Brussels, 26 April 2006 (ICFTU OnLine): The international trade union movement today welcomed the signs of a return to democracy in Nepal, following the climb down by King Gyanendra in the face of several days of strike action and massive protests, involving tens of thousands of people. Following the King’s seizure of power in February 2005, the country’s main trade union organisations (DECONT, GEFONT and NTUC) were at the centre of a broad civil society alliance which forced the King to agree to the reinstatement of parliament.
The ICFTU and the WCL view the reconvening of Parliament, set to take place at the end of this week, as a key step in the process of restoring democracy and respect for human and workers’ rights (INSTEAD OF FUNDAMENTAL) in the country. The international trade union bodies have been actively supporting the Nepalese trade union movement in its role within the pro-democracy movement through direct solidarity activities, and through maintaining strong pressure on the King in international fora.
The fact that many different groups, including trade unions, were able to form a strong alliance to bring back democracy was critically important, and it is equally important that these groups continue to work together to ensure a rapid, smooth and peaceful transition to democratic rule. Full respect for human rights, including the rights of working people, must be a primary objective in that process, according to the ICFTU and the WCL.