Head of UN labour agency re-elected, pledges to work for 'new social contract'

Head of UN labour agency re-elected, pledges to work for 'new social contract'

The Director-General of the United Nations International Labour Office (ILO), Juan Somavia, was today re-elected to a second term and pledged to work towards a "new social contract" based on decent work for all and a globalization that leaves no one behind.

"We consider the re-election of the Director-General today a confirmation of our appreciation of his innovativeness and dedication to the noble work of this organization," Vice-Chairperson of the ILO Governing Body, Ambassador Eui-Yong Chung, said in endorsing the re-election.

Mr. Somavia, a Chilean and the first representative of the Southern Hemisphere to head ILO, received a second five-year mandate from the Governing Body. He will formally begin his next term in March 2004, during which he pledged to work towards decent work for all.

"Work is central to people's lives and people everywhere are asking for solutions. We are responding to that call," Mr. Somavia said, calling the vote an endorsement of the ILO's ongoing efforts to deliver dignity to workers and decency to work. "Because we have voiced the concerns of people, the ILO is relevant, visible and in demand."

Over the past four years, the ILO launched the Decent Work Agenda aimed at promoting workers' rights, employment and enterprise creation and social protection. In addition, the agency established a top-level panel to promote international dialogue on ways to make globalization more inclusive and fair.