The board of directors of the International Labor Organization has elected a new general manager to serve in the next 5 years.
Consisting of workers, employers and government representatives, the board of directors decided to appoint Gilbert F. Houngbo as the new general manager among the five candidates.
The elections held in Geneva on Friday, 25 March 2022, gained historical importance in terms of the appointment of a person from the African continent for the first time in the ILO’s more than 100 years history.
Houngbo, who will take office on October 1, 2022, previously served as Togo’s prime minister and is currently the chairman of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
In a statement on his election, Houngbo said:
“Despite my African origin, my perspective is global. In a divided age, my promise to be a unifying Managing Director stands firm. Governments, employers and workers around the world can and should trust that I am fully prepared to represent and defend the views of all tripartite constituents of the organization.”
Guy Ryder, who will serve as ILO General Director until October, made the following assessment about the election:
“Congratulations to Gilbert F. Houngbo, who has been elected Director-General of the International Labor Organization (ILO). He brings enormous experience and the perspective from the Global South, which is so important for this organization. The ILO is in excellent hands as we take on the challenges of the #futurework.”
He brings enormous experience and the perspective from the Global South, which is important for this organization.
— Guy Ryder (@GuyRyder) March 25, 2022
IndustriALL Global Union, of which our union is also a member, in the message it published on the subject:
“We welcome the first African Director-General of the ILO. Mr. Gilbert has a great track record from other UN agencies and is a friend of labour. As Prime Minister of Togo, he lead a strong fight against poverty. We look forward to working with him.”
We welcome the first African Director General of the ILO. Mr Gilbert has a great track record from other UN agencies and is a friend of labour. As Prime Minister of Togo, he lead a strong fight against poverty. We look forward to working with him. https://t.co/RY9YNSAqVU
— IndustriALL (@IndustriALL_GU) March 25, 2022