GPF Secretary General participates in conference on Free Trade and Decent Work
The Secretary General of the Global Progressive Forum, Javier Moreno Sanchez, participated in a conference titled “Beyond free trade: alternatives for decent work”, organized by War on Want, UK, Weed, Germany and WIDE, Belgium in cooperation with several trade unions and organizations.
The first plenary session, which took place on October 5th in Brussels, witnessed the presence of international guests including trade union representatives, NGO members and numerous activists from civil society.
In his intervention, GFP Secretary General, Javier Moreno Sanchez, stated that: “Civil society, alongside progressive politicians, must challenge neo-liberal free trade agreement schemes by reforming them into new social development instruments”. He added: “The ILO and its Decent Work Agenda should be taken into account in the WTO Doha round discussions. In conclusion, for a fairer world, four main ideas should impregnate new bilateral trade agreements: jobs, dialogue, rights and social protection”. The opening plenary session is part of the conference “Beyond free trade: alternatives to decent work”, that will last two days.
This conference explores the links between trade deals and neoliberal policies in EU Trade relations that are undermining basic labour rights and are prioritizing profits for big business. As the European Union revises its trade policies, there now is a once in a decade chance to push for alternatives with a view to a pure free trade agenda, so that trade helps us to overcome the financial crisis in a way that promotes decent work and a social Europe. This conference offers an open space for discussion in the run-up to the next Joint Social Conference in March 2011.