News & Events

Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation leads Irish Tripartite Delegation to the International Labour Conference

The 107th Session of the International Labour Conference (ILC), organised by the International Labour Organization (ILO), is taking place between the 28th May and the 8th June in Geneva. Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen T.D.; CEO of IBEC, Danny McCoy and General Secretary of ICTU, Patricia King, will be in attendance as part of a high level Irish tripartite delegation to the conference.

As part of the conference, the ILC is holding its flagship World of Work Summit on June 7th with President Michael D Higgins as keynote speaker. This summit will discuss the importance of employment and decent work for peace and resilience, with a specific focus on the ground and on partnerships that can achieve real results. It will address the challenges of sustaining peace by providing opportunities in the world of work, especially for young people.

Ireland’s tripartite delegation, led by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, includes representatives of Irish Aid, the Department of Justice and Equality, ICTU, and IBEC. Our delegation is contributing to technical committees on matters such as violence and harassment in the world of work, enhancing development cooperation and attainment of UN sustainable development goals and social dialogue.

Ireland and the ILO

Ireland joined the ILO in 1923. It was the first international Organization the country joined following the formation of the Free State.

Ireland’s links with the ILO can be traced back further, however, through Edward J Phelan, a Waterford born UK civil servant. He became the ILO’s first official following his work on the British proposal for the establishment of the Organization in 1919.

The ILO has a unique tripartite structure, in which employers’ and workers’ representatives have an equal voice with those of governments. It delivers its objectives through the formulation of international policies and programmes, the creation of international labour standards, an extensive programme of international technical cooperation and training, education, research, and publishing activities.

Last year for the first time, Ireland was elected to the Governing Body of the ILO as a full member of the Organization for a three-year term. Ireland, through the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, pays an annual contribution to the budget of the ILO.

Ireland’s annual contribution to the ILO is €1.3m. In addition, through Irish Aid, Ireland makes a considerable contribution to the ILO's development programmes amounting to approximately €2m per annum in recent years.

EJ Phelan Fellowship

Upon his death, Edward J Phelan set up a Fellowship intended to encourage and support a doctoral candidate of proven academic excellence at an advanced stage of their studies towards a doctoral degree in any area of International Law, in a constituent university of NUI.

The NUI E J Phelan Fellowship in International Law is valued at €25,000 and open to a doctoral student in any area of International Law in 2018 for a period of up to 18 months. In the video above, Dr. Amina Adanan shares her experience as one of the recipients of the Fellowship.

Pictures of Edward J Phelan courtesy of NUI