At the invitation of the Director General, Guy Ryder, a reception for retired officials was held in the restaurant lounges on the evening of Thursday 18 May 2017 (See photos album). More than 170 retirees from Geneva and the surrounding region had responded to the invitation, while many others were unable to attend for health or travel reasons. In the DG’s absence on mission, participants were greeted by Greg Vines, Deputy Director General. In his welcoming remarks he spoke of the role of retired staff in the Organization; over the decades they have been both witnesses to and actors in profound changes to the world of work; they have enabled the ILO to be ever attentive to the trends in our societies and the concerns of our contemporaries. Spending almost one hundred years at the heart of the world of work ensuring people are protected requires constant adaptation. The ILO is meeting this challenge and remains committed to the change agenda. The centenary of the Organization will have as its central theme “the future of work”. A majority of countries have already embarked on this process and a first International Conference was held in Geneva in early April 2017 on the subject. In conclusion, Mr Vines thanked the participants for their loyalty to the Organization.
François Kientzler, Executive Secretary of the Former Officials Section, extended thanks to Greg Vines for his warm words and to all the participants for coming. This was an opportunity to discuss the latest news and activities of the Section. He particularly thanked the members of the Bureau for making themselves available so that these activities could be carried out, not forgetting all those who contribute to the production of Message. In particular, he thanked Ivan Elsmark, Editor for 16 years and 32 issues. Though stepping down, he will continue to participate in the Editorial Board. The Executive Secretary then mentioned the meeting of 30 March with the Director General, covering the activities of the Section, the situation of SHIF and the ILO centenary. He also recalled that the Section has launched a website, highlighted in the editorial of issue 61 of Message that had recently been distributed. Two other pieces of news were the relocation of the Section to office 4-13 (4th floor north) and the search for a documentalist to support the secretariat for two hours a week (preferably Tuesday mornings). He concluded by wishing all participants cordial discussions among friends and a fine summer.