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Reith urges ILO modernisation.

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The Hon Peter Reith, MP

Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business

Leader of the House of Representatives





10 June 1999







The Australian Government has strong ly supported measures to modernise the International Labour Organisation (ILO).


In addressing the plenary session of the 87 th International Labour Conference, Minister Reith has welcomed the re-organisation of priorities recently outlined by new ILO Director -General, Dr Juan Somavia and has endorsed a series of specific reform measures. These include:


·  reviewing obsolete ILO standards and conventions;


·  refocussing priorities of ILO supervisory committees;


·  improving ILO focus on outcomes linked to its core objectives;


·  prioritising employment growth as well as regulatory issues.


Minister Reith also used the opportunity to address the 174 member countries of the ILO to re-iterate Australia’s call for the immediate release from imprisonment by Yugos lavia of the two Australian CARE employees, Steve Pratt and Peter Wallace.


The Australian delegation is also taking an active interest in the Child Labour and Maternity Protection measures currently under discussion by ILO delegates.


“The ILO, like all organisations which have existed for the bulk of this century, must modernise to meet the challenges presented by the next millennium. As mentioned in my meeting with Dr Somavia yesterday, Australia supports the reform process and considers that benchmarks that assess reform would also be a useful measure.”


Minister Reith said that he was encouraged by similar support for Dr Somavia’s modernisation programme during bilateral meetings with Ministers and senior officials from Japan, China, Indonesia, Korea, United States and New Zealand.


Australia contributes direct financial support to the ILO of approximately $5.8 million per year. A copy of Minister Reith’s speech to the International Labour Conference is attached.



For further information contact: Ian Ha nke 0419 484 095


Attachment to hard copy:

The Hon Peter Reith MP Head of the Australian Delegation and Federal Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business

Address to Plenary Session of the International Labour Conference, 87 th Session

Palais des Nations


9 June 1999


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lk  1999-06-15  10:52