The last weeks were busy: a large part of GCAP’s work is building bridges and connections, especially between civil society, movements and ideas.
Need for global peace: PyeongChang Global Peace Forum
We have not only been addressing and highlighting inequalities but connecting this work with peace building. I was at the PyeongChang Global Peace Forum in South Korea from 9-11 February – a conference that was an important first step by civil society to participate and contribute actions towards pushing for the end of war in the Korean peninsula and the Northeast Asian region, as well as significant steps towards denuclearisation and disarmament. Our declaration emphasized that we must link peace with the SDGs. In fact, the SDGs could and should be used as a normative framework for peace – especially in local communities and to create peaceful justice for growing inequalities. You can read more in the above link, where we’ve also included key documents from the Peace Forum.
Following the recent attacks on places of worship in Sri Lanka, New Zealand, the United States and elsewhere, there is clearly a pressing global need to promote peace, combat hate and fight inequalities. We express our deepest condolences and strong solidarity to the victims of these attacks and condemn all forms of violent extremism and the weaponization of faith to divide nations and peoples.
Regional Forums for Sustainable Development – highlighting SDG10
In the run up to the 2019 HLPF in July, we actively participated in the various Regional Forums on Sustainable Development where GCAP national coalitions, partners, governments and allied networks have been taking stock of regional progress on the SDGs. We organized very successful side events with our partner networks on the cluster goals under review this year: education, labour and work, inequality, climate change, human rights and peace and the means of implementation. We also monitored several country processes through VNR shadow reporting.
In addition, the civil society pre-meetings or peoples’ forums in all regions have become valued spaces to ensure that key issues are discussed not only during the official regional processes and in the run-up to the HLPF. As all the goal reviews are officially ending this year, we are ready to discuss the modalities for the HLPF in 2020 and beyond.
You can read more about our activities and side events in:
Social Justice Task Force
Our colleague Paul Divakar from the Asia Dalit Rights Forum (ADRF) is now convening GCAP’s Social Justice Task Force of Persons Discriminated by Work and Descent (DWD), and has been jointly organizing with GCAP consultations with communities facing discrimination based on work and descent in Europe, Asia and Africa. Read more on the fruitful consultation on a Global Partnership and Joint Actions in Addressing Discrimination Based on Work and Descent Including Untouchability in Dakar, Senegal in April, as well as on event we co-organized in Brussels with the European Roma Grassroots Organisations (ERGO) Network on the important linkages between inclusion of Roma, combatting antigypsyism and the SDGs as part of the annual EU Roma Week in the European Parliament in March.
Mobilize in September!
The UN General Assembly in September which will include the UN SDG Summit (24-25/09), Climate Action Summit (23/09) and the 1st High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development (26/09) gives us opportunities to link our calls to push back on the constriction of civic space, deepening inequalities, and the worsening climate crisis. We need to #StandTogether with our network partners, allies and friends amongst human rights, peace, climate justice, and sustainable development activists from the local to global level, and reach to the maximum number of people we can mobilise to press the urgency of the actions needed for the earth to sustain us.
As we did in the regional and global gatherings of CSOs and social movements these past few months, we are calling all of you to raise your voices on these important issues and ensure that world leaders actually deliver on their commitments for a just, free, peaceful, and sustainable future!
GCAP Global Co-Chair
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