Swaziland: ILO should not come only in times of crisis

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Lutfo Dlamini, yesterday implored the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) High-Level delegation not come to Swaziland only in times of crisis. “You must come to Swaziland even when there are no issues,” he said. Dlamini said it was important for the country and ILO to have regular consultative meetings as they would help Swaziland advance in its labour-relations endeavours.

The minister said, as the organisation has representatives accredited to Swaziland in South Africa, they must take it upon themselves to visit the country. He was addressing the High-Level delegation from the ILO during a courtesy visit, ahead of their departure.

The meeting took place at the ministry’s conference room.

We are keen to host you, even in happier times – be it when we have cultural events or otherwise. We deal with a number of UN (United Nations) agencies but could they come to Swaziland when there is no crisis? We need to be in constant communication regarding labour issues,” he said. The ILO delegation, under the leadership of Guy Ryder, Executive Director of Standards and Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, was expected to leave the country yesterday.

Their mission to Swaziland was three-pronged, based on the ILO’s Convention 87 on Freedom of Association.

Appreciating the courtesy visit, Dlamini said, “When you visit us under other circumstances than these you will get to learn and appreciate our way of life. You will then better understand us as a Kingdom. We have to localise issues as much as possible”

He assured the team that Swaziland is committed to having successful and vibrant industrial relations.

Such commitment he said is evidenced by the fact that the first labour law of the country was enacted in 1980 by King Sobhuza II. The minister added that the last high level meeting between the country and ILO was at the request of Swaziland.

We stand ready to make use of the tripartite relations in the country with the idea being not to make issues out of non-issues. The smaller the issue, the easier the solution,” he said.

(Times of Swaziland)

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