Forty-six countries attended as complete delegations, but their governments did not fund the travel and costs of their employer and worker delegates.
Lastly, 16 countries did not attend at all, and of these, 12 were small island developing states, six of them from the Pacific. So, whilst there is an obligation for a government to fund the participation of the entire delegation, reality suggests that this is not always practically possible, particularly for micro-states.
I made the decision that our Director of Labour should attend the International Labour Congress in June this year. Whilst there, she was ably assisted by Nathalie Rossette Cazel and the two were our government representatives. Due to financial constraints, we were unable to send our full tripartite delegation to the conference. Efforts are still being made to secure funding for future meetings. This is on the basis of our sovereign and independent standing amongst all ILO party states. Again, contrary to last week’s media report, the Cook Islands was not reprimanded by ILO’s governing body nor by the Credentials Committee.
I hope this clearly clarifies our true position.
Secretary, Internal Affairs