The ILO elects its first African Director-General, Gilbert Houngbo.

March 28, 2022

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the only tripartite U.N. agency that gathers governments, employers, and 187 member States workers representatives to set labor standards, develop policies and devise programs promoting decent work for all women and men. It currently has four strategic objectives for its Decent Work agenda. They are: Set and promote standards and fundamental principles and rights at work; Create greater opportunities for women and men to decent employment and income; Enhance the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all; and Strengthen tripartism and social dialogue.

During the Geneva meeting, the ILO’s Governing Body, consisting of representatives from governments, workers, and employers, selected Gilbert Houngo as Director-General. Gilbert Houngbo is the former Prime Minister of Togo and was ILO’s Deputy Director from 2013 to 2017. He has over 30 years of experience in international organizations (I.O.) with positions of responsibility in the United Nations system such as UNDP, ILO, IFAD, and UN-Water.

Gilbert is ILO’s 11th Director-General and will begin the five-year term on October 2022, replacing British Guy Ryder. He will contribute vast experience and perspective from the Global South, necessary for ILO. As the Director-General, he will face numerous challenges mainly associated with teleworking, boosted during Covid-19.

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