Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 18, 2019 (SKNIS): Deputy Director of the ILO Caribbean Office, Lans Johansen said that St. Kitts and Nevis is giving “hope to the Caribbean, when it comes to preparing itself and moving forward in the future” as it relates to the national working landscape.
He said this to a diverse audience that had gathered at Government House on Thursday, October 17, 2019 for a cocktail reception to toast the International Labour Organization (ILO) on its 100th anniversary.
Mr. Johansen spent much of Thursday at the 3rd Annual National Conference on Labour that was held at the Ocean Terrace Inn. The conference, which was held under the theme “The Future of Work,” drew participation from more than 80 persons representing employers, workers and the government.
“It’s an honour for us and for me personally to be here … on an occasion like this where the Government of St. Kitts-Nevis and social partners have come together to organize … activities to discuss labour and to honour the ILO on its 100th anniversary, and doing it, to a large extent, in the same way the ILO has done it, by discussing the future more than the past.”
Mr. Johansen hailed the national conference, noting that it was “lively, engaging and interesting with rich debate” on issues, such as skills education and training; migration; education; construction; technology, and also on what it all means for St. Kitts and Nevis and the Caribbean as a whole.
Mr. Johansen added that the discussions fell in line with achieving the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 8 that addresses Decent Work and Economic Growth.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Ecclesiastical Affairs, Ron Dublin-Collins led the toast on behalf of the government. He thanked the ILO for its partnership over the years, particularly as it relates to its assistance in establishing the National Tripartite Committee; drafting a Labour Code, and reviewing the minimum wage.
Similar tributes to the ILO and its contributions to the national work landscape in St. Kitts and Nevis were made by Andrew Satney, Executive Director of the St. Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce; Denise Alleyne, a member of the National Tripartite Committee, and Sydney Bridgewater, President of the St. Kitts and Nevis Trades and Labour Union (SKNTLU).