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Source: International Labour Office (ILO)
16 June 2005



93rd annual Conference of the ILO concludes its work

Delegates pave the way for urgent action on key labour concerns




Thursday 16 June 2005 (ILO/05/31)


GENEVA (ILO News) - More than 3,000 government, employer and worker delegates concluded the
93rd annual Conference of the International Labour Organization today following intense discussions on the need for urgently eliminating forced labour, creating jobs for youth, improving safety at work and tackling what ILO Director-General Juan Somavia called a "global jobs crisis".

"Faced with a global jobs crisis that involves trillions in GDP growth but just a trickle of new jobs, we need as many good ideas as we can generate to guide our future course of action", ILO Director-General Juan Somavia said in his wrap-up of the 93rd International Labour Conference. "The credibility of democracy and open markets are at stake. This conference has risen to the challenge by providing a rich laboratory of ideas for our efforts to make decent work a global goal."

The annual meeting of the ILO's 178 member States also discussed the situation of workers in the occupied Arab territories, the state of labour standards in Belarus, Colombia and other countries and the on-going situation of efforts to stop the use of forced labour in Myanmar. Delegates also discussed the current state of working hours and how to balance the need for flexibility with protecting workers' security, health and family life.

In the absence of a quorum for the vote on a proposed Convention on work in the fishing sector, the Conference asked the Governing Body to place a corresponding item on the agenda of the Conference in 2007, and that the report submitted to the Conference plenary be used for further consideration.

Two eminent guest speakers brought messages on the need to redress problems with globalization and decent work to the Conference. H.E. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of the People's Republic of Algeria and current President of the Arab League, called for a new social dimension of globalization at the Millennium Summit in September 2000. H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, President of Nigeria and currently Chair of the African Union (AU), urged Africa's development partners to join it in making the decent work agenda of the ILO a global goal.

The Conference President was Mr. Basim Khalil Alsalim, Minister of Labour of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The Conference elected as Vice-Presidents Mr. Andrew J. Finlay (Employers) of Canada, Mrs. Hilda Anderson (Workers) of Mexico and Mr. Galo Chiriboga Zambrano (Governments), Minister of Labour and Employment of Ecuador.

The 93rd International Labour Conference adopted a programme and budget of US$594.31 million for the 2006-07 biennium. The 2006-07 budget includes moderate real growth of 1.1 per cent to address institutional investment needs and extraordinary items.

The new program and budget focuses on decent work as a global goal and action needed at the local, national, regional and international levels to make it happen, including Decent Work Country Programmes. The program reinforces and deepens the four strategic objectives of the ILO: promoting standards and fundamental principles and rights at work, creating greater opportunities for women and men to secure decent employment and income and for enterprise development, enhancing the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all, and strengthening tripartism and social dialogue. It also proposes initiatives on decent work for youth, corporate social responsibility, export processing zones, and the informal economy.

The Conference also selected new government, employer and worker members of the
Governing Body.

The Conference marked the fourth
World Day Against Child Labour by calling for the elimination of child labour in one of the world's most dangerous sectors - small-scale mining and quarrying - within five to 10 years. This "call to action" was aimed at freeing the estimated 1 million or more children aged five to 17 who currently toil in dangerous conditions in small-scale mines and quarries around the world.

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The annual Conference of the ILO drew more than 3,000 delegates, including heads of State, labour ministers and leaders of workers' and employers' organizations from most of the ILO's 178 member States. Each member country has the right to send four delegates to the Conference: two from government and one each representing workers and employers, each of whom may speak and vote independently.

The role of the International Labour Conference is to adopt and oversee compliance with international labour standards, establish the budget of the Organization and elect members of the Governing Body. Since 1919, the Conference has served as a major international forum for debate on social and labour questions of worldwide importance.


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