Norway congratulates Guy Ryder on election as new ILO Director-General
Posted by African Press International on June 3, 2012
On 28 May Guy Ryder, a British citizen, was elected as the new Director-General of the ILO in Geneva. Mr Ryder, who was nominated by worker members of the Governing Body, is currently ILO Executive Director for International Labour Standards and Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. He has extensive experience, including as General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
“I would like to congratulate Guy Ryder on his election as Director-General of the ILO. The mandate and role of the ILO have become increasingly significant in the light of the global financial crisis. Unemployment rates are high and fundamental rights are under pressure. The ILO is an important organisation for Norway and for safeguarding Norwegian interests. With his focus on reform and commitment to workers’ rights, I believe Mr Ryder will strengthen the ILO, both in political and organisational terms. We are looking forward to cooperating closely with Mr Ryder,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre commented.
Mr Ryder has played a key role in the ILO’s reform process, and has worked to promote core labour standards in a number of countries. He will begin his term as Director-General in October 2012, taking over from Juan Somavia from Chile, who has led the organisation for 13 years.
The ILO is an important partner for Norway in the field of international development cooperation. Norway supports the ILO’s work at country level through a partnership cooperation agreement with an annual allocation of NOK 40 million. Norway also actively supports the ILO’s efforts to highlight the significance of labour and social issues for development in forums such as the IMF, the World Bank, the UN and the G20.
“I would like to congratulate Guy Ryder on his election. We look forward to working closely with him to promote a global policy that contributes to sustainable development and a more equitable distribution of wealth. The decent work agenda is crucial for development policy, and Norway will support the ILO’s efforts in this area,” Minister of International Development Heikki Holmås said.
With its four strategic objectives of creating jobs, guaranteeing rights at work, extending social protection and promoting social dialogue, the ILO’s decent work agenda provides guidance and tools for promoting more equitable globalisation and job-driven growth. The ILO focuses particularly on growing unemployment, especially youth unemployment. It has emphasised that recovery strategies following the financial crisis must involve job creation, and that growth without jobs is not sustainable.
The ILO is a specialised agency of the UN, but unlike other UN agencies it has a tripartite structure, with government, employer and worker representatives, all of whom are full members and have decision-making authority.