The new ILO chief wants to make “decent work” a “reality”.

The new ILO chief wants to make “decent work” a “reality”.

Togolese Gilbert Houngbo, the first African to head the International Labor Organization (ILO), on Friday showed his “determination” to “make decent work a global reality”.

“It’s a great pride and a lesson in humility for me to be here and to be the first African to get that [les] Key” of this specialized agency of the UN, Mr. Houngbo explained at a handover ceremony with the outgoing general director, former British trade unionist Guy Ryder.

“It’s a testimony […] the unflagging determination of an entire region to ensure that the ILO continues its fight to make decent work a reality around the world,” added the former Prime Minister of Togo, according to video footage of the ceremony broadcast by the ILO.

“At a time of unprecedented insecurity” and when “social justice seems a distant prospect for many men and women,” he added, “our endeavor must be to rethink the social contract so that workers are treated fairly and participate in economic progress be able .”

Mr. Houngbo, 61, from a rural prefecture in Togo, has spent most of his career in international organizations, where he is considered a seasoned senior official.

Established in 1919 after the First World War, the main objectives of the ILO are to promote rights at work, encourage the creation of decent jobs, develop social protection and strengthen social dialogue in sectoral work.

Until then, the organization – with the exception of one Chilean – had always been led by Europeans and North Americans.


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