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COSATU President, Sidumo Dlamini address on the occasion of the Opening of the BRICS-Africa Trade Union Leaders workshop
14 November 2016
MC of the session
Presidents of FEDUSA and NACTU,
Leaders and delegates of COSATU, FEDUSA and NACTU
Representatives of fellow BRICS Trade unions and sister trade unions from all over Africa
Representatives of ILO, FES, ITUC Africa, OATUU, SATUCC and OTUWA
Dear Comrades and friends,
We take this opportunity to express warm and profound greetings to you all during the occasion of this important Consultative workshop of BRICS and African trade Union leaders.
Together with our sister federations; FEDUSA and NACTU we wish to welcome our international guests from all sister BRICS countries and fellow African trade union leaders, to our country and in particular to this important and special session on the critical subject of Africa's industrialisation and development in context of cooperation with our BRICS partners.
Africa has long been a subject of underdevelopment, crisis of poverty and hunger, unemployment and systemic marginalisation from major processes of global significance and progress. On the other hand, the countries that today constitute BRICS , to varying extents, are also suffering different degrees of marginalisation by the dominant global system too.
Therefore, it is common cause that, together, we share major concerns around the international power structure and how it affects our people and workers in particular. The world has to change, the international system has to change, the rules of the global power game has to change and so must the conditions of our people and workers in particular. This is what we are gathered here today to say.
We are united in demanding social justice, equality, sustainable development, environmental justice, end to hunger and poverty, end to the senseless wars and conflicts and a fair share for all human beings in the global political and economic system.
We have just concluded a very fulfilling International school of COSATU and an Africa Trilateral Conference with our comrades from Nigeria and Ghana a few weeks ago and exactly the same issues were a focus of our whole week's work and deliberations. We further express our full appreciation to SATUCC and ILO for the very successful workshop on solidarity and the International labour system's instruments just last week. All these are indicators of renewed worker determination to fight and fight hard for justice, workers and human rights, as well as job creation for decent living.
We are also satisfied with the work we are doing together with our sister unions from all the BRICS countries, expressed in our various declarations and statements in all our meetings together, with the New Delhi declaration as our latest. We are a movement at work to change the world.
Together we have and continue to support the various BRICS initiatives that aim at changing the lives of workers and the share of our people in the global system, amongst which are;
1. BRICS/NEW development Bank
2. Contingency Reserve Arrangement (CRA)
3. Proposed BRICS rating Agency
4. Transformation of international multilateralism
5. Democratic control of the internet and communications systems
In our view, this is part of our efforts aimed at changing the place and position of our continent and its people, together with the peoples of the global south in a world dominated by a few industrialised countries. The industrialisation of Africa to create jobs and develop the capacity of our economies to deliver quality jobs and decent incomes for workers and their families is central in all those efforts.
Dear Comrades, am not seeking to make a speech, but with these few reflections am seeking to challenge all of us to use this space effectively and creatively take forward the momentum for a new and just global system that affords dignity to all our people.
We wish you all the best in your short stay and the deliberations of this workshop towards an enhanced position for workers and humanity.