Osiries Oviedo de la Torre, Permanent Representative of the WFTU in the ILO participated and consulted the committee on the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) on April 5th, 2012.
Below you can read her speech.
The World Federation of Trade Unions would like to thank the Committee on the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, for the invitation to the International Meeting on the legal and humanitarian aspects of arrest and detentions of Palestinian by the occupying power, held during the last 2 days and also for this meeting and consultations with civil society.
It was very useful for us to know from first hand, lawyers and experts the legal context of the Palestinian prisoners and all the details about their inhumane conditions.
Today meeting is an important and opportune initiative that could help to know civil society organizations that support the recognition of the State of Palestine, as well as their actions and will allow us to find possible ways to cooperate and coordinate present and future initiatives among NGOs and your Committee (CEIRPP)
Civil society organizations are a potential force of mobilization and if we unite and coordinate our actions, as a network on the common base of the issue of Palestine, our role, our outcomes, visibility and influence could be multiplied.
It is necessary to achieve a wider and active involvement of civil society in the issue of Palestine.
I noticed that the Committee has relations with around 1000 NGOs, however yesterday there were 9 NGOs registered in the meeting and today we are also few organizations.
The World Federation of Trade Unions has 82 million members organized in more than 200 trade unions organizations in around 120 countries. On behalf of all of them, I would like to reiterate our clear, historical and stable support and solidarity to the Palestinian people and their heroic struggle for their legitimate right to self-determination.
The genocide that it’s committed against Palestinian people push the free people in the world who seek justice and peace, like we, civil society organizations to raise our voices loudly.
WFTU historically has approved in its Congresses and meetings resolutions to support Palestinian people.
WFTU have made some initiatives, like solidarity meetings, letter of protest sent to Israel government and visits to Palestine to express our support.
WFTU have condemned in different international tribunes like HRC, ILO and UN, the Israel violations, occupations and aggression against Palestine.
WFTU organized a three-day strike on the ports of the world in June 2010 against the commercial vessels of Israel.
WFTU made an international campaign among our members in September 2011 to support the recognitions of the State of Palestine as member of UN and hundreds of solidarity messages from trade unions organizations were sent to Palestinian People and delivered to UN General Secretary, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon
WFTU has organized days of protest in front of Israel Embassies in many countries in the world.
Last week, WFTU sponsored a Solidarity Meeting in Ramallah, unfortunately many of our members, including me, did not obtain visa from Israel to travel there. WFTU also participated in a demonstration in Nabi Saleh, last 23 March that ended with the presence and intervention of Israeli military forces.
Next 10 of April, WFTU will hold a meeting in the UE parliament in Brussels about “The developments in Middle East and the trade union position”, in which the issue of Palestine will be also in our agenda.
Next June, during the International Labour Conference we are also planning an initiative of solidarity with Palestine.
It is not enough what we do; we need to do more in a more coordinated way. We have the duty and the responsibility to increase our actions and initiatives; we need to exploit the potential of the more than 1000 civil society organizations that are part of this Committee, to have common actions, common plans, common activities, and common road map.
WFTU is ready to make its contributions and actions in this international effort, we are ready to coordinate and cooperate with other civil society organizations, governments and intergovernmental organizations.
WFTU will not stop to provide material, moral and political support to the workers and people of Palestine for their right to self determination.
WFTU is honored to be a member of the Committee on the Exercise of Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, to participate in the meetings, to support your work and your mandate. We appreciate and recognize your actions and efforts. There are still many things that can be done to improve this work, to improve our cooperation, to improve communication, to keep in contact, to improve the number of NGOs accredited in this Committee, to be more effective and with more influence.
I would like to express our hope that after these consultations, we can make further positives steps for wider and active involvement of civil society, governments and your Committee in benefit of the Palestinian people.