We convey you the most heartily greetings of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) and of its 103 million members who live and work in 133 countries of the whole world.
The WFTU has traditionally been since its foundation in 1945 an international actor who pressed for the foundation of UNESCO and the elaboration of its statutory principles and goals. It has been there when the UNESCO Charter was proclaimed and has struggled by all its means and through the key-demands that the big international UNESCO community has posed, to turn them into key-demands and claims of the labor unions across the world.
The situation in an international level should concern us all:
- Wars and incrementing aggressiveness which only suffering has caused to the peoples of Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and Latin America up until now. We all saw with terror the cultural heritance of the humanity being destroyed, looted to adorn the collections of the antiquities smugglers, to be subtracted from the museums of Syria and Iraq.
- The underfunding, the underestimation of the infrastructure for the preservation of the cultural heritance, the privatization of services responsible for the rescuing work of the collective memory of the peoples, only worry could cause. For us, the masterpieces of the human civilizations, whether it is material or immaterial, they are a part of the people’s property and as such it should be treated, through state provision and care.
- The obvious undervaluation of the popular culture of the native populations and the underestimation of their identity in the framework of the globalization becomes more and more apparent. At the same time, the same natural environment in which reside the native populations is being threatened by the uncontrollable action of the multinationals which come to steal the wealth of their environment.
- Mother languages, part of the immaterial world heritance of the humanity disappear for the benefit of the so-called “global languages”. Entire ethnic and national identities are under threat or being brushed aside in the altar of the globalization and the multiplication of the profits of a fist of businessmen.
- The anti-educational reforms in a series of countries, the underestimation of public, free and compulsory education, the illiteracy are themes which should be put into the centre of our coordinated action. We should all provide in order to fulfill the requests for free, public education, which will be at the service of the peoples and their interests.
- Investigation and Science seems to pass in to the hands of private interests, which do not care about the satisfaction of popular needs and are after the profit. As the voice of the NGO’s, we should demand for Investigation and Science which will promote the scientific knowledge in the framework of the scientific-technical revolution, the true knowledge which wil be at the service of the peoples for the improvement of the technical-material infrastructure of their lives.
The WFTU salutes the efforts to record and remark the crimes in Palestine such as the Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment of June 2021 with the contribution of UNESCO. We are assisting the international community in its efforts to provide material support and relief to the Palestinian people. After all, immediately after the recent murderous raids, we expressed our unconditional support and we launched a solidarity campaign for the collection of school materials, and the practical support and relief of our Palestinian brothers and sisters, which continues to this day with great success.
Today, the WFTU, struggles so that the UNESCO Millennium Development Goals, which actually constitute an update and adjustment of its Statutory Principles in the 21st Century, come even closer.
1) Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
It constitutes the first and most basic concern, given that our struggle towards the eradication of poverty is going to be a key factor which will bring even closer the other MDGs. In this context, WFTU affiliates in all continents could assist and take the pledge.
2) Achieve universal primary education
The WFTU Trade Union Internationals are also playing an important role. Seminars, events with teachers who are dreaming of a free, public and universal education for everyone, Scientific symposiums and Open-door days at all latitudes of the globe, are going to aim at the engagement of more and more social actors in spreading the message for an education at the level of the peoples’ needs.
3) Promote gender equality and empower women
The WFTU Working Women Committee which represents women unionists of all continents plays a crucial role. It transmits a vivid experience to all the NGO society on the situation at workplaces and the contemporary demands and goals of the working woman.
4) Combat diseases including HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
We must address all these problems which afflict modern developing economies with a special focus on the HIV/AIDS issues. The WFTU can raise awareness among all its members and genuinely engage its millions of members in the UNESCO goals, for a health system able to conduct scientific research and studies at the service of the peoples and their interests.
5) Ensure environmental sustainability
A very relevant link for the today’s needs is our struggle against climate change and the environmental sustainability. The WFTU commits itself to employ all available international stages it has in order to promote the UNESCO claims which at the same time are also a claim of the people of the world for an effective environmental protection. We could ensure the memories and past experiences of our affiliates in developing countries who are those who suffer the most by the corporate unaccountability and predatory practices against the habitat they have been living into for many years.