ITUC OnLine – April 01, 2009

G20 Summit: Encouraging Signs on Financial Regulation, Action Needed on Jobs and Global Governance

London, 1 April 2009 (ITUC OnLine): Prospects for real global financial reform at the G20 Summit this week look encouraging, according to the international trade union delegation meeting with world leaders in London.

“There seems to be momentum here to put in place regulation of banking and finance – something which trade unions have been seeking for several years and which the global crisis has made clear is absolutely essential,” said ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder. “However, we are still pushing hard to ensure that world leaders recognise the urgent need to tackle the huge crisis in employment as a top priority for action,” he added.

A discussion with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown yesterday was described as “valuable and constructive” by ITUC President Sharan Burrow. “The British Prime Minister, as host of the Summit, has shown courage and boldness in the lead-up to the G20 meeting, and we share his ambition of saving and creating jobs at the heart of the Summit communiqué. This is a complex and difficult process, but with the international leadership of Prime Minister Brown and other heads of government who share the concern over jobs, we are optimistic that a good outcome can be achieved,” she added.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and South African President Kgalema Motlanthe today also strongly emphasised the need for action on jobs in their meetings with the unions, and the issue is expected to be high on the agenda in a meeting later in the day with Brazilian President Lula da Silva.

Key sticking points in the negotiations between governments, notably on the need and scope for further stimulus packages, remain to be resolved and the suggestion of a further G20 Summit later this year is likely to feature prominently.

“For the first time, global leaders are looking for agreed solutions to a deep global crisis. The governments here have the power to put the world economy back on track, and we urge them to agree on far-reaching measures for recovery and reform. Ensuring jobs and avoiding the emerging risk of generalised wage deflation must be at the top of the list. We also believe that this G20 must lay the framework for new global governance with the ILO taking centre stage alongside reformed and accountable international financial and trade institutions,” added Ryder.

Further discussions with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn and World Trade Organisation Director General Pascal Lamy are also taking place today.