Colombia’s recent failure to obtain the presidency of the International Labour Organization (ILO) is not a defeat, Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin said Wednesday.
In an interview with W Radio, Holguin said she was “satisfied” with the performance of Vice President Angelino Garzon, who was among the last three candidates in the running for the position.
She went on to say he was a “terrific candidate” who presented Colombia to the world.
According to Holguin, the election of U.K. candidate Guy Rider as the new ILO president was the result of cooperation between European countries and Africa.
Such political relations do not exist between Colombia and Africa, she added.
The minister also said that Colombian trade unionists had already announced that they would support the U.K. candidate.
Holguin said she was hoping that Julio Roberto Gomez, president of the General Labour Confederation, would vote for the Colombian vice president in the first round, but that the group wanted to appoint someone directly involved in trade union organizations.
Garzon has long worked with Colombia’s labor sector, but never within a trade union. He also has previously served as the Minister of Labor and Social Security, governor of the department of Cauca and Colombian ambassador to the UN.
Rider previously acted as general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation.
Holguin added that she had thought employers would support Garzon when he reached the fourth round of selection, but that most voted for the French politician Gilles de Robien.