Cover Image
close this bookWe the Peoples... Millennium Forum - Declaration and Agenda for Action (UN, 2000, 25 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentOUR VISION
View the documentTHE CHALLENGES
View the documentA. ERADICATION OF POVERTY: INCLUDING SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND DEBT CANCELLATION
View the documentB. PEACE, SECURITY, AND DISARMAMENT
View the documentC. FACING THE CHALLENGE OF GLOBALIZATION: EQUITY, JUSTICE AND DIVERSITY
View the documentD. HUMAN RIGHTS
View the documentE. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND THE ENVIRONMENT
View the documentF. STRENGTHENING AND DEMOCRATIZING THE UNITED NATIONS AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

THE CHALLENGES

We begin the new millennium facing grave and interconnected challenges. As actors in the struggle for peace, justice and the eradication of poverty, NGOs encounter daily the human impact of rising violence and armed conflicts, widespread violations of human rights, and unacceptably large numbers of people who are denied the means of a minimal human existence. At the same time, new and emerging diseases such as HIV/AIDS threaten to devastate entire societies.

Globalization and advances in technology create significant opportunities for people to connect, share and learn from each other. At the same time, corporate-driven globalization increases inequities between and within countries, undermines local traditions and cultures, and escalates disparities between rich and poor, thereby marginalizing large numbers of people in urban and rural areas. Women, indigenous peoples, youth, boys and girls, and people with disabilities suffer disproportionately from the effects of globalization. Massive debt repayments are still made by the poorest nations to the richest, at the expense of basic healthcare, education and children’s lives. Trafficking in women, sexual exploitation, drug trafficking, money laundering, corruption and the flow of small arms promote insecurity. States are becoming weaker, while an unaccountable, transnational private sector grows stronger. A single-minded focus on economic growth through uncontrolled free markets, combined with the adjustment and stabilization policies of international financial institutions controlled by the rich creditor nations are crippling many national economies, exacerbating poverty, eroding human values and destroying the natural environment.

Globalization should be made to work for the benefit of everyone: eradicate poverty and hunger globally; establish peace globally; ensure the protection and promotion of human rights globally; ensure the protection of our global environment; enforce social standards in the workplace globally.

Globalization should be made to work for the benefit of everyone: eradicate poverty and hunger globally; establish peace globally; ensure the protection and promotion of human rights globally; ensure the protection of our global environment; enforce social standards in the workplace globally.... This can happen only if global corporations, international financial and trade institutions and governments are subject to effective democratic control by the people. We see a strengthened and democratized United Nations and a vibrant civil society as guarantors of this accountability. And we issue a warning: if the architects of globalization are not held to account, this will not simply be unjust; the edifice will crumble with dire consequences for everyone. In the end, the wealthy will find no refuge, as intolerance, disease, environmental devastation, war, social disintegration and political instability spread.

We wish to put forward a series of concrete steps to strengthen cooperation among all actors at the international, national, regional and local levels to make this vision a reality. Our Agenda for Action includes steps that should be taken by civil society, governments, and the United Nations.