The “cataclysmic” effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the world of work has highlighted the necessity of human-centred recovery policies, ILO Director General Guy Ryder has told delegates at the first plenary sitting of the 109th International Labour Conference (ILC). He underlined the consequences of the “multiple and growing inequalities in our societies” the pandemic has exposed and the past failure to address them over time, said a statement issued on Tuesday. “The sum of human suffering caused by the pandemic is all the greater for that collective failure. In this house of social justice we, more than most, need to draw conclusions from this,” he said. Ryder acknowledged the efforts and commitment of governments to do whatever it takes to overcome the health crisis and mitigate its social and economic consequences. He told delegates that it was “extraordinarily important that this Conference takes place as people across the globe hope and reach for a recovery that leads to a resilient, sustainable, fairer, and better future.” The director-general reminded delegates that the Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work , adopted by the ILC in 2019, gives an agreed and highly-valued roadmap for “constructing a human-centred recovery from the Covid-19 crisis .” “The pandemic has highlighted just how inextricably health, social and economic, financial, trade, and intellectual property policy is really linked. We need to lever that realization to forge better multilateral system coherence on a permanent basis, just as the Centenary Declaration urged us to do.” “The adoption by this conference of an outcome document calling for, and shaping, a global response for such a human-centred recovery will be of the very greatest value,” he said. More than 4,300 delegates from 175 ILO member states have registered to attend the ILC, which is being held virtually for the first time because of the Covid-19 crisis. The official Conference opening was held on 20 May, when the Conference Officers were elected. This segment will close on 19 June.