“There is no other moment as important as when Congress meets and calls on us to continue to organize together, and to combat the greed of multinationals to build a more equal society,” said PSI President, Dave Prentis, while highlighting the leadership of General Secretary, Rosa Pavanelli, whom he described as “a great leader who has helped us to create a true trade union movement that has changed the lives of many people in the last five years.”
More than a thousand delegates from Africa and Arab countries, Asia-Pacific, Europe and Inter-America witnessed a magical evening, listening to the first violin chords of “Caprice No. 3” performed by young musicians from Violinissimo, the Geneva school for young violinists. After the first piece, delegates listened to “Glasgow reel”, “Irish stew in the morning”, “Czsardas”, then a group of children between 4 and 15 years old took over the stage with their violins interpreting “Hungarian dance No. 5”, “Schindler’s list”, “Get lucky”, “We will Rock You” and “Samba”, and finally the popular melody of “The Internationale”, at which point several attendees rose from their seats to sing along.
After Violinissimo, the special guests of the day came to the stage. Katharina Prelicz-Huber, President, SSP-VPOD, Switzerland, highlighted the 110 years of life of the PSI and the work of its union to resist free trade agreements such as the TISA. “We will continue to fight against reducing taxes for the rich and the privatisation of public services.”
Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), applauded the work of PSI and its fight for Tax Justice. “This is something that concerns the whole of the world trade union movement, we cannot allow tax evasion to continue. We need public services and we believe that the fight against privatization must be fought not only by the PSI, but by everyone. “
The leader of the ITUC made a call to build a strong and committed global movement to join the campaign for social justice. “Together, we can win our democratic liberties and guarantee the social fabric that public services need. Without any doubt, we must put people over profit. “
The last speeches were presented by Rémy Pagan, Mayor of Geneva, City of Geneva, Switzerland; and François Longchamp, President of the Council of State, Republic and Canton of Geneva, Switzerland.