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National Labor Day

On the occasion of Labor Day, the Syria Times publishes the following two landmark speeches  Delivered by H.E. the Late President Hafez Al Assad on 14 December 1992 at Opening of the 22nd Conference of the General Union of Workers  and on 10 November 1995 in Conclusion of the Productivity Competitions and the National Voluntary Labor Day, edited and translate by M. Abdin:

Brothers and sons, sisters and laborers,

 Amidst the celebrations of our people of the silver jubilee of the corrective movement, comes your contributions truly expressing gratitude, devotion and the spirit of struggle which singled out the working classes in Syria over its history.

Since the dawn of the correction and the 8th of March revolution, the working classes had a prominent role to play in Syria which came as an extension to their role they have already expressed at different stages of our modern history prompted by patriotism and belief in the national values.

You have tirelessly persevered to revive the weeks of productive competitiveness and days of the national voluntary work one year after another concurrently with the anniversary of the corrective movement in appreciation of the existing nexus between you and the corrective movement.

 Your efforts culminated due to the amelioration of production, shoring up the national economy, brain work and adapting the slogan of self reliance benefitting from  the country`s potentials and national resources where you made remarkable achievements of which we are enormously proud.

Twenty five years span is a definite time calculation, but what has been achieved during it represents an era of productivity. The great evolution and the fast-moving development Syria has witnessed over the past twenty five years in the economic, social and political aspects belong to the leading role you have perfectly done.

These great achievements coupled with your brotherly farmers have multiplied the agricultural production many folds and provided food security to the people in addition to security, stability and national unity on the grounds of enhancing our capability to counter all challenges befalling the nation.

Our nation boasts of awareness, altruism and sacrifice. The country is impervious to hardships and debilities but moves forward with back-to-back successes and victories. Verily, our nation is able to hit its targets and achieve aims thanks to the people who work towards such goals.

At this juncture and in the battle for peace, we are strong because of the will of our people and the valiant armed forces who are defending the nation as we are waging this battle without prejudicing our rights and principles.

I avail this opportunity to bless your great efforts as I am quite confident of  the capabilities of our people to achieve the promising future we have been looking forward to.

Let us persist with resolve and determination, which branded our march over the past twenty five years, to continue our struggle for the coming years in order to achieve prosperity and welfare to our posterity they duly deserve.


Speech Delivered by HE President Hafez Al- Assad on 14/12/1992 at Opening of the 22nd Conference of the General Union of Workers 

 Brothers& sisters,

Distinguished guests,

It is a great opportunity to hold the 22nd conference of the general union of the workers syndicate while we celebrate the 22nd anniversary of the corrective movement.

This occasion certainly mirrors the deep rooted and intimate relationship between the corrective movement and the working classes. You have been and will always remain the catalyst of economical and social change. Each and every achievement of the corrective movement targeted the security, welfare and stability of the masses.

Holding this conference embodies patriotism, struggle for the grandeur and evolution of the nation.

With your sound mind, you taught the others that working is giving, giving is love and love is good. He who carries tender love and goodness has the best level of living.

Dear fellows,

Your patriotism has been coupled with toiling, sacrificing and giving. You knew the true sense of building because who builds a factory with his hands will be always prepared to defend it with tooth and nail. Building a factory is a stepping stone to mapping the present and future. Such a structure enhances the heritage of ancestors and guarantees future generations.

Defending existence ultimately means the survival of integrity and dignity because such traits constitute the core matter of existence.

You have been the indefatigable soldiers who defended the nation, ready to act to achieve victory and progress in the field and factory too.

In your positions in power you contributed to syndicate work through devotion to democratic values and shouldering the burden of responsibility at all levels.

Through your unity with the national struggle, you have demonstrated your legendary struggle of which you deserve to be proud where your interests merged with the interests of the nation. Your tireless diligence and national sense and allegiance culminated in your syndicate organization.

Among the constants of the corrective movements was giving the leeway to all economical activities to contribute to building the nation.

Syria has witnessed an economic stability that guarded the country against economical and social meltdowns which afflicted many of the world counties.

The parallelism of the economic and political activities should pour into the crucible of society where it kindles a qualitative energy to give an impetus to the economic and political powers represented by the social dimension.

The pillars of economic structure were developed by the efforts of our workers which created a quantitative change that led to a metamorphosis from quantity to quality.

An expression to this case is greatly manifested by the role of the Syrian women where they observed the strategic orientation of the corrective movement with regard to elevating the stand of women in society being a commitment to social values that support evolution and responsibility.

 Women have taken part along with men in the productivity process. They have also realized that their activity in society should enhance their role in the family. When interaction between the activity of man in the family is accomplished, We will be on the threshold of a new phase of social development characterized by a balance between rights and obligations.

Dear brothers and sisters,

If the orientation of the corrective movement was towards invigorating the parties strategically, the support of the popular organizations should be a constant methodology of the policy of Syria because intensifying the national democratic process would lead to democracy in all fields.

 Forms of struggle have been multifarious embodying the concerns and aspirations of the people. Your fathers and forefathers huddled to fight the colonial powers squatting on our land.  

Your work integration in the syndicate organizations was a trait of our social and economic system which we find represented in the farmers unions, professionals, students, women union, youth union, teachers, artists, doctors, engineers and lawyers.

All of these organizations contribute to making decisions and formulating laws and legislatures. our society developed experience in practicing democracy in line with its civilization and cultural tenets. You have assimilated democracy as a means of achieving freedom.

Some of the targets embodying the freedom of mankind include the following:

Freedom to work

Freedom to education & learning.

Freedom of  thought  &expression.

Freedom of  worship.

In a nutshell , achieving the freedom of man to exercise his human existence.

 Factories and dams, universities and educational institutions in addition to the vocational and technical ones were erected. Promoting the agricultural sector and expanding irrigation networks, communications and hospitals were developed.

Your achievements accumulated on a yearly basis leading to qualitative growth which yielded awareness, realization of responsibility. Achievements are worth of recognition. We are still developing our latent potentials but future necessitates more efforts to intensify the achievements of our people as we certainly need to upgrade our contribution to build the nation.

You expressed your loyalty and commitments to the people`s targets which are recognized by the masses and the most prominent of which are those put to action, ideal performance and truthfulness.

The relation among the target and the feeling of security and enjoying freedom shifts the people from the state of anarchy and contradiction to a state of stability and integration.

You have laid down a great economic foundation and contributed to invigorating the social awareness and the national belonging. Women navigated the productive fields and exercised the syndicate activities where they elected and were elected to become an active member in your syndicate organization. You also achieved a lot through courses on eradicating illiteracy.

Your role in intensifying cooperation and nexus among your fellow workers in the Arab nations comes in line with our incessant efforts to achieve the Arab solidarity. Such solidarity became more conspicuous with every challenge that faces the Arab nation.

Our assurance to augment cooperation among the Arab nations comes within a prime orientation movement called by Syria since the corrective movement as it manifests the effectiveness of the Arab nations.

The heritage of the Arab nations will remain upright despite the harsh circumstances that challenge its existence in the present time and future.

If the Arabs were oblivious to what is going on, more treacherous conditions and eventualities will arise the thing that should awaken us to preserve the land, interests and dignity. Our awareness will help us develop our potentials to contribute to building the human civilizations.

Attempts of control and hegemony over our national resources by the others further increase the sources of threat. Therefore, we should sharpen our vigilance and regain consciousness to preserve our land, interests and dignity.  

With Arab solidarity we can surpass the crisis and challenge the harsh circumstances facing the nation. If the Arab solidarity became now a necessity for the Arabs and the national interest, it is now more exigent when we realize that challenges menace our national entity and existence.

When Syria speaks out about the Arab solidarity, it speaks from a multidimensional viewpoint depending on the common destiny of the Arab nations and relying on a genuine heritage where the Arabs when united, scored victories that contributed to their human civilization.

We view the Arab solidarity as a positive action representing resistance against aggression. The Arab nations have established the foundation of the civilization of today. Arab nations have enormous sources of power, spiritual and material relying on history and geography, land, the masses who are giving and ready to sacrifice.

The peace process which we launched earlier is still deadlocked.

 When the American peace initiative was put forward, we agreed to it because it came in concert with the UN resolutions. We always demanded peace on basis of the UN resolutions 338 and 242.

Many states have expressed their interest in the peace process in the region and we always affirmed our position.  Our conviction was that the leaders in Israel don’t want or desire peace because they were interested in occupying the Arab land.

Our talks, declarations and discussions with the official in the world, who exchanged visits with us, affirmed our meaning.

When the US launched its initiative stipulating that the solution will be based on the international resolutions and land for peace principle, holding an international conference under the auspices of the US and USSR then, which was held in Madrid, where the US affirmed its seriousness in all discussions, we agreed to this initiative.

 Arab and Israeli meetings of delegations followed but up to the present, Israel did not show any interest to open the peace track.

They said that they might partially withdraw from Golan the thing we heard verbally and was put to action in 1974 within a frame work of disengagement of forces on the Syrian front after the war of attrition which followed October war.

The texting of the disengagement agreement clearly elucidates that peace would be achieved on the basis of decision numbers 338 and 242 which does not stipulate that partial withdrawal would form a step towards peace, but withdrawal from all the territories would achieve peace. The partial withdrawal forms a step towards peace but not peace itself.

Peace is not a subject up for grabs, it is a matter of rights and obligations. Rights should be completely returned to their owners and commitments towards security and peace have to be equitably observed by all parties.

Despite our genuine desire to achieve peace, it would never be at the expense of the homeland and the Syrian people. Land is precious beyond price. It is a matter of dignity and home.

With the great pleasure we call to mind the healthy situation in Lebanon while recalling all the hardships Lebanon has been through. We could say that Lebanon has overcome long years of pain, suffering, deaths and bloodshed but finally achieved public parliament elections and renewed the constitutional institutions.

The Syrians were the happiest to witness the situation improving in Lebanon because the Syrians shared the Lebanese their pain and gain. Man should not stand idly by watching his brothers being slaughtered everywhere but should assume the responsibility in supporting his brothers. We salute Lebanon and the people of Lebanon for their relentless resistance.

Dear workers,

The conclusion of your conference coincided with celebrations of our people of the 22nd anniversary of corrective movement.

Your brotherly farmers participated in making decisions, taking part in formulating laws and legislature. They had reps. in the legislative and executive councils. Farmers represent the vast majority of the people. They struggled for long before they could extricate their rights where they offered their blood in resisting injustice and exploitation.

In our name, I salute our brotherly farmers and their families and assure them that the government and the Baath party will continue their support. Salute and appreciation to all our brothers and friends , loyal soldiers, the guardians of the nation, the steadfast people in occupied Golan. I further salute the uprising heroes in Palestine , salute to our martyrs our greatest weapons at every turn. 

Peace upon you all.




Dr. Mohamad Abdo Al-Ibrahim


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