The challenges of today’s world are manifold and in many countries around the world the state of emergency has become a normal condition. We see this for example in the current refugee crisis and the spread of global terrorism and religious extremism. On the other hand there are also positive developments: at no point in human history have we seen such a high number of democracies around the globe! With more and more countries becoming democratic and at the same time being confronted with challenges like the rise of terrorism, extremism and armed conflict, we progressives have to offer policy solutions that foster global cooperation rather than confrontation, embrace diversity and create a climate of inclusion and social justice in a globalising world.
The challenges of the recent years differ fundamentally from the economic shocks of past decades. This is mainly due to the coincidence of diverse crises: the impact of the financial and economic crises is exacerbated by their concurrence with a comprehensive environmental crisis and the absence of social justice, ending time and again in limitless violence – be it in the form of terrorism or civil wars. The prevailing development models and their economic and consumption patterns as well as their cultural and societal orders are exhausted in many places.
The centremost objectives of progressive policies with a global aspiration are to prevent conflicts and create and maintain peace. As progressive forces we want to use our means and capabilities to foster peace and development. We must act earlier and more decisively and effectively. We are acting on the principles of understanding and international solidarity as well as joint development and security through cooperation. We are convinced that the laws of the jungle must be reined in by the power of law and justice.
- In order to achieve peace in the world it is necessary to reinforce common interests, alliances and organisations. It is for this reason that we advocate expanding and reforming the United Nations as the supreme stage of a global order. The United Nations is the central player in creating and keeping peace. We do not know when and where the next crisis will erupt. We do, however, know that the ability to respond must be strengthened and the crisis policy instruments broadened. Especially women and children are suffering the most from violence in armed conflicts. Therefore conflict prevention and solution have to include measures for women and children as it is set out to UN Resolution 1325. In addition to strengthening the United Nations we must – wherever necessary – consider the development of new international and regional structures, for example to counteract the unbridled rearmament or the ongoing human made climate change.
- Democratic constitutional systems can do more than authoritarian regimes to resist the mounting pressures of a globalised world. Democracies are more resilient because they can regulate conflicts peacefully through participation. The power of democracy is based on its ability for innovation and the attraction of its social model which promises freedom, prosperity and the rule of law. But we need to take action to promote our democratic values, especially in the face of authoritarian regimes.
- Respect for human rights is the cornerstone of human dignity and peace and justice. In the changing world of today it is important to continue to underline that human rights are universal and indivisible. Whether it is about civil and political rights, such as the right to life, quality before the law and freedom of expression; or social economic rights, such as right to work, social security and education: we stand hand in hand with human rights defenders and people that are deprived from human rights.
- Peace is more than the absence of war. We are convinced that permanent peace is only possible by overcoming the structural causes of conflict such as hunger, poverty and inequality, but also issues like tax evasion and radical extremism. The future struggles of the world will be primarily determined by disputes over social issues, concerning a just distribution between richer and the poorer nations and even more so by the dispute over the blatant and increasing social disparities within societies. Above all, many people’s lack of access to productive and decent work and social security is an increasingly serious problem. Extreme inequality, gender inequality, corruption and lack of opportunities lead to social tensions which in turn fan resentments, drive people to flee their homes and increasingly jeopardise the domestic peace of many countries.
The crucial question of our time is whether the 21st century will bring peace and justice to all or whether it will lead to embittered distribution struggles and raging violence. We are convinced that peace, sustainable progress and social justice are possible in a global age. And together with the majority of mankind, we are prepared to join the political fight– for a new agenda for peace and justice!
In the framework of the campaign “For a New Agenda for Peace and Justice” the Progressive Alliance will organize an exchange on these topics in all major regions of the world in 2016 and 2017 and include trade unions and the progressive civil society, as it was done in the last campaign on “Decent Work Worldwide”.
In addition to the programmatic discussion on Peace and Justice we will continue to give active support to all those who are at the risk of oppression and persecution. History has shown us: Our strength as progressive, social democratic and socialist forces is based on international solidarity.
In order to ensure that our progressive agenda becomes a political reality we need to win elections. Therefore, apart from solidarity actions and programmatic discussions, we will especially continue the exchange on progressive campaigning and party organization.