UN labor agency passes accord to reduce workplace harassment

The International Labor Organization overwhelmingly passed the resolution, some four years in the making. (File/AFP)
Updated 21 June 2019

UN labor agency passes accord to reduce workplace harassment

  • The ILO Convention on Violence and Harassment was adopted 439-7 with 30 abstentions
  • The agency unites businesses, labor groups and 187 member states

GENEVA: The UN’s labor agency has adopted its first convention specifically aimed at reducing violence and harassment in the workplace, with its chief crediting a recent boost from the #MeToo movement.
Delegates exchanged hugs, applauded and whooped in a UN conference hall after the International Labor Organization overwhelmingly passed the resolution, some four years in the making.
The ILO Convention on Violence and Harassment was adopted 439-7 with 30 abstentions, a top achievement of the ILO’s centennial assembly ending Friday. The agency unites businesses, labor groups and 187 member states.
Delegates failed to include language about harassment and violence against LGBT people.
ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said #MeToo had accentuated the “momentum and significance” of the push to adopt the convention.
Countries will now decide whether to ratify it.


Philippines and India agree to strengthen defense, security ties

In this handout photograph taken and released by Indian Presidential Palace on October 18, 2019, India's President Ram Nath Kovind (C-L) attends a press conference with Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte (C-R) at Malacanan Palace in Manila. (AFP)
Updated 20 October 2019

Philippines and India agree to strengthen defense, security ties

  • The two leaders agreed to strengthen maritime security ties

MANILA: The Philippines and India have agreed to boost defense and security cooperation following talks between President Rodrigo Duterte and his Indian counterpart Ram Nath Kovind on Friday.
Kovind is in Manila as part of a five-day official visit to the Philippines that began on Thursday.
In a joint statement, Duterte said he and Kovind have committed to building a “partnership” between the Philippines and India “that enables us to face challenges to our hard-won progress, jointly and effectively.”
As Duterte welcomed India’s role in his country’s defense capability upgrade program, against the backdrop of growing security cooperation, he said they have agreed “to continue working together to fight terrorism and violent extremism and other transboundary threats.”
Kovind said “both of our countries have been victims of terrorism,” and the two leaders “committed to work closely to defeat and eliminate terrorism in all its forms
and manifestations.”
He added: “As two vibrant democracies that believe in a rules-based international order, respect for international law and sovereign equality of nations, the Philippines and India are natural partners in the pursuit of their respective national development and security objectives.”
The two leaders also agreed to strengthen maritime security ties.
“As countries strategically located in the Pacific and Indian oceans, we affirmed our shared interest to protect our maritime commons and advance the rule of law in our maritime domains,” Duterte said.

BACKGROUND

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind said ‘both of our countries have been victims of terrorism,’ and the two leaders ‘committed to work closely to defeat and eliminate terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.’

He added that they also discussed “the most pressing concerns of our region and beyond, such as maritime security and economic integration.”
Following their meeting, they witnessed the signing of maritime, tourism, science, technology and cultural agreements.
Among them was a memorandum of understanding between the Philippine Coast Guard and the Indian Navy to enhance maritime security by sharing information on nonmilitary and nongovernment shipping vessels between the two countries.
“With the signing of bilateral agreements, we have likewise widened the path toward enhancement of our engagement in maritime security, science and technology, tourism and cultural cooperation,” Duterte said.
“We hope to look back on this day as a milestone in our relations, the day when we set out to turn promise into reality, and potential into concrete benefits that bring the greatest positive impact on the lives of our peoples.”