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David Begg's call on TDs and Senators; "Help us suspend EU's Free Trade negotiations with Colombia"

Issued on November 30, 2009 at 09:30 AM

David Begg - General Secretary

"Crimes against human rights are not to be rewarded"

In a letter to all TDs and Senators, the General Secretary of ICTU David Begg writes; "I kindly ask you, and all other TDs and Senators in Ireland, to support the work to suspend EU's negotiations with Colombia on a Free Trade Agreement. It is of utmost importance that our Government takes a clear position within the European Unions in favour of this demand. In the end, this is a question of showing Colombia and the world that crimes against human rights are not to be rewarded."

"I hope that you will raise this issue in the Dail and ask our government to act within the European Union so that the negotiations will be suspended until the Colombian government show respect for human and trade union rights."

David Begg informed the TDs and Senators that he has already contacted all twelve Irish Members of the European Parliament on this issue, saying that he is delighted that all Irish MEPs co-signed a letter to the EU-Commissioner on Trade demanding that the negotiations have to be suspended. "I am proud that Ireland is the first country in the European Union where all MEPs have a united position on this issue. It shows a firm commitment to defend human rights not only in words but also in action."

All the TDs and Senators also received a publication "Trading Away Human Rights" that ICTU has produced together with the TUC in the UK and the Irish and British branches of the trade union network "Justice For Colombia". Read the publication - click here.

A hearing on Colombia, organised by ICTU and the British TUC, is to be held in the European Parliament on the 9th of December. Read the programme here.