More than 80 institutional representatives of civil society from around the world reunited in Brazil for the World Social Forum will join in a massive international summons for the elimination of world hunger and poverty.
The Global Call for Action against Poverty will be launched tomorrow, January 27, at the 2005 World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, southern Brazil, with the President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, as a guest speaker.
The Global Call arose in September, 2004, the same month in which Brazil, Chile, France, and Spain handed the United Nations (UN) a report with suggestions for raising a fund to combat extreme poverty.
The Global Call, however, represents an initiative by civil society and urges changes in the development model itself and international cooperation to fulfill the Goals of the Millenium set by the UN.
This year the G-8, the group of the world’s wealthiest countries, will hold the Millenium Summit to evaluate compliance with the social goals.
There will also be the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Ministerial Conference. At all of these gatherings, the Global Call will press world leaders to assume a commitment to erradicate poverty.
“These three meetings will provide a fantastic opportunity to obtain commitments and concrete changes,” said Adriano Campoliina, director of Action-Aid International and one of the coordinators of the Global Call.
The campaign, which began with over 50 countries, is still not firmly rooted in Brazil. The Brazilian Institute of Social and Economic Analyses (Ibase) is one of the few entities that belongs to the international network.
“Our objective is to create a Brazilian branch of the campaign and place the theme on the agenda of society. We need to establish foundations to strengthen the Global Call in the country,” affirmed Cândido Grzybowski, one of the organizers of the Forum and director-general of the Ibase.
The campaign’s demands are directed at three fronts: world trade, calling for the reduction of subsidies practiced by the rich countries and an end to the conditions imposed by international agencies for the liberalization of poor economies; cancellation of the foreign debts of poor countries in a transparent process; and, finally, an increase in humanitarian aid from the developed countries to eliminate hunger and poverty.
Translation: David Silberstein