STATEMENT of the General Confederation of Trade Unions in connection with the United Nations Day

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
On the 24th of October, the world will be marking the Day of the United Nations which celebrates its 70th Anniversary this year.
The creation of the United Nations in 1945 was a most significant result of the Second World War, of the Great Victory of humanity over Nazism. It ushered in a new era in world history, as the founders declared their desire to work together in order to save future generations from the scourge of war, promote friendly links between peoples with full respect for the principle of equality and the right of nations to self-determination, and seek peaceful solutions to international problems arising in the economic, social and humanitarian fields. This activity has been safely based on the UN Charter, a landmark international instrument setting out the fundamentals of contemporary international law and relations between countries.
Looking back, the United Nations has every right to be proud of its contribution to the post-war transformation of the world. It has played a key role in maintaining peace and security, the elimination of colonialism and apartheid, the eradication of deadly diseases, and environment protection. Within its walls, the important concept of sustainable development was born to become one of the determining factors in the life of today’s world.
Proceeding from the principle of harmonising the positions of all countries, the UN has developed a mechanism of global governance that has helped to save the human race from the horrors of a new world war, and to prevent or halt a great number of bloody international conflicts. This should be regarded as a major result of its seventy-year activity. In the humanitarian sphere, its role in protecting human rights has won world-wide acclaim. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN in December 1948 has long become a reference book for all fighters for fundamental rights and freedoms of all people.
As an organisation enjoying consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, associated with the UN Department of Public Information, and actively involved in activities of a major UN institution, the International Labour Organisation, the General Confederation of Trade Unions welcomes the broad cooperation the United Nations maintains with non-governmental organisations. The extensive network of interaction with them makes it possible for the UN to take into account the views of civil society, including trade unions, when addressing burning issues of present-day world development at the international political level.
We are particularly satisfied that, over recent decades, the United Nations has been paying markedly more attention to the social aspects of international security. This has contributed towards adding a social dimension to globalisation, which we have been advocating together with all trade unions in the world. We regard as invaluable such UN documents, as the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen, 1995), the Millennium Declaration that has identified the development goals for the 21st century, the decisions by environmental summits, various international conventions and pacts, and other UN policy instruments.
The GCTU hails the UN’s new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted at the Special Summit on the eve of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in September 2015. The idea of decent work has been incorporated in the text of the document, which suggests that the embodiment of decent work has from now on been proclaimed as a priority goal not only for each separate national state, but also for the entire international community as a whole. This gives fresh inspiration to the unions in our region, as well as elsewhere in the world to proceed with their campaign for the implementation of the Decent Work Agenda, which they have been waging for many years within the International Labour Organisation.
The General Confederation of Trade Unions, with a total membership of more than 50 million workers on the post-Soviet expanse, will continue to actively support the efforts of the world community led by the United Nations aiming to remove the global challenges that today hinder the advance towards decent labour, social justice, peace and mutual understanding between peoples.
On behalf of its members, the GCTU congratulates the United Nations on its 70th Anniversary and wishes success in its further activities, so crucial to all people inhabiting the Earth. We are confident that, despite all the hardships of this trying period, its authority and role will only increase, and its status will grow even stronger.
General Confederation of Trade Unions
Moscow, October 2015