Friday, October 26, 2012

50th Anniversary of the International Labour Organization (ILO)

ILO 1919-1969
Just over fifty years ago, at the end of 1918, the First World War drew to a close. Not only had peace to be made, it must be a durable peace. The peace Treaty signed in Versailles on 28th June, 1919 set up the League of Nations whose essential task was to avert future conflicts. But it had already been understood that universal and lasting peace "can be established only if it is based upon social justice". The International Labour Organization was therefore created alongside the League of Nations with the responsibility of setting up international collaboration for the study of labour problems and for the adoption of international standards of workers' protection.

Of this structure, little besides the International Labour Organizations was to remain after the Second World War. Relying on the confidence of workers, of employers and of governments which constitute it, and drawing on its capital of accumulated achievements, the ILO was ready to face the future. In Philadelphia in 1944, the Organization marked its 25 years of activity by enlarging the scope of social international cooperation and bringing the ILO into the struggle against poverty and insecurity. As the first specialized agency to enter into relations with the United Nations, it threw its weight wholeheartedly - while continuing its work for the protection of workers - into a new and essential undertaking: international technical cooperation.

There were 45 Member States in 1919 and 121 in 1969. These figures are eloquent, for they demonstrate that the ILO's work affects the whole world and more particularly those countries which have recently become independent and where problems of development are most acute. For the past 20 years, ILO experts have supported the efforts of governments in organization of employment services and labour administration, vocational training for unskilled workers and managers alike, productivity in large and small undertakings, development of cooperatives, workers' education, social security, occupational safety and health, better conditions of work and higher living standards.

During its anniversary year,  the ILO launched the initial stages of a World Employment Programme as an attack on the massive problems of unemployment and under-employment in the developing world. Under this programme the Organization will assist national governments in developing employment and training opportunities for the swelling populations of Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. Malaysia has been collaborating actively with the Asian Regional Team of the ILO in moving ahead with the implementation of the Asia Manpower Plan as part of this world-wide effort.

For this half century of dedication to the cause of mankind and universal and lasting peace based on social justice, the ILO was awarded the coveted 1969 Nobel Peace Prize which consists of 373,000 Swedish crowns, the Alfred Nobel Gold Medal and Diploma. This award is a tribute to the common man throughout the world, to his stake in peace and his contribution to peace. It will no doubt give the ILO immense encouragement to build further on the solid foundations laid by 50 years of unremitting efforts to which Governments, employers and workers throughout the world have contributed in full measure.

Member countries all over the world participated in the celebration of the ILO 50th Anniversary in a wide variety of ways. Malaysia, among other things, is issuing special postage stamps, to commemorate the occasion.

Malaysia is one of the 121 Member governments of the International Labour Organization, having joined the Organization in 1957, the year of independence. Since then, Government, Worker and Employer representatives from Malaysia have played an active part in the councils of the ILO. In 1966-1969 Malaysia was represented on the Governing Body of the ILO by a government member and a worker deputy member. It is presently represented by a full tripartite delegation in the Asian Advisory Committee of the ILO, including government, worker and employer members.

The ties between Malaysia and the International Labour Organization in the field of technical cooperation have been close and extend from the first year of independence to the present date. During that time ILO advisers have worked closely with government officials and worker and employer organizations to develop a wide range of social policy, and labour and management institutions, including:
  • an apprenticeship programme
  • a national employment service
  • an employment market information programme
  • vocational rehabilitation
  • an accelerated training programme
  • an instructor training programme
  • improved labour statistics
  • a productivity institute
  • a workers' education programme
  • establishment of Penang Port Labour Board
  • industrial hygiene
Approximately thirty ILO experts in various fields of activity ranging from productivity to cooperatives have carried out technical assistance projects in Malaysia since 1957. Twelve experts in instructor and industrial training are presently being assigned by the ILO to implement a UNDP Special Fund project from 1969 to 1974.

Fifteen ILO fellowships for 3 to 6 months study abroad have been awarded to Malaysians in various labour and social fields since 1962 and Malaysians have been participating in ILO Regional Seminars such as the Asian Round Table on Labour Administration and Developing Planning in 1969 and the Asian Regional Meeting on Vocational Training Planning and Organization in 1968. Malaysian employer representatives are being closely associated with preparations for the first regional seminar to be held in 1970 for employers in the Asian Region in order to discuss their role with regard to labour and manpower problems in economic and social development.

The major task facing the ILO in the Asian Region in the years that lie ahead will be the implementation of the Asian Regional Manpower Plan which will provide the framework for a concerted attack by governments and international organizations on unemployment and under-employment in the countries of the region. Malaysia has been collaborating closely with the ILO in the preliminary studies undertaken under the Plan and will be associated with the work of the ILO Regional Manpower Team which commenced operations in 1969. 

Technical Details
Commemorative postage stamps of 30 cents and 75 cents denominations will be issued to mark the 50th Anniversary of the International Labour Organization.
Size: Rectangular with the following dimensions perforation to perforation in sheets of 100:
Horizontal - 25 mm.
Vertical - 35 mm

Printing Process: Lithograph

Design: The design features of the ILO Emblem

Colours: 30 cents - The Emblem in peacock blue against a grey background with the letterings in white
75 cents - The Emblem in peacock blue against a pink background with the letterings in white

Paper: Unwatermarked white paper

Printed by: Messrs. Harrison & Sons Ltd., England

Period of Sale: Until stocks are exhausted.

First Day Cover

No comments: