Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), arrived in New York for a series of high-level events at United Nations headquarters, including a special session of the UN General Assembly  and engagement with an international gathering of youth representatives, to mark the ILO’s 100th anniversary.

The celebrations at the UN take place in advance of a key date in the ILO’s anniversary year. On 11 April 1919 the ILO Constitution  was adopted by the Paris Peace Conference, following the end of the First World War.

The only tripartite U.N. agency, the ILO aims brings together governments, employers and workers of its member states in order to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.

The driving forces for the ILO’s creation arose from security, humanitarian, political and economic considerations. The founders of the ILO recognised the importance of social justice in securing peace, against a background of the exploitation of workers in the industrialising nations of that time.

There was also increasing understanding of the world’s economic interdependence and the need for cooperation to obtain similarity of working conditions in countries competing for markets.

During the visit, Ryder will meet with the UN leadership, including Secretary-General António Guterres and the President of the UN General Assembly, María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, who is convening the special session. The session will mark the official UN commemoration of the Centenary.

Statements will be given by UN member States and representatives of international organizations of employers and trade unions as Guterres addresses the session.

The session’s focus will be on the future of work with decent work, and will be followed by high-level panel discussions involving a range of specialists, including tripartite constituents academic and civil society experts.

Additionally, the ILO Director-General will meet with youth representatives during the ECOSOC Youth Forum to discuss the future of work. The discussion will bring together young people to discuss key global issues, including the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

A social media campaign, #myFutureofWork, inviting young people to share their personal visions on the future of work will be launched by Ryder and the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake.

A highlight of the week will be the inauguration of a series of five murals by internationally-renowned artists depicting images of decent work, painted on walls in the vicinity of UN headquarters.