The 2017 end-of-year reception for ILO retirees was a great success as usual, even though the winter weather had given rise to fears of a low turnout (see photos album). However, not far off 200 people attended and the reception extended beyond the scheduled time because of the evident pleasure everyone had in meeting up and discussing with old colleagues. Director-General Guy Ryder was accompanied by Greg Vines, Deputy Director General, and Mark Levin, Director of HRD. Their presence was highly appreciated by retirees who welcomed it as recognition of the contribution made by former officials to the ILO for decades.
After thanking the participants and expressing his pleasure in having the opportunity to speak with former colleagues, the DG briefly mentioned the ILO’s Centenary in 2019 and indicated that Mr. Greg Vines was responsible for coordinating the events that would be linked to it. He cited Mr. Vines’ approach to the Section of Former Officials and asked that contacts be made to submit, discuss and coordinate the respective proposals. On the ILO side, the focus will be on the “future of work” and various events, some of which have already taken place. At the end of his speech, he wished all the retirees present happy end-of-year holidays.
The Executive Secretary of the Section of Former Officials, Mr. François Kientzler, took the floor and thanked the Director General for his presence at the reception, a gesture that is always appreciated by retirees. Then he mentioned absent colleagues, those who live in distant countries and those who were unfortunately sick. He had a particular thought for Mr. Robert Nadeau, who had passed away on December 12 at the age of 84 and who during all his years of retirement had been a volunteer contributor to the magazine Message. He then mentioned the initiatives that the Section wanted to take to celebrate the ILO Centenary, and that contact had already been made with the relevant ILO Directorate. Then he mentioned the Section’s website and the opportunities it offered. He also informed retirees that an information meeting will be held on Monday, 14 May 2018 in the ILO on “Stay younger for longer” which will also be open to retirees from other Geneva International Organizations.
To close, he wished all present and their families “happy holidays”.