UN’s labour agency suspends cooperation with Russia

ILO suspends cooperation with Russia, except when related to humanitarian assistance, until it halts its war on Ukraine.

A car destroyed by shelling is seen in a street in Kharkiv,
A car destroyed by shelling in Kharkiv, eastern Ukraine [Andrew Marienko/AP]

The UN’s International Labour Organization has said it will halt all technical cooperation with Russia until it stops its war in Ukraine, further isolating Moscow on the world stage.

The ILO decided on Wednesday to “temporarily suspend technical cooperation or assistance from the ILO to the Russian Federation, except for the purpose of humanitarian assistance, until a ceasefire is agreed and a peaceful resolution is implemented”, it said, while Moscow is also suspended from certain meetings and conferences.

The resolution was brought forward in the ILO’s governing body by Canada, which said the vote was carried by 42 votes in favour, with two against and eight abstentions.

“The continuing aggression by the Russian Federation, aided by the Belarusian government, against Ukraine is grossly incompatible with the aims and purposes of the organisation and principles governing ILO membership,” the resolution said.

It called upon Moscow to “immediately and unconditionally cease its aggression, withdraw its troops from Ukraine, end the suffering it is inflicting on the people of Ukraine, as well as refrain from any further unlawful threat or use of force against any member state”.

British ambassador Simon Manley said it was “another decisive vote in Geneva against Putin’s aggression”.

“The isolation intensifies. It’s time to end this barbarous aggression, which goes against all the values of the ILO.”

Founded in 1919, the ILO is the United Nations’ oldest specialised agency, with 187 member states, which are, uniquely in the UN system, represented by governments, employers and workers.

With headquarters in Geneva, the ILO aims to promote rights at work, encourage good employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues.

Source: AFP