– from Going to Work At the Rio+20 conference in Brazil, starting this week, world leaders will be debating how to achieve sustainable economic growth, fight poverty and inequality and ensure environmental protection for the planet. Formally known as t …

Walton Pantland

– from Going to Work

At the Rio+20 conference in Brazil, starting this week, world leaders will be debating how to achieve sustainable economic growth, fight poverty and inequality and ensure environmental protection for the planet.

Formally known as the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, the event provides unions and other organisations interested in tackling climate change with the opportunity to influence the UN and Governments all over the world.

And you can help decide what world leaders talk about – without even needing to go to Rio (sorry about that!)

In a special outreach intiative, the organisers are asking people worldwide to decide which of 100 policy ideas should be debated as a part of the conference agenda. The vote.riodialogues.org site lists ten categories of ideas, and each contains ten ideas. There are lots of good proposals, but we’re particularly interested in three of them, all major policy goals for the international labour movement:

  • Basic social protections and Decent Work for everyone
  • National goals for increasing green jobs
  • A Robin Hood Tax

This is a great chance to demonstrate that working people worldwide want these issues in particular addressed, and a strong showing would help international union lobbying with governments attending the conference. You can help get the attention of the conference delegates for these key proposals by casting your own vote online.

To find and vote for these ideas:

  • Visit vote.riodialogues.org
  • Choose the “Unemployment, decent work and migrations” menu.
  • Vote for: “Set national goals for green jobs based on assessments in terms of current and potential value, gender dimension, working conditions and other aspects of the decent work agenda.”
  • Vote for: “Governments to commit to a Social Protection and Decent Work for all goal by 2030, including access to health, unemployment, ill health, maternity, child protection and disabled people.“
  • Then switch to the “Sustainable Development as an answer to the Economic and Financial Crises” menu.
  • Vote for: “Create a tax on international financial transactions with a view to contributing to a Green Fund in charge of promoting decent jobs and clean technologies.”
  • Submit all your votes (including any other policies that catch your eye!)

That’s all it takes to make sure world leaders hear your voice on making the planet’s economy greener and fairer.


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Walton Pantland

South African trade unionist living in Glasgow. Loves whisky, wine, running and the great outdoors. Walton did an MA in Industrial Relations at Ruskin, Oxford, and is interested in how trade unions use new technology to organise.

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