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ILO conference on decent work gets underway

by lloyd last modified 2011-10-11 11:42

10 October 2011

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma is to officially open the 12th African Regional Meeting of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) being hosted by the Department of Labour.

Proceedings for the official opening get underway on Tuesday (tomorrow) at 2.30 pm at the Sandton Convention Centre. President of the Republic of South Africa Jacob Zuma is expected to deliver his key note speech at 15.30pm.

The theme of the conference is Empowering Africa’s Peoples with Decent Work. The gathering expected to be chaired by South Africa’s Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant who is expected to deliver an opening address at 2.30pm. She will be followed by ILO Director-General Juan Somavia and speakers from employer’s and worker’s representatives before the main address by Zuma.

The conference is also expected to be attended by at least five heads of state including the chairman of the African Union and Equatorial Guinea's president Teodoro Obiang Nguema and labour ministers from the continent and around the world. It will be held from October 11-14.

Other high level participants at the conference will include: Abdoulie Janneh, Executive Secretary of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) a body that promote the economic and social development; Charles Dan, Assistant Director-General & Regional Director for Africa, ILO; Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, Executive Director, Employment Sector, ILO; Gilles de Robien, Ambassador for the Promotion of Social Cohesion, Government of France; Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Luqman, Director-General, Arab Labor Organization; Yusupha B. Crookes, Director of Regional Integration Office, World Bank and Ben Duntoye, President of Panafrican Youth Union.

More than 1000 delegates are expected to attend the conference.

The Regional meeting will bring together high-level representatives of governments, employer and worker organizations, the multilateral system including the UN Economic Commission for Africa, the European Union, the African Development Bank, donor countries, development partners and civil society organizations to build consensus and accelerate the pace of implementation of the Decent Work Agenda in Africa; promote effective implementation of Decent Work Country Programs as national responses to a jobless economic recovery; and build partnerships to ensure achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

A number of panel sessions will be held focusing on the problems faced by African countries as they recover from the global financial and economic crisis; the youth unemployment crisis; the need for social protection; governance and social dialogue; women’s economic and social empowerment and gender equality; social economy; rural employment; and international labour standards.

Delegates will also examine progress in the implementation of Decent Work Country Programmes in more than 30 African ILO Member States.

Issued by Department of Labour

Departmental spokesperson

Page Boikanyo (Mr)

082 809 3195


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