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DOHA Outcome Not Bold Enough

DOHA Outcome Not Bold Enough to Deal with Magnitude of Crisis

Doha, 2 December 2008 (ITUC OnLine): Responding to the outcome of the Doha Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development, the members of the Decent Work, Decent Life Alliance* (the International Trade Union Confederation, SOLIDAR and World Solidarity) today commented:

"What we need urgently is leadership and daring solutions to install a new economic global governance deal that redistributes wealth and justice, a deal which is within our grasp should our leaders choose to reach for it. In that respect we are happy that there will be a UN conference with modalities set no later than March 2009, and we urge world leaders to ensure that this conference results in an ambitious and bold agenda for change," said Guy Ryder, general secretary of the ITUC.

"However, as we find ourselves in the middle of a complete global economic system breakdown, it is disappointing that the response of this conference, which concerns itself with those who will suffer the most as a result of the meltdown, did not come up with a response commensurate to the magnitude of the crisis," he continued.

"It is time that decent work and gender equality took center stage in the debate on financing for development, and the fact that the outcome document refers to these concepts is a step forward in this direction. At the same time, civil society and trade unions, which are development actors in their own right, must be given a voice in the process," argued Conny Reuter, the secretary general of SOLIDAR.

"Whilst we welcome the fact that heads of state did not back away from their ODA commitments, their unwillingness to adopt multi-annual binding timetables of how this will be achieved has sent alarm bells, and we intend to go back to our capitals and pressure our governments to ensure that the money starts flowing soon," said Bart Verstraeten, international advocacy coordinator.

"The Decent Work, Decent Life Alliance will closely watch to ensure that the follow-up to this process is implemented. Nice words are not enough - at all levels, we must pressure governments to start putting their commitments into practice and set a date for a review conference to measure if we are in fact on track to our goal of eradicating poverty through ensuring sustainable development and decent work for all," he concluded.

For comment and information contact Gemma Adaba (+974 304 76005) or Bart Verstraeten (+32 473 781 767) or Andrea Maksimovic (+32 499 198 294).

*The Decent Work, Decent Life campaign is led by the International Trade Union Confederation, Solidar, the Global Progressive Forum and World Solidarity, whose organisations together represent some 200 million people globally. The campaign is calling on governments and world leaders to put decent work at the heart of their economic, social and development policies.

ENDS

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