CMMD Perspectives — Comparing the International Labour Conference with the World Health Assembly

The 104th International Labour Conference is meeting from 1 to 13 June 2015 in Geneva – attracting some 4,000 delegates to the Palais des Nations and its Plenary Hall. It is interesting to compare and contrast the ILC with the World Health Assembly, which held its own 68th session from 18 to 26 May 2015 and attracted some 3,000 delegates to that same Plenary Hall in the Palais des Nations. The ILC is meeting for a longer period of time – 12 days instead of the 8 days of the WHA. The ILC has almost no side events, whereas the WHA calendar was filled with numerous lunchtime and late afternoon side events, including a series of lunchtime technical briefings by the WHO Secretariat itself. (An exception at the 2015 ILC is a side event on labour migration for 5 June 2015. Check the News and Events section for more information on this.) The WHA typically churns out 15 or more resolutions and few standards, while the ILC has extended standard-setting deliberations on 3 or 4 issues and few resolutions. The ILO has a tripartite governance structure with formal decision-making roles for governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations; the WHO is still trying to work out how it will engage with “non-state actors”.

From the CMMD Geneva Observer 1 June 2015

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