ITUC OnLine – April 21, 2009

UN Conference on Racism

Brussels, 21 April 2009: Some representatives of members of Global Unions, together with over 40 trade unionists belonging to 25 national trade unions, are taking an active part in the Conference to evaluate the implementation of the Durban 2001 Declaration and Programme of Action against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance

Trade unionists from around the world are attending the proceedings of the Conference, which opened on Monday 20 April. Through this mobilisation, the trade unions are reaffirming their commitment to eliminating racial discrimination and xenophobia from the labour world.

During the preparatory trade union day for the Conference, held at ILO headquarters in Geneva on 19 April, previous positions were reaffirmed, discussions were held and it was agreed to approve the Joint declaration by civil society in the member states on their involvement in the Durban Conference, which urges them to participate constructively, to shoulder their responsibilities and not to abandon the dialogue that is characteristic of these worldwide forums.

In this connection, trade unionists also attended the parallel event, Fighting racial discrimination through decent work, organised by the ILO. Guy Ryder, ITUC General Secretary noted “the progress achieved by the trade unions in the struggle against racial discrimination” in the large trade union delegation attending and said that “decent work is an important tool in the struggle against all forms of discrimination.”

Trade unionists stand firm in the exercise of their right to take part as members of civil society. The ITUC, EI and PSI are coordinating their work to ensure that this Conference achieves its planned objectives, with a reference document that will enable us to make significant progress in the struggle against racism, xenophobia and all forms of intolerance, particularly for the sake of the most vulnerable groups, for it is they who need it most.

Trade Union Statement to The UN Racism Conference