the ICSC's examination of other issues, in particular, the Geneva post adjustment.

7. Mr. Marshall, speaking on behalf of the Employers, stated that the latter supported the recommendation formulated in paragraph 10 of the paper. He pointed out, however, that the General Assembly was still to consider the issue of the Geneva post adjustment.

8. Mr. Blondel, speaking on behalf of the Workers, stated that the latter also supported the recommendation, the cost of which was covered by provisions in the Programme and Budget for 2000-01. He also recalled that the ILO staff were international civil servants.

9. The Committee recommends that the Governing Body:

(a) accept the recommendations of the ICSC, subject to their approval by the United Nations General Assembly, concerning an increase of 3.42 per cent in the base/floor salary scale, and consequential increases in the mobility and hardship allowance and separation payments, for staff in the Professional and higher categories, with effect from 1 March 2000;

(b) authorize the Director-General to give effect in the ILO, through amendments to the Staff Regulations as necessary, to the measures referred to in subparagraph (a), subject to their approval by the General Assembly.

IV. Pensions questions
(Fourteenth item on the agenda)

Report of the Board of Trustees of the
Special Payments Fund

10. The Committee had before it an Office paper(3)  presenting the report of the Board of Trustees of the Special Payments Fund.

11. Mr. Marshall expressed his agreement with the Director-General's suggestion that the Board of Trustees' proposal to extend the terms of reference of the Fund be reviewed further and that the outcome be reported to the Governing Body at a later stage.

Report of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Board

12. The Committee took note of the Office paper(4)  presenting the report of the Standing Committee of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Board dealing with the following principal issues: investments; the assumptions for the next actuarial evaluation; entitlement to survivors' benefits; the situation of former international civil servants in the former USSR, Ukrainian SSR and Byelorussian SSR; and budget provisions for the years 2000-01, including administrative costs.

13. Mr. Marshall stated that he looked forward to hearing the Board's results of the review of the secretariat and its associated costs.

14. In reply to Mr. Blondel's request for information on the current state of discussions on the agreement to transfer pension entitlements between the Fund and the Government of the Russian Federation, a representative of the Director-General (the Director of the Personnel Department) stated that the matter was still under discussion but that as soon as further information was available it would be brought to the attention of the Governing Body.

V. Matters relating to the Administrative Tribunal
of the ILO

(Fifteenth item on the agenda)

Recognition of the Tribunal's jurisdiction by the Preparatory
Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
Organization (CTBTO PrepCom)

15. The Committee had before it a paper(5)  proposing that the Governing Body approve the recognition of the ILO Administrative Tribunal's jurisdiction by the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, with effect from the date of such approval.

16. The representative of the Director-General informed the Committee that the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Committee had written to the Director-General to ask him if the Governing Body would agree to make this decision retroactive to 25 August 1999, because they had a case pending that they would like to present to the Tribunal.

17. Mr. Marshall expressed satisfaction on behalf of the Employer members with the continued growth of the ILO Tribunal's customer base, as well as their support of the point for decision.

18. Mr. Blondel stated that the Worker members welcomed this new recognition of the Administrative Tribunal of the ILO and therefore approved the recommendation formulated in paragraph 8 of the document.

19. The Committee recommends that the Governing Body approve the recognition of the Tribunal's jurisdiction by the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, with effect from 25 August 1999.

VI. ILO human resources strategy
(Sixteenth item on the agenda)

20. The Committee had before it a paper(6)  outlining a new human resources strategy focused on personal and career development.

21. Mr. Marshall stated that the Employers' group welcomed this major document, which had far-reaching implications for the Organization, given that it looked forward to the revitalization of the human resources of the Office and cultural change within a holistic approach that was required not only in terms of strategic planning but also in human resources development. Looking at the issues of personal and career development was the key priority in working towards achieving the Organization's strategic and operational objectives. It should be emphasized that the proposed strategy, which the Employers fully supported, was not a radical policy change. What it proposed -- well-developed human resource management planning -- had been in place in many areas of activity since the 1970s and 1980s. On the basis of this experience, a number of comments might be useful to the ILO on certain aspects of the envisaged strategy. While the Employers supported the concept of annual reviews set forth in paragraph 14, they believed it was necessary to have in place objective criteria for these reviews, otherwise very serious difficulties could arise in terms of the outcomes of these activities. Paragraph 15, to the effect that activities should not be based on a single annual appraisal but as part of an ongoing appraisal mechanism of which the annual appraisal was only a part, reflected a very constructive approach. However, this approach should be accompanied by parallel structures which recognize that measures should be taken when the persons that were being invested in did not respond positively to changes and expectations. It was essential to have a cohesive team working in an environment which was good for the staff and good for the organization; this meant a totally new culture of commitment to one another on both sides. The Employers fully supported the move away from job descriptions, which might be considered radical, but in fact gave both the employer and the employee the opportunity to build relationships within their team without having restrictions imposed through rigid documentation. The concept of capability profiles and a pool of persons with the necessary capability to move from one post to another, set forth in paragraph 21, was excellent. Some explanation would be necessary in terms of the balance envisaged between internal promotions and appointments and external recruitment to ensure that internal staff were benchmarked against external skills. It was very important to avoid creating an artificial environment within the Organization without benchmarking with respect to the outside world. The speaker also supported the putting into place of the procedures envisaged in paragraph 27 in situations of harassment and the continuation of consultations with staff and their representatives in the implementation of the human resources strategy, and pointed out that the name "human resource management" was more appropriate for the department in charge of it than the name "Department of People Development", which implied a training department.

22. Mr. Blondel pointed out firstly that his statement could not be taken as representing the staff's point of view and that moreover it was not for the Governing Body but the Director-General to manage personnel. There could be no question of joint management in this area. On the other hand, the proper functioning of the Organization and hence the motivation of staff, which some termed corporate culture, were a priority for the Governing Body. In the light of the staff representative's statement, one might wonder whether all the consultations, discussions and negotiations in accordance with the principles which the ILO required its constituents to observe had been carried out with the Staff Union and whether the latter was indeed in a position to carry out its functions, in view of the imminent election of entirely new Officers. In these circumstances, would not the wise course be to proceed first of all with such discussions and consultations? Decisions could only be taken in the light of the outcome of such discussions and consultations and of full information on all of the questions that had arisen, such as whether the international civil service and its requirements were compatible with a corporate management style, what safeguards should be provided to ensure objectivity and fairness, what exactly the role of the Staff Union should be and what was meant by flexibility.

23. The representative of the Government of Japan, speaking on behalf of the Asia and Pacific group, welcomed the initiative to develop a human resources strategy, which was necessary to improve the internal management of the Office by strengthening the intellectual and operational capacities of the Organization. The Organization required qualified and experienced staff for improving the quality of services and visibility, and the performance of staff should not be judged only by its intellectual capacities but also by its ability to deliver advisory services and operational activities to its constituents, both at headquarters and at the regional and national levels. In the process of speedy selection and appointment, efforts should also be made to provide adequate representation to regions and countries. Expertise was available at the local level on several specific subjects and the strategy should therefore also promote the engagement of local experts. It should also aim at an orderly periodical movement of staff and Professionals from headquarters to the field and vice versa.

24. The representative of the Government of Germany considered that new thought should be given to human resources management and that many improvements could be made. As already mentioned, an organization such as the ILO could not be conducted as a private enterprise. There had to be a balance between internal promotion and external recruitment so as to avoid frustration for those already in the Office if excessive external recruitment damaged their promotion prospects. The broad powers of managers in the selection of candidates must be coupled with training, since holding a higher rank did not mean that a person had the ability to select personnel while taking account of all the necessary considerations. The idea of a pool of candidates with the required capability and interest could have a disadvantage in that the best candidates would find jobs over time so that only the less suitable candidates would be left in the pool. Concerning the collective issues referred to in paragraph 29, it was difficult to see how collective bargaining, viewed in its traditional form, could work when terms and conditions of employment were set by the common system. There might be certain areas which would not be covered by the latter. The Governing Body should be fully informed of these areas. The speaker concluded with the request that the document to be submitted to the Governing Body be made available in very good time before its next session.

25. The representative of the Government of the Netherlands observed that in order to get the best out of people in an organization such as the ILO, whose success depended on the commitment, willingness and qualifications of all its staff, people had to be stimulated, and offered career opportunities and diversity of work as well as movement. Although the present situation was not bad, and the work was being done satisfactorily, as was shown by the Governments' overall positive response during this session, the world had changed and the time had come for organizations to adjust to present situations. The Government of the Netherlands fully supported the challenge of building an organization in which not only gender and national balances were appropriate but in which people diversity was one of its most important strengths. A closer look at selection and recruitment was therefore needed, followed by a personal and career development agenda which was clear on possibilities of promotion and permanent training in order to retain staff. There were many issues calling for consideration. One was the question of different types of contract, which were not always used for the purpose for which they had originally been created, and which meant that people highly valued within the Organization were nevertheless the victims of different treatment. The existence of two financial streams, and the fact that many people were recruited, working and being paid for years out of extra-budgetary resources, were also a source of problems: job insecurity, uncertain career prospects and lack of benefits such as those under the pension scheme. The Government of the Netherlands would welcome a paper dealing with these issues to be submitted to the Governing Body next March, with the involvement of the Staff Union, as was the case of the present paper. Lastly, it would be useful to know whether the changes envisaged were covered under the budget that had just been examined or if additional financial allocations would have to be made further on in the biennium.

26. The representative of the Government of Switzerland considered that the document had the essential merit of identifying problems and proposing ways in which human resources management could be modernized and made more dynamic in the ILO. Two problems emerged at this stage. The first concerned the new initiatives to be taken to widen the search capabilities and to establish or strengthen relationships with identified candidate sources, as set out in paragraph 19, which the discussion in March should make it possible to clarify. The second related to job classification discussed in paragraphs 22 and 23 and the need to find a solution within the framework of the common system.

27. The representative of the Government of Italy emphasized the importance of permanent training; the role of the United Nations Staff College at the Turin Centre deserved a special mention in this respect, and ILO officials should be the first in the common system to benefit from its programmes.

28. The representative of the Government of Japan emphasized the importance of two issues: the first was the idea of job families or capability bands which would be useful not only for better career development, but also to enable organizations to remain flexible and adjust to changing priorities; the second was that of bringing in outside thinking and exchanges between the ILO, governments, employers' and workers' organizations and companies. Such exchanges should also be carried out with other international organizations, such as the World Bank.

29. The representative of the Government of the Russian Federation pointed out that the development of a human resources strategy was of extreme importance and required serious discussion, for which the document was not always adequate. First, it did not answer the question of how to achieve a balance between career development, external recruitment, selection and promotion on the basis of fair competition, or how to reflect national, cultural, linguistic and human diversity. To select the best candidates, a choice had to be made, but the existence of permanent contracts limited the possibility of recruiting new staff and did not allow the potential of existing staff to be maximized. Permanent contracts should be gradually phased out, for example by declaring a moratorium like the WHO and other organizations had done, and using fixed-term contracts to achieve a balance between internal and external candidates. Moreover, selection should absolutely respect the principle of equality of opportunity, with competitions open to all, that is both internal and external. The requirement for international experience for participation in such competitions should be eliminated. Since his Government could not accept recruitment without a competition, the speaker could not endorse the proposals contained in paragraphs 21 to 24. Referring to paragraph 31, the speaker considered that the practice of exchanging staff between institutions should become a key element of personnel policy. A good strategy should not be confined to recruitment and career development; it was also important to know how the staff were working so that good work could be encouraged and bad work punished; accordingly, the appraisal system should be as objective as possible and the approach envisaged in paragraphs 14 and 15 was not suitable. The speaker also expressed misgivings with regard to relations with the staff representatives and collective bargaining. The latter was not compatible with the common system, which already had a number of mechanisms for staff representation. A particularly cautious approach was necessary in this matter, as in the question of restructuring the system of classification. All of these issues would have to be considered on the basis of a complex and full strategic document to be submitted to the Governing Body for decision. In preparing this document, account would have to be taken of the opinions expressed today, as well as the forthcoming work of the International Civil Service Commission in the preparation of its integrated Framework for Human Resources Management for the entire common system.

30. The representative of the Government of China welcomed the orientation of reform of the ILO and its personnel policy reflected in the paper. He endorsed the statement made on behalf of the Asia and Pacific group and considered that mechanisms should be set up to recruit qualified personnel, that justice and fairness should prevail in personnel recruitment; and that promotion should be based on objective assessment. Personnel policy should be open and transparent. The speaker also pointed out that the percentage of staff from developing countries was still too low and that the practice of linking the staff quota with contributions to the Organization's budget should be eliminated.

31. The representative of the Government of the United Kingdom welcomed the human resources strategy put forward by the Office. This was a key area which up until now had been sadly neglected in the reform of the United Nations system and in which the ILO should play a pathfinding role, given its mandate. Investing in people was a new approach to meet the increasing demands of the twenty-first century for flexible staff capable of dealing with the challenges of knowledge-based economies. The staff of successful international organizations would be those who could adapt and develop, increasing their expertise in different sectors, in both headquarters and the field. Therefore the speaker welcomed in particular the emphasis on training and career development in the paper; many of the proposals in paragraph 14 were useful in that regard; however, while performance assessment should not be a once-in-a-year experience, the abandonment of the idea of measuring performance against objectives was somewhat surprising and it would be interesting to know the reason behind it. The intention to address gender imbalances throughout the whole organization was welcomed, as was the importance attached to people management skills and language skills referred to in paragraph 25, the innovative approach to harassment at work and individual grievances, and the proposals to draw outside thinking into the human resource management of the organization outlined in paragraph 31. The proposals on job classification were also interesting. These changes would have to be looked at carefully in order to ensure that they conformed to the common system.

32. The representative of the Government of Denmark expressed support for the proposed strategy and requested that indicators and targets be set in the paper to be submitted for discussion in March.

33. The representative of the Government of Canada considered the paper stimulating and emphasized the importance of the issues of gender equality and a culturally diverse workforce. She requested that the paper to be submitted to the next session of the Governing Body examine systemic barriers to internal promotion and security in tenure, as well as the factors motivating staff from minority groups to leave the Office or stay in it. These indications could help devise practices and measures to ensure that recruitment was complemented by equal efforts to retain good staff. The speaker also highlighted the importance of training in the broader sense, i.e. not simply formal management training but in areas such as sensitivity and cross-cultural training.

34. The representative of the Government of the United States noted that the human resources strategy was part of a broader reform effort in the ILO which it applauded. It required careful consideration. However, the strategy also contained some elements that any civil servant would find somewhat disquieting, although they might be perfectly well justified in practice. This was the case in particular of the absence of overall ratings or formal judgement of performance against objectives. How could a successful organization administer successful personnel policy without making such judgements? The speaker accordingly invited the Office to continue consultation on these and other issues in the reform process between now and the presentation of the next phase of the process.

35. In reply to the various comments and questions raised, the Director of the Personnel Department made the following observations and explanations. First of all, what was the purpose of this paper? Its purpose was to obtain the views of the Governing Body on the human resources strategy envisaged so that the detailed changes in practices and procedures which would be subsequently submitted would be based on a shared understanding of the direction to be taken. On the basis of all the issues raised, including performance appraisal, recruitment and selection, or on mobility, detailed changes would be proposed by the Office and discussed in full with the Staff Union, when the new Staff Union Committee was in place at the beginning of December, before being submitted to the Governing Body. As for consultation with the staff, first of all, on an individual basis discussions had been held with members of the Staff Union Committee that was in place until the results of the forthcoming elections; secondly, consultations had been held within the Office concerning the paper. Going on to more specific comments, such as the similarities between the ILO or civil-service-type organizations and the private sector, there were some similarities. The ILO was a knowledge and service organization; like private sector organizations it needed motivated and capable people. And as a civil service, the issues of motivation and capability needed to be focused on the question of career development. Something absolutely basic to any private sector human resources strategy was absent from the paper: remuneration and benefits; likewise no reference had been made to the contractual situation. Both of these matters were controlled by the common system; in preparing the paper put forward, the Office had ensured that there would be nothing in it that would break the terms of the common system. However, the Office would work with the other international organizations on the development of the integrated human resources strategy within the common system that had been mentioned; the priorities in this area would be initially to look at standards of conduct for international civil servants and remuneration and benefits, followed in 2001 by the situation with regard to contracts. These discussions would be the subject of reports to the Governing Body. The points raised concerning balanced recruitment between internal and external candidates came from two different directions: one in favour of a greater influx of external resources, and the other warning against it. In reality, that was very much a given, considering the very low labour turnover and zero growth budget. There were relatively few external vacancies, which were very precious, being the only opportunity the organization had to improve the gender balance and the nationality balance, and to increase the capabilities of the organization by bringing in new blood and filling in areas in which there was a shortage of competence, such as social dialogue or social protection. These vacancies needed to be used wisely to bring in good, young professional people with whom a realistic career structure could be developed that was based on a sound training and development agenda, with a mix of headquarters and field service. The progress made since the changes made in 1997 to the selection and recruitment procedures had not been sufficient to increase the speed of recruitment; recruitment times had been reduced by 10 per cent, when in reality they had to be reduced by 75 per cent. Speed was not however the most crucial issue. The crucial issue was the need for a recruitment system that was speedy, fair, effective and used objective criteria, but on the other hand allowed managers to make decisions for the people that worked for them. These decisions would have to be agreed to and would have to commit managers, and strong control systems would have to be in place. Career and personal development called for a mutual commitment between managers and the employees they recruited; that link could only come through increased involvement of managers. The Office also needed to integrate mobility in career planning. The question of performance appraisal was an interesting one: it was of course not a matter of stopping measurement against objectives, but there also needed to be open conversations about where individuals wanted to get to in their career, what they needed to be able to do to get there and how realistic their objectives were. The current system did not meet these needs. The monitoring of objectives needed to be done on a daily basis and it should come as no surprise when someone's performance was criticized. Concerning collective bargaining, the substantive terms and conditions of employment were set by the common system and the Office had no interest in trying to put in place processes cutting across this system or providing differential benefits for the ILO. On the other hand, it was very difficult for an organization that promoted collective bargaining among all its constituents not to apply the principle itself. A clear understanding needed to be reached as to what issues would be subject to collective bargaining and the processes that would be applied in the event of disagreement over such issues. Concerning resources, the amount envisaged, some 16 million dollars per biennium, for human resources management was enough. In the short term some shift in the allocation of resources might have to be made but it was not envisaged to come back to the Governing Body for the next biennium asking for more money. The speaker concluded by assuring the Committee that the documents to be submitted subsequently would be more detailed -- but also much thicker -- and would be communicated earlier to allow the necessary time to examine them.

VII. Review of recruitment and selection procedures
(Seventeenth item on the agenda)

36. The Committee took note, without discussion, of a paper(7)  examining the operation of the selection and recruitment procedures introduced in August 1997 for a trial period of two years.

VIII. Other personnel questions
(Eighteenth item on the agenda)

37. As a number of speakers had raised the issue of the crèche, which had been the subject of lengthy discussion at several sessions of the Governing Body, the Director of the Personnel Department put forward the following remarks and explanations on the subject. It was clear from the discussions that the ILO, like many organizations around the world, should be thinking quite hard on the broad issues of balancing work and family responsibilities, as well as work and well-being. One of the aspects of this agenda was the question of provision of assistance or facilities for childcare. The discussions, which had focused exclusively on the creation of a crèche in Geneva, had demonstrated that the building of a crèche would be an expensive solution to the issue of balancing work and family responsibilities, and that it had not yet led to consensus among the Governing Body. The Office, therefore, felt that consideration should be given to a broader set of proposals which went beyond childcare alone and addressed a wide variety of issues, covering work and family and work and well-being, not only in Geneva, but outside Geneva. It was intended to prepare a scoping document looking at these issues on a holistic basis for the March session of the Governing Body for a final decision in November.

38. Mr. Blondel, referring to the decisions and orientations already taken by the Governing Body, considered that it was not necessary to return to the debate on the crèche.


Geneva, 12 November 1999.

(Signed) Mr. Blondel,


Points for decision:

1. GB.276/PFA/11/1.

2. GB.276/PFA/13.

3. GB.276/PFA/14/1.

4. GB.276/PFA/14/2.

5. GB.276/PFA/15.

6. GB.276/PFA/16.

7. GB.276/PFA/17.

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