ILO DG Warns of Rise in Inequalities, Highlights Need For Coalition on Social Justice

Houngbo, ILO DG

THE Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Gilbert F. Houngbo, has warned of a concerning rise in inequalities worldwide, associated with a surge in inflation, the rising cost-of-living, an increase in poverty, and a debt crisis in low- and middle-income countries.

Speaking to the opening session  of the ILO’s Governing Body, Houngbo said this confirmed the urgent need to launch a Global Coalition for Social Justice.

The Global Coalition is one of several pressing world-of-work issues on the agenda of the 347th Session of the ILO’s Governing Body, which is attended by representatives of Governments, workers’ and employers’ representatives.

As well as proposals for launching the Coalition in June, the Governing Body will consider the situation in Ukraine resulting from the Russian invasion. In his opening remarks, the Director-General said that the ILO plans to expand its office in Kyiv and to step up assistance to Ukraine, neighbouring countries such as Moldova, and other affected regions.

During its meeting, the Governing Body will also receive the report of the Director-General, review several individual country cases that fall under the ILO’s complaints mechanisms, hold discussions on supply chains and the digital platform economy, and examine the Programme and Budget proposals for 2024-25.

At the start of the opening session, three new ILO Assistant Directors-General were sworn in: Mia Seppo, Assistant Director-General for Jobs & Social Protection, Laura Thompson, Assistant Director-General for or External and Corporate Relations, and Hao Bin, Assistant Director-General for Internal Management Services.

The Governing Body is currently in a meeting which began March 13 and will end on March 23, 2023 at ILO’s Geneva headquarters.

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