Former General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Guy Rider, has been elected as the new Director General of the International Labour Organization (ILO). He replaces Juan Somavia, who has served in this position since March 1999.
GENEVA: On May 29, 2012 following a vote at the session of the ILO Governing Body, Guy Ryder, former General Secretary of the ITUC became the tenth Director General of the ILO since its foundation in 1919. Ryder won the election with 30 votes against 26 for the French Ambassador, Gilles De Robien. Initially there were nine candidates who ran through six election rounds where those who gathered the lowest score gradually dropped out.
Commenting on this decision of the ILO, the current ITUC General Secretary, Sharan Burrow said, "The ILO has made the right choice to lead it in tackling the huge challenges in the world of work in the coming years. With his background in the trade union movement, and the ILO itself, Guy Ryder's wide and practical experience, and his clear sense of the direction needed, put the ILO in a very strong position The world needs a massive focus on creating decent jobs, and we are confident that he will generate the momentum required to put employment and the rights of working people at the heart of the international economy."
The ILO is the United Nations Specialized Agency which formulates policies and programmes to improve working conditions and employment opportunities, and sets labour standards used by countries around the world. The ILO Governing Body is its executive body which meets three times a year and is composed of 56 members with half seats held by Governments representatives and one half shared in parity by employer and trade union representatives.