Executive Secretariat for Integral Development (SEDI)

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XLIV General Assembly of the OAS

Dialogue of the Heads of Delegation, the Secretary General, the Assistant Secretary General with the Representatives of the workers, private sector, civil society and other social actors in the framework of the XLIII General Assembly of the OAS

Date: June 3, 2014 – 9:00 am
Venue: Centro de Convenciones CONMEBOL, Room 4

The aim of this Dialogue was to provide the representatives of the different groups with an opportunity to present their recommendations on the theme of the General Assembly, “Development with Social Inclusion,” for consideration by the Heads of Delegation of the Member States, the OAS Secretary General and the OAS Assistant Secretary General.

This Dialogue provided time for workers, private sector and civil society representatives to present the recommendations of their respective groups in two separate rounds. After each round of presentations, the Heads of Delegation of the Member States were offered the floor to share their comments and thoughts in reference to the social actors’ interventions.

The workers' presentation was made by Graciela Congo, Secretary of Education of the Authentic Central Worker's Union (CUT-A) of Paraguay; Roni Barbosa, Executive Director of the Unified Workers' Central (CUT) of Brazil and Vice President of the Trade Union Technical Advisory Council (COSATE); and Iván Gonzalez Alvarado, Policy Coordinator of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas. The speakers presented the Trade Union Declaration, which called into question the "neoliberal hegemonic model" of the past three decades and proposed that this General Assembly send a signal that the region is committed to breaking the logic of economic conservatism. The speakers further noted the importance of fostering trade unionism now rather than waiting for economic conditions to improve and called for social protection and social security for all workers. The workers' representatives also presented the Development Platform for the Americas (PLADA), launched in Santiago, Chile in May, which is intended to reduce structural inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean through sustainable development. Delegates from 22 Member States were present at the dialogue.

Furthermore, on June 1 and 2 workers' representatives held 2 coordination meetings with the support of the GS/OAS where the Trade Union Declaration was finalized and where the speakers of the dialogue were selected. Even though only representatives of the CUT of Brazil, CAST of El Salvador, TUCA and the centrals of Paraguay, represented by CUT-A and CNT, were present, the Declaration was negotiated in advance among the main trade unions of the region under the leadership of TUCA and COSATE. Workers' representatives participated as well in a Dialogue with the Secretary General of the OAS on the morning of June 2.  

Relevant documents and information: