St. Kitts and Nevis is among 187 Member States of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) participating in the 109th Session of the International Labour Conference (ILC), which is being held from June 3-19, 2021. St. Kitts and Nevis’ six-member delegation to the ILC is being led by Minister of Labour, the Honourable Wendy Colleen Phipps, who has indicated that this is the first time in the 102 year history of the ILO that the conference is being held virtually, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The other five local delates at the ILC are as follows:
Ms Shernel James – Labour Commissioner
Ms Rhonda Nisbett Browne – Legal Affairs representative of the Nevis Island Administration (NIA)
Mrs Astric Wyatt-Archibald – Department of Labour
Mr Emile Ferdinand – Employers’ Representative from the St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce
Ms Precious Mills – Workers’ Representative from the St. Kitts-Nevis
Trades & Labour Union
“Our national delegation to the ILC is among over 4,000 attendees who represent Employers, Workers and Governments around the world and will, for the next 17 days, be addressing key issues such as global employment practices and challenges; drafting and adoption of international labour standards in the form of Conventions and Recommendations; application of the said Conventions and Recommendations at the national level; workers’ and employers’ rights; and also the imperative for a coherent, people-centred recovery from the Covid-19 crisis,” Minister Phipps stated.
Minister Phipps indicated that it is customary for the ILO’s annual ILC agenda to be advanced by several working committees centred on (a) Application of Standards; (b) Finance re: the ILO’s
Work Programme; and (c) Recurrent Discussion – which this year focuses on Social Security. However, the Minister added that this year a new working committee has been formed to address the critical issue of Covid-19 Response.
Apart from the work of the various ILC committees, the inputs, concerns and contributions of the various ILO Member States are facilitated by (1) daily group meetings for Employers, Workers and Government Representatives; (2) plenary sessions during which country Statements can be made; and (3) geographical meetings for Governments of Member States. In the case of the latter, St. Kitts and Nevis is a member of the GRULAC, a grouping of government representatives from Latin America and the Caribbean.
Thursday’s start of the 109th Session of the International Labour Conference was preceded on May 20, 2021 by a virtual Opening Ceremony which included addresses and brief remarks from ILO Director-General, Mr Guy Ryder, and other global leaders.
St. Kitts and Nevis became an ILO Member State in 1996 and has been a regular participant at the annual ILC since joining the Organisation.
June 3, 2021