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ILO Governing Body - Cross-Regional Joint Statement on the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine

ILO GB344 – Cross-Regional Joint Statement

Presentation of the resolution on the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine from the perspective of the mandate of the International Labour Organization (ILO)

Delivered by Canada’s DPR Tamara Mawhinney on March 22, 2022

Madam Chair,

I have the honour of delivering this cross-regional joint statement on behalf of the 47 original co-sponsors of the resolution, namely Albania, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uruguay, and my own country, Canada,

As well as the following countries: Costa Rica, Israel, and the Republic of Korea.

One week ago, this room spoke in unison to urge this Governing Body not to stay silent on the Russian Federation’s blatant violations of international law, the UN Charter, and the fundamental principles enshrined in the ILO’s constitution.

For the people of Ukraine, the past week has meant seven more days of brutal and senseless bombing, displacement, and suffering.

The lives and livelihoods of the Ukrainian people, workers, employers, and their families are under attack.

Madam Chair,

The ILO was created with a mandate to pursue universal and lasting peace through social justice. 100 years later, we re-affirmed this commitment in the Centenary Declaration, and today, it’s time to do so again.

It’s this Governing Body’s responsibility to take measures - within its purview - to urge Russia to abide by international law, and prevent further devastating impacts on the world of work in Ukraine and beyond. 

This is why we support the resolution text as submitted and entrust this Governing Body to adopt it in solidarity with the tripartite constituents of Ukraine.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is unjustifiable. It is a flagrant violation of international law, the UN Charter and the principles upon which this Organization is founded.

We call on Russia to immediately and unconditionally cease its aggression, withdraw its military forces from Ukraine and end the suffering it is inflicting.

The Ukrainian people, including workers and employers, must have the freedom to determine their own future.

Thousands of Ukrainian businesses have been destroyed, or forced to stop operating, and their workers have fled from hostilities.

We call for the protection of workers, employers and their families in Ukraine.

We commend the ILO for quickly adjusting its programming in support of aid for those who fled Ukraine. We count on the ILO to do all it can to support the tripartite constituents of Ukraine and aid constituents in their efforts to protect labour rights and promote decent work for those who have fled Ukraine.


Madam Chair,

Let us pay tribute to ILO’s staff in Ukraine, who have continued their tireless work amidst unfolding conflict.

Let us pay tribute to the unwavering efforts of trade unions and the business community from around the world to help Ukraine’s people.

And most importantly, let us pay tribute to the solidarity of workers, employers and the government of Ukraine, who are risking their lives in the name of freedom and social justice.

The Russian Federation’s disregard for the ILO’s Constitution cannot be tolerated, and must not be ignored by this Governing Body.

Today, we must condemn the Russian Federation with one voice.

We must stand firmly with the brave and resilient workers, employers and government of Ukraine.

Thank you.


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