Delegation of the European Union to the
UN and other international organisations in Geneva

GB 328 - EU Statement - INS 17/2: Report of the Director General -Second Supplementary Report - The ILO Centenary Initiatives

Geneva, 01/11/2016 - 00:00, UNIQUE ID: 161102_11
Statements on behalf of the EU

ILO Governing Body, 328th session Geneva, 31 October – 10 November 2016 EU Statement - INS 17/2: Report of the Director General -Second Supplementary Report - The ILO Centenary Initiatives

Thank you, Chair.

I am speaking on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

The Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia[1], Montenegro*, Serbia*, Albania*, as well as Georgia align themselves with this statement.

Proposed by the Director General at the 2013 International Labour Conference, the Centenary initiatives have become core drivers of ILO's action and prove able to foster tripartite commitment in some key areas. We welcome the opportunity to formulate our view on their follow-up, which we consider of key strategic importance for the Organisation and its constituents.

We consider the Future of Work Initiative as central to the objective to give the ILO a good strategic positioning to pursue its mandate in its second century.

This initiative has already attracted a lot of interest. On our part, we have been actively engaged. Many of our Member States have organised National Dialogues to reflect on long-term changes in the world of work and the design of appropriate policy orientations along the four conversations proposed to give preliminary shape to the initiative. Conferences, hearings, research workshops and other activities also take place at European level. How to address new trends in work patterns and societies is also central in our process to build a European Pillar of Social Rights, for which the Office is associated to on-going consultation.

How to move from this blooming first stage to the more focused next stages without losing substance and engagement and without pre-empting the 2019 ILC discussions appears to us as today's major challenge.

We believe that there are 3 elements which will be critical to the success of this initiative: 1) the development of regional approaches, 2) a good synthesis of the first outcomes under the leadership and visionary role of the Office through its own analytical work, 3) the setting up of an efficient Global Commission on the Future of Work, with clear terms of reference. We also note the opportunities presented in 2017 by the G20 to focus on Future of Work under German Presidency, as well as, the planned ILO symposium on the Future of Work to broaden the engagement with the ILO beyond constituents.

The European Union and its Member States look forward to an active contribution in these next stages of the Future of Work Initiative.

The Women at Work Initiative started slower, even if several actions are taking place in Europe, such as the Global Gender Dialogue to be held in Helsinki in November. We welcome the Office proposals to give the initiative a new impetus, including the "Women at Work Dialogues", the selection of "Women at Work" as the theme of 2017 World of Work Summit, the organisation of global events as well as the report on what works in ensuring equality of opportunity and treatment.

We trust that these proposals will foster the engagement of tripartite constituents in concrete action to realize equality of opportunities, treatment and income, and stand ready to contribute to the widest extent possible, as equality between women and men is of fundamental importance to us.

On the Green Initiative, we welcome the preparations for the entry into force of the Paris Agreement that can be informed by the guidelines for a just transition. The planned focus of the 2018 World Employment and Social Outlook flagship report on the green initiative seems very timely to this regard.

Closer links between the actions developed in the context of the "Green Initiative" and of the "End to Poverty Initiative" seem to us necessary as both are of key relevance to ILO contribution to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in all its three dimensions – economic, social and environmental.

We will develop our views on sustainable development and on the other Centenary Initiatives in the specific sessions dedicated to them later in the Governing Body.

Chair, let me recall that the Centenary Initiatives were proposed by the Director General at the 2013 International Labour Conference at a time of major uncertainty for the Organisation in view of the then crisis in its standard supervisory system. We are now confident that these initiatives contribute to their aim to carry the ILO forward to its centenary well equipped, confident and committed to the mandate it was given a century earlier.

Thank you, Chair.


[1] The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.


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