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By Florence Kuali-Iautu

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Sept. 13) - After becoming a full member of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Vanuatu has attended the first regional ILO meeting in Busan, South Korea.

[PIR editor’s note: According to its website, the International Labour Organization is a United Nations agency "which seeks the promotion of social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights. It was founded in 1919 and is the only surviving major creation of the Treaty of Versailles which brought the League of Nations into being and it became the first specialized agency of the UN in 1946.]

The one week long conference, which brought together a total of 42 ILO member countries from Asia, Middle East and the Pacific Region was officially opened by the President of the Republic of Korea Mr. Roh Moo Hyun and was chaired by Mr. Lee Sang Soo, the Labour Minister.

The theme of this year’s meeting involved ‘Realizing Decent Work in Asia and the Pacific," which gave the participants the opportunity to meet and discuss the related issues on employment with ILO officials and other member colleagues.

However, other member countries such as Lebanon, Iraq, East Timor and the Solomon Islands could not attend the very important meeting, due to their internal conflicts their countries are facing today.

According to Mr .Joe Bomal Carlo, First Political Advisor in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Vanuatu delegation, along with those of Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa and Kiribati also had private discussions with the Director General of the ILO Juan Somavia. At this private meeting, Vanuatu made a verbal request to the ILO on the issue of Technical Assistance and Training in the implementation of the consolidated Employment Bill to be tabled in Parliament soon, and the enforcement of the nine (9) ILO Core Conventions now ratified by Vanuatu.

Also during the meeting, the Trade Union also raised their concern with regards to the continuation of future assistance to the South Pacific Trade Union Organisation known as SPOCTU. However, at the Conference proper, Carlo delivered a statement on behalf of the Minister of Internal Affairs and the Vanuatu Government, confirming Vanuatu commitment to the ILO standards in close collaboration with the social partners of the organization.

The first political adviser to Internal Affairs, Joe Bomal Carlo, led Vanuatu delegation to the recent ILO regional conference and the tripartite team consisted of the Trade Union representative, Ephraim Kalsakau, Chamber of Commerce, Peter Napuat and the Deputy Labour Commissioner Roline Lesines.

September 14, 2006

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