Brussels, 6 September 2007 (ITUC OnLine): A new ITUC Regional Organisation for Asia and the Pacific has been created, with the founding Congress of the ITUC Asian Pacific (ITUC-AP) taking place in Bangalooru, India, on 5 and 6 September. The Congress of the new organisation registered a membership of some 18.6 million, with 48 affiliates from 29 countries and territories in the region.
The foundation of the new ITUC Regional Organisation for Asia-Pacific is an historic step, and will give working people throughout the region even stronger and more effective representation, in a part of the world where many economies are growing rapidly, but millions of people are being left behind², said ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder.
The unification in Asia-Pacific creates the first of the three regional organisations of the ITUC, which founded last November in Vienna. The founding Congress was preceded by dissolution congresses of the APRO and the BATU, the regional organisations of the former ICFTU and WCL respectively.
Unification processes of the regional trade union movements in Africa and in the Americas are underway, and are expected to be concluded in the coming months.
The ITUC-AP Congress elected G Rajasekaran (Malaysia), as its President, Noriyuki Suzuki (Japan) as General Secretary, and Necie Lucero (Philippines) as Deputy General Secretary. Along with the adoption of the ITUC-AP Constitution and Action Programme, Resolutions were adopted on Burma, where a new wave of repression by the military regime is taking place, and on Israel/Palestine, calling for peace and an end to the violence. The Congress also elected the ITUC-AP General Council and Executive Bureau, which will serve as the governing bodies of the organisation between Congresses.