Millennium Review Project:
Terms of Reference for the Global Economy Section


In respect of the global economy component it is proposed that the following work will be undertaken.

     1. A detailed report will be produced mapping recent and current activities by international, regional and national trade unions, which were designed to ensure that the trade union voice is heard by the international organisations that play a role in governing the global economy. The international organisations to be covered include the United Nations, World Bank, IMF, WTO, ILO, OECD, UNCTAD and UNEP. This mapping exercise will also review attempts by the trade union movement to communicate their views to regional economic, trade and political organisations like the regional development banks, EU, NAFTA, MERCOSUR, CARICOM, SELA (Latin America Economic System) APEC, ASEAN, OAU, SADC, ASEM and various other regional or restricted membership bodies. This report will also consider how trade union efforts to ensure access to standing government forums like the G8 meetings, and perhaps the G 7 and G 15 meetings, have evolved over time. This report will largely focus on the process used by the international trade union movement to communicate with these various institutions and international forums. It will also include the action at national level by trade unions to influence the policies that governments take with regard to international institutions.

     2. A report will also be prepared examining in depth the reforms that trade unions (and organisations that share similar objectives to the trade union movement) have proposed to the policies and programmes of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and World Trade Organisation since 1995. This report will review the initial reaction of the Bretton Woods institutions to trade union proposals and the extent to which any reforms have been implemented in practice. This report will concentrate on policy proposals from the trade union movement and policy responses by the three international organisations mentioned above, and will therefore differ from output 1 which will be mainly concerned with the process utilised by the trade union movement to promote these reforms.

     3. Taking into account the lessons derived from outputs 1 and 2 a further report will be produced making proposals for the future development and/or modification of the strategy and methods used by the international trade union movement in attempting to influence the global economy. In recent years the trade union movement has made detailed policy proposals in international economic forums which aim to promote: poverty reduction; faster and sustainable economic growth in developing countries; international debt relief; increased access for developing country exports into industrialised countries; increased gender equality; increased international trade and the full implementation of core international labour standards; a more stable international financial system and an environment that will encourage long-term foreign direct investment. The paper being prepared under this item will examine the arguments used to promote these objectives and the possibilities for clarifying, expanding and more widely publicising the arguments advanced in support of these objectives. 

     4. A comparative assessment will be made of the policies advocated and strategies utilised by the more successful NGOs that are also trying to promote increased equity and a sustainable global economy. This will include recommendations for the trade union movement based on lessons derived from the best strategies and campaigns utilised by NGOs. There will be a linkage in the report also to the work on campaigns and mobilisation and with regard to the activities of business.

     5. A Reference Group will be established, composed of some 20 representatives from international, regional and national trade union centres that have actively participated in the design and implementation of trade union publications and lobbying activities directed at the institutions that influence the global economy over then last five years. This Reference Group will initially be co-ordinated by TUAC and will include representation of developing country trade unions through the ICFTU and its regional structures. The Reference Group will guide and review outputs 1 and 2 through an e-mail discussion group that will take place throughout 2001. 

     6. The above mentioned reference Group will have two to three meetings during the course of 2001 to consider the implications of all the above mentioned work for the structure of the international trade union movement and to design proposals to better integrate and co-ordinate the various lobby activities of the trade union movement in respect of the global economy. The output of these working party meetings will be a report making recommendations to the ICFTU Millennium Review Progress Committee. 

     7. As a result of this project both the strategies and the process by which the trade union movement exerts influence on the global economy will be substantially improved. Through this project the trade union movement will develop a coherent and comprehensive message concerning necessary reforms to international economic institutions and the policies advocated by these institutions. In order to respond to the new challenges generated by globalization an efficient and collaborative system will be established throughout the trade union movement for undertaking future trade union work on the global economy. As a result trade union resources will be targeted more effectively and trade union messages about the global economy will be more widely disseminated thereby reaching a larger audience.

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