Dear Colleagues,

GCAP wishes you peace and hope for 2017!

What the year 2017 will be? After what happened in 2016, there is a lot of fear. In 2016 we were shocked by the killings of Berta Cáceres in Honduras in March and of Jo Cox in the UK in June. Many of us knew this two wonderful women fighting for justice and rights

The elections of Rodrigo Duterte and Donald Trump and Brexit were all shocks in a different way. It seems the world is changing, but unfortunately in the wrong direction. The wars in Syria, Yemen and other countries continued. Never since World War II have there been so many refugees. Many rich countries are not willing to take their responsibilities. Trump’s executive order to halt the US refugee programme and the travel ban are the latest violations of rights showing to what disaster this will lead.

The increasing success of the populist right wing parties will make the struggle for global justice and human rights even more difficult. We need to resist racism, xenophobia and misogyny and strategize our intervention accordingly. How do we as civil society connect with the people? How can we be strong enough to change an economic and political model dominated by the interest of big companies?

We believe that we need to supplant the politics of hatred with a narrative of hope and justice. To achieve this we need to build a much stronger cooperation among the civil society but also with other forces in the societies. The Women’s March in 670 cities worldwide on 21st January was a good start. And there are more signs of hope – for example the peace process in Colombia and the recent democratic change in The Gambia.

As GCAP we reorganized ourselves in 2016 as following:

  • We developed the new strategy – after the adoption of SDGs/Agenda 2030  – with a focus on inequality as decided by the Global Assembly 2015.
  • The new Global Council was elected and took the responsibility from July 2016. The new global Co-Chairs are Beckie Malay, Philippines, Salina Sanou, Kenya and Riccardo Moro, Italy: Co-Chairs’ letter from September 2016
  • We focused on the fundraising for the work at local, national level, regional and global levels.

And we started the work for the implementation of the SDGs and the Paris agreement in 2016:  National Coalitions are forming SDG platforms and work to ensure that “no one is left behind”.  Globally we participated in the High Level Political Forum in New York and the HLM2 in Nairobi.  And GCAP created the global civil society platform “Action for Sustainable Development” together with partners as CIVICUS, IFP and the Climate Action Network International. Many regional and constituency networks are involved and ensure a broader inclusion and bottom up process. The regional GCAPs’ took a leading role in forming SDG platforms – example the “Asia Platform of Civil Society on Sustainable Development (APSD)” and “SDG Watch Europe”.

GCAP as a global movement – with a justice perspective from the Global South – has to challenge power that perpetuates inequality and injustice. We are ready for this challenge.

2017 we will build the movement against inequality. We will communicate with you on the next steps. Already last week GCAP Italy organized the global coordination meeting for civil society activities at the G7 summit in Italy later this year.

We hope to work together with you in this movement in 2017!

In Solidarity,

Ingo Ritz,
Director of Programmes