South Africa: Employment and Labour On Launch of Candidacy Campaign of Prof. Mthunzi Mdwaba for ILO Position

press release

Launch of the candidacy campaign of Prof. Mthunzi Mdwaba for the 2022 Elections of the Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO)

On behalf of the Government of the Republic of South Africa, the Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva together with the Department of Employment and Labour presents the candidature of Professor Mthunzi Perry-Mason Mdwaba. The campaign launch for the 2022 elections of the Director-General of the international Labour Organisation (ILO) will be held on 25 June 2021 at the Fairmont Grand Hotel Genève (Switzerland).

Prof. Mdwaba's candidacy is submitted as a Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tripartite and also an African Union (AU) endorsed candidate, as per the Executive Council decision in October 2020.

Prof. Mdwaba is an accomplished businessman, organised business activist, academic and thought leader who is committed to issues of social justice at global level who firmly believes that the ILO, and multilateralism in general, have a profound role to play in this regard. His campaign for the aforementioned position is premised on impacting All in a Balanced way, and comprises three elements, namely: Change, Social Justice and Impact.

The election of the new DG comes after the ILO celebrated its hundred years of existence since its founding in 1919. As an acknowledgement of the changed circumstances, global social partners from its 187 member states, in July 2019, adopted the Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work, which promotes a human-centred approach to the Future of Work. Among others, this important instrument encourages governments to ratify and implement ILO Conventions; and to promote Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to the world of work.

Prof. Mdwaba's campaign is fully aligned with what the Centenary Declaration (with all member states subsequently confirming its relevance as part of a comprehensive Covid-19 response) intends to achieve, and also positions him as the right person to take the world population through a future that is becoming more and more uncertain as a result of many factors including Covid-19, women inclusivity, youth unemployment, inequalities, decent work deficits and weakened multilateralism. As a candidate that is passionate about social dialogue and tripartism, he has the requisite set of skills, experience, knowledge and competence, and equally important, the understanding and tripartite multi-constituency sensitivity to help the ILO become a centre focus in endeavours to provide thought leadership and re-shape our world.

In summary, Prof. Mdwaba, has been in a strategic central position in the process of reinvigorating the ILO"s social contract and influencing the future direction of the organisation. He would therefore

concomitantly be well-positioned to provide the necessary leadership in taking the organisation further forward to unchartered waters. He is also more than convinced that the ILO should play a critical role and retain a special place in a fair societal restructuring and recalibration, to build towards a better world. He wishes to continue contributing to the world through his active expertise, dedicated work ethic and principled interventions to the goals of the ILO, which remains the only tripartite UN body.

At the planned hybrid launch (in-presence and virtual), Prof. Mdwaba will outline his vision and also present himself to the diplomatic community based in Geneva, social partners, stakeholders and media to kick-start his campaign that will culminate in elections in March 2022. This first milestone will be followed by a series of events that will build the momentum towards the day of the ballot.

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