ILO office in Vanuatu

International Labour Organization opens office in Vanuatu

New office in the Pacific Island Country will support work on climate change, migration and human security.

Press release | 21 November 2023
The ILO office in Vanuatu is formally opened. © ILO
PORT VILA, Vanuatu (ILO News) - The International Labour Organization (ILO) has reinforced its presence in the Pacific region with the opening of an office in Vanuatu to support efforts to manage labour migration and enhance resilience to climate change.

Located in the capital Port Vila, the office was officially opened on the 21 November 2023 and will focus on the implementation of the Pacific Climate Change Migration and Human Security (PCCMHS) programme. Supported by New Zealand, PCCMHS contributes to strengthened resilience and adaptive capacity of Pacific Islanders in the context of climate change and disasters.

“This office will support Vanuatu as it seeks to better manage the impacts of climate change on its labour market. Establishing a presence here in Vanuatu will also support all ILO’s efforts to strengthen decent work and support livelihoods in the country,” said Christian Viegelahn, Officer in Charge of the ILO Office for the Pacific Island Countries.

Key officials from the Ministry of Labour and other ministries, employers’ and workers’ organizations, embassies, UN agencies, regional organizations, and development partners operating in Vanuatu attended the opening.

“I believe this is just the beginning and, in the future, ILO will expand its areas of work and will continue to provide technical support to help build the capacities of Department of Labour staff,” said Rick Tchamako Mahe, Vanuatu’s Minister of Internal Affairs.

Murielle Metsan Meltenoven, Commissioner of Labour, Vanuatu echoed these sentiments saying, “I wish that the ILO will be able to support the government of Vanuatu in a variety of areas in the future and will expand its project portfolio to support the needs of its constituents.”

Labour migration is an important issue across the Pacific region. The ILO is providing Vanuatu with technical assistance and expertise on labour standards, good practices, and decent work in the context of labour mobility. This will support the priorities of the government, employers and workers in Vanuatu, as well as the implementation of the Pacific Climate Mobility Framework, which was recently endorsed by regional leaders at the 52ND Pacific Islands Forum in the Cook Islands.

The PCCMHS programme is implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), ILO, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) and the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) with funding support from the New Zealand Aid Programme.

Participants cut a cake to celebrate the opening. © ILO