Coming up in March:
28 February – 25 March: UN Human Rights Council (HRC)
We expect to see strong action from the HRC around Myanmar and Palestine.
For Myanmar, the HRC should condemn the airstrikes and the ongoing crimes against humanity committed by the military.
Then, it must urge the UN Security Council to act on United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 75/287 calling on the military junta to free prisoners, restore democracy and end human rights violations. Then it must demand an arms embargo and economic sanctions. We must cut off the means for the junta to continue its murderous campaign. Also, we will continue to urge UNGA member states to recognise and engage with the National Unity Government.
In Palestine, the HRC must back our call to urgently update the two-year-old database of companies operating illegally in Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet must listen to the thousands of people who have signed our petition demanding that she prioritises this update.
Also, we want the HRC to back the call in UNGA Resolution 76/10 demanding an international conference in 2022 to relaunch the peace process, centred on “the fulfilment of human rights for all”, and put back on the agenda the question of Palestinian statehood based on the pre-1967 borders according to the UN resolutions.
11 March: Second anniversary of the COVID-19 global pandemic
On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Covid-19 a global pandemic.
After two years, it is time that the governments of the world to implement sustained, collective action to ensure equal and universal access to Covid-19 vaccines and wider health products and technologies.
Too often this pandemic has highlighted the everyday inequalities that working people face in the global economy. This will be repeated if certain countries block the sharing of medical advances with all of humanity, regardless of their financial means.
8 March: International Women’s Day
There’s no doubt that the social and economic fallout of the pandemic has hit women disproportionately hard: the gender pay gap has grown, jobs that were already precarious have disappeared and women have been called on to do most of the caring.
This International Women’s Day we will amplify our call for adequate investment in good quality health and care systems. We must reverse the decades of underinvestment in health and care. This will start to address the structural inequalities that intersect lines of gender, class, racial and ethnicity, and it will save lives.
This month also sees the next part of the ITUC Women’s Conference. You can find more details about this and other ITUC events on the website here.
Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary