Atwoli re-elected for record 5th time as titular member of ILO

Monday, June 10th, 2024 17:28 | By
COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli
COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli. PHOTO/@AtwoliDza/X

The Central Organization of Trade Unions, COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli has been re-elected for a record fifth time as a titular member of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Atwoli was re-elected to the position on Monday, June 10, 2024, after garnering the most votes, 97 out of 130, to emerge as the number one candidate among the contestants in the race to represent workers in the ILO Governing Body.

Atwoli will serve in the position for a tenure of three years, following the election which took place during the ongoing 112th Session of the International Labour Conference.

"This historic re-election not only marks my continued commitment to the international labour movement but also establishes me as the longest-serving member of the ILO Governing Body and I don't take it for granted," Atwoli said.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency tasked with promoting social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights.

The ILO was created in 1919, as part of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I, to reflect the belief that universal and lasting peace can be accomplished only if it's based on social justice.

In 1946, the ILO became a specialized agency of the United Nations.

"Its unique tripartite structure gives an equal voice to workers, employers and governments providing a unique platform for promoting decent work for all working men and women. The ILO Governing Body plays a crucial role in shaping international labour policies, setting standards, and ensuring that the rights and well-being of workers around the world are upheld. It serves as the executive council of the ILO, making decisions on its policies, programs, and budget, and ensuring that its activities reflect the needs and aspirations of workers globally," COTU Deputy Secretary General Benson Okwaro said.

Atwoli's roles

Atwoli has served as the Secretary General of COTU for over two decades and also serves as the Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union General Secretary.

Atwoli also serves as one of the Vice Presidents of the Global International Trade Union Confederation, Brussels (ITUC Brussels) and General Council Member of the ITUC African Regional Organization (ITUC-A).

He has also serves as the President of the Organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU).

In addition to his union leadership roles, Atwoli has contributed significantly to various boards, including the Social Health Authority (SHA), the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC), the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA), the National Bank of Kenya (NBK), and others.

"All these appointments reflect the trust that workers in Kenya and beyond have in me, in regard to contributing to the governance and strategic direction of key institutions in Kenya and beyond. It also speaks to the broad expertise and the years of experience that I have acquired while serving workers worldwide," Atwoli said

"As a key figure in the ongoing efforts to champion workers' rights, social justice, and economic development, I will ensure that the rights and welfare of workers, globally, are upheld and respected."

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