COMMISSION 2: Socio-economic Development & Social Justice

World production of material wealth has gone global, bringing peoples and nations closer together. Yet, at the same time, poverty grips a swelling number of destitute people trying to survive on less than $2-a-day, estimated at 1.2 billion or nearly one-third of the global labor force in 2010.

Addressing the socio-economic roots of poverty, unemployment, rising food prices, budget cuts for public services and other social ills, an international gathering of progressive organizations and movements convenes in Manila, Philippines this July.

Led by the International League of Peoples’ Struggles (ILPS), hundreds of delegates from 39 countries are set to share insights, discuss and resolve to intensify the struggles for employment, decent incomes, better working and living conditions, access to social services, and control over land, water and other productive resources.

This resolution is part of the three-day event where the general call of the ILPS to build a brighter future is bannered.

Facing financial goliaths

The ILPS assembly resolves to fight the international financial institutions and the G-20, virtual goliaths in the world economy, for their policy agenda of privatization, disemployment and austerity measures. “Greater socialization” became a clarion call for the assembly.

Paul Quintos, a Filipino resource person for the event, said that “women and men should fight for the universal right to find decent and productive work that ensures security and human dignity. This also means work that is engaged in meeting social needs for the present and future generations, including access to food, education, health, housing and basic services for all.”

The ecological crisis is also confronted by calls “for the fundamental reorientation and reorganization of production and consumption towards meeting social needs rather than endless profit-seeking and capital accumulation.“

“Such a demand inspires broad-based struggle for a just, democratic, peaceful and sustainable world,” Quintos said.

“This will help people realize that sustainability can only be made possible by collective ownership and social-planning,” he added.

Cooperation, not competition

The assembly noted that, with demand and prices for commodities on the rise, monopoly firms are frantically competing for and violently taking over vast tracts of land, forests and marine resources for the extraction and export of oil, food, minerals and other resources throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Hence, the ILPS called for strengthening the people’s struggles for ownership and control of productive resources and greater cooperation among peoples in trade. It cited the case of the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America and the Caribbean (ALBA) led by Venezuela and Cuba as a regional alternative to the US-led Free Trade Area for the Americas.

Closer to home, the assembly said that “for many of the least developed countries, Chinese or Indian trade and investments provide alternatives to EU or US capital and markets.”

”Greater south-south cooperation objectively provides greater elbow room for oppressed countries to collectively assert their independence and development for their people.”

That assertion complements the greater resistance and protests on going in the world today – to which the ILPS assembly expresses its international solidarity.

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