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25 years of cooperation between the ILO and Flanders
Flanders Representative - South Africa 1334

25 years of cooperation between the ILO and Flanders

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In 1991, the Government of Flanders signed a cooperation agreement with the International Centre for Advanced Technical and Vocational Training, now the International Labour Organization's  International Training Centre. This launched a partnership between the ILO and Flanders which has lasted 25 years and which has recently been reaffirmed by a new agreement signed by Flemish Minister-President Geert Bourgeois and ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.

The intial focus of the cooperation was on training and exchange of expertise in order to promote decent work; over the years, Flanders has supported a diversified range of ILO-projects which include employment creation, rights at work and social protection, and social dialogue. Flanders has spent almost 30 million Dollars with the ILO on numerous projects worldwide - from Africa, Asia and South America to Central and Eastern Europe. However, our partnership is particularly strong in South Africa and the region, with 40% of the Flemish budget to the ILO used to support projects implemented in Southern Africa.

On Thursday 10 November, the ILO Country office for South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland and the General Representation fo the Government of Flanders in Southern Africa celebrated over 2 decades of cooperation with a celebration dinner to mark this "silver wedding anniversary". Guests included past and present project beneficiaries, government officials and members of the diplomatic community. A lively, interactive followed during which guests shared personal memories and testmonies of past projects which were captured on paper by graphic artist Grant Johnson of Graphic Harvest CT.

We thank the ILO and all the beneficiaries, partners and communities we have worked with as we look forward to the next 25 years!

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