Guy Ryder Elected as ILO Director General

Brussels 29 May 2012 (ITUC OnLine): Former ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder has been elected to the top post of the International Labour Organisation. He will take over from incumbent Juan Somavia, who leaves the post in September after 13 years at the helm of the UN agency.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said "The ILO has made the right choice to lead it in tackling the huge challenges in the world of work in the coming years. With his background in the trade union movement, and the ILO itself, Guy Ryder’s wide and practical experience, and his clear sense of the direction needed, put the ILO in a very strong position. The world needs a massive focus on creating decent jobs, and we are confident that he will generate the momentum required to put employment and the rights of working people at the heart of the international economy."

Ryder won yesterday’s vote in the 56-member ILO Governing Body, from a field of nine candidates from across the regions. Half the members of the Governing Body are government representatives, with employer and trade union representatives each holding a quarter of the seats.

"Juan Somavia put the ILO on the international map in a more prominent position than ever before, and we now look to Guy Ryder to build on that enormous contribution and carry forward the crucial work of the UN’s only tripartite body," said Sharan Burrow.

The ITUC represents 175 million workers in 153 countries and territories and has 308 national affiliates.