Give the people access to means of livelihood
After two days of deliberations aimed at creating a common vision for the ‘building blocks to economic prosperity’, CSOs are sending out a message of hope to the world leaders: ‘our people are not waiting for charity, they want the right to participate.’
Indeed, of the many words that the CSOs used to define their vision for a UN post 2015 developmement agenda, ‘Participation’ as a ‘Human Right’ came out as the most frequently mentioned words. The CSOs have been meeting in Monrovia (Liberia) ahead of the UN High Level Panel’s (HLP) third meeting. The theme of the HLP meeting is economic reforms: building blocks for economic prosperity.
The HLP is meeting in Africa, a continent that has for the last two decades experienced a paradox of increase poverty, maternal death, hunger and mulnutrion in the face of a sustained economic growth.
Speaker after speaker called on the HLP to ensure that they lay down the foundation for a new framework that will explicitly focus on the invisible sectors of the society and ensure their meaningful participation in the affairs of society. Economically, disenfranchaised populations including youth, women, people living with disability, children, minority groups all want to be active agents of generation and distribution of wealth.
Agitated that the current state of the global economy has created vulnerabilities amongst a diverse range of groups, the participants warned the HLP NOT to come up with a framework which focuses entirely on the groups’ points of vulnerability but rather a framework that recognizes peoples’ ‘potentials’ and seeks to tap and enhance these potentials.
Speaking on the first day of the meeting, Beyond 2015 Co-chair Neva Frecheville challenged the HLP members to be bold, visionary and couragious in their proposals: “You need to be ambitious helping us develop a shared understanding of the vision, purpose, values and criteria for the new framework that will enable us move forward as a cohesive movement.”
GCAP Kenya National Coordidator and Beyond 2015 Co-chair Mwangi Waituru reported that GCAP and Beyond 2015 are calling for a radical paradigm shift in order for to remove the road blocks placed on peoples’ path to economic prosperity by ecological degradation, climate change, social exclusion, insecurity and profit centered economic governance.
Danny Burns (IDS) informed the CSOs that the Partcipate team (see here) is in Monrovia to present the intial sysnthesis of particpatory research findings to the HLP with an aim of ensuring that the processs of framing, articulating and deliberating on a clear vision for the future of the world is informed by by the needs and aspirations of ordinary people.
One word that was conspicously absent from the forum is ‘Consumption’. Global consumption patterns have come to be part of the key word defining the development discourse as ‘extraction driven growth’ which stretches the planet beyond breaking point causing untold suffering to millions whose livelihoods and health has been taken away.
Mwangi Waituru, Co-chair of Beyond 2015