International Association of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions

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AICESIS-ILO Cooperation Agreement


he cooperation between the AICESIS and the ILO started in 2005. Since then, it has constantly increased its importance for both organizations and their members. The agreement sets out the common objectives within the framework of SDGs, the areas of joint works and periodical meetings, among others. The second cooperation agreement was signed in October 2018 and its results will be evaluated after 6 years of implementation.


ILO, the UN agency for the world of work


The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the United Nations agency for the world of work. It sets international labour standards, promotes rights at work and encourages decent employment opportunities, the enhancement of social protection and the strengthening of dialogue on work-related and socio-economic issues.


It was created in 1919, as part of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I, to reflect the belief that universal and lasting peace can be accomplished only if it is based on social justice.


The ILO has a unique structure, bringing together governments, employers’ and workers’ representatives. The ILO has 187 member States and is one of the oldest UN agencies. The ILO’s Secretariat has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and a global network of technical experts and field offices in more than 40 countries.


The International Labour Conference (ILC) meets once a year to adopt new international labour standards and to approve the ILO’s work plan and budget.


The Governing Body is the executive council of the ILO and meets three times a year in Geneva.


See below for more information, on Mission, History and its main bodies or go to the ILO Website: Advancing Social Justice, Promoting Decent Work.




Mission of the ILO


The International Labour Organization (ILO) is devoted to promoting social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights, pursuing its founding mission that social justice is essential to universal and lasting peace.


Only tripartite U.N. agency, the ILO brings together governments, employers and workers representatives of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.


Today, the ILO's Decent Work agenda helps advance the economic and working conditions that give all workers, employers and governments a stake in lasting peace, prosperity and progress.


Four strategic objectives at the heart of the Decent Work agenda


Set and promote standards and fundamental principles and rights at work


Create greater opportunities for women and men to decent employment and income


Enhance the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all


Strengthen tripartism and social dialogue


History and the constitution of the ILO


The Organization has played a role at key historical junctures – the Great Depression, decolonization, the creation of Solidarność in Poland, the victory over apartheid in South Africa – and today in the building of an ethical and productive framework for a fair globalization.


It was created in 1919, as part of the Treaty of Versailles [PDF 837KB] that ended World War I, to reflect the belief that universal and lasting peace can be accomplished only if it is based on social justice.


The Constitution of the ILO was drafted in early 1919 by the Labour Commission, chaired by Samuel Gompers, head of the American Federation of Labour (AFL) in the United States. It was composed of representatives from nine countries: Belgium, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, France, Italy, Japan, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States.


The process resulted in a tripartite organization, the only one of its kind, bringing together representatives of governments, employers and workers in its executive bodies.


The driving forces for the ILO's creation arose from security, humanitarian, political and economic considerations. The founders of the ILO recognized the importance of social justice in securing peace, against a background of the exploitation of workers in the industrializing nations of that time. There was also increasing understanding of the world's economic interdependence and the need for cooperation to obtain similarity of working conditions in countries competing for markets.


Reflecting these ideas, the Preamble of the ILO Constitution states:

  • Whereas universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice;
  • And whereas conditions of labour exist involving such injustice, hardship and privation to large numbers of people as to produce unrest so great that the peace and harmony of the world are imperilled; and an improvement of those conditions is urgently required;
  • Whereas also the failure of any nation to adopt humane conditions of labour is an obstacle in the way of other nations which desire to improve the conditions in their own countries.


The areas of improvement listed in the Preamble remain relevant today, including the regulation of working time and labour supply, the prevention of unemployment and the provision of an adequate living wage, social protection of workers, children, young persons and women. The Preamble also recognizes a number of key principles, for example equal remuneration for work of equal value and freedom of association, and highlights, among others, the importance of vocational and technical education.


How the ILO works: Tripartism and Social DIalogue


Underlying the ILO’s work is the importance of cooperation between governments and employers’ and workers’ organizations in fostering social and economic progress.


The ILO aims to ensure that it serves the needs of working women and men by bringing together governments, employers and workers to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes. The very structure of the ILO, where workers and employers together have an equal voice with governments in its deliberations, shows social dialogue in action. It ensures that the views of the social partners are closely reflected in ILO labour standards, policies and programmes.


The ILO encourages this tripartism within its constituents - employers, workers and member States , by promoting a social dialogue between trade unions and employers in formulating, and where appropriate, implementing national policy on social, economic, and many other issues.


Main bodies


The ILO accomplishes its work through three main bodies, which comprise governments, employers' and workers' representatives:

  • the International labour Conference sets the International labour standards and the broad policies of the ILO. It meets annually in Geneva. Often called an international parliament of labour, the Conference is also a forum for discussion of key social and labour questions.
  • the Governing body  is the executive council of the ILO. It meets three times a year in Geneva. It takes decisions on ILO policy and establishes the programme and the budget, which it then submits to the Conference for adoption.
  • the International Labour Office is the permanent secretariat of the International Labour Organization. It is the focal point for International Labour Organization's overall activities, which it prepares under the scrutiny of the Governing Body and under the leadership of the Director-General.


The work of the Governing Body and of the Office is aided by tripartite committees covering major industries. It is also supported by committees of experts on such matters as vocational training, management development, occupational safety and health, industrial relations, workers’ education, and special problems of women and young workers.


Regional meetings of the ILO member States are held periodically to examine matters of special interest to the regions concerned.













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