Jobs: the gorilla in the Davos living room


Director-General of the International Labour Organization

In the past few days, I’ve had a chance to talk to some of the leaders who thronged Davos for the annual World Economic Forum.

Some were upbeat over the global economic recovery – however tepid – but I also heard a lot of concern over growing inequality, rising unemployment and the bleak outlook for young people.  Continue reading

Sailing into the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006

It was a few hours before the official coming into force of the ILO’s Maritime Labour Convention, 2006. We were preparing to mark this historic occasion with a live webcast from a ship in Singapore harbour.  Our high-level, tripartite panel of seafarers’, shipowners’ and maritime administration representatives was ready. Our communications and webcasting team was ready.

But our ship was delayed due to a typhoon.  Continue reading

Somali tea and jobs


Chief Technical Advisor in Somalia

Talking over a cup of tea is the main drive for job creation in Somaliland.

It is the way Somalis do business, the way they build on the new opportunities that can deliver badly  needed jobs in a land where three out of four people under 30 are unemployed (*).

“Talking means trade, and trade generates work,” says Mustafa Othman, member of the organization Shaqodoon (Somali word for job-seeker). “Jobs generate income, so we can sit over a Somali tea and keep on doing business.” Continue reading