ITUC OnLine – April 03, 2009

Global New Deal for a New Fairness and a New Respect for the Planet
Brussels, 3 April 2009 (ITUC OnLine): A call for a ‘Global New Deal’ was launched today in Brussels by a unique coalition of progressive politicians, trade unions and NGOs from over forty countries. ITUC affiliates from every region took part in the event.
“Coming straight after the London G20 Summit, where new possibilities to transform the direction of globalisation were opened up, this major event shows the determination of progressive people across the planet to forge a new world,” said ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder.
The launch of the call took place at the Global Progressive Forum, a huge gathering of over 2,000 politicians, trades unionists, NGOs, representatives of progressive international organizations and grassroots activists in the European Parliament, and timed to coincide with the end of the G20.
The declaration states “Together it is possible to change the face of globalization”.
“Over recent decades, progressive forces have been warning about the accumulation of risks and injustices for people and the planet. Now, the fundamental and systemic failures of the current economic system are undeniable: the time has come to restate our values, our vision and our proposals for a new direction, transforming our societies, improving the lives of our and future generations.”
“Millions live in poverty without access to decent work, housing or basic medical care while others indulge shocking greed.”
The Global Progressive Forum calls for a Global New Deal including:

  • The biggest coordinated fiscal stimulus in modern history to stop unemployment and poverty
  • Financial market regulation, including an end to tax avoidance by the elite by abolishing tax havens
  • Supporting the transition to a renewable and energy efficient economy 
  • Promoting fair trade 
  • Pushing decent work up the global agenda 
  • A more equitable sharing of revenue between capital and labour
  • Ensuring women’s rights 
  • Massive new resources to secure development in the world’s poorest countries

Each person taking part in the launch of the call for a ‘Global New Deal’ signed a giant globe to show their support, and explained to the gathered audience why they supported the declaration. Signatories included : 
Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, President of the PES, Member of the European Parliament, former Prime Minister of Denmark;
Elisabeth Tang, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, Hong Kong/China;
Chico Whitaker, co-founder and member of the organising committee of the World Social Forum (in personal capacity);
Anna Diamontopoulou, Member of the Greek Parliament with Greek Socialist Party PASOK and former European Commissioner;
Martin Ziguela, President of the MLPC, former Prime Minister, Central African Republic;
Lionel Jospin, former Prime Minister of France;
Pascal Affi N’guessan, President of the FPI, Vice President of the Socialist International, former Prime Minister of Ivory Coast;
Karl August Offman, former President of Mauritius, and leader of the Africa Forum;
Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar, former Minister of Justice, Spain;
Jutta Urpilainen, Leader of the Social Democratic Party of Finland;
Mustapha Ben Jaafar, Leader of the FDTL, candidate for the presidential elections 2009, Tunisia;
Alpha Conde, Leader of the Rassemblement du Peuple de Guinée;
Pervenche Beres, Chair of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, France;
Josep Borrell, Chair of the Global Progressive Forum, Chair of European Parliament Development Committee;
Guy Ryder, Secretary General of the International Trade Union Confederation;
John Tesha, General Secretary of the Africa Forum, South Africa;
Aicha Belarbi, from Morocco, former Secretary of State for Cooperation and former Ambassador to the EU;
Namrata Bali, founder of Self Employed Women’s Association, India;
Bob Kuttner, Editor of the American Prospect, USA;
Aminata Traore, writer and former Minister of Culture, Mali;
Mercedes Bresso, President of the Socialist Group in the Committee of Regions  and President of the Piedmont Region, Italy;
Larry Mishel, Chair of  the Economic Policy Institute, USA;
Salima Ghezali from Algeria, writer and winner of 1997 Sakharov Prize;
Vandana Shiva, Director of the Research Foundation for science, technology and ecology, India;
Professor Stephany Griffith-Jones, Columbia University, USA;
Sony Kapoor, Executive Director of Re-define, India;
Kader Arif, member of the European Parliament, France;
John Evans, General Secretary of the OECD-TUAC;
Mody Guiro, General Secretary of CNTS, Senegal;
Conny Reuter, Secretary General of Solidar;
Bob Borosage, Co-Chair of the Campaign for America’s future, USA;
Luciano Vecchi, Vice chair of the Global Progressive Forum and a member of the Partito Democratico, Italy;
Ernst Stetter, General Secretary of  the Foundation for European Progressive Studies;
Giacomo Filibeck, President of the European Committee of Socialist Youth;
Viviana Pinero, Vice President of the International Union of Socialist Youth, Uruguay
Others supporting the declaration while not being present to sign were Pascal Lamy, Howard Dean and Alfred Gusenbauer.   
For more information click here. 

G20 Summit: Progress on Jobs and a Chance for a New Globalisation

Brussels, 3 April 2009 (ITUC OnLine):  The statement adopted at the London G20 meeting gives the chance for a new globalisation, with jobs at the centre and an end to the failed policies of the last three decades, according to the ITUC and the OECD Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC). Key decisions taken at the Summit include:

  • A major emphasis on saving and creating jobs, with a key role for the International Labour Organisation in monitoring developments and setting future global economic policies;
  • Regulation of financial markets and action on tax havens and executive pay;
  • Further support for developing and emerging economies, reform of the international financial institutions and a reaffirmed commitment to the Millennium Development Goals;
  • Policies to avoid “boom and bust” economic swings and support for counter-cyclical economic activity;
  • A renewed commitment to tackling climate change with a pledge to reach agreement at the Copenhagen climate summit in December 2009; and,
  • Work on a new charter for sustainable economic activity.

“The G20 has given us the chance to turn back decades of deregulation and restore the role of government in making sure that finance serves the real economy, which in turn must serve people. Massive challenges still lie ahead in restoring economic growth and employment, notably how the structures and policies of the international financial institutions will be reformed,” said ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder. “The enhanced role for the ILO is particularly welcome, and will be essential to meeting the G20’s commitment that the recovery plan has the needs and jobs of working people at its heart. The Global Jobs Pact is the key to this,” he added.

John Evans, General Secretary of the OECD Trade Union Advisory Committee, welcomed the movement on banking and finance regulation, but insisted that “trade unions must have the opportunity to influence the structure and workings of the new Financial Stability Board, and ongoing access to its decision-making and work programme, which has to be fully transparent and accountable. We cannot allow the same people who got us into this mess to be given the job of getting us out of it”.

Advocacy work by trade unions around the world, including meetings with G20 leaders in the days prior to the Summit and in London itself, was a major factor in ensuring that employment is included as a top priority in the reform and recovery plan, and that the G20 is calling on the ILO to “assess the actions taken and those required for the future”.

The need and scope for further fiscal stimulus also remains a pressing issue, given the scale and depth of the jobs crisis. Governments need to begin now to prepare further job-creation measures to be implemented over the months ahead.

A number of important aspects of the G20 plan have yet to be finalised in detail, and the ITUC, its affiliates and TUAC will be working hard in the coming weeks and months to ensure that the concerns and interests of working people are fully reflected in the outcomes in each of these areas. Particular emphasis will be placed on reform of the financial institutions and their policies, ensuring that the stimulus packages and trade and development financing translates into decent and sustainable jobs, keeping the governments to their commitments on development aid and climate change, and guaranteeing that the ILO is able to play its role alongside the global finance and trade agencies. The Summit’s agreement on the “desirability of a new global consensus on the key values and principles that will promote sustainable economic activity”, and to start discussion on a “charter for sustainable economic activity”, is especially welcomed by the international trade union movement.

“The outcome of this Summit gives a real opportunity to start building a globalisation which puts people first. There is a tremendous amount still to be achieved, and we will be pressing for the next set of building blocks to be put in place at the forthcoming G20 Summit later this year,” said Ryder.