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New Director-General of the International Labour Organization elected

The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) next Director-General will be Gilbert F. Houngbo from Togo.

Houngbo is currently President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

He was elected by the ILO’s Governing Body, comprising representatives of governments, workers and employers, during their meeting in Geneva. He will be the 11th Director-General of the ILO, and the first African to hold the post.

After the announcement of the ballot result the Director-General-elect will address the Governing Body and this can be followed on the ILO website.

The new Director-General’s five-year term will begin on 1 October 2022. The current Director-General, Guy Ryder, from the United Kingdom, has held the office since 2012.

The ILO’s Governing Body is composed of 56 titular members (28 Governments, 14 Employers and 14 Workers) and 66 deputy members (28 Governments, 19 Employers and 19 Workers). The Employer and Worker members are elected in their individual capacity.

The ILO is the oldest specialized agency of the UN. It was founded in 1919 and has a mandate to promote decent work for all. It has 187 Member States.

There were five candidates for the post of ILO Director-General. The other candidates were:

  • Kang Kyung-wha (Republic of Korea), formerly Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, Deputy Director-General for International Organizations for Korea and UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights.
  • Mthunzi Mdwaba (South Africa), formerly Employers’ Vice-Chairperson of the ILO Governing Body and Vice-President to the ILO, International Organization of Employers.
  • Muriel Pénicaud (France), currently the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of France to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and former Minister of Labour of France.
  • Greg Vines (Australia), currently Deputy Director-General of the ILO with responsibility for Management and Reform, and formerly Minister (Labour), Australian Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva and Chair of the ILO Governing Body.

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