Meeting of OATUU Secretary-General with ILO Director-General and ILO Director of Africa Regional Office

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Taking advantage of his presence at the 344th session of the ILO Governing Body Council held from 14 to 26 March 2022 at the ILO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the Secretary-General of OATUU, Mr. Arezki Mezhoud, met with Director-General of the ILO, Mr. Guy Ryder on 22 March 2022. This meeting took place in the presence of Ms. Maria Fernanda Cavalo, President and member of the Executive Committee of the Commission of Women Workers of OATUU.

After welcoming the OATUU delegation, the Director-General of the ILO thanked the Secretary-General of OATUU for the visit and expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the role OATUU plays in promoting the ideals of the ILO and in defending the rights of African workers. He said that the ILO would continue to cooperate with OATUU and support African workers and added that the Centenary Declaration and Abidjan Declaration were references to guide the work of ILO’s tripartite constituents.

He also acknowledged that the world of work is currently facing two major challenges; the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and other developments in the world today, which he believes will inevitably have an impact on the world of work. He reiterated his call to engineer a sustainable, resilient and inclusive recovery that would be a top public policy priority.

Taking the floor, the Secretary-General of OATUU thanked Mr. Ryder for giving the OATUU delegation the opportunity to discuss issues of concern to the world of work, specifically in Africa, which, like the rest of the world, is reeling from the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He also seized the opportunity to congratulate him on his work during his two terms and appreciated his support for the African trade union movement through his work at the ILO. He also reminded him that he was the first Director-General of the ILO to visit the OATUU Secretariat in Accra, Ghana, in April 2015.

The OATUU delegation also met with the Director of the ILO Regional Office for Africa, Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon. Both sides addressed several issues related to the world of work. Ms. Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon highlighted the current crisis and touched on the Abidjan Declaration, which she said must be implemented through the ILO strategy and action plan.

The OATUU Secretary-General, Mr. Mezhoud thanked her for this meeting, which allowed him to present the prevailing concerns of African workers and their challenges post Covid-19. He expressed his organisation’s availability to help implement the Abidjan Declaration and the post-Covid-19 recovery initiatives that he believes must take into account fundamental rights at work.