The 111th session of the International Labor Conference in Geneva concluded with a grand celebration to acknowledge the successful presidency of Qatar, led by Minister of Labor Ali bin Samikh Al-Marri. The session resulted in the adoption of the conference’s memorandum, which included a recommendation for equal apprenticeships, as well as the report of the Permanent Workers’ Protection Committee.
Al-Marri, during the session’s closing, emphasized that the ambitious agenda of the conference had been achieved through the collaborative efforts of all participants, despite some challenges. As President of the International Labor Conference, Al-Marri signed the approval memorandum alongside Gilbert Hongbo, the Director-General of the International Labor Organization.
The adoption of the equal apprenticeship recommendation during Qatar’s presidency was regarded as a significant milestone and a historic event in the journey of the ILO. It was warmly welcomed due to its direct impact on enhancing working conditions and creating decent job opportunities worldwide.
The importance of promoting quality apprenticeships has grown, as it addresses the challenges presented by the evolving world of work. It promotes social justice by equipping individuals of all ages with diverse skills for advancement. Furthermore, it bridges a normative gap since 1975 and serves as a valuable guideline for Member States in developing effective policies, laws, and regulations to promote quality apprenticeships.
The recommendation also highlights the role of social dialogue and emphasizes the involvement of employers’ and workers’ organizations in designing and implementing quality apprenticeships.
In addition to the equal apprenticeship recommendation, the 111th session adopted the report of the Permanent Workers’ Protection Committee, which underscored the pivotal role of worker protection in achieving gender equality and social justice.
Al-Marri presided over the closing session of the 111th International Labor Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. The session was attended by delegation heads, labor ministers, and representatives of workers and employers from member states of the International Labor Organization.
Qatar assumed the presidency of the International Labor Conference at its 111th session, marking the first time a unanimous election by representatives of governments, employers, and workers took place since the organization’s establishment in 1919.
ترأست دولة قطر ممثلة بسعادة الدكتور علي بن صميخ المري، وزير العمل، الجلسة الختامية للدورة الـ 111 من مؤتمر العمل الدولي بحضور رؤساء الوفود، ووزراء العمل، وممثلي العمال، وأرباب العمل، بالدول الأعضاء لدى منظمة العمل الدولية. pic.twitter.com/PEX9nKX3kY
— وزارة العمل (@MOLQTR) June 16, 2023
In his remarks at the conclusion of the conference, Al-Marri expressed that Qatar’s election as president reaffirmed its strong role and commitment to supporting joint action and multilateral cooperation in achieving sustainable development goals. He conveyed his gratitude to the member states for bestowing their confidence in Qatar’s presidency of the session.
Al-Marri highlighted that the International Labor Conference provides a unique platform and opportunity for governments and social partners to engage in dialogue and collaborative actions to address contemporary issues in the world of work. He noted that the conference and its committees produced significant outcomes that, once implemented, will support the efforts of the organization and member states in achieving a better world of work.
The promotion of quality apprenticeships, according to Al-Marri, has become increasingly vital in addressing the challenges posed by the evolving world of work. He emphasized that it will serve as a valuable guide for Member States in developing effective policies, laws, and regulations to foster good apprenticeships.
Al-Marri stressed the necessity of advancing a just transition in the economy to achieve social justice, decent living conditions, and eradicate poverty. He cited the International Labor Organization’s guidelines for a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all as a central reference for policymaking, providing a solid foundation for actionable steps.
The conference’s repeated discussions on the importance of worker protection highlighted their essential role in achieving gender equality, social justice, and reducing inequalities. Worker protection also contributes to sustainable enterprises, productivity gains, and economic development.
Al-Marri mentioned that the 111th session of the International Labor Conference approved the organization’s program and budget for the 2024-2025 period. He praised the spirit of cooperation and flexibility that led to a consensus, showcasing the ILO’s approach based on constructive dialogue.
The Qatari Minister of Labor commended the World of Work Summit held alongside the conference, titled “Social Justice for All.” The summit saw the participation of 16 heads of state, government officials, ministers, representatives from international organizations, and social partners from various regions. Discussions encompassed several issues related to social justice, including the proposal by the Director-General to form a global coalition for social justice.
Government representatives, employers, and workers expressed their appreciation for the International Labor Organization, its Director-General, and Qatar’s management of the 111th International Labor Conference. They recognized the conference’s contribution to improving the global work environment and generating effective recommendations to achieve social justice and create decent job opportunities.
During the closing session, representatives acknowledged that the 111th session took place against the backdrop of various crises that have affected the world in recent years. They emphasized that the adoption of the equal apprenticeship recommendation will directly contribute to promoting a just transition in the economy.
The conference’s final session featured speeches from Gilbert Hongbo, Director-General of the International Labor Organization, Henrik Montai (representing the Employers’ Team), Muhammad Zuhur (representing the Workers’ Team), and Corina Ajdar (representing the Governments).
The speakers expressed their gratitude and admiration for the Qatari Minister of Labor’s leadership in managing the conference and achieving the desired goals.