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close this bookEssays on Food, Hunger, Nutrition, Primary Health Care and Development (AVIVA, 480 p.)
close this folder37. B. Sustainable Development beyond Ethical Pronouncements: the Role of Civil Society and Networking
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe context:
View the documentThe background:
View the documentWhat commitments are needed beyond ethics?: From the normative to the operational in sustainable development
View the documentThe primarily ethics-led process to sustainable development
View the documentThe primarily politically-led process to sustainable development
View the documentNetworking
View the documentLeadership
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Social mobilization is not a window dressing just to show some degree of civil society's active involvement. As said, it is to be directed at consciousness raising to legitimize and focus the attention on the plight of the poor which ultimately seeks to control the resources they need for a genuine 'people-led sustainable development path'. But social mobilization is also to foster networking with others so as to build coalitions that can sustain the attention on the poor people's demands and claims; and finally, social mobilization is about solidarity with other groups embarked in the same or similar endeavours elsewhere (strategic allies). It is only this concerted solidarity that has a potential to reach the threshold of empowerment needed for imposing the new development paradigm thus overruling the current pro-status-quo power holders.

In order to create and sustain the needed attention and support, health, nutrition, education, the environment and the many other problems of society have to ultimately be made global social and political issues (going beyond ethics, but certainly departing from it). Using their de-facto power base, people have to first call for action by creating the aforementioned 'global embarrassment' in their leaders for condoning the persistence of ill-health, hunger and malnutrition, illiteracy and so many other social ills among the poor, and given the pervasive environmental degradation we are witnessing daily. If this does not elicit the needed remedial actions, other mechanisms of social pressure will have to be considered.