The ILO CIS Centres' Network marks a new milestone

Tim Tregenza

November 2012 marked a new milestone for the ILO-CIS Centres' Network run by the International Labour Office. The network celebrated its 50th meeting on 20/21 November 2012, bringing together collaborating centres from around the world to the ILO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

While the meeting celebrated the 50 years of sharing information for safer work, its focus was very much on the future, examining how the network and the International Occupational Safety and Health Information Centre (CIS) could stay in the forefront of providing globally-relevant information in these times of rapidly changing information technologies and reducing resources.

The meeting, led by Mr Seiji Machida, chief of SafeWork, and Mr Claude Loiselle stimulated discussions on approaches to health and safety knowledge dissemination, means of international cooperation, and how resources can be mobilised for prevention. Among the speakers were representatives from ARLAC (covering south-eastern Africa), IAPRP (western Africa), ASEAN-OSHNET (Asia), ALASHET (Latin America), and EU-OSHA. Perhaps the most welcomed presentation came from Dr Imad Abdulkhaleg Saber of the National Center for Occupational Health and Safety in Iraq, who reported on progress in that country. 

While EU-OSHA is a Europe-centred organisation, it is also mandated in its founding regulation to engage with international organisations and other occupational safety and health bodies outisde the EU to ensure that a clear, coherent message on prevention is spread around the world.