Juan Somavia Director General, International Labour Organization
Juan Somavia was elected to serve as the ninth Director-General of the ILO by the Governing Body on 23 March 1998.
His five-year term of office began on 4 March 1999, when he became the first representative from the Southern hemisphere to head the Organization.
In March 2003, Mr. Somavia
was re-elected for a second five-year term, and for a third term on 18 November 2008.
An attorney by profession, Mr. Somavia
has had a long and distinguished career in civil and international affairs.
wide experience in all areas of public life - as a diplomat and academic - and his
involvement in social development, business and civil organizations have all helped shape his
vision of the need to secure decent work for women and men throughout the world.
has always shown a strong interest in development cooperation and economic and social affairs.
During the late 1960s, while working in GATT, he
promoted the participation of developing countries in the Kennedy Round.
From 1970 to 1973, Mr. Somavia served as Member and Chairman of the Board of the Andean Development Corporation in Caracas and worked intensively in favour of regional integration.
He was also a Member of the Executive Committee of the International Foundation for Development Alternatives in Nyon, Switzerland from 1977 to 1995 and has been on the Advisory Committee of Development Dialogue (published by the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation) for more than 25 years.
multifaceted career has been driven by a strong concern for social justice, peace, and human rights.
also participated actively in the restoration of democracy in Chile.
Not only was he
President of the International Commission of the Democratic Coalition
in Chile but also founder and Secretary-General of the South American Peace Commission
pursuit of these ideals has earned him several citations and awards, among them the Leonides Proaño Peace Prize from the Latin American Human Rights Association
, the International Golden Dove of Peace awarded in July 2005 by the Italian NGO Archivio Disarmo, and most recently the Silver Rose Award from SOLIDAR for his
vision of decent work and for defending the rights and freedoms of workers.