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From June 11th to 13th was held in Rio de Janeiro the Second Trade Union Assembly on Labour and the Environment with 465 participants from 58 countries. The Assembly showed that it is possible to join north and south workers’ sensitivities in a real union internationalism and that the proposals from the world of work are integrating the needs and interests of the society as a whole.
Just before governments were set to begin the Rio+20 negotiations, trade unions from all over the world gathered at an Assembly to launch an urgent call for action for sustainability and decent work in order to transform in a fundamental way, the current profit-based model of production and consumption.
But the Assembly was not only an internal act, many players came from different backgrounds shared their views and listened to union demands. Together with those coming from labour leaders we had contributions from Achim Steiner (Executive Director UNEP), Helen Clark (UNDP Administrator) or Michelle Bachelet (Executive Director, UN Women).
Unionist attending received also messages from former presidents like Lula da Silva or Tarja Halonen.
The plenary sessions had a wide and varied participation of unions, governments, intergovernmental organizations, NGOs and social movements, and academia representatives. To see video of interventions click here.
In addition, participants worked in five working groups: Green jobs and just transition, Climate Change and Energy, Chemicals and Occupational Health and Safety, Collective bargaining on Sustainable Development and Sustainable access to resources.
The Assembly resolution proposes an ambitious agenda of trade union commitments and concrete proposals for governmental action.
To read the Resolution, click here.
The Assembly, organized by ITUC, CSA and Sustainlabour, was funded by Paz y Solidaridad, CC.OO Foundation (Spain) and AECID (Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development), and cofinanced by ITUC and UNEP.