Campaign for People’s Goals for Sustainable Development
Posted on 31 October 2012
October 31, 2012
We are grassroots organizations, labour unions, social movements, non-governmental organizations and other institutions committed to forging new pathways to the future we want – a future where the common good of all takes precedence over the interests of a tiny elite; where the needs and rights of all people are realized; where the environment is not sacrificed to benefit only the few.
We are aware that the current development pathway, will not lead us to the future we want.
The capitalist development model, in particular under the dominant neoliberal policy regime, reduces development to growth in production and consumption of material goods, and grants rights and liberties to capital over the rights and freedoms of people and the protection of the environment. Under this framework, transnational corporations and especially the largest financial institutions based in the advanced countries have come to dominate the global economy and have intensified labor exploitation, resource extraction and speculative brigandage for the accumulation of profit.
This has led to greater hunger, inequality, landlessness, unemployment, precarious employment conditions, indebtedness, loss of incomes and social protections, deprivation of basic services, dispossession of communities, forced migration, resource depletion, environmental degradation, and the climate crisis. It has bred more wars, oppression, violations of human and trade union rights, deaths and now threaten the very basis of life on this planet. All sectors among the people of the Global South bear the brunt of these injustices, including women, children, workers and peasant farmers.
Moreover, the majority of the people are either excluded or denied their right to participate in the making, monitoring and implementation of decisions that affect their lives and their future. Local and especially global elites and powerful actors, on the other hand, are often left unchecked and unaccountable for their actions that have severe negative impacts on society and the environment.
We believe that addressing these challenges takes much more than new strategies for rapidly achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Without addressing the structural roots of such trends, any gains will be easily undermined. Indeed the window of opportunity to reverse these trends before ecological and social catastrophe sets in is rapidly closing.
We need to embrace a new vision of development altogether, based on the philosophy of “living well” in community with others and in harmony with nature. This entails a profound social transformation which requires a radical redistribution of ownership, access and control over productive resources so that no one is denied the basis for living in dignity and freedom. It involves the democratization of state and social institutions so that communities and citizens, rather than markets can democratically set social goals and priorities. It requires a reorientation of production and consumption to meet people’s needs and human potentials within environmental limits rather than maximizing short-term profits. It necessitates a deeper respect and understanding of the symbiosis of people and the natural world instead of the valorization and commercialization of nature as mere resources and sinks.
As part of this transformative agenda, we challenge our