Sustainable human development requires the realisation of human rights and democracy. Struggles for freedom around the world have advanced human rights and democracy over the past centuries yet serious deprivations and abuses persist. Millions continue to suffer from hunger, illiteracy, poor health, homelessness, unsafe environments, and violence in conflict and war. Women in the global South share the plight of the majority of the poor and marginalised. Patriarchal culture subjects them to inequality and discrimination, from land ownership to wages, and gender-based violence. Political and economic elites capture public institutions; governance is distorted and abused to advance narrow interests. And the current pattern of globalisation has enhanced the freedoms and privileges of the multinational corporations and the wealthy at the expense of those of the poor and marginalised.
IBON International believes that addressing the roots of poverty, inequality, exclusion, environmental destruction and injustice entails a process of social transformation – a process of building the people’s sovereignty, to self-organise, self-mobilise and serve as development actors in their own right. Building People-Powered Democracy, with women, toiling peoples, and their organisations at the forefront of decision-making, would contribute to democratic power over economic resources and address exclusion from development processes and governance. To build a constituency for promoting People-Powered Democracy, IBON International shall support and put forward new models of democratic governance and rights-based approach to sustainable development that maximise the participation of peoples organisations in decision-making. Together with allies and partners, IBON International shall advocate for the adoption of these models at various levels.