World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


7th ASEM Summit: A Step In The Right Direction

International Trade Union Confederation

ITUC OnLine 185/281008

7th ASEM Summit: A step in the right direction

Brussels, 27 October 2008 (ITUC OnLine): Leaders of 43 Asian and European countries met last Friday in Beijing for the 7th ASEM Summit. They issued two important declarations, the first on sustainable development and the second on the international financial situation.

The Declaration on sustainable development includes a number of important commitments on development, climate change and social issues. The one on the financial situation calls for an effective and comprehensive reform of the international monetary and financial systems. An unfortunate aspect, however, is that all these areas are not really inter-related. "There are huge challenges in front of us. Climate change is one of them which cannot be seen in isolation from achieving progress on other key issues such as the creation of decent work or meeting the U.N Millennium Development Goals. The food, finance and energy crisis we are now facing illustrate the failure of a model. The time has come to define a new model where people and planet will be more important than profit," said Guy Ryder, ITUC general secretary.

While the Declaration on the international financial situation does not refer to social or employment issues, the one on sustainable development contains significant references to core labour standards and the recent Bali and Brussels meetings of ASEM Labour Ministers and of Social Partners. Specifically, the statement recognizes that full respect and effective implementation of core labour standards contribute positively to inclusive economic and more cohesive societies. The Declaration further states that "the promotion of full and productive employment and decent work for all is crucial to safeguard and improve people's livelihood, realize effective social cohesion and achieve MDGs."

The Leaders also underlined the key role that good industrial relations and effective social dialogue can play for sustainable development and management of change. They further welcomed and supported the activities and projects recommended in the Bali Declaration on "More and Better Jobs - Strategic Cooperation and Partnership to promote decent work and global labour markets" adopted at the 2nd ASEM Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting held in Indonesia in October 2008.

On a less positive note, the role of the social partners is not recognized in the sections on development and climate changes. This is unfortunate, as the objectives set out in the Declaration won't be met unless trade unions and other civil society actors are fully associated.

An interesting point of the Declaration, however, is the reiteration of the international commitment of 0.7% of GNP for official development assistance but only by 2015 and to "substantive progress to be made for international cooperation on development financing" at the Doha Financing for Development Conference. Read the full declarations at: Read the ITUC Statement to ASEM VII at:

Read the ASEM Labour Ministers' Statement at: LARATION_ASEM_AELMC2_FINAL.pdf


The ITUC represents 168 million workers in 155 countries and territories and has 311 national affiliates.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC