As a New Year dawns the World Federation of Trade Unions conveys Its good wishes and solidarity greetings to working people the world over, their trade unions and all the men, women and children of our planet who aspire for a better life in peace, friendship and international cooperation for social progress.

The first decade of the new century was designated by the United Nations as an International Decade to Promote a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence. But the country which has the largest stockpiles of nuclear and other mass destruction weapons and the biggest military budgets – the United States – is now preparing for high-tech military attack on Iraq, a country where millions of children remain undernourished and hungry because of arbitrary sanctions.

Millions of people have participated in peace marches in recent months to demand that the United Nations live up to the international commitments they have solemnly undertaken [including] full employment and social development, disarmament for development and to assure food, education and health for all and human rights for all.

Trade unions and democratic forces the world over demand an immediate end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territories, as decided by the UN Security Council three decades ago.

The neoliberal economic policies of globalization, liberalization and privatization have only led to a further worsening of the development crisis, aggravating unemployment and underemployment, malnutrition, poverty and destitution. The popular rejection of the neoliberal policies is clearly demonstrated by the massive demonstrations of the working people all over the world and also highlighted by recent elections in Brazil and Ecuador where candidates calling for alternative policies have triumphed in general elections.

Global monopolies and their political allies are seeking to destabilize countries where popular governments opposed to neoliberal policies are in power, as in Venezuela.

The WFTU reiterates its profound conviction that the working people and their trade unions and all democratic and peace-loving forces can win their economic and social demands through their unity and united struggles for demands in the New Year.

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