IOE General Council steers the course for another 100 years of business action

The General Council is responsible for the endorsement of IOE's overall activity and policy direction. This year, it also marked its 100 years of business action.

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives this past year, but it has not prevented us from paying tribute to the foundations of the Organisation starting back in 1920. This year, instead of hosting this important annual event in May/June, we virtually gathered all IOE members together with relevant speakers, former staff and Presidents.

IOE President Erol Kiresepi welcomed participants and praised employers for remaining a united force, navigating changes and staying focused on promoting the voice of business worldwide despite challenges. His welcoming remarks were followed by the launch of a new history book and an online centenary story.

In her keynote speech, the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, Ms Tatiana Valovaya, highlighted IOE as one of the first business organisations to engage directly with the multilateral system. "IOE's long-year history reflects the strong resilience of multilateral and public-private cooperation […] IOE and the private sector have a real capacity to make a meaningful difference. In these deeply challenging times, I encourage you to continue working in the direction of a fairer, greener and more sustainable world of work", she added.

Our second keynote speaker, the Geneva State Council President Ms Anne Emery-Torracinta, welcomed IOE’s commitment and thanked for the invitation to this annual meeting, extended to them for the first time. She also stressed the relevance of this invitation during this crisis due to the need for collaboration between the public-private sectors, as well as international cooperation.

Video messages came from the designated Chair of B20 Italy, Ms Emma Marcegaglia, who said IOE will be a key partner as they take over the B20 Presidency. Our members from Peru, United States, Côte d'Ivoire and India also congratulated IOE on its Centenary and showed their commitment to continue working side by side with IOE in the next 100 years.

Associate Professor in Political Science, Marieke Louis, brought an academic voice to our celebration and used former IOE President Jean-Jacques Oeschlin’s quote, "IOE is first and foremost a human community". She also shared her research results on several key aspects of IOE's history.

Before the administrative part* of the event, a final panel moderated by IOE Director for ILO Coordination María Paz Anzorreguy reflected on IOE's past, present and future and featured former IOE Secretary-General Brent Wilton, current IOE Secretary-General Roberto Suárez Santos and Business Unity South Africa young manager Sinovuyo Moabalobelo.

Did you miss it? Watch the full event in English* (even though there was French and Spanish interpretation available during the event, the recording is available only in English). Follow the full social media coverage of #IOE100 on Twitter (@ioevoice, @oievoix, @oievoz).


* Please note the administrative/procedural part of the General Council is not public and has been removed from the recording.

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