Speech of George Mavrikos, General Secretary of W.F.T.U, to the 25th congress of General Federation of Trade Unions in Syria16 November 2007
Dear Comrades, dear Ministers, brothers and sisters.
It is a pleasure and honor for me to participate in your congress and have the opportunity to deliver a short greeting.
We convey to you all the best fraternal greetings of the 63 million members of the W.F.T.U. which come from 75 countries around the world. All of us, the members and friends of the W.F.T.U, observe with great interest the course of your country as well as of your people.
For the people with progressive ideas in the whole world, Syria is a country with a great history as well as culture. This contribution of Syria is recognized from the whole world and nobody can dispute it.
At the same time today your country teaches dignity and pride by the attitude that it shows to all political and military problems in the area of the Southeast Mediterranean and Middle East. Syria has faced and is now facing the unfair and slanderous accusations to the country with gravity as well as with the efforts for peace in the area and the defense of national independence.
We live in a world with numerous problems. The imperialist policy of the U.S.A and their allies is generating serious problems for countries and the World Working Class. This policy is creating millions of immigrants, millions of unemployed, and billions of poor people. The world’s wealth is gathered in the hands of a small group of people while, more than 1 billion of the world’s people have some kind of work but they are trapped in poverty because they earn less than a dollar per day. Today the 27 countries of the European Union have 26 million unemployed people. The rights to Social Security, Health as well as Education are restricted. In many countries the employees do not have the right to establish trade unions.
At a world level it can be said that instead of moving forward, unfortunately we are going back. Technology and science should be managed in the interest of everyone but unfortunately it is managed in the interest of the few.
Under these circumstances, the W.F.T.U is trying to develop activities and defend the rights of working people against the attacks of transnational companies. Our task is very difficult but is the only solution. We try to unite all working people independently of religion, language, color and sex and all together to fight for our present and future. We deal with the problems of all social strata. We are mostly interested in the role and participation of young people. We are interested in the role and participation of women as well as in the role and participation of intellectual and cultural people. We participate and intervene in ILO in Geneva, U.N in New York, FAO in Milan and other international forums.
We analyze developments from a modern, fighting basis and we believe that the role of the trade unions, who follow a class oriented and uncompromising attitude is very important. We try to strengthen the characteristics of international solidarity and mutual help.
Within the big family of W.F.T.U, the role of G.F.T.U of Syria is very important. With the election of brother Shaban Azouz two years ago in the position of W.F.T.U president, the role of your country and of your trade unions is becoming known to the whole world. Your positions are highlighted everywhere in the international forums. The sincere cooperation between the President and the General Secretary of the W.F.T.U is the foundation for the significant progress of our organization after its 15th Congress.
Regarding the above axis we will keep working together in the future. The first priority will be Peace in the area of Middle East and Southeast Mediterranean. If we want to have Peace, the Israeli army must immediately end the occupation of Arab territories. It is a necessity to withdraw from the heights of Golan. It is a necessity to immediately stop the plans for the “New Middle East” with puppet states and slaves of the U.S.A. It is a necessity for a just and viable solution to the fight of the Palestinian people, with Eastern Jerusalem as capital. It is a necessity to resolve the Darfur issue without interference of foreign troops and preserving the unity in Sudan.
The W.F.T.U will remain consistent in our positions and we would like to reassure you that you will have our solidarity and help.
Once more, we express our warmest fraternal wishes for the success of your congress and we hope that your resolutions and documents will further help your country and your people.