Toward Ending World Poverty
Public Symposium: " NGO-Trade Unions International Cooperation Forum"
08 August 2005
On July 15th, RENGO held an open "NGO-Trade Unions International Cooperation Forum" at its Headquarters in order to deepen understanding of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that target the abolition of world poverty, as well as to raise awareness of the current state of the Japanese government's ODA and its related issues. The forum’s goal is to contribute to the fulfillment of MDGs and was inaugurated in September of last year as a space in which NGOs and trade unions can hold dialogues and cooperate with each other.
More than 110 people from NGOs and other organizations attended the symposium. They heard a report from Ministry of Foreign Affairs Economic Cooperation Bureau Deputy Director-General Kodama on the government's efforts and afterwards participated in a vigorous exchange of opinions on specific activities for cooperation including such themes as MDGs and children in developing countries, HIV/AIDS, fair trade, and the ODA.
President Sasamori reports on his demand activity to UK Prime Minister Blair (2005 G8 Summit Chair)
RENGO President Sasamori said, "I participated in the Labour Summit in June, and in a face-to-face meeting with British Prime Minister Blair, who chaired the G8 Summit¡¢I brought up RENGO’s demands on such points as including Japanese ODA, the degree of cooperation with MDGs, and environmental issues. In response, Prime Minister Blair told me that 'I hope to decide what support we will extend to the approximately 2 billion poor who, it is said, are forced to live on less than one dollar a day.'" Furthermore Sasamori shared his ideas with the audience telling them that he hoped to spread the 'white band action' nationwide, something that the Global Call to Action against Poverty, a worldwide alliance of various organizations who want to end poverty, has been calling for. Then he stated that "this forum of cooperation is an outstanding event where NGOs, NPOs and trade unions are able to team up together. We are being challenged as to how we act together as human beings. I hope this symposium will prove to be a meaningful one."