Declaration of the third StreetNet International Congress

StreetNet International has held its Third International Congress from 10 – 12 August 2010 in Cotonou, Benin.

78 delegates from 33 of our 35 affiliates mainly in Africa, Asia and Latin America, representing a paid-up membership of 353 988 assembled for three days to chart the way forward in the continuing effort to strengthen our organisation and the international struggle to promote the organisation of street vendors, informal market vendors and hawkers as part of the international movement of workers in the informal economy. The International Congress will be followed by a two-day international meeting on 13 & 14 August on the theme of “World Trade and Informal Traders” for further deliberation around this theme.

Elections were held on the second day of the Congress, where a 15-person (9 women) International Council was elected, consisting of the following:

President: Oscar Silva, SIVARA Argentina

Vice-President: Anastasie Maswamba, LDFC Democratic Republic of Congo

Secretary: Shikha Joshi, NASVI/SEWA India

Treasurer: Beauty Mugijima, ZCIEA Zimbabwe

11 additional members (of whom 6 are women) are from the following countries: Benin, Ghana, Guinee, Kenya, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, two from Senegal, South Africa, Zambia.

The Congress passed the following resolutions:

1: Establishment of Commission to look at constitutional reform to enhance the organisation’s internal democracy, including inclusion of youth structures and regional balance.

2: Innovative fund-raising for the enhancement of financial self-sufficiency and long-term organisational sustainability.

3: Social Solidarity Economy as StreetNet’s agreed economic direction.

In addition, there were group and plenary discussions on the following themes:

1: Climate Change, its effects on workers in the informal economy, and the contribution of the informal waste recycling sector to amelioration of climate change;

2: Inclusive cities and inclusion of informal economy workers in urban policy development and participatory budgeting;

3: Globalisation and its impact on workers in the informal economy;

4: World Trade and its effects for workers in the informal economy;

5: Class and employment relations in informal economy workplaces;

6: StreetNet’s international campaigns, including a campaign for a new street vendors’ manifesto, and the World Class Cities for All Campaign which was conducted in South Africa leading to the 2010 FIFA World CUP and the campaign which is currently intensifying in India leading to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October 2010.

StreetNet International has thus successfully secured its democratic mandate for the way forward until the Fourth StreetNet International Congress in 2013.