The first ever two-day International Forum on Economic Globalization and Trade Unions concluded in Beijing on 11 October 2004. Speaking at the closing ceremony, ACFTU Chair Wang Zhaoguo pointed out that developments and changes in the international political and economic situation have not only had a deep impact on economic and labour relations in all countries but also brought new opportunities and challenges for the international trade union movement. Trade unions must grasp these opportunities, overcome the challenges and further strengthen bilateral and multilateral exchanges and cooperation.
Wang stressed that the international labour movement should adhere to the principles of independence, equality, mutual respect and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs and promote exchanges and dialogue regardless of differences in ideology, culture, religion and international affiliation.
In a world that is diverse and colourful, he said, there should not be only one trade union model. Trade unions of all countries have the right to choose development paths in line with their own national conditions and the wishes of their workers; trade unions, whether big or small, should treat each other on equal terms, strengthen solidarity and cooperation, and actively get equally involved in the international trade union movement.
Wang added that tackling the challenges of globalization requires improving union organization, boosting worker participation in unions, exploring effective ways to eliminate poverty and promote employment, constantly bettering workers’ living conditions and working environment, and increasing the attractiveness and cohesion of trade unions.
A consensus was adopted on economic globalization and trade unions.
The forum was jointly launched by ACFTU, WFTU, OATUU and ICATU.