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New Zealand Leads ILO Reform Effort

MEDIA RELEASE

June 15, 1999

New Zealand Leads ILO Reform Effort

Top level support for reform of the International Labour Organisation is a major victory for New Zealand, Enterprise and Commerce Minister Max Bradford said today.

Mr Bradford led the New Zealand delegation to the ILO's annual conference in Geneva last week.

Other delegation members included New Zealand Employers Federation chief executive Steve Marshall and New Zealand Council of Trade Unions President Ken Douglas

The tripartite New Zealand representatives had a meeting with new ILO Director-General Juan Somavia.

During the meeting Mr Somavia acknowledged he had incorporated many of the reform initiatives proposed by the New Zealand Government and endorsed at this year's conference by the Asia-Pacific Labour Ministers' Group into his work programme.

These proposals include:

- improving the quality of the ILO's work

- through this, making the ILO a centre of excellence for labour market research and analysis - improving accountability

- continuing the ongoing review of standards and conventions, and

- a new strategy to better communicate ILO functions to workers around the world.

Mr Bradford said New Zealand, through the Asia-Pacific Group of Labour Ministers, had been pushing this agenda for the last three years.

"If the ILO is to be relevant to the countries making up its membership then it must anticipate the effects on work and jobs of technological and political change," Mr Bradford said.

Mr Bradford said New Zealand was also playing a leading role in helping to develop new ILO performance measurement, monitoring and reporting initiatives.

This would help ensure the support for ILO reform translated into real change, he said.

END

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