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Can the ILO Be Saved From Itself?

Recorded on January 15, 2009

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

The International Labor Organization was created in 1919, in the wake of World War I, with the purpose of creating an international institution that could bring governments, employers and workers together to improve living and working conditions and help preserve social stability in the post-war order.  As the sole remaining component of the League of Nations, the ILO is the only "tripartite" member of the UN system, and the only UN agency dedicated to labor issues.  But in recent years, the ILO has lost its sense of direction, venturing into climate change, the global food crisis, and even the current financial crisis.

Can the ILO be saved from itself?  What is its proper role in addressing the labor dimension of globalization?  What more could the ILO be doing to promote workforce development, help countries develop real-life solutions to the labor challenges they face, and advance freedom in places like Burma, Belarus, and Iran?

Deputy Under Secretary for International Affairs Charlotte (Charlie) Ponticelli will address the current challenges facing the ILO and outline steps the next Administration could take to help the ILO return to its core mission.