Introduction to the exhibition
The ILO Arts and Decoration Circle has been backed by the ILO Former Officials Section for many years. As well as generating artefacts and items of value, artistic activity also helps foster personal development.
Owing to the pandemic, the organization of exhibitions has been curtailed across the world. With the support of a number of Office departments, the Arts Circle has always staged an annual exhibition in the ILO Colonnades. The Circle hopes the exhibition will return there as soon as possible.
Some Circle members have expressed a wish to present their work in virtual form through the use of new technologies, though aware this can never replace a real exhibition. The format has the added advantage of enabling them to keep in touch with each other. Other members have stressed how difficult it is to be creative in a time of pandemic; we know how they feel.
ILO Arts and Decoration Circle
Two presentations in English:
This communication provides an update on the plans for a progressive and safe return to the office of staff at ILO headquarters, which, as previously announced, will start on 2 August 2021.
The positive evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region, with reduced levels of contamination and broad access to vaccinations, has allowed further lifting of restrictions in Switzerland and neighbouring France.
I am pleased to say that this situation creates the conditions for welcoming a progressive return of all staff to office, in order to continue our full services under normal conditions of work, while ensuring a safe environment for all staff and visitors present in the building.
All staff who have received medical clearance will return to office as of 2 August 2021, based on the following conditions.
The Office will continue to monitor the situation carefully, in consultation with the WHO and the other Geneva-based UN agencies.
We thank all staff for your continued commitment and will keep you fully informed of progress as we enter this new and welcome phase.
This communication provides an update on plans for the return to office of staff at headquarters.
As previously announced, the Office continues to prepare for the return of all Geneva-based staff to office as soon as conditions allow.
COVID-19 policy measures, including the widespread access to vaccination, have brought significant improvements to the situation, but the pandemic remains present.
The ILO senior management continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation carefully and to make decisions based on the local epidemiological situation and recommendations of the WHO, the host country and in consultation with other UN agencies. As always, the Office gives highest priority to ensuring the safety and health of staff.
The latest decisions by the Swiss authorities confirm the progressive reopening of social and economic activity in the country. However, teleworking continues to be recommended, and an increased return to office is only possible with specific strict conditions, including the weekly COVID testing of all staff present, reflecting the ongoing risks associated with the pandemic.
Taking all factors into account, the Director-General has decided that mandatory teleworking will continue to apply to all staff at ILO headquarters until 2 August 2021.
During the interim period, updated policies and plans guiding the return to office will be finalized and communicated to all staff.
The ILO senior management will review the situation again in late June or when new information becomes available.
Regardless of the teleworking status at headquarters, managers are requested to encourage staff to finalize plans for summer leave in a coordinated manner to ensure business continuity.
On behalf of the Director-General, I would like to thank all staff for their flexibility and understanding as we adapt together to an evolving situation and prepare for this new phase in our response to the pandemic.
In 2019, the Federation of Associations of Former International Civil Servants (FAFICS), on a proposal from the Association of Former UNESCO Staff Members (AFUS), enthusiastically accepted at the 48th Session of its Council that a Tribute to past and present generations of international civil servants be prepared at the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and many other institutions of the United Nations system, including UNESCO. At the request of the AFUS, the drafting of the text was entrusted to it by FAFICS.
The preliminary document drafted by AFUS was communicated in January 2020 to the 63 Associations of the Federation whose contributions were incorporated into the Draft. On December 9, 2020, at the close of its 49th Council Virtual Session, FAFICS unanimously and by acclamation adopted the Tribute reproduced below.
The Director-General has decided to extend the current mandatory teleworking arrangements for staff at headquarters until at least 4 May 2021.
Following the decisions of the Swiss authorities to maintain COVID-19-related restrictions announced on 19 March 2021, the Director-General has decided that the current mandatory teleworking policy will remain in place for staff at ILO headquarters until at least 4 May 2021.
The arrangements and timing of the return of ILO staff to the office will be subject to the evolution of the pandemic and any further decisions by the Swiss and French authorities. Further announcements are expected to be made by the authorities in mid-April and we will update staff on return to office arrangements at that time.
As previously, those staff whose presence is required in the office for a specific purpose prior to 4 May will be informed by their manager.
Requests for exceptional access to the HQ building will continue to be considered in accordance with the current procedures.
We recognize that this extended period of teleworking and continued uncertainty are a source of anxiety for many staff. The Office continues to give the highest priority to the safety and well-being of staff, and we ask all colleagues to continue to take care of your own health and that of others around you at all times.
In Switzerland and in France, vaccination will be provided free of charge to residents and staff of international organizations in Geneva. In other cases, SHIF will reimburse the cost of the vaccine at 100%.
You can see the ILO Director-General’s speech to staff on January 13, 2021 here :
For the centenary of the ILO, the Staff Union as part of its blog has undertaken to conduct interviews with former Presidents of the Union.