UN labour agency awards Decent Work Prize to Nelson Mandela and academic

23 May 2007The United Nations International Labour Organization today awarded its first annual ILO Decent Work Prize to the former South African President Nelson Mandela and to an academic expert on Latin American economics. Mr. Mandela, who is also a Nobel Peace Laureate, “is awarded an exceptional prize for his extraordinary lifetime contribution to knowledge, understanding and advocacy on the central concerns of the ILO,” the organization said in a press release.“With this prize, the jury and the ILO wished to recognize and honour his sustained efforts that helped to make decent work a central objective in the policy agenda in South Africa and worldwide, furthering the vision of work which is free from discrimination and oppression, and of social justice and dialogue as the essential base for progress.”Carmelo Mesa-Lago, Professor Emeritus on Economics and Latin American Studies of the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, United States, also received the prize in recognition of his “major scholarly contributions to the analysis of socio-economic relationships and policy instruments for the advancement of decent work.”The press release cited his work in particular on social security and pension reform, which the jury stated had had a notable impact on reform processes across Latin America for many years.The prizes – which were created by the ILO’s International Institute for Labour Studies – will be awarded formally at the closing plenary session of the ILO International Labour Conference on 15 June in Geneva. read more