Europe’s crisis is manifold: while newspapers focus on public deficits and debt, Austerity policies and wage cuts are boosting poverty and inequality in many parts of Europe
New technologies have sometimes had very harmful effects, but in many cases the early warning signs have been suppressed or ignored
Yet again the text approved by the climate convention reflects a commitment to the lowest common denominator and moves in a parallel reality, completely unaware of the magnitude of the world's problems.
Italy has excellent areas of public research, know-how and knowledge production; however, private divestment in these fields is evident, as well as the lack of demand on the part of Italian companies lacking expertise and applied research
Dear trade union friends,
I would very much like to be present at the Second Trade Union Assembly on Labour and Environment and take part in all the discussions being held at this time. Unfortunately I am still recovering from my medical treatment, which has meant that my schedule at the Conference is rather limited.
On this May Day, the ITUC and Global Unions are calling on governments to assume their responsibilities and join together to end the crisis. They need to create decent, sustainable jobs and stand up for the rights of people at work.
Principle 1 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development in 1992 asserts that “Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature”. Twenty years later, Rio+20 offers an important opportunity to re-examine and re-establish the relationship between health and sustainable development.
At the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, it appeared that a global consensus had been reached that there was an inevitable connection between social justice, environmental protection and economic security. Sustainability was the watchword and there seemed to be a high level of political commitment to that goal. However today, almost twenty years later, very little progress seems to have been made.
We need SUSTAINLABOUR. With the crisis that we are facing the balance between development, environment, climate change, and social protection, are at risk of becoming secondary on the agenda. The extremely violent attack in Europe of almost all social protection security systems, and to the welfare state, that are the foundations of social relations in Europe, is very important.
In Durban a legal instrument was agreed upon that lacks commitments, that is too unbalanced and comes sadly too late. This mechanism distances us from global justice and from the path of emissions reduction recommended by science.
In these times, when all the debates are centred on the economic crisis, we cannot stop talking about the rest of the crises from which the planet is suffering. In the coming months, we as trade unions will make our concerns and proposals heard in two important events, the COP17 in Durban and Rio+20. In Durban we will maintain pressure on governments in order for them to reach a fair, global, binding and ambitious agreement as soon as possible.
Over the last few days we’ve heard that workers across Europe are worried about their jobs and their children’s futures. Worried about their livelihoods, their next wage packet, about increasing precariousness of their workplaces, and rising fuel and food prices. They are right. Over 23 million are unemployed today across the EU.
The modifications in the environment are increasingly evident, deeper and more generalized. The acceleration of the phenomenon of climate change and the depletion of natural resources, at the same time that we are experiencing a growth in the world’s population, make it impossible to balance the demands for natural resources with the “load capacity” of the physical environment.
You book your tickets on your i-phone, arrive at the cinema in your perfectly faded, perfectly worn jeans, buy your popcorn and sit down to watch the movie. But modern living comes at a cost - and for some workers exposed to highly hazardous chemicals in the popcorn, microelectronics, garment and a swathe of other industries, the price will be their lives.
When in 1919, after the bloody and absurd World War I nations decided to create the ILO, they did this “ moved by the sentiments of justice and humanity and by the desire to ensure permanent world peace ” and adopted three basic principles from the very first day of its constitution: that universal and permanent peace can only be based on social justice; because working conditions exist that entail such a level of injustice, privations, and dissatisfaction, that it is urgent to improve these conditions; and if any nation were to not adopt a humane work regime, this omission would constitute an obstacle for other nations´ efforts to improve the lot of workers in their own countries.
The UN climate summit in Cancun was held in the long shadows of the Copenhagen summit. Its unfortunate results meant that at the climate talks in Cancun the very possibility and credibility of the discussions within the United Nations were on the table. Governments and other actors who could not handle another failure, lowered expectations as much as possible in an atmosphere of maximum tension and expectation.
Since 1998, the International POPs Elimination Network has served as a vital mechanism to ensure NGO participation in international and national chemical safety policy development, as well as on-the-ground policy implementation activities. Today, the IPEN network encompasses over 700 NGO in over 100 countries, with eight regional hubs working in the six UN official languages across the globe.
The Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food called for the post-2015 development agenda to be urgently refocused on equality, social protection and accountability, as the efforts of the UN Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals to draft post-2015 targets to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) entered a crucial phase.
The world’s leading retail labels commit to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh before the midnight deadline. The Accord now covers more than 1000 Bangladeshi garment factories. Implementation starts now!
Civil society groups attending the Rotterdam Convention conference in Geneva are expressing grave alarm that the Convention has been hijacked by the asbestos industry, which is determined to prevent the environmental and health protections of the Convention from being implemented.
Today in Geneva the inclusion of the substance in the list of hazardous substances that needed to be monitored for export is discussed. 7 countries are blocking: Kazakhstan, Krgyzstan, Ukraine, Russia, India, Zimbabwe and Vietnam.
Working people are facing sustained and often brutal attacks on their rights in every region of the world. Inequality and unemployment are hitting record levels, as governments continue to follow the failed and destructive policy of austerity-at-any-cost, and the onslaught against collective bargaining continues. The future of an entire generation of young people is at serious risk.
2013 is giving us a shameful death toll in workplace fatalities and accidents. No later than Tuesday we had to deplore the deaths of over 200 Bangladeshi garment workers following the collapse of their workshop in Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka.
The decision was adopted in response to EU Commission consultation on unconventional fossil fuels in Europe