The Guardian May 10, 2000


Kofi Annan:
Trade Unions more important

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan conveyed a 
message of greeting to the 14th Congress of the World Federation of Trade 
Unions (WFTU) held at the end of March in New Delhi. (See report by Warren 
Smith in issue 996 of The Guardian.

Kofi Annan said that trade unions continue to play a critical role and that 
the WFTU has managed to consolidate its strength with new constituents and 
develop new collective bargaining strategies. Increasingly you are reaching 
beyond national borders, he said.

"Globalisation makes the role of trade unions more important than ever. 
Trade and investment policies must benefit working men and women, promote 
basic human rights, cover labour standards in the workplace and contribute 
to the eradication of poverty", he said.

"The UN and the trade union movement must work together to ensure that 
economic aspirations can be fulfilled without sacrificing social standards. 
Globalisation must be underpinned by social principles leading to shared 
prosperity, social justice and peace."

Kofi Annan told the Congress that the UN has proposed a Global Compact and 
challenged business "to support and enact a set of core values within their 
sphere of influence in the areas of human rights, environmental and labour 
standards.

"The Compact will ensure that our aspirations shape corporate practice. I 
hope the world trade union movement will strongly support it."

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