Geneva, 3-4 July 2006

Moscow 3 July 2006.

The General Confederation of Trade Unions (GCTU) affiliating national trade union centres in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and industrial Trade Union Internationals of the region, and enjoying permanent consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council sends its warm greetings to participants in he 2006 High Level Segment of ECOSOC.

The GCTU and its affiliates appreciate the fact that the United Nations is determined to pay continued attention to the social issues whose solution is crucial for securing sustainable development in a globalising world. The questions on the agenda of this ECOSOC session are topical to workers in most countries of the world, including the CIS member-states.

We hope that the world community led by the United Nations will do its best to make urgent social problems the focus of efforts being taken by humankind to ensure a successful implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. The international finance institutions must not be allowed to relegate the issues to the backyard of world policies. As many other NGOs, the GCTU will make every effort it can to prevent such a development.

The General Confederation of Trade Unions subscribes to the Recommendations worked out by the NGO forums held last April as part of preparations for the High-Level Segment of ECOSOC. The achievement of full and constructive employment, the realisation of the decent work concept, and the improvement of social protection systems must be regarded as top priorities in the course of implementing the MDGs. We support the idea that world governments should adopt national strategies of poverty reduction providing first of all for the elimination of such phenomenon as working poor, and develop national decent work agendas based on values such as employment, the right to work, social protection, and social dialogue.

Meeting these challenges will bring the human race closer to the attainment of the grand goal set by world leaders, that of eradicating poverty on earth.

A key role in this process belongs to the adherence of all world countries to the international labour standards. Over the last few years, the GCTU has been waging a campaign for ratification and observance by the CIS member-states of the most important ILO conventions.

Together with other NGOs, together with the entire international trade union movement, we expect the current ECOSOC session to focus on the needs of the least protected categories of working population, i.e. women, youth, migrants, and rural workers.

Trade unions in the CIS countries have been consistently struggling to build better conditions for workers. With this purpose in view, they organise protest actions, participate in the national tripartite commissions, approach their national parliaments, and appeal to the executive and judicial authorities.

We hope that the results of the Geneva ECOSOC session will help us win decent living and work conditions for all employees in the CIS countries.

On behalf of the General Confederation of Trade Unions, we would like to assure you that our organisation will further contribute to the public support of the activity by ECOSOC, an international body dealing with the same problems that are the spotlight of our attention.

General Secretary
General Confederation of Trade Unions