14 September 2012 (UK): British Trades Union Congress passes motion to send a delegation to Gaza

At its 2012 annual Conference, the British Trades Union Congress reaffirmed its support for an “inclusive peace process in the region” while registering its concern over the ongoing blockade of Gaza.  Six of Britain’s largest trade unions supported Resolution No.76 “Palestine – blockade of Gaza” (text below), and the resolution carried on the floor of the Conference.

Congress registers that the blockade of Gaza by the government of Israel is now in its 6th year. On 14 June this year, 50 international charities and United Nations Agencies called for an immediate end to the blockade. They noted that violation of international law, affecting 1.6 million people, over half of whom are children. UN Under-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, pointed out that more than 80 per cent of families in Gaza are dependent upon humanitarian aid. She stated, “This amounts to collective punishment of all those living in Gaza, and is a denial of basic human rights in contravention of international law.”

Congress also registers that calls for an immediate opening have been made by the diplomatic Quartet (UN, EU, Russia and the US). The UK government has also called for an end to the siege.

Congress welcomes the easing of access to Gaza promoted by the Egyptian authorities, following the ousting of the previous government by the popular uprising. In these conditions, Congress instructs the General Council to organise a delegation to Gaza, in conjunction with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, to determine how the TUC may most effectively contribute to the end of the blockade.

Congress reaffirms its support for an inclusive peace process in the region, and supports efforts to resume all-party negotiations.’

Moved: Communication Workers’ Union (CWU).  Seconded: Public & Commercial Services Union (PCS)
Supported by: National Union of Teachers (NUT), Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA), Unison (Public Service Union), National Union of Journalists (NUJ).

Read Palestine motion here >>
See Palestine motion passed in Conference papers here >>