The WFTU General Secretary, comrade George Mavrikos, took the floor in the Presidential Council meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam. His speech is following:
Opening of the Presidential Council Session
Welcoming Speech by the WFTU General Secretary, George Mavrikos
Dear comrade Dang Ngoc Tung, President of VGCL Vietnam,
Dear comrades members of the Executive Committee of VGCL Vietnam,
Dear comrades brothers and sisters,
I am also happy to welcome you to the Session of the Presidential Council which is taking place in Hanoi, Vietnam. A Session which has been exceptionally prepared by the leadership and the cadres of VGCL.
Allow me at this point, on behalf of the WFTU entire leadership to express our cordial thanks to the VGCL leadership and cadres of the International Department for the excellent preparation of the WFTU 2016 presidential council and total program. The daily communication with the WFTU Head Office, the cooperation with the Vietnam Embassies and Consulates abroad have lead us to today’s successful meeting.
I cease the opportunity to express our thanks to the VGCL for its stable support annually, in all aspects, morally, financially by paying their fees in annual basis and materially.
With this Session, here from Vietnam, we officially start our journey towards the 17th World Trade Union Congress which will take place in South Africa. Joining us in this PC Session is a large delegation from COSATU to present to us the preparations they have made so far for the organizing of the Congress. The proposed dates for the Congress are 5-8 October 2016.
The journey of the 17th World Trade Union Congress begins here from the historical ground of Vietnam, were thousands of determined people fought against imperialism, sacrificing their lives for the better future of humanity. We honor the great leader of the Vietnamese people, Ho Chi Minh and his comrades in the Communist Party of Vietnam who layed the ground for an independent, autonomous, socialist state. The foundation of the Socialist Democracy of Vietnam 70 years ago with the defeat of fascism and Nazism had a great historic importance and opened a new era of anti-colonial and anti-imperialist victorious struggles. To the people who struggled in Asia, in Africa, in Latin America, to the people who shed their blood for freedom and national liberation, the WFTU extended full solidarity and stood on their side every minute of this struggle. From country to country, from struggle to struggle, there are hundreds of pages of books and historical references demonstrating how the internationalist solidarity took shape, strengthened the struggle in national level, put pressure on the International Organizations and the Governments, exposed the plots of imperialism and organized the international movement of solidarity with the people and the workers in struggle achievement of their objectives.
During 2015, with the glorious celebration of the WFTU’s 70th Anniversary we brought to light some of these moments, we commemorated known heroes of our class and we celebrated WFTU’s proud history in activities and ceremonies around the world.
Based on this historic truth we continue to struggle today knowing well that the organized, class-oriented, determined struggles of the working class in alliance with the other oppressed social strata, can and will have positive results. The weaknesses, the delays, the obstacles put in our path by life, by the monopolies, by the capitalist governments and their mechanisms are incapable of forever blocking the power of the working class. The power of those who produce and build everything in the world but still spend live with so many hardships, deprivations, wars, poverty and refugeeism. We continue our course: “Forward! For the satisfaction of the contemporary needs of the working people against poverty and war generated by the capitalist barbarity”. We are following the achievements of the Vietnamese people in the field of economic development and in everyday life and we recognize the important and irreplaceable role of VGCL in these developments. The contribution of the Vietnamese Trade Unions is highly important in national as well as international level. Though the large family of the WFTU and with its important internationalist contribution, VGCL has achieved prestige and international recognition from militants around the world who respect its protagonist role.
Besides the historic bonds between the WFTU and VGCL forged in decades of common struggles, our modern joint action brings us closer to our mutual objectives for the benefit of the Vietnamese people, for the benefit of the workers in Asia-Pacific region and internationally. In the previous decades the Socialist Democracy of Vietnam made great steps of progress in the field of economy, culture, for the improvement of the livelihood and the cultural level of its people. We are following closely this course of progress and we wish that it will continue to improve the daily life of the ordinary people. In this course the WFTU is steadfastly on the side of our comrades in Vietnam.
I wish all success to the works of the Presidential Council Session. We will discuss many and important topics as we always do with full freedom of speech, democracy, collectivism and responsibility.
Once again, we thank you for the warm hospitality and all efforts for a successful Presidential Council meeting.