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ILO members agree to reduce UK & France’s rights at African meetings

The Ugandan delegation at the ILO meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. The delegation was led by Labour minister Janat Mukwaya (2nd left). Courtesy photo.

Delegates meeting at the 331st meeting of the governing body of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland agreed to exclude France and United Kingdom from attending ILO Africa meetings as members with full rights.

This was among the adoptions from the meeting that concluded on Wednesday.

The decision followed concerns from African partner states who requested for the exclusion of France and the United Kingdom from attending ILO Africa Regional Meetings as full members with equal rights as independent African states.

They pointed out that representation of the two had roots in their former role as colonialists.

In addition, a resolution was also adopted urging countries to ratify an amendment to the ILO Constitution that will make all member states equal.

Currently, the ILO Constitution provides for Countries of Chief Industrial Importance whose support is mandatory for any amendment of the Constitution to come into force. The meeting has also adopted a global strategy on advancing social justice through decent work.

At the meeting, Uganda was represented by a Delegation led by Hon Janat Mukwaya, the minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development.

Other members of the delegation included Pius Bigirimana, Labour ministry permanent secretary and Martin Wandera, the Director of Labour, Employment and Occupational Safety and Health.

Uganda was voted to the governing body for a three-year term during the 106th International Labour Conference held in Geneva in June this year.

The Governing Body is the Executive Organ of the ILO.

Meanwhile, the meeting also considered a wide range of other issues including the contemporary global challenges of labour migration and the strategies of promoting fair labour migration governance in the countries of origin, transit and destination.

The Human Resource Strategy 2018-21 is also being considered.

Discussion on this matter is dominated by concerns by the African Group about under representation by African countries within the ILO staff structure.

The meeting also saw delegates discuss whether the ILO should terminate Public Private Partnerships with the tobacco industry in line with the Model Policy for Agencies of the United Nations System on Preventing Tobacco Industry Interference.

Under the PPP’s, the tobacco industry has been contributing funds to ILO’s programmes of elimination of child labour in the tobacco industry.

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