Malawi leader JB leaves UK for Geneva ILO Summit

Malawi President Joyce Banda leaves London, United Kingdom, Tuesday 11 June, 2013 for Geneva, Switzerland where she will deliver a keynote address to the 102nd Session of the ILO’s Annual International Labour Conference.

The President left the country on May 24 for the AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she was elected to champion HIV, malaria and tuberculosis (TB) in Southern Africa. She then travelled to Dubai and Japan, connected to China before leaving for the UK.

According to Presidential Press Secretary Steve Nhlane, President Banda has been invited by ILO Director General, Guy Ryder. She will in her address highlight Malawi’s efforts for better employment and income-generation opportunities particularly for youth, women and people with disabilities.

The President will also talk about her government’s effforts to eliminate worst forms of child labour and social partners and how these will contribute to the realisation of her vision, namely to transform the economy to achieve economic growth and accelerate job creation and protect people.

President Banda Bill Gates in London attending the G8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition where Malawi was welcomed as a new partner
President Banda Bill Gates in London attending the G8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition where Malawi was welcomed as a new partner

The summit will outline the ILO’s vision and plan of action to overcome the global crisis of decent work as the organisation approaches 2019.

The conference will also feature discussions on social dialogue and on employment and social protection in the new demographic context, sustainable devlopment and decent work.

Commenting on President Banda’s vision to take Malawi out of poverty, the ILO Director General, Guy Ryder said: “The importance you attach to labour and employment related issues as one of the development priorities of your country is particularly encouraging from ILO2s perctivie”.

Ryder was optmistic President Banda would help mobilise action for the common task of affording women and men the opportunity to work in conditions of dignity and reedom, equity and security with startegies that support economic gowth and sustainable development.

Appreciating the setbacks in the global economy Ryder however said Africa’s growth has remained largely on track. But he noted that the world of work has not been immune and the realisation of decent work goals remains a challenge.

“We must act urgently. In rising to this collective challenge societies will be building a strong foundation for stability and cohesion.”

The ILO brings together representative of governments, employers and workers from 185 member states.

Globally the financial crisis has left 30 million more people jobless than was the case before crisis and resulted in 40 million more simply leaving the labour force.

While in London,  President Banda attended the G8 Food Security and Nutrition Summit where Malawi was unveiled as new partners under the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition.

The Food and Nutrition Summit is a strategic partnership arrangement between G8 Nations, African countries and the private sector to look into initiatives to lift the lives of millions of people out of poverty and hunger.

Malawi presented its cooperating framework and made its case to the G8 member and private sector.

Speaking at the event, President Banda said her vision was to eradicate poverty in Malawi and bring incomes in the households of the poor Malawians, saying this was a sure way of beating hunger and its consequences.

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