NGO Task Group on Legal and Institutional Matters (INTGLIM) lobbied for a
compilation document of International Organizations’ (IO) and NGOs’ views
on the Working Group III Co-Chairs’ Sustainable Development Governance
Discussion Paper. A similar compilation text was produced for Working
Groups 1 and 2 (see below for web links).
For Immediate Release – Monday, 22 April 2002
TRADE UNIONS URGE WORLD SUMMIT CHAIR TO ADDRESS SOCIAL AND WORKPLACE
ISSUES IN NEW TEXT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.
Brussels/Paris – Two of the world’s leading trade union organisations are
urging WSSD Chairman Dr Emil Salim to include social, employment and worker
participation issues in the draft report he is preparing to guide
negotiations in Indonesia at the end of May for the Fourth Preparatory
Meeting (Prepcom IV) of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD).
In a letter addressed to the Indonesian UN Mission Office in New York, Mr.
Guy Ryder, General Secretary of the International Confederation of Free
Trade Unions (ICFTU) and Mr. John Evans, General Secretary of the Trade
Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC) both drew attention to the fact
that workers and trade unions are in a very good position to help implement
the outcomes of WSSD, especially through workplace actions with employers.
Both Ryder and Evans also committed their organisations to working for
success at the WSSD and to “encouraging workers throughout the world to
become engaged with other stakeholders in supporting its outcomes, so as to
help build a much needed public consensus for implementing sustainable
development objectives.” The negotiated text which will eventually go to
the WSSD must therefore not fail “to recognise and promote worker and trade
union engagement”, they said.
Governments at WSSD Precom III failed to agree on an initial report last
month in New York, and requested that the Chair provide new draft text for
them to consider in yet another round of negotiations for Prepcom IV in
Indonesia. Dr. Salim is expected to circulate his report in early May, and
based on discussions that took place at Prepcom III, trade union leaders
are proposing that the following new wording be included as crucial
elements for WSSD:
POVERTY ERADICATION & THE SOCIAL DIMENSION: Address poverty eradication by
integrating social and employment factors through social indicators and
sustainability impact assessments, and promote these instruments for
national and sector peer reviews upon which to base economic and
environmental policies. Address basic security issues as a means of
building public consensus for sustainable development. Build on the intent
of the climate change Marrakech Accord, which specifically calls for social
impact assessments of climate decisions on developing countries. Follow-up
to on the Monterrey recognition of the need for social infrastructure,
social services, social protection, and active labour market policies to
address poverty. Recognise quality employment as the best route out of
PROMOTE WORKER & TRADE UNION PARTICIPATION: Support the ILO programme on
decent work, promoting equal opportunities for women and men, including
persons with disabilities, to obtain decent and productive work as defined
by ILO and other international instruments regarding: prohibition of forced
and child labour, freedom of association and collective bargaining, equal
remuneration for women and men for work of equal value, non-discrimination
in employment, social protection and promoting social dialogue. Promote the
ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles of Rights at Work.
PROMOTE LINKAGES BETWEEN CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION: Link consumer
information to workplace target-setting, programmes and reporting measures
through verifiable and trustworthy eco-labels and related tools. Strengthen
overall awareness regarding personal and domestic consumption issues
through integrated training and education programmes for workers and
employers aimed at joint programmes of action at the workplace level.
Support verifiable eco-labels that reflect desired changes to production
issues, such as TCO and union-made consumer labels.
BUILD ON OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY TO PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH: Promote the
ILO’s ‘Safe Work’ programmes to reduce death, injury and illness that
originate from unsustainable work practices and conditions. Call on the WHO
to implement its 1999 Ministerial Declaration linking occupational health
to public health, and build on occupational health and safety structures,
institutions and experiences to promote public health practices. Towards
these ends, support the new ILO “Guidelines on Occupational Safety and
Health Management Systems”. Focus on HIV/AIDS by promoting the
UNAIDS-recognized ILO Code of Practice for HIV/AIDS.
CAPITALISE ON WORKPLACE ACTIVITIES & PARTNERSHIPS: Promote good industrial
relations practices, including framework agreements and voluntary
agreements, as part of a mixture of solutions for sustainable development
that are based on full worker and multistakeholder participation in:
workplace assessments, target-setting, implementation, monitoring and
verification, reporting, and accountability.
ENCOURAGE DIALOGUE & UNDERSTANDING: Expand institutional provision for
multistakeholder involvement at all levels, particularly at the community
level. Promote public/public partnerships to ensure capacity of local
government to fulfill its responsibilities in such key areas as water,
natural resources, and vital services. Promote cooperation among
international agencies for research to assess social and employment impacts
and to develop the basis for transition programmes that are key to gaining
consensus in such areas as global climate change.
PROMOTE CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY & ETHICAL INVESTMENT: Integrate
sustainable development objectives into policies, practices and agreements
governing trade, investment and financial decision-making, as well as
corporate accountability. Promote greater emphasis on global governance,
based on such international standards and instruments as ILO Conventions,
OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, GRI, and the Global Compact,
through implementation strategies that utilizes the strength inherent in
multistakeholder dialogue and partnerships. Ensure that Export Credits are
made to serve sustainable development objectives.
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