Rio+20: NGO conference conclusions reflect labour demands

During the 64th Annual UN Department of Public Information (UN DPI) & Non-Governmental Organizations Conference, from 3rd to 5th September in Bonn, Germany, some 1,300 representatives of NGOs discussed sustainable development, the possible outcomes of the upcoming Rio+20 Conference and volunteerism.

The ITUC has three major concerns on the debate over the green economy in Rio+20. On social protection, the Conference Chair’s Text mentions the need to build social protection systems and to implement the Universal Social Protection Floor Initiative. On the need for a just transition towards a greener and more redistributive taxation, the Chair’s Final Text includes the Financial Transaction Tax and the need to restructure taxation policies. What does a green economy mean? For trade unions, it must be a green economy that incorporates fundamental principles such as equity, social justice, just transition, gender equality, decent work, democracy, an end to speculation, … For NGOs too, according to the Chair’s Text!

From an ITUC perspective, the Chair’s Text is still too weak on occupational health and workers’ participation and rights in the green economy despite its references to create green and decent jobs and to green existing jobs.

Trade unions are optimist. NGOs and trade unions can jointly build up mobilisation towards Rio+20 to ensure the summit is a historic moment, a moment which will change our current growth model and provide better opportunities for all while protecting the environment.

Trade unions were represented in the conference by: Oriella Savoldi (CGIL Italy), Dominique Olivier (CFDT, France), Elisa Lubrano Lavadera and Luisa Isolina Mele (UATRE, Argentina), Judith Carreras (Sustainlabour) and Lora Verheecke (ITUC). The ITUC would like to thank them for their active participation and contribution.

For more information on the UNDPI Conference, you can read the IISD article here or contact Lora Verheecke: [email protected] or Judith Carreras: [email protected]

Article originally published at

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