Trade Unions


Download the Trade Union Principles and Guidelines on Development Effectiveness

English, French, Spanish

Key Thematic Events of this Consultation

Africa (Lomé, Togo)May 27 and 28ITUC}Consultation Report (English and French), List of Participants, Background notes (English and French); Agenda (English and French), Introduction to the Open Forum (English and French)
Americas (Asunción, Paraguay)September 12 and 13ITUCConsultation Report (Spanish and English), Background document (Spanish), Participants List

Background of this consultation

Development effectiveness is nowadays one of the major themes to be addressed by Trade Unions. It is linked to the strategy of the ITUC itself which, since its Vienna Congress in 2006, ranks development cooperation and capacity building among the political priorities, calling for ‘new trade union internationalism’. This approach aims at promoting a coherent global framework and shared ownership of development cooperation initiatives, both at bilateral and multilateral level within the trade union players.

This objective has been subsequently strengthen with the establishment of the Trade Union Development Cooperation Network– TUDCN in 2008, grouping relevant organisations active in development both in the North and in the South such as, national TU centres, Solidarity Support Organisations, Regional Organisations of the ITUC and Global Union Federations. The aim of the Network is indeed to improve coordination of TU actors in development and to support empowerment of TU organisations in the South.

ITUC currently takes part in the activities of the Open Forum (OF), and it is supposed to provide contributions from the trade union movement perspective on development effectiveness.

Currently a working document on Trade Union Principles for Development Effectiveness is being drafted. This document has been elaborated thanks to the cooperation and consultation amongst trade union organizations both in the North and in the South.

In line with the programming of the OF, the ITUC is organizing 3 Regional Consultations in the South, with the support of the regional trade union organizations in Latin America, Asia and Africa, including national affiliated trade union organizations.

The consultation process in the 3 regions is primarily aimed at raising awareness within southern trade union organizations on the contents of the Principles, capturing their perception and point of views, so that to gather additional inputs for their formulation. Indeed, the Principles will eventually need to be accompanied by Operational Guidelines, which are meant to identify possible tools/mechanisms facilitating adequate practical compliance of the Principles’ contents. Therefore, Regional consultations can be useful also to provide inputs in this respect.

Finally, the work will be completed in December 2010, with the finalization of the document on Principles and Operational Guidelines of Trade Union Development Effectiveness. This document could be used by the trade union movement as a common point of reference when working in development cooperation field, as well as, a tool facilitating monitoring and evaluation of our working methods.


-  MDG Summit, New York: September 20 to 22, 2010. Click here to download a copy of ITUCs evaluation of the summit and its outcomes!

- February 2011: ITUC has endorsed the Trade Union Principles and Guidelines on Development Effectiveness! Click here for more information.

For more information on ITUC and their activities in the Open Forum, please contact: paola.simonetti at