ACTU President Sharan Burrow will join with U2 singer Bono to launch the ‘Global Call to Action Against Poverty’ at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland early tomorrow (Sat.)
World leaders including UK Chancellor Gordon Brown and Brazil’s President
Lula (Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva) will join with CIVICUS head Kumi Naidoo,
global activist Bono and Sharan Burrow, the newly elected President of the
global union body – ICFTU, in launching a renewed call for governments around
the world to make a commitment to end poverty.
Renewed international action to end global poverty has emerged as the number
one priority for the World Economic Forum currently meeting in Davos,
[1.15am Saturday 29 January AEST]
3.15 pm Friday 28 January – Swiss time
For more information about the media conference venue and the WEF: http://www.weforum.org/site/homepublic.nsf/Content/Annual+Meeting+2005
Sharan Burrow 0419 303 849
Tim Noonan – ICFTU
Communications Director, +32 475 670 833
Susannah Greenleaf, ACTU Media
(Melbourne) 0418 479 455
ICFTU Media Release Issued 27 January 2005 (AEST)
International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU)
Launch Of Global Poverty Movement Sets Challenges To World Leaders
Porto Alegre, 27 January 2005 – The Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP), the biggest ever global mobilization to hold governments accountable for the promises they made to eradicate poverty, was launched today at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, expressed his
solidarity and support for the global call and delivered a speech before the
12.000 people that gathered at the Gigantinho stadium wearing white bands, the
symbol of the campaign.
The Global Call to Action against Poverty is a
worldwide alliance of hundreds of organisations.
These comprise grassroots
unions, women’s groups, non-governmental organizations, human right
advocates, international civil society and faith groups. The campaign is calling
on world leaders to fulfill their commitments on trade justice, more and better
aid and full debt cancellation. It is also demanding transparency and
accountability from all governments in their plans to eliminate poverty and
reach the Millennium Development Goals.
“This should be the year in
which governments keep their promises and respond to the more than one billion
people who are living in absolute poverty, who demand justice,” said Guy Ryder,
GCAP representative and General Secretary of the ICFTU, a
founding member of the campaign. At the launch today, Ryder highlighted that
achieving more and better jobs for workers, with full respect for their basic
rights, as the most important single means of increasing poor peoples’ incomes
and cutting poverty.
Speaking at the launch today, John Samual on behalf
of GCAP said, “We need a shift in national and international policies and
agendas. At a time when bombs, security and terror dominate the political agenda
it’s imperative to bring poverty into the centre of government thinking. We just
can´t afford to keep quiet when 50,000 people die of poverty related causes
every day and the rich and the powerful chose to ignore it. GCAP is a wake up
call to people in both rich and poor countries to mobilize and force their
governments to take action.”
Leaders around the world have made endless
promises to end poverty. In 2000, they committed to halving extreme poverty and
hunger by 2015 by signing the Millennium Development Goals; to establish fair
trade rules at the World Trade Organization development round in 2001; and to
end the burden of debt that forces low income countries to pay $100 million
every day to their creditors.
“The truth is that little has been done.
At the current rates of progress, it will take more than a 100 years, not ten,
for many countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals”, says Wahu
Kaara, a GCAP representative from Africa.
During 2005 millions of people
are expected to demand that world leaders fulfill their promises at three key “White Band Days”: the G8 summit in July in UK, at the UN General Assembly in
September and in December at the WTO Ministerial meeting in HK. The white band
is a symbol of the united call to end poverty once and for all.
a really crucial moment in the global fight against poverty. We are a massive
and diverse group which has come together this year to demand change. It is high
time for action on trade justice, improved aid and debt cancellation. So, our
message today is that united we cannot be ignored by our governments,” said
Coumba Toure from GCAP Africa who presented President Lula with a white band
during the launch event.
The GCAP demands that in 2005 world
privatisation, secure the right to food and affordable access to essential drugs
and strengthen corporate accountability
organizations in the formulation of international trade rules and national trade
of the debt of the poorest countries in order to reach the Millennium
are developed and implemented in a way that is democratic, transparent and
accountable to citizens.
represents 148 million workers in 231 affiliated organisations in 150 countries
and territories. ICFTU is also a member of Global Unions: http://www.global-unions.org