Bangladesh gets into ILO governing body, what was the strategy?  

The Bangladesh delegation at the 112th International Labour Conference in Geneva.BSS

Bangladesh has been elected as a member of the governing body of the International Labour Organization (ILO) for a three-year term, after a hiatus since 2011. 

The election took place during the 112th International Labour Conference in Geneva on Friday. Bangladesh secured an uncontested membership through diplomatic negotiations with other regional contenders.

Initially, Iran and Pakistan were also supposed to vie for the seat allotted for seven countries from South and Central Asia. But the Bangladesh mission in Geneva resorted to diplomatic strategies to avoid voting.

Bangladesh managed to convince other competitors to step down from the electoral race and set itself as a lone candidate, which eventually led to the uncontested victory. Earlier, it served in the body from 2008 to 2011.  

The governing body comprises 56 members, including 28 member states, 14 labour representatives, and 14 employer representatives. Among the positions for member states, 10 are preserved for 10 industrially significant nations, while the remaining 177 nations vie for the other 18 positions. 

According to senior officials of the foreign ministry, the election of Bangladesh is significant given the ongoing case against it under Article 26 of the ILO, over non-implementation of different labour standards, specifically Charters 81, 87, and 98. 

Bangladesh is trying to suspend the hearing against it, with the last hearing held in March. With the election, it is likely to enjoy privileges to some extent in this regard. 

Asked about the issue, foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen said the Bangladesh mission in Geneva, led by former permanent representative Mohammad Sufiur Rahman, received others' support as the sole candidate. 

“Bangladesh has been elected an ILO (governing body) member without any competition. With this, it got the opportunity to play a role in the policy making level of ILO, after several years,” he said. 

Regarding the negotiation, a senior official of the foreign ministry said Bangladesh proposed a rotation in the elections over the next 24 years. Under the system, Bangladesh, Iran, and Pakistan would each serve as full members twice and ensure assistance to the other nations.