June 12, 2006

South African elected new chairman of ILO Governing Body

The Governing Body of the International Labour Office (ILO) elected Mr. Membathisi Mphumzi Shepherd Mdladlana, Minister of Labour of the Republic of South Africa, as Chairman for its 2006-07 Session. Mr. Mdladlana replaces Carlos Tomada, who served as Governing Body Chairman during the 2005-06 Session. Mr. Mdladlana has held his current position as Minister of Labour since 1998.
In his first address to the Governing Body, Mr. Mdladlana referred to the ILO’s decent work agenda as a global agenda. According to the Minister, “unemployment and poverty are the biggest threats to security and peace” in the world.
Sir Leroy Trotman, General Secretary, Barbados Workers’ Union and spokesperson of the Workers’ Group in the Governing Body, was re-elected Workers’ Vice-chairperson. Daniel Funes de Rioja, President of the Social Policy Department of the Argentine Industrial Union and Chairman of the Employers’ Group of the Organization of American States from 1995 to 1998, was re-elected as Employer Vice-chairperson.
The three will serve as Officers of the Governing Body during its 2006-07 Session. The Governing Body is the executive council of the ILO and meets three times annually in Geneva. It takes decisions on policy and establishes the program and budget of the 178 member States of the ILO.
The Governing Body also approved the 342nd Report of the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association. At its June meeting, the Committee examined 31 cases. Altogether there are currently 102 cases before the Committee. The Committee drew special attention to the cases of Cambodia, Djibouti and Zimbabwe because of their serious and urgent nature.

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