Dear Colleagues,

The year 2020 has been a terrible year with much suffering. COVID-19 continues to spread, affecting the health and socio-economic conditions of people around the world. Rising poverty, hunger, violence against women and inequalities have posed unprecedented challenges to states and non-state actors including civil society. We must fight for universal access to vaccines, social protection and protecting civic rights. Closing democratic and civic space in many countries is making this even more difficult.

GCAP members and coalitions around the world have been fighting for this together with and for the most vulnerable. Some highlights from the last months further elaborated below include:

Solidarity was never as important as it is today. In this crisis most countries have had a very national perspective, but COVID-19 and other global problems such as climate change demand global cooperation. Rich countries buying all the available vaccination and thereby excluding countries with less purchasing power from accessing the vaccine would be a tremendous injustice – and that is what is happening now. The most vulnerable and most endangered groups need to be the priority everywhere, no matter in which country they happen to live.

The election results in the USA were a big relief and a good sign for multilateralism. However, strong civil society pressure will be needed to achieve solidarity for the most vulnerable and systemic change. Across the world, people need to raise their voices locally, nationally and globally to demand universal health coverage, social protection, debt cancelation and tax justice. Let us fight together for international solidarity in 2021!

In addition, GCAP held elections and we have a new Global Council!
In September and October 2020, GCAP members elected the nine new Global Council members, who have been in place since 1 November. They are:
Africa: Nomaqhawe Gwere, Zimbabwe, and Oumar Sow, Senegal
Asia: Nichol Ng, Singapore, and Arjun Bhattarai, Nepal
Latin America and Caribbean: Georgina Muñoz Pavon, Nicaragua, and Cesar Artiga, El Salvador
Europe:  Justina Kaluinaite, Lithuania, and Constantinos Machairas, Greece
Constituency Groups: Social Justice DWD Task Force:
Paul Divakar, Global Forum on Discrimination based on Work and Descent (GFoD), Asia Dalit Rights Forum (ADRF) / Alternates:  Gabriela Hrabanova, European Roma Grassroot Organisation (ERGO) Network, and Abdarahmane Wone, Africa Network on Discrimination based on Work and Descent and Slavery (ANDS)

The members of the Global Council have elected three global Co-Chairs:

  1. Georgina Muñoz Pavon
  2. Oumar Sow
  3. Paul Divakar

and Constantinos Machairas as the new treasurer of the GCAP Global Foundation.

Congratulations to all elected members!  See their biographies on our website.

I like to express my deep gratitude to all outgoing Global Council members and Co-Chairs. Since 2016 they did an enormous work and achieved a lot!

Also a big thank you for all your solidarity in 2020. The year was not easy for many of us and our families. I wish you quiet and nice days at the end of the year with time to take rest and reflect.

Wishing all of you a healthy and peaceful year 2021!

In solidarity,

Ingo Ritz, Director