Policy Proposals  Labor Policy   Delegation sent to 105th Session of the International Labour Conference in Geneva, May 30-June 10

The 105th Session of the International Labour Conference of the International Labour Organization (ILO) was held at the ILO Headquarters and the United Nations Office at Geneva in Geneva, Switzerland, from May 30 to June 10.

Keidanren sent a delegation representing Japanese employers, led by Hiroshi Tokumaru (Councillor, Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.), chairman of Sub-Committee on International Labor, Committee on Employment Policy, Keidanren.

Opening remarks by ILO Director-General Guy Ryder

At the opening sitting of the Conference, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder began his remarks by highlighting that the world of work is rapidly changing, which creates innovative and productive employment opportunities, but also generates inequality and polarization in our societies. He went on to state that the ILO has worked with its member states to pursue solutions to such issues in the world of work, and will continue to expend its utmost efforts in the future. Noting that the agenda of this Conference covers essential topics that need to be addressed in order to solve the issues faced by the world of work, he expressed his anticipation to see productive discussions during the conference. He also touched on the Director-General's Report to the Conference, The End to Poverty Initiative: The ILO and the 2030 Agenda, explaining that the initiative is the ILO's contribution to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the UN in 2015, and requesting active cooperation from governments, workers, and employers.

Address by Japanese employers' delegate Hiroshi Tokumaru

As an employer representative of Japan, Hiroshi Tokumaru delivered an address in the Assembly Hall on June 8. He began by highlighting that global supply chains are making significant contributions to creating jobs and achieving decent work around the world, and went on to assert that the ILO should entrust the regulation of supply chains to good governance by each government, rather than setting standards at ILO.

He also addressed the fact that in order for Japan to achieve mid- to long-term growth on the blink of low birthrate and aging society, it is essential to promote women's active participation into the labour market and open door to talented foreign workers, and noted that Japan's business community is actively engaging in efforts to ensure it.

On the same day, Yasuhisa Shiozaki, Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan, and Naoto Ohmi, General Secretary of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUC-RENGO), each delivered an address as delegates to the conference.

Developments regarding agenda items

In addition to the approval of the ILO programme and budget for 2017-2018, the Committees were established to deal with the following three technical items: "Decent work in global supply chains," "Decent work for peace, security and disaster resilience: Revision of ILO Employment Recommendation No. 71," and "Evaluation of the impact of the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization." Having undertaken a discussion, the Reports of the Committees were adopted by the Conference.

The Reports on the item "Decent work in global supply chains" began by noting that while global supply chains have contributed to a broad range of areas around the world, including economic growth, job creation, skills development, productivity, industrial competitiveness and poverty reduction, failures within global supply chains have also led to decent work deficits for working conditions such as in the areas of occupational safety and health, working time and wages. The report also stated that in promoting decent work in global supply chains (1) the governments of the ILO member states should ensure appropriate working conditions, promote fundamental principles and rights at work, and help enterprises to foster decent work, and (2) the ILO should strengthen capacity building and technical assistance to member States, and also work in partnership with organizations and forums such as the G7, G20, and the OECD.

Taking into account this discussion of the Conference, the ILO will convene a technical tripartite meeting or a meeting of experts to assess the failures which lead to decent work deficits, identify the salient challenges of governance to achieving decent work, and consider what guidance, programmes, measures, initiatives or standards are needed to promote decent work.