The International Programme of the ACV-CSC has a number of key objectives. One of these is the strengthening of grassroots trade unionism. We want our union to become a countervailing force to be reckoned with all over the world. To achieve this it is important we should cooperate with other social movements and non-governmental organisations. Working together in the alternative globalisation movement can help strengthen the position of civil society as a whole.
A programme is being implemented, in conjunction with World Solidarity and in consultation with the WCL bodies and the African, Latin American and Asian regional organisations, to help foster social development in the South. We are doing this by supporting our partner organisations.
In its bilateral contacts the ACV-CSC will give priority to:
Support for CSC-Congo
Support for unions in countries in conflict
The extension of the democratic trade union movement in Africa and Eastern Europe
The renewal of the trade union movement in Asia
The strengthening of representative and free trade unions in Latin America
As a result of talks with former Secretary of State E. Boutmans, the Belgian unions have been offered the opportunity to submit a co-funding programme application to the Belgian Development Cooperation authorities.
The multi-year programme elaborated by the International Labour Training Institute focuses on "Grassroots trade unionism, sustainable human development and social dialogue in the world economy." The aim is to help the trade union movement to develop its forces at local, regional and international levels to counterbalance the neo-liberal forces of the current world order. More precisely, the programme fosters capacity building in local and regional partner organisations so they can promote sustainable economic development through structured social dialogue. It provides international training to underpin this process. Provision is also made for international coordination and strategic collaboration with a view to impacting decision-making forums. Finally, the programme is also intended to provide our own members with information about the themes involved and, more particularly, about our partner organisations.
The ACV-CSC has always striven to create solidarity between trade union movements in the North and in the South. Training for union leaders is seen as a particularly important means of forging international solidarity.
The 1990s saw the emergence of many new independent trade unions in Africa and Central and Eastern Europe. To develop strong links with these new organisations and meet their training needs, the International Labour Training Institute was founded in 1991. The Institute was incorporated into the ACV-CSC’s International Relations department.
Both the geographical scope and the objectives of the Institute were gradually extended to cover Asia and Latin America and to include development research and education. The strengthening of links between the ACV-CSC and the WCL was a big step forward in terms of solidarity with partners in the South. The Institute has provided a structural framework for efficient coordination of actions of solidarity. It now wishes to continue evolving in order to meet the new challenges unions face at the dawn of the 21st Century. Training seminars play an essential role in the creation of countervailing forces at international level. If they are to counter corporate globalisation, trade unions need to be better prepared and better organised. The Institute is striving to increase international cooperation to stimulate and inform grassroots action.
The Institute’s objectives are as follows:
- The organisation and implementation of international seminars.
- The organisation and implementation of thematic training.
- The production of educational material.
- Providing support for new organisations.