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Vienna, Austria

Moscow, November 2006

Dear Colleagues,

The General Confederation of Trade Unions, GCTU, affiliating national trade union centres of the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States and industrial Trade Union Internationals of the region extends its fraternal greetings to participants in the founding congress of the new International Trade Union Confederation and wishes them success in solving the enormous challenges they are facing.

The building of a new, more powerful world trade union organisation whose declared task will be to represent and protect the interests of all working people on this planet in the conditions of economic globalisation is a truly historic mission. Its accomplishment will change radically the situation in the world trade union movement.

The age-old desire of workers and their trade unions to achieve unity and cohesion is as strong today as never before. The rapid progress of globalisation issues increasingly new challenges that must be met jointly by all sectors of the world trade union movement. None of them can independently withstand the aggressive offensive by transnational capital, eliminate poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and disease, and protect social justice and the rights of workers, trade unions and all those who suffer from any form of discrimination.

While appreciating duly the colossal volume of hard preparation work done by the initiators of the unification process, the ICFTU and the WCL, we express the hope that the Vienna Congress will establish a genuinely world-wide trade union organisation, democratic and pluralistic, with an up-to-date philosophy, based on the principles of new internationalism, and open for all whose task it is to defend the dignity of working people and struggle for their rights and interests, for trade union freedoms and human rights. We hope this will open up new prospects for continued dialogue in the international trade union movement that could eventually lead to achieving a global unity of today’s world trade union community.

The GCTU reiterates its desire to establish constructive cooperation with the new Confederation in the interests of GCTU affiliates, based on the principles of mutual respect, equality, openness, impartiality and political tolerance.

Once again, we wish you a successful congress.