On Thursday, May 17, 2018 in the late afternoon was held the spring reception of retirees of the ILO at the invitation of Guy Ryder, Director General. Many colleagues had responded, as usual, to this invitation a few days before the start of the 2018 International Labor Conference. The Director-General honored the reception with his presence and had the opportunity to greet many former retired colleagues.
Mark Levin, Director of HRD, greeted the retirees present and gave the floor to Mr. François Kientzler, Executive Secretary of the ILO Elders Section. In his speech, he mentioned a recent ILO Seminar on “How to age well”, which brought together some 200 ILO retirees and other international organizations in Geneva. In particular, this Seminar benefited from the expertise of former WHO retired medical officers. All of the work will be published and available to everyone, including on the Alumni Section website. He then referred to the ILO’s centenary by thanking all those who had already given a testimony about a notorious event they had experienced. This information will be shared with the ILO Communication Service (DCOMM). Two working meetings have already been held at the beginning of the year with the ILO officials responsible for coordinating the Centenary events and the Section of Elders is fully integrated into the process. It will keep retirees informed of any events affecting them.
In his intervention, the Director-General recalled that the general objective of the ILO Centennial was to look to the future and, in particular, to future employment and work. He recalled that the ILO has constantly adapted to the often profound changes in the world of work and that the retirees present have been actors. It is now up to the ILO to look to the future and adapt its resources to the new demands of the profound changes in technologies that change labor relations. But without forgetting all those who are outside these transformations in developed and developing countries. On the occasion of the ILO Centenary in 2019, many events will be held in Geneva and around the world, including a meeting of a United Nations and Swiss Federal Government forum. Regarding the requirements to which the ILO itself is subject, it quoted the duration of the International Labor Conference, which is only two weeks long whereas in the past it lasted up to five weeks. He also mentioned a recent staff strike at the March Board meeting, recalling that this is part of the life and working relationships of any company, so it can happen even at the ILO. In conclusion, he thanked all present for their continued interest in the future of the ILO.
The reception was an opportunity to exchange with friends but also, for many of us, to make new acquaintances. For the members of the Bureau of the Alumni Section this was an opportunity to meet and talk with many retirees. It is also our responsibility to mention the participation of several DCOMM officials in this reception who were able to interact directly with ILO retirees in preparation for the ILO Centenary.
The next reception will take place on Thursday 13th December 2018