October 29, 2023

Asia Pacific Conference of Pensioners and Retirees

K Ragavendran

THE Trade Union International (Pensioners & Retirees) founded by WFTU in the year 2004 has conducted its Asia Pacific Conference in Thiruvananthapuram city of Kerala in India. Most of the Indian Pensioners Associations affiliated to NCCPA (National Coordination Committee of Pensioners Associations) and delegates from Nepal and Sri Lanka took part in this regional conference and analysed the pension and social security in their respective countries after the liberalisation of economy. 71 delegates including four women delegates and five foreign delegates participated in the conference and almost all participating associations deliberated on the main report and Thiruvananthapuram Declaration adopted in the conference.

The one-day regional conference was held on October 1, 2023 in Thiruvananthapuram. The presidium for the conference consisted of VAN Namboodiri, DK Debnath and AK Ghosh. The conference was inaugurated by MA Baby, CPI(M) Polit Bureau Member and former minister of Kerala government. The reception committee headed by V Joy, MLA as chairman and KG Jayaraj, TUI(P&R) executive committee member as general secretary had made excellent arrangements for the conference.

The chairman’s address by V Joy, the inaugural address by MA Baby, the main speeches by Shiva Gopal Mishra, the JCM staff side secretary and C Srikumar one of the deputy general secretaries of WFTU in India and the main report presented by K Ragavendran TUI(P&R) Asia coordinator and the Thiruvananthapuram Declaration presented by Swastika Dasgupta, member of Women’s Commission of TUI(P&R) – all underlined the need to increase the activities of pensioners and retirees in the Asian continent. The declaration adopted at the end unanimously, has chalked out several plans for the expansion and implementation of TUI calls in the Asian continent most effectively like its counterparts in Europe and South America.

The recorded video speeches of both Pambis Kyritsis, general secretary of WFTU and Quim Boix, general secretary of TUI(P&R) were screened on a giant screen and the delegates heard them with rapt attention. Their speeches emphasized the need for pensioners and retirees of the world to agitate along with the working class.

The Thiruvananthapuram Declaration while hailing the decision of the WFTU for starting a separate Trade Union International for the Pensioners and Retirees of the world as being timely, has also formulated eight urgent tasks for urgent implementation in the continent. The TUI(P&R) in addition to issuing the call for observance of October 1 as the ‘World Pensioners Day’ to highlight important issues of pensioners and retirees, should also issue calls for mobilisation of pensioners and retirees in between, said the Declaration .

The regional conference concluded with slogans renting the air.