- Trade ministers and heads of state meeting for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in the Ghanaian capital Accra have been urged to endorse a strong commitment on the interlinkage between trade and development.
“The development gains of trade depend largely on positive linkages between trade and employment, and on the capacity of trade to create decent jobs for people that currently are deprived from access to employment that provides a decent living”, said ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder.
“UNCTAD should put full and productive employment and decent work at the heart of the trade and development discussion. Mainstreaming decent work in UNCTAD’s work would be a logical follow-up to the UN’s earlier commitments to prioritise decent work, and a first step towards providing essential policy coherence between UN agencies.”
The ITUC said a trade union delegation will not only participate in the Accra meeting, but it will also be lobbying for the key issues that should be taken up in UNCTAD’s future work programme.
It said the UNCTAD constitues a crucial forum that needs to be strengthened, especially at a time when benefits of trade and globalisation and the distribution are being questioned. The umbrella trade union therefore called for a "reinforcement of the analytical strength and the independent research capacity of UNCTAD."
The ITUC strongly supports the creation of an UNCTAD Commission on Globalisation, which could take up numerous vital issues related to globalisation and development. These include employment impact assessments of trade liberalisation; the problems created by Export Processing Zones with regard to competition on the basis of labour standards; the gender impacts of trade liberalisation; and the policies that need to be developed to address income inequalities.
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