February 7, 2012
Malaysia’s Dr Jomo vying for ILO Director-General Post
One of Malaysia’s top economists, Dr Jomo Kwame Sundaram, will be a candidate vying for the post of director-general of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Jomo (right with UN Secretary-General), who currently holds the post of Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development at the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations based in New York, is in London as part of Malaysia’s lobbying process for the post.
He will be meeting British Foreign Secretary William Hague as well as key figures from the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions, the Trades Union Congress and employer representatives from the ILO governing body in efforts to garner support from the UK in his bid.
Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, who is in London for a working visit, will also be present when Dr. Jomo meets Hague, while his candidacy has also been supported by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Human Resource Minister Dr S Subramaniam.
“I’m proud to be Malaysian and I believe I can bring these traits to the job if I’m elected,” Dr. Jomo, who can converse in 10 languages, said in an interview with Malaysian press on Sunday night.
The 59-year-old Penangite also said his manifesto was based on three major commitments which are to address contemporary issues such as the prospect of extended economic slowdown, the deepening and widening ILO standards, and to improve management, especially during hard times when operations have to be leaner and meaner.
“I am confident that I have the relevant experience and have experiences and expertise that will set me apart from my competitors,” he said.
A tripartite UN body
The ILO is a tripartite UN body, the only UN organisation which brings together representatives of not only governments but also workers and employers. It defines and promotes compliance with international conventions on matters like the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining and the prohibition of discrimination, forced labour and child labour.
The election for ILO director-general will be held in Geneva on May 28, where 28 government delegates and 14 delegates, each from employer organisations and trade unions, will vote in the election.
The first phase for the appointment of the director-general will take place on March 30, which is the last day of the 313th session of the governing body, and will be dedicated to the hearings of candidates.
The second phase will consist of a specially convened meeting of the governing body for the purpose of conducting the ballot for the election of the director-general.
The newly elected director-general will then replace outgoing Chilean Juan Somavía, who will be stepping down on September 30.