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History of the ILO

ILO Centenary initiatives

"A 100th anniversary is justifiably an occasion for celebration, for recalling past achievements and for recognizing the people and the organizations that made them possible. Hopefully, in 2019, the ILO will do all that; but it should do more. The centenary provides an opportunity, not to be missed, to launch a number of key initiatives to equip the Organization to take up successfully the challenges of its mandate in the future." (see ILO. 2013: Towards the ILO centenary : realities, renewal and tripartite commitment. ILC, 102nd Session, Report of the Director-General, Report I(A), p.27

More about the seven ILO centenary initiatives

Global Commission on the Future of Work

The formation of a ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work marks the second stage in the ILO Future of Work Initiative. Its job is to undertake an in-depth examination of the future of work that can provide the analytical basis for the delivery of social justice in the 21st century.

"Our Commission is independent and we alone bear responsibility for our report and recommendations. Nevertheless, we are aware that the report will be transmitted for discussion at the Centenary International Labour Conference in June 2019 and is to be debated nationally at Centenary events to be convened by member States throughout the year. Therefore, we offer the following recommendations on the specific responsibilities of the Organization, emphasizing that it must remain faithful to, and be guided by, its strongly rights-based, normative mandate and in full respect of its tripartite character (see Work for a brighter future, p. 55)

The Global Commission on the Future of Work began its work in October 2017 at the invitation of the Director-General of the ILO. It met four times in all, the last meeting taking place in November 2018. The membership of the Commission is a remarkable concert of accomplished individuals from all over the world, from different sectors and backgrounds and with different experiences and perspectives.

ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work (2019)

The world of work is experiencing transformative change, driven by technological innovations, demographic shifts, climate change and globalization. In response to these challenges and to mark 100 years since the ILO’s founding, The ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work (2019) was adopted in 2019 at the 108th session of the International Labour Conference.

“What we have adopted today is a roadmap, a compass to take us forward in the future of this Organization, because the future of work is the future of our Organization,” said ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder.

The Declaration looks to the future of work with a human-centred lens. It has a strong focus on enabling people to benefit from changes in the world of work, by strengthening the institutions of work to ensure adequate protection of all workers, and by promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable growth and full and productive employment.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres told ILC delegates that the Declaration “marks an historic opportunity to open a door to a brighter future for people around the world.”

“The Declaration is ambitious – setting out the basis for delivering the ILO’s mandate in its second century. But the Centenary Declaration is much more than a statement of wishes or intent. The Declaration proposes a shift in the paradigm of how we look at development,” he said.

(Photo: Secretary of State Jean-Jacques ELMIGER (Switzerland), President of the 108th (Centenary) Session of the International Labour Conference, and Mr Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General signing the adoption of the outcomes of the Committee of the Whole: ILO Centenary Declaration. 2019).