|We the Peoples... Millennium Forum - Declaration and Agenda for Action (UN, 2000, 25 p.)|
Globalization needs defining. To some, it is an inevitable process driven by new technologies in electronic communication and transport, enabling information, persons, capital and goods to cross borders and reach the most remote corners of the globe at unprecedented speed. It is transforming our world into a global village with consequent political and economic changes that open unprecedented possibilities of prosperity to all its inhabitants.
To most, globalization is a process of economic, political and cultural domination by the economically and militarily strong over the weak. For example, the combined assets of the top 200 corporations in the 1960s were 16% of world Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This increased by the early 1980s to 24% and in 1995 had risen to 34%. In this process not only does the gap between the haves and have-nots widen, the ranks of the poor are swelling, civil societies are being threatened, pushing an increasing number into extreme poverty, and governments are becoming dependent. The present globalization process is not inevitable; it is the result of decisions taken by human beings. It can and must be redirected to become a democratic process in which the people are at the center as participants and beneficiaries. We, of all ages - in particular our future generation the youth - claim a space for that transnational civil society that even now is rising on the world scene with unprecedented ties, networking, exchanges, and common action among peoples, groups, communities, and organizations. Before us is an emerging new consciousness worldwide that affirms shared values of peace, equity, social justice, democracy, and human rights.
Indigenous peoples are deeply concerned that the on-going process of globalization and trade liberalization is, in many instances, leading to the denial of indigenous peoples rights to their ancestral territories and violating their rights to the security of their land tenure, including their spiritual perspective on land and development, their traditional knowledge, their culture, and their political and socio-economic systems.
The Forum urges Governments: To make serious commitments to restructure the global financial architecture based on principles of equity, transparency, accountability, and democracy, and to balance, with the participation of civil society organizations, the monetary means to favor human endeavor and ecology, such as an alternative time-based currency.
The Forum urges;
The United Nations
1. To reform and democratize all levels of decision making in the Bretton Woods institutions and the World Trade Organization (WTO) and integrate them fully into the United Nations system, making these institutions accountable to the Economic and Social Council.
2. To develop a legally binding framework for regulating the actions of transnational corporations (TNCs), respecting the international labor, human rights, and sustainable environmental standards set by the United Nations and its relevant Specialized Agencies. The regulatory mechanism should include the active participation of workers and communities directly affected by TNC operations in order to prevent abuses and to subordinate TNCs to democratic civil authority and community-based modeling of socio-economic systems.
3. To exempt developing countries from implementing the Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) from the WTO and to take these rights out of any new rounds of negotiations, ensuring that no such new issues are introduced.
4. To examine and regulate transnational corporations and the increasingly negative influence of their trade on the environment. The attempt by companies to patent life is ethically unacceptable.
5. To move towards democratic political control of the global economy so that it may serve our vision.
6. To recognize and enshrine legislatively the right of self-determination of Indigenous Peoples and to acknowledge their sovereign right to their languages, knowledge, educational systems, living spaces, intellectual property and biological security.
1. To recognize that aspects of globalization seriously threaten environmental sustainability, and cultural diversity and heritage, as well as the common good.
2. To exclude fresh water, food, education, health care and other human essential common goods from private monopolization and to regulate them with the view to protecting and expanding the global commons.
3. To educate all people, particularly youth, about the dynamics of globalization and how their behavior, for example consumption and purchasing habits, can affect them and their countrys economy and perpetuate the negative effects of globalization. To support this education with measures to reduce the market practices aimed at inducing resource-intensive consumption.
4. To protect Indigenous peoples rights through legislation, in the face of corporate transgressions of these rights.
The United Nations human rights treaty regime, composed of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Covenants and Conventions, is acknowledged to be one of the three core objectives of the United Nations - Human Rights, Development and Peace, in the 21st century we must make advances on all three fronts simultaneously or we will put our world at great risk.
5. To develop migration policies, both emigration and immigration, in conformity with human rights standards, particularly, to respect the global principle of freedom of circulation for all.
6. To make serious commitments to restructure the global financial architecture based on principles of equity, transparency, accountability, and democracy, and to balance, with the participation of civil society organizations, the monetary means to favor human endeavor and ecology, such as an alternative time-based currency. To give particular attention to eradication of unequal taxation, tax havens, and money-laundering operations and to impose new forms of taxation, such as the Tobin tax, and regional and national capital controls. To direct the international financial institutions to eliminate the negative conditionalities of structural adjustment programmes (SAPs).
7. To reform the international financial institutions (IFIs) and the World Trade Organization to ensure greater transparency and democracy and to support the establishment of a consultative mechanism with civil society. To ensure that the IFIs provide capital for sustainable development to vulnerable people. Sustainable funds could be raised through a currency transfer tax, which could also help to reduce currency speculation, and a tax on the rental value of land and natural resources.
8. To endeavor to stop the globalization of education among children and youth where large corporate entities are allowed to compromise or control the education system and marginalize the role of local and national governments.
9. To exclude from commercial exchange the human body and parts of the human body.
1. To support community self-reliance and democracy by ensuring people-centered, free and independent non-commercial media infrastructures, including community radio, telephone, and personal computers.
2. To support the development of a concept of globalization defined from a polycentric and pluri-cultural perspective, assuming and respecting, preserving and developing the cultural diversities.
3. To mobilize public support and proactively organize periodic conferences on globalization, both nationally and internationally, benefiting from the new and available research of the scientific community. To encourage the building and strengthening of local communities and make their concerns known at these events and through other initiatives.