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Non Governmental Diplomacy: Subjects

Fight against social exclusion and inequalities

PFN responsible: ACCIÓN

Poverty is expected to increase by 53 million people at the global level, while estimations suggest that the food crisis has already increased by 44 million the number of people suffering from malnutrition. According to the 2009 Social Watch Report, the crisis effects will probably lead to increasing inequality. The gap between rich and poor homes, which has been widening since the 1990s, will become even deeper. A sample study of countries included in an ILO report of 2008 showed that the income gap, between the 10% that receive the highest salaries and the 10% with the lowest salaries, had increased by 70%.

It is necessary to add a political component to the debate on poverty and broaden it to include issues such as justice tax, innovative financing for development, financial crisis, MDG, among others. Studies by the United Nations University (2006) show that 2% of the richest adult population of the world owns over half the global wealth of homes. In contrast, the poorest half of the world’s adult population owns only 1% of global wealth. Inequality has become a central issue in the discussion on public policy and economic models in Latin America.

There is inequality within countries and also among regions: Global wealth is concentrated in North America, Europe and high-income countries of the Asia Pacific area. The combined population of these regions collectively own 90% of the total global wealth. Poverty is not just a matter of poor well-being, but it is also the inability to achieve this well-being in an autonomous and permanent way. Therefore, apart from income levels, we should measure and consider the level of freedom that people have to carry on with their lifestyle that their values (or wish to lead.) In this respect, we have proposed the following options:

  • enhancing and radicalizing democracy;
  • recognizing and making economic, social and cultural rights binding;
  • a path towards a new International financial system;
  • global environmental justice in the face of climate change;
  • strengthening and redesigning international cooperation

According to the 2009 Social Watch report, the seriousness of the crisis will make the labour force exploitation worse. Every crisis deteriorates labour conditions -first by interrupting production, and secondly by destroying capital-, as the capitalists’ strategies to stay in the market becomes sharper. This situation becomes even more violent in the initial phases of recovery, when corporations take advantage of the level of unemployment and the extraordinary profits offered by the concentration of surviving capital.

In this setting, the role of NGOs and their platforms has been to take part in the elaboration of proposals towards the G20 and G8, to promote campaigns, and to demand space in the various decision-making contexts at the global level. In view of the crisis, NGOs submitted the following proposals to the G20:

  • Guarantee the democratic governance of the economy by regulating financial activities, create new fiscal instruments, establish disincentives and restrictions to speculation, ban casino financial products and ensure that the resources from private or public savings are effectively channelled towards productive activities.
  • Create decent work and public services for all, guaranteeing massive investments in a green new deal, in order to build a green economy.
  • Assign 0,7% of the national product to development cooperation by the year 2013.