We support UN Secretary-General’s call at COP 24

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Excellencies,
Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to COP 24.

I thank President Duda, Minister Kowalczyk and COP President Designate Mijal Kurtyka for their warm welcome.

We are in trouble. We are in deep trouble with climate change.

Climate change is running faster than we are and we must catch up sooner rather than later before it is too late.

For many, people, regions even countries this is already a matter of life and death.

This meeting is the most important gathering on climate change since the Paris Agreement was signed.

It is hard to overstate the urgency of our situation.

Even as we witness devastating climate impacts causing havoc across the world, we are still not doing enough, nor moving fast enough, to prevent irreversible and catastrophic climate disruption.

Nor are we doing enough to capitalize on the enormous social, economic and environmental opportunities of climate action.

And so, I want to deliver four simple messages.

First: science demands a significantly more ambitious response.

Second: the Paris Agreement provides the framework for action, so we must operationalize it.

Third: we have a collective responsibility to invest in averting global climate chaos, to consolidate the financial commitments made in Paris and to assist the most vulnerable communities and nations.

Fourth: climate action offers a compelling path to transform our world for the better.

Let me turn first to science.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, the 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years, with the top four in the past four years.

The concentration of carbon dioxide is the highest it has been in 3 million years.

Emissions are now growing again.

The recent special report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change finds that warming could reach 1.5 degrees as soon as 2030, with devastating impacts.

The latest UN Environment Programme Emissions Gap Report tells us that the current Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement will lead to global warming of about 3 degrees by the end of the century.

Furthermore, the majority of countries most responsible for greenhouse gas emissions are behind in their efforts to meet their Paris pledges.

So, it is plain we are way off course.

We need more action and more ambition.

We absolutely have to close this emissions gap.

If we fail, the Arctic and Antarctic will continue to melt, corals will bleach and then die, the oceans will rise, more people will die from air pollution, water scarcity will plague a significant proportion of humanity, and the cost of disasters will skyrocket.

Last year I visited Barbuda and Dominica, which were devastated by hurricanes. The destruction and suffering I saw was heart-breaking. That story is repeated almost daily somewhere in the world.

These emergencies are preventable.

Emmissions must decline by 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030 and be net zero by 2050.

Renewable energy will need to supply half to two-thirds of the world’s primary energy by 2050 with a corresponding reduction in fossil fuels.

In short, we need a complete transformation of our global energy economy, as well as how we manage land and forest resources.

We need to embrace low-carbon, climate-resilient sustainable development.

I am hopeful that the Talanoa Dialogue will provide a very strong impulse for increased ambition in the commitments for climate action.

Excellencies,

This brings me to my second point.

The Paris Agreement provides a framework for the transformation we need.

It is our job here in Katowice is to finalize the Paris Agreement Work Programme — the rule book for implementation.

I remind all Parties that this is a deadline you set for yourselves and it is vital you meet it.

We need a unifying implementation vision that sets out clear rules, inspires action and promotes raised ambition, based on the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of different national circumstances.

We have no time for limitless negotiations.

A completed Work Programme will unleash the potential of the Paris Agreement.

It will build trust and make clear that countries are serious about addressing climate change.

Dear Friends,

This brings me to my third point: the central importance of finance.

We need concerted resource mobilization and investment to successfully combat climate change.

We need transformative climate action in five key economic areas – energy, cities, land use, water and industry.

Some 75 per cent of the infrastructure needed by 2050 still remains to be built.

How this is done will either lock us in to a high-emissions future or steer us towards truly sustainable low-emissions development.

Governments and investors need to bet on the green economy, not the grey.

That means embracing carbon pricing, eliminating harmful fossil fuel subsidies and investing in clean technologies.

It also means providing a fair transition for those workers in traditional sectors that face disruption, including through retraining and social safety nets.

We also have a collective responsibility to assist the most vulnerable communities and countries – such as small island nations and the least developed countries – by supporting adaptation and resilience.

Making clear progress to mobilize the pledged $100 billion dollars a year will provide a much-needed positive political signal.

I have appointed the President of France and Prime Minister of Jamaica to lead the mobilization of the international community, both public and private, to reach that target in the context of preparation of the Climate Summit I have convened in September of next year.

I also urge Member States to swiftly implement the replenishment of the Green Climate Fund.

It is an investment in a safer, less costly future.

Dear Friends,

All too often, climate action is seen as a burden. My fourth point is this: decisive climate action today is our chance to right our ship and set a course for a better future for all.

We have the knowledge.

Many technological solutions are already viable and affordable.

Cities, regions, civil society and the business community around the world are moving ahead.

What we need is political more will and more far-sighted leadership.

This is the challenge on which this generation’s leaders will be judged.

Climate action is not just the right thing to do – it makes social and economic sense.

Meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement would reduce air pollution – saving more than a million lives each year by 2030, according to the World Health Organization.

According to the recent New Climate Economy report, ambitious climate action could yield 65 million jobs and a direct economic gain of $26 trillion US dollars compared to business as usual over the next 12 years.

We are seeing early signs of this economic transformation, but we are nowhere near where we need to be.

The transition to a low-carbon economy needs political impetus from the highest levels.

And it requires inclusivity, because everyone is affected by climate change.

That is the message of the Talanoa Dialogue.

We need a full-scale mobilization of young people.

And we need a global commitment to gender equality, because women’s leadership is central to durable climate solutions.

A successful conference here in Katowice can provide the catalyst.

There is now significant global momentum for climate action.

It has galvanized private business and investors around the world, while cities and regional governments are also showing that ambitious climate action is possible and desirable.

Let us build on this momentum.

I am convening a Climate Summit in September next year to raise ambition and mobilize the necessary resources.

But that ambition needs to begin here, right now, in Katowice, driven by governments and leaders who understand that their legacies and the well-being of future generations are at stake.

We cannot afford to fail in Katowice.

Some might say that it will be a difficult negotiation. I know it is not easy. It requires a firm political will for compromise. But, for me, what is really difficult is to be a fisherman in Kiribati seeing his country in risk of disappearing or a farmer or herder in the Sahel losing livelihoods and losing peace. Or being a woman in Dominica or any other Caribbean nation enduring hurricane after hurricane destroying everything in its path.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Climate change is the single most important issue we face.

It affects all our plans for sustainable development and a safe, secure and prosperous world.

So, it is hard to comprehend why we are collectively still moving too slowly – and even in the wrong direction.

The IPCC’s Special Report tells us that we still have time to limit temperature rise.

But that time is running out.

We achieved success in Paris because negotiators were working towards a common goal.

I implore you to maintain the same spirit of urgent collaboration here in Katowice with a dynamic Polish leadership in the negotiations.

Katowice must ensure that the bonds of trust established in Paris will endure.

Incredible opportunity exists if we embrace a low-carbon future and unleash the power of the Paris Agreement.

But we must start today building the tomorrow we want.

Let us rise to the challenge and finish the work the world demands of us.

Thank you.

 

This speech by António Guterres was originally published under https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/statement/2018-12-03/secretary-generals-remarks-opening-cop-24

An Equitable Migration Policy – For the Global Compact

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First, the good news: the “Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM)” has gained the support of 180 states, i.e., the overwhelming majority of the global community, and is due for ratification in December in Morocco. It includes a series of guidelines as well as 23 concrete measures for the equitable regulation of migration, albeit their implementation is not legally binding.

The bad news is that right-wing extremists and populists as well as nationalists are campaigning against the migration pact with misleading canards and conspiracy theories. They are trying to abuse the GCM for their own nationalist agendas. Due to this pressure, certain states, especially also European ones, are distancing themselves from the GCM  – which sends a fatal signal. With their decisions, Austria, Poland and other states are siding with Trump, Orban and other right-wing forces.

The GCM represents a milestone in the history of international migration policy, and creates a framework for more collaboration and solidarity between the countries of origin, transit lands and host states, for no state can meet the challenges of and capitalise on the opportunities presented by this global phenomenon in isolation. The GMC sets out the specific details of the migration-relevant objectives of the 2030 Agenda to which the global community has subscribed. The various states ought to tackle the objectives of the GMC in the same way that they have assumed responsibility for implementing the sustainable development goals. National sovereignty equates responsibility for the implementation.

We are in favour of and advocate the implementation of the objectives: tackling the structural causes of forced and irregular migration, protecting and improving the living and working conditions of migrants and their families, combatting exploitation, discrimination and human trafficking, and the creation of secure global migration infrastructure that gives people access to mobility.

No one should be forced to leave his or her home state in the 21stcentury. This notwithstanding, we do need a global framework, such as the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in which the global community accepts responsibility for organising safe, orderly and regulation migration and mobility. Only then will the development potential of migration be realised.

Suyen Barahona: ¡Gracias por la enorme solidaridad internacional!

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Free our comrades Suyen Barahona and Ana Margarita Vigil, Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS)

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Suyen Barahona, president of our sister party, the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS), and Ana Margarita Vigil, former president of MRS, as well as other opposition leaders were detained by the Ortega regime today during a demonstration.

We call for the immediate release of our comrades Suyen Barahona and Ana Margarita Vigil and other political leaders!

We demand the immediate stop of all forms of repression against the Nicaraguan people, as well as the cessation of harassment and threats against student and political leaders!

We call on the governments of the world, solidarity movements and the international community to take the necessary actions to contribute to the restoration of a lasting peace, with justice and democracy, in Nicaragua!

We stay in solidarity with our sister party MRS and the progressive and democratic forces in Nicaragua!

Impressions from Ouagadougou

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List Of Participants Ouagadougou Seminar

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List of Participants
Seminar “Migration and Social Justice”,
12 – 13 October 2018
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

 

Burkina Faso
People’s Movement for Progress (MPP)
Job Bassane
Ludovic Bationo
Pascal Benon
Check Boly
Moussa Boly
Sophie Combary
Sorgho Dieudonné
Fati Diomande
Gilla Louise Dondasse
Paul Hiry
Sib Bébé Justin
Innocent Kudawo
Mathieu Mandi
Paul Ismaël Ouedraogo
Patrice Diesongo
Marie Claire Ouedraogo
Soumaïla Ouedraogo
Souleymane Ouedraogo
Workya Rouamba
Clément Sawadogo
Salamata Sawadogo
Placide Some
Frédéric Taoudyande
Jean Toe
Urbain Yameogo
Laure Zongo

Central African Republic
Movement for the Liberation of the Central African People (MLPC)
Martin Ziguele

Democratic Republic of the Congo
Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS Congo)
Félix Tshisekedi
Joakim Mukuasa
Yve Bunkulu

Denmark
Social Democratic Party Peter Hummelgaard
Iben Merrild

Equatorial Guinea
Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDS)
Santiago Martin Engono Esono

Georgia
Georgian Dream Party
Dimitri Tskitishvili
Koka Kapanadze

Germany
Social Democratic Party of Germany
Gabi Weber

Ivory Coast
Cap Union for Democracy and Development (CAP-UDD)
Désiré Léopold Kouidé

Ivory Coast
Freedom and Democracy for the Republic (LIDER)
Adjoa Monique Ekra Epse Gbekia

Morocco
Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP)
Naoufal Abahar
Khalil Ibrahim Alla
Mouad Touil

Republic of the Congo
Citizens’ Convergence (CC)
Bonaventure Mbaya

Senegal
Socialist Party (PS)
Gorgui Ciss

Sweden
Swedish Social Democratic Party (SAP)
Evin Incir

Switzerland
Social Democratic Party of Switzerland
Fabian Molina

Tanzania
Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM)
Stephen Msami

Tunisia
Democratic Forum For Labour and Liberties (Ettakatol)
Moez Ben Dhia

Western Sahara
Polisario Front
M’hamed Mohamed Cheikh

 

Associated Partners:

SOLIDAR
Conny Reuter

IUSY
International Union of Socialist Youth
Amed Tiendrebeogo

International Falcon Movement – Socialist Educational International (IFM-SEI)
Carly Walker-Dawson

Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation FES
Hans-Joachim Preuss

Foundation Max van der Stoel
Rosa van Driel

Progressive Alliance (PA)
Konstantin Woinoff
Tania Sanchez Toledo

Migration and Social Justice

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12 October 2018

Social justice is a prerequisite for a lasting peace and beneficial coexistence. All people ought to be able to develop their potential without let or hindrance, regardless of their nationality, migration background, skin colour, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation. Yet people in different parts of the world neither have the same life opportunities nor is wealth distributed in anything like an equitable manner. One’s background is not only decisive for one’s prospects in life but also in terms of social mobility. Therefore, any future safe, orderly and regular migration must also be socially equitable.

 

Neoliberal globalisation has resulted in greater inequality

The eight richest people in the world own as much as the poorest 3.6 billion – half of humanity! One per cent of the world’s population owns more than the remaining 99 per cent together! The deregulation of employment and financial markets, the concentration of wealth and a self-enrichment mindset among the already privileged, capital-friendly taxation systems including tax avoidance and – in the past, rarely prosecuted – tax evasion practices, an extreme shareholder-value orientation, the decoupling of economic growth and material wellbeing, the employment income differential, a lack of education and training opportunities: the trends and structures that are resulting in greater inequality are unmistakeable – as are their consequences. The global north is also home to some of the losers of neoliberalism, whose incomes are stagnating whilst the one per cent are profiting from global growth processes to a downright obscene degree.

However, the neoliberal redistribution from the “bottom” to the “top” has not only produced globalisation losers in the northern hemisphere: people in many countries in the global south have been affected in a much more brutal manner, for it was there that the methods of neoliberalism were first trialled in the context of so-called structural adjustment programmes. Policies designed to promote privatisation and restrict social expenditure resulted in impoverishment and increasingly precarious living conditions. The privatisation of education leads to a situation in which access to a good education is dependent upon one’s social or ethnic background, domicile or other factors.

 

Labour migration is a symptom of inequality

Labour migration is often the symptom of inequalities caused by neoliberal globalisation. According to International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates, some 150 million of the 258 million international migrants are labour migrants on the lookout for ways to facilitate a better life for themselves and their families. Most migrants do this in a safe and orderly manner, yet precisely those people who are forced to leave their families to secure their existence are often exploited and robbed of their human rights. According to the ILO, during the past five years 89 million people have become the victims of modern slavery in one form or another for periods ranging from just a few days to five years! In addition, they are often required to pay steep recruitment costs, which drive them into financial dependency.

 

Organise safe, orderly and regular migration in a socially equitable manner!

People have a right to remain in their home regions, to which end their livelihoods and rights must be protected. Redistribution from the bottom to the top must be reversed and capitalistic property ownership, power and hegemonial relationships called into question, as these are the primary causes of the destruction of natural livelihoods, which is forcing people all over the world to leave their homelands. Any social justice perspective must consider those privileges that are derived solely from one’s affiliation with specific regions or social groups whilst, at the same time, promoting international solidarity between the losers of globalisation. Racism and the hatred of supposed outsiders must be opposed.

In addition to the right to remain, we must also defend the right to free movement and mobility, as migration is the oldest strategy for the reduction of poverty and improvement of living conditions. What is required in this context is a new paradigm in which migration is accepted as an adaptive strategy, and which focuses on the improvement of migrants’ living and working situations and is aimed at reforming global migration policy and includes participation by states in the global south.

Far from impeding development, migration is often a prerequisite for it. For many years, temporary migration has been the fastest growing form of migration, and money transferred by migrants back to their homelands is becoming an increasingly important economic factor. The migrants’ families in their country of origin frequently use these monies not only to raise themselves out of poverty, but to gain access to education and training as well as improved health care services. In addition, migrants can become the disseminators of new knowledge and technological developments.

At the same time, however, migration can increase inequality and promote brain drain. Precisely because migration is a complex phenomenon, it will be important to ensure that future migration schemes are developed with the participation of countries in the global south, whereas it has mostly been the case to date that northern states have been the sole arbitrators of what is considered »desirable« and »undesirable« migration.

Like all workers, labour migrants have a right to fair treatment. This is a key element of social cohesion as well as for the sustainable development of societies.

Labour migration organised in a fair and effective manner involves opportunities for those affected as well as their families and the host countries. It contributes towards the equalisation of labour supply and demand, but requires qualifications meaning that the overall qualification level is increased.

Labour migrants pay into social security systems and contribute towards the cultural and social enrichment of the host societies.

Well organised labour migration means regulating inter-regional migration corridors and promoting inter-state cooperation. The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration provides a framework for cooperation whilst the international labour standards, especially the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, in addition to the relevant ILO and UN conventions form the foundations.  States ought to make more use of two ILO instruments known as the Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration and General Principles and Operational Guidelines for Fair Recruitment.

The organisation of global mobility in the 21st century is a task for the international community and must not be left to vagaries of free market forces. Access to social mobility must be oriented on people’s needs rather than exclusively on corporate interests.

 

Hence our call:

 

For a strong and solidarity-based Africa as a global partner

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12 October 2018

Our aim is a strong, prosperous and solidarity-based Africa. The Agenda 2063 of the African Union as a vision for the countries in Africa, as well as the multilateral framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are the cornerstones of our cooperation within the Progressive Alliance.

Global challenges such as flight, migration and population development, crises and terrorism, as well as climate change can only be solved in the long term together with Africa. Hence, we advocate a global partnership approach in which the countries of Africa play an active role in shaping global developments. Because it is our common interest to protect together and ensure the provision of global public goods like climate stability, natural livelihoods, peace and health care. Therefore, the purpose of progressive politics is to treat African countries as partners in global governance.

Global partnership is inextricably linked with social and democratic participation on the ground. As social and democratic parties we stand for solidarity, democracy and justice!

The Progressive Alliance advocates a peace policy instead of military interventionism: we support crisis management with political and civil means. Collective security in Africa can only be achieved through more African ownership in line with the aim formulated by the AU to “Silence the Guns by 2020”! A sustainable crisis prevention also requires a consistent implementation of the UN resolutions on “Women, Peace and Security”. Global causes of conflict, such as climate change and organised crime, need to be tackled together.

The Progressive Alliance is committed to promoting a more efficient African integration: The Progressive Alliance is also committed to supporting the efforts of progressive African countries and movements to develop an effective African integration, to build an Africa of the people and to offer new intra-African development opportunities and perspectives. African integration is a crucial prerequisite for the development of the people on the continent; it must be a key pillar for the activities of African progressives and needs the encouragement and support of the global progressive family.

The Progressive Alliance supports more solidarity, the fight against social injustice and the enhancement of democratic participation and co-determination: Social participation, equitable distribution and gender equality, together with democratic civic participation are the foundations of sustainable development. Education and social security are key elements to promote stability and economic power of the African countries and to ensure opportunities of social advancement and development for people, regions and countries.

The young generation not only needs professional perspectives and living wages, but also opportunities for participation. Young people will have to play a key role in defining the politics of the future: therefore, progressive parties invite young people to shape their future in the democratic realm and to ensure and enhance their democratic fundamental rights.

The Progressive Alliance supports a sustainable economic transformation of the African countries and a fair economic partnership: A socio-ecological transformation is only possible on the basis of fair trade relations. Participation in global value chains is a prerequisite for the creation of jobs and decent work; an economic transformation can only be achieved through sufficient protection of African industries, services and agriculture. Natural livelihoods for futures generations can only be ensured on the basis of sustainable policies aimed at protecting the climate and resources.

Together with the African Union we stand up against illegal financial flows and to reduce legal loopholes for the counterproductive outflow of financial means from Africa.

The Progressive Alliance advocates for decent working conditions, living wages and the right of trade unions to organise in local and multinational companies as the basis of sustainable economic and social development.

 

Impressions from Tbilisi

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Countries of EU Eastern Partnership – for a more democratic, more secure, more just and more sustainable future

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We, the Progressive Alliance, have gathered in Tbilisi, Georgia – one of the great cities of the Caucasus, a traditional meeting place for different nations and cultures, a city in which East and West, North and South have come together and left their very distinctive marks over the centuries, as well as a unique culture of tolerance. Here, we want to reaffirm our commitment to international and regional cooperation. Georgia in its history has always thrived when trade routes were open, peace was secured, and tolerance was practiced. Likewise, we believe that the sole path to global stability and prosperity can be found in international cooperation.

The countries of Eastern Partnership have received global attention in the last 30 years due to important social-political and economic transformation, and for continuing fight of societies for democracy and freedom. Constant strive of these countries towards establishing stronger democracies with more resilient societies and economic freedom is compromised by tragic and unresolved conflicts in the region. There is no alternative to peace and political negotiations over territorial conflicts based on the principles of international law, region’s traditions for tolerance and mutual respect, and shall be guided by the interests and well-being of the societies. The peaceful conflict resolution, however, is not being promoted by great power politics approach used by Russian Federation and by its covert or revealed role in inciting and sustaining conflicts.

In spite of challenges and geopolitical context the countries of Eastern Partnership, especially those having signed association agreements with the EU have also been a source of good news demonstrating remarkable democratic breakthrough, promoting progress and serving as source of inspiration worldwide. We welcome important democratic changes taking place in Armenia, that is the result of restless fight of the society for democracy and freedom.

Although populism and authoritarianism are seemingly on the rise globally, democracy is attractive and vibrant. It is an ideal worth fighting for, and we stand ready to continue the fight.

In their fight for a more democratic, more secure, more just and sustainable future, people in the countries of the Eastern Partnership are inspired by the example of the European Union. The EU – seen from the region – is a beacon of hope for many, a remarkable contrast to very different views currently held by many inside the EU. Progressive, social democratic and socialist parties from the EU should be encouraged by the EU enthusiasm so widespread in the countries of the Eastern Partnership to develop the European project further, expand its success stories, and combat its weaknesses. The process of EU integration, of co-operation between former enemies, has not lost its shining appeal outside of the EU – it is time to bring it back inside.