L20 Summit 2016

Event: Social Justice and Trade Unions

During July 12th to 14th, a large number of high ranking international trade unionists gathered in Beijing in order to shape discourses and formulate common trade union for the 2016 G20 Summit in Hangzhou, PR China

During the two-and-a-half day conference, more than 50 high-ranking representatives of affiliates of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) discussed many G20-related topics of interest for the international trade union movement: just transition, the future of work, decent work, climate change and its link to the world of work as well as the growing care economy and labor relations in that sector. Implications on labor relations by the Chinese One Belt, One Road Initiative (OBOR) were additionally mentioned. The discussions were aimed at putting labor-related socio-economic issues high on the agenda of the 2016 G20 Summit in Hangzhou, PR China. At the sidelines of the L20 conference, trade union leaders had the opportunity to engage G20 labor ministers on these issues directly.

Apart from the above-mentioned topics, the leaders of ITUC and ILO evaluated the results of the G20 process in recent years: many of the self-proclaimed objectives such as reduction of unemployment, control of the financial markets, further strengthening of gender equality in the world of work and stimulation of the world economy have not been satisfactorily achieved. Crucial structural reforms and targeted investments have not been realized as promised.

Special attention was allocated on the necessity for a green and sustainable development worldwide. However, there was a consensus that related structural socio-economic changes should follow a concept of a “just transition”. Environmentally friendly, but socially sustainable measures of transforming existing models of production and consumption need to be identified in order to prevent sharp increases in poverty and unemployment as well as in order to foster a life with work and dignity for everyone.

The 2016 L20 Summit concluded with an handover ceremony between ACFTU and the German Confederation of Trade Unions (DGB) as the 2017 G20 and L20 Summits will be held in Germany in May 2017, organized jointly by DGB, ITUC and FES.

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