3 Nov

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  • Congress photos

  • 08:00

    SOC Session and determinations regarding Emergency Resolutions (if needed; closed session)

    • 08:00-08:45 Room 5+6
  • 08:50

    Report of the Credentials Committee

    • 08:50-09:20 Room 1+2+3+4
  • 09:20

    Memorial for departed colleagues

    • 09:20-09:30 Room 1+2+3+4
  • 09:30

    Report of the General Secretary

    • 09:30-10:10 Room 1+2+3+4
  • 10:10

    Discussion of the Report of the General Secretary

    • 10:10-10:30 Room 1+2+3+4
  • 10:30

    Panel 1: At the crossroads - Choosing People Over Profit

    • 10:30-12:00 Room 1+2+3+4

    There is enough wealth in the world to ensure that everybody has a rewarding, dignified life. But the current system is designed to ensure that the wealth is not distributed to those who create it, nor to those who need it most.

    Across the globe, human rights go unrealised, inequality is rising and the austerity unleashed after the global financial crisis created unemployment and prompted attacks on public services and labour rights. In many parts of the world, the old colonialism has been replaced by a new economic colonialism. We face a race to the bottom in tax, workers’ rights and environmental standards.

    As corporate profits spiral upwards, power has shifted to wealthy elites who exercise it to influence governments, media and elections. Market orthodoxy dominates mainstream politics and any alternative discourse is largely excluded, leading to popular disengagement, resentment and social division. As confidence in public institutions declines, we are seeing rises in nationalism, racism and reactionary politics, while action on climate change flounders. Hostility to migrants, refugees and other vulnerable groups is growing in many places.

    Trade unions and their role in society are often attacked because they are the last mass-based democratic movements advocating for progressive alternatives. These attacks represent a broader accelerating trend to restrict the role of social partners, dilute human rights and undermine democracy.

    In a globalised world, each of these challenges seems to be large, complex and contested. But linking them all are simple questions: do we value people over profit? Do we want a world where wealth, power and privilege belong to the few and not to the many? Are we willing to stand up for basic human rights and dignity? There are many examples of people choosing people over profit and fighting back – and trade unions are key to the success of these struggles.

    Facilitated by Owen Jones

    Activist and Guardian commentator, panellists will examine global developments, outline their vision for a world where we put people over profits, and discuss the opportunities for building a worker’s movement to create that world.


    Rosa Pavanelli

    General Secretary, Public Services International
    Rosa will provide a global overview of the challenges facing public services, public service workers and their unions.

    Tefere Gebre

    Vice-President, AFL-CIO, USA
    Tefere will reflect on the politics of  migration from a labour perspective, both globally and in the USA.

    Sahar Desouki Ibrahim Fouad

    Vice-president and Women Committee PresidentUnion of Health Sciences Employees (UHSE), Egypt
    Sahar will provide a critical analysis of the Arab Spring, its consequences and the lessons learned for future democratic movements.

    Frank Bsirske

    President, Ver.di, Germany
    Frank  will discuss the future of Europe as a progressive force on the global stage and the role that workers and trade unions can play in winding back the neo-liberal orthodoxy.

    Magdalena Sepúlveda

    Senior Research Associate, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), International
    Magdalena will comment on recent  political events in Latin America drawing from her experience as Former UN Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights.

  • 12:00

    General Session (Programme of Action - PoA - and affiliate resolutions)

    • 12:00-13:00 Room 1+2+3+4
  • 13:00

    Lunch break

    • 13:00-14:30
  • 14:30

    General Session (PoA and affiliate resolutions)

    • 14:30-15:30 Room 1+2+3+4
  • 15:30

    Panel 2: Our Health is not for Sale - Privatisation and the Right to Health

    • 15:30-16:45 Room 1+2+3+4

    For over fifty years, access to health services has been a human right. This principle is reflected in the constitutions of many countries. But despite significant improvements, particularly in industrialised countries, we remain very far from ensuring the human right to health for all.

    While few disagree with the objective, the creeping hegemony of market logic has undermined the realisation. The myth that we cannot afford more investment has driven cuts in funding and the introduction of user fees. This and other forms of marketisation widen health inequities. Over 150 million people are pushed below the poverty line annually due to out of pocket health expenses.

    PPPs and privatised services bleed money from the health care system into corporate coffers. Large insurance and health corporations lobby governments while Big Pharma manipulate trade and intellectual property rules to protect their monopoly profits. The ability to respond to crises is compromised, particularly in fragile health systems, as demonstrated during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

    The recommendations of the United Nations ComHEEG in 2016 demonstrate that investment in health care is good for the economy. The conclusions of the ILO Tripartite meeting in 2017 identify the need to avoid the projected shortfall of 18 million health workers globally by 2030. Both require that we improve financing, employment and working conditions in the health services.

    PSI has responded by launching its Human Right to Health Campaign in 2016. Because universal health care is not a dream. Because there is more than enough wealth in the world to achieve it. Because what is lacking is the political will and our task must be to create it.

    Facilitated by Roberto Bissio

    Executive Director, Third World Institute each panellist will give their views on how the fight for universal public healthcare can be won. Roberto Bissio will also discuss privatisation and corporate capture –the consequences of big business’ influence on health policy – pharmaceutical multinational corporations and health insurance companies.


    Jim Campbell

    Director of the Health Workforce Department, World Health Organization – WHO, International
    Jim will discuss the (future) role of the World Health Organization in strengthening public health systems for the attainment of universal public health coverage.

    Dr. Amit Sengupta

    Associate Global Coordinator, Peoples’ Health Movement, India
    Amit will discuss the limits of market provision of health, he will speak on the contradiction of a for-profit motive in healthcare delivery and attaining universal access to health, with the former’s logic undermining the latter.

    Judith Kiejda

    Assistant General Secretary, NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA), Australia
    Judith will discuss the experiences of PSI’s Australian affiliates in mobilising community intervention to stem privatisation, through the example of the People’s Inquiry on Privatisation experience.

    Boubacar Bobaoua

    President, Syndicat Unique de la Santé et de l’Action Sociale, SUSAS, Niger
    Boubacar will discuss the mobilizational value of (sub-) regional networks for winning health policy influence in regional institutions. WAHSUN and the campaign for health for all in West Africa.

    Carolina Espinoza Tapia

    Equality Officer, National Confederation of Municipal Health, CONFUSAM, Chile
    Carolina will discuss promoting growth with health and social services.  She will share the experiences of PSI affiliates Inter-america’s network showing how this helps challenge the trend towards privatisation of healthcare.

    Irina Lizenko

    Chair of Vladivostok Regional organization, Health Workers Union of the Russian Federation (HWURF), Russian Federation
    Irina Lizenko will discuss decent wages and social protection for health workers showing the links between decent work and quality healthcare delivery. She will draw on the experiences of PSI affiliates in the Russian-speaking constituency.

  • 16:45

    General Session (PoA and affiliate resolutions)

    • 16:45-18:00 Room 1+2+3+4
  • 18:00

    Presentation of Candidates for the positions of General Secretary/President

    • 18:00-18:30 Room 1+2+3+4
  • 18:30

    SOC Session and determinations regarding Emergency Resolutions (if needed; closed session)

    • 18:30-19:30 Room 5+6
  • 19:00

    Welcome reception hosted by PSI

    • 19:00-23:00 Bâtiment des Forces Motrices Genève (BFM)

    We look forward to hosting all PSI Congress participants at the BFM, an impressive post-industrial site and concert venue set in the middle of the Rhone and the heart of Geneva.

    Musical entertainment will be provided by world-renowned Emir Kusturica and The No Smoking Orchestra. Dissociated from any show business church or dogma, this band is a symbol of the anti-globalist movement and a unique paradox of the environment they have sprung from. They perform unza unza, in fact a frantic Balkan version of rumba, bringing together rock and gypsy sounds… without any specific insistence on a single homeland.




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