Sectoral activities represent a unique opportunity for employers to meet not only their peers from other socio-economic and cultural environments, but also workers with other perspectives and priorities. They are the ILO window on the real world of work. The IOE coordinates the employer participation in all ILO sectoral activities.
Whilst the tripartite consensus, results or conclusions of sectoral activities may not often be revolutionary, they nevertheless provide basic guidelines and minimal recommendations largely consistent with employers' views on what the ILO and its activities in general should be.
In addition to research carried out by the ILO in all the sectors, three main types of activity are currently undertaken under the sectoral programme:
International tripartite meetings
International tripartite meetings focus on one topic decided by the ILO Governing Body. Their outputs are non binding conclusions and, sometimes, resolutions, all agreed on by the three parties, preferably by consensus. They last for 3 to 5 days and gather between 10 and 20 participants from each group, depending on the budget available.
Global dialogue forums (GDFs)
GDFs are informal meetings that promote an exchange of views on a limited number of topics specific to one sector. There is no negotiation of conclusions and the outputs of the meeting are “points of consensus”. Recently, “areas where no consensus could be reached” have been added at the end of the final document where appropriate.
The duration of a GDF is typically 2-3 days and an average of 6 delegates per group are invited to participate. Nevertheless, as there are no formal standing orders for this type of meetings, their duration and composition may be agreed on a case-by-case basis.
National action programmes
National action programmes are decided by the ILO Governing Body and designed to facilitate discussion and action by national constituents on issues they deem appropriate for the sector concerned.
Although target countries are pre-selected by the ILO Governing Body, any action programme requires tripartite national agreement to be implemented. All actions undertaken in the framework of an action programme are decided by consensus.
Past activities, other information on sectoral activities in general and on each sector in particular may be consulted on the ILO website: www.ilo.org/public/english/dialogue/sector/