ACC Liverpool is preparing to welcome thousands of international delegates to the UNI World Congress.
The event, incorporating the UNI Women’s Conference on June 14 – 15 and the UNI Global Union World Congress on June 17 – 20, will bring 2,500 delegates from more than 40 countries to the waterfront venue. The organisation represents more than 20 million workers from over 900 trade unions worldwide.
Speakers include Jeremy Corbyn, Reverend Dr William Barber, Guy Ryder and Dilma Rousseff. A spectacular opening ceremony of the Congress - created by Andrew Sherlock, head of drama at Liverpool John Moores University in partnership with Culture Liverpool - will take place in the Echo Arena, part of the ACC Liverpool complex, on June 17.
Bob Prattey, chief executive of The ACC Liverpool Group, said: “We have worked with the organisers of UNI Global Union Congress for many years to secure and organise this significant event which is coming to the UK for the first time.
“The arena is set to be transformed for a stunning opening ceremony and we look forward to delivering a successful global conference. We are also hosting the International Business Festival, taking place in our exhibition centre at the same time, so it’s set to be a very busy period with tens of thousands of delegates on our campus, illustrating the calibre of high profile international events coming to the city.”
Philip Jennings, UNI Global Union general secretary, said: “We are delighted to be bringing the UNI Women’s Conference and the UNI World Congress to Liverpool, a city recognised throughout the world for its warmth, humour and fighting spirit. This is the largest global union gathering in 2018.
“Liverpool has its roots in the growth of the labour movement in the UK and we will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the TUC as well as 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote.
“Our 2000 plus participants are looking forward to enjoying a warm scouse welcome. Culture Liverpool and ACC Liverpool have made us feel part of the city and we know this will be a great event.”
ACC Liverpool has hosted a number of unions since opening in 2008 including Prospect, the Communication Workers Union (CWU), Unite, Unison and the Trade Union Congress. It has hosted the Labour Party Conference twice – in 2011 and 2016 - and the Annual Conference will return again this September.
UNI World Congress is set to generate £5.1 million in economic impact for the city region with delegates packing out hotel rooms across the city. The event forms part of the Liverpool 2018 programme, marking the 10th anniversary of the city’s reign as European Capital of Culture. ACC Liverpool is at the heart of a city wide programme of exciting, inspirational and thought-provoking projects. Although inspired by the huge success of 2008, Liverpool 2018 is focused on the renaissance which has transformed the region over the past decade and will continue into the future, strengthening the appeal of the destination to event organisers.
Councillor Wendy Simon, Liverpool’s Deputy Mayor and cabinet member for culture, tourism and events, said: “Staging this conference is a huge coup for Liverpool.
“Not only will it be a valued boost to the local economy, but it’s also fitting as the future of work is the inspiration for a strand of our Liverpool 2018 programme which celebrates a decade since Liverpool held the title of European Capital of Culture.
“The Future World of Work will see a series of artistic commissions exploring how work will change over the coming years and how this will impact on our lives. It’s a fascinating subject matter and with some of the biggest and best thinkers in the city as part of the UNI Global event, it is set to be a truly thought-provoking element of this year’s cultural programme.”