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Education at heart of trade union recommendations to G20
an article by Education International (abridged)

Putting public services such as education high on the G20 agenda is just one of the priority recommendations from the Labour 20 (L20) for the G20 leaders’ meeting to be held in St Petersburg, Russia, from 5-6 September. The L20 is made up of the elected representatives of trade unions from G20 countries.



click on photo to enlarge

According to the L20, the G20 itself has lost ground and trust in its ability to coordinate policies necessary to pull economies out of the crisis as commitments appear not to be acted on. People feel abandoned by their governments – eight out of 10 people say their government has failed to tackle unemployment, says the L20. Only one in seven (13 per cent) people feel that their government is governing in the interests of working people.

“We need a change in the pace and depth of actions on both the global and national levels,” according to the L20. “The G20 should take coordinated action to kick start recovery towards job-centred, inclusive, green and sustainable long-term growth. G20 governments have to live up to their commitments made in Los Cabos [G20 summit, 2012] and take action to support domestic demand by investing in education, innovation and infrastructure. Measures have to simultaneously ensure a transition to a ‘green economy’ and sustainable development with quality jobs.”

It set the following key policy priorities:

· Create quality jobs and inclusive growth and set national employment targets

· Foster youth inclusion in the labour market

· Raise sustainable aggregate demand

· Increase long-term investment in infrastructure and the green economy

· Stamp out tax evasion and profit shifting and move to fair and progressive taxation

· Drive effective regulation of the financial system and work to introduce a global Financial Transaction Tax (FTT)

· Guarantee workers’ rights and safe work in Global Value Chains (GVCs)

Leaders of the labour movement also added that, to attain these priorities, G20 leaders must implement a holistic G20 Jobs Action Plan. . .

The L20 also called on the G20 to work to end exploitation, ensure labour rights and decent work in GVCs by, among other steps, ensuring that the new post-2015 Millennium Development Goals include decent work and social protection floors, public education and climate justice, and ensure an ambitious global deal on climate change in 2015.

“EI fully supports the L20 leaders’ recommendations,” said EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen. “These are the tools necessary to get out of the crisis and provide a better future for our society. The L20 is the strong voice of workers to which global leaders must listen.”

He also welcomed the fact that the L20 emphasised the importance of preserving public services, such as health and education. He underlined that quality education for all must be guaranteed by public authorities, even more so in times of economic and financial crisis.

The L20 priority recommendations can be read in full her e.

(Click here for a French version of this article)

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Letter from Mohatma Gandhi to Maria Montessori.

To Madame Montessori

Even as you, out of your love for children, are endeavoring to teach children, through your numerous institution, the best that can be brought out of them, even so, I hope that it will be possible not only for the children of the wealthy and the well-to-do, but for the children of paupers to receive training of this nature. You have very truly remarked that if we are to reach real peace in this world and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with children and if they will grow up in their natural innocence, we won't have the struggle, we won't have to pass fruitless idle resolutions, but we shall go from love to love and peace to peace, until at last all the corners of the world are covered with that peace and love for which, consciously or unconsciously, the whole world is hungering.

Mohatma Gandhi, Young India, 19-11-''31


This report was posted on September 5, 2013.