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Election of the new Director General of the International Labor Organization



GENEVA (ILO News) – The next Director-General of the International Labor Organization (ILO) will be Gilbert F. Houngbo from Togo.

Houngbo is currently President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

He was elected by the ILO Governing Body, made up of representatives of governments, workers and employers, at their meeting in Geneva. He will be the 11th Director-General of the ILO and the first African to hold this position.

After the announcement of the result of the ballot, the Director-General-elect will address the Governing Body and this can be followed on the ILO website.

The five-year term of the new chief executive will begin on October 1, 2022. The current chief executive, Guy Ryder from the UK, has held the position since 2012.

The ILO Governing Body is composed of 56 full members (28 governments, 14 employers and 14 workers) and 66 deputy members (28 governments, 19 employers and 19 workers). Employer and Worker members are elected individually. The ILO is the oldest specialized agency of the UN. It was founded in 1919 and has a mandate to promote decent work for all. It has 187 member states.

There were five candidates for the post of Director-General of the ILO. The other candidates were:

  • Kang Kyung-wha (Republic of Korea), former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, Deputy Director General of International Organizations for Korea and United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights.
  • Mthunzi Mdwaba (South Africa), former Employer Vice-Chairperson of the ILO Governing Body and Vice-President of the ILO, International Organization of Employers.
  • Muriel Pénicaud (France), currently Ambassador and Permanent Representative of France to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and former French Minister of Labour.
  • Greg Vines (Australia), currently ILO Deputy Director-General for Management and Reform, and former Minister (Labour), Australian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva and Chair of the ILO Governing Body.