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Accueil ACTUALITES Togo's Houngbo to face four candidates in ILO head election

Togo’s Houngbo to face four candidates in ILO head election

Four candidates will face Togo’s former Prime Minister, Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, in the race for the post of Director General of the United Nations International Labor Organization (ILO). The elections will close this Friday the two days of hearings which expose contrasting visions for the future of the organization.

The position of Director General of the ILO is one of the privileged positions at the UN in Geneva.

The four candidates who will face the Togolese are former South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha; ILO MP Greg Vines from Australia, former Minister of Labor from France Muriel Penicaud and South African entrepreneur Mthunzi Mdwaba.

The latter manages various companies in Africa and has held several management positions in employers’ organizations.

Penicaud, 66, served as France’s labor minister from 2017 to 2020, initiating President Emmanuel Macron’s major social reforms, including unemployment insurance, promoting apprenticeships, gender equality and changing the labor legislation.

Kang was South Korea’s first female foreign minister, serving from 2017 to February last year. Previously, the 66-year-old held various positions at the UN, including Deputy Chief of Human Rights, Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator and then Senior Political Advisor to the UN Secretary General , Antonio Guterres.

Vines has been the ILO’s Deputy Director General for Management and Reform since 2012. Prior to that, he represented Australia at the ILO, chaired the Timor Leste Civil Service Task Force and was a Standards Commissioner. of the public sector in the State of Victoria.

The race is on to succeed former British trade unionist Guy Ryder at the end of his second five-year term.

Houngbo, meanwhile, was Togo’s prime minister from 2008 to 2012, before spending four years as deputy director-general of the ILO. He is President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development. He started out in finance before taking up a management position at the United Nations Development Programme.

Based in a large rationalist rectangular block designed in the 1960s, the ILO aims to promote rights at work, encourage good employment opportunities, improve social protection and strengthen dialogue on issues work-related.

Founded in 1919, the ILO is the oldest specialized agency of the United Nations, with 187 member States, which are, uniquely in the United Nations system, represented by governments, employers and workers.

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