Civil-society organisations (CSOs) deserve more say in global-governance matters. In particular, CSOs from developing countries tend to be marginalised in international affairs. IBON International, a Manila-based international NGO, wants to make a difference. It specialises in capacity building for grassroots movements in the Global South – and has launched a campaign for “People’s goals”.
As the intergovernmental Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) meets this week in New York to discuss food security, nutrition, sustainable agriculture, desertification and land degradation, the Campaign on People’s Goals for Sustainable Development calls the OWG's attention to the alarming impacts of neoliberal policies on agriculture and on peoples’ food sovereignty.
Asia has achieved remarkable economic growth, but is leaving hundreds of millions still mired in poverty, thus causing a widening gap between rich and poor and undermining the basis of growth itself. The Asian Development Bank is moving to address this worsening poverty and inequality through its core agenda "Development through Empowerment." Underlying this agenda, however, remains the ADB's market fundamentalism and a spin on "good governance" that remains anchored on private sector dominance, and which perpetuates the same policy imperatives that violate the basic human rights of poor people in the region.
An op-ed article written by IBON International/Campaign for People's Goals on Sustainable Development has been published in the Guardian. The article challenges the status quo of the post-2015 development agenda, in which civil society's meaningful participation is at risk.
In the face of Doha's failure and worsening climate change impacts, social movements, civil society and communities in the North and the South must reinvigorate efforts to organize and mobilize people, resist false solutions, resist operations of big business that contribute to climate change, build alternative systems, and set the world on the path to sustainability from the ground up.
The US often projects a self-ascribed role of acting for the benefit of others in the world. At COP18 it, along with the EU, must move beyond a concern for its interests alone, and live up to its obligation to act for the other people inhabiting this planet. The world’s richest have both the responsibility and power to breath life into a process they have done much to stall – at the expense of the world’s poorest. If they do not, then the cost, which will be measured in human lives, will be on their shoulders.
Farjana Akter of VOICE (Bangladesh) writes a pithy and passionate piece for urgent climate action, saying that "exercising rights and justice at their maximum standard are the expectations of the people during the climate talks in Doha."
IBON Key Asks at COP-18 states: People of the world are demanding from the world's leaders gathered at COP18 an ambitious, equitable and binding framework to address this planetary emergency.
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.