18 September 2020
Political Statement for the United Nations General Assembly in New York, 21-24 September 2020
For a New, Fair and Inclusive Multilateralism
The world is entering a dangerous period. After a hyper-globalist and neoliberal agenda that has brought about two global crises, one financial and the other an environmental and health crisis that is still unfolding, we are now on the way to another new crisis, climate change, which could have devastating effects on the human life of this planet.
These are global crises which hit everybody, but particularly those who are more vulnerable, by deepening the existing social inequalities inside countries, between countries and between generations. Poverty is still a plague everywhere, but it is so in some countries and regions more than others. Many in the recent young generations have been condemned to a life without future. Our world is vulnerable, unbalanced and unfair.
Yet solutions to redress these imbalances and to overcome these crises exist and are stronger than ever. The current revolutions in several scientific domains, and the multiplication of digital tools, offer extraordinary possibilities to build a society of wellbeing for all and a harmonious relationship with nature and the planet in accordance with the UN 2030 Agenda. Our mass of financial resources has never been bigger, but it remains more and more concentrated in the hands of an ultra-rich oligarchy that benefits from tax havens and sophisticated tax-avoidance schemes provided by banks and tax regulations.
National States remain basic nests for protection, but they are now too weak to put all this scientific and financial potential to the service of their own citizens and of humankind and the planet as a whole.
The time has come for the citizens of the world, wherever they are, to raise their voices and call for a new system of international cooperation that is based on common values and rules, and that can count on a much stronger political legitimacy and effectiveness to respond to common challenges.
It is only this voice of the citizens of the world that can put an end to the current dispute between the neoliberal hyper-globalists, on the one hand, who have failed dismally but who still hold powerful positions, and the sirens of national-populism, on the other hand, who call for a return to closed, xenophobic, mesogenic, selfish and authoritarian positions which are completely retrograde and unacceptable.
2020 must be the year for citizens of the world, whatever their nationality, culture or credo, and with the two halves of humankind, women and men, to reclaim their lives, their planet and their future, and to launch an agenda for a 21st century multilateralism – a new, fair and inclusive and multilateralism based on the SGDs
– New, in order to address not only the permanent challenges of peace, human rights and development but also the new global challenges of climate change, pandemics, scarce resources, digital transformation and cybersecurity
– Fair, in order to eradicate poverty and overcome the current social inequalities, within and between countries, and between generations, in their access to global public goods such as education, health care and environmental quality.
– Inclusive, in order to represent the whole of humankind on an equal footing, thus creating a real sense of common belonging and democratic participation, involving all relevant actors from international and regional organisations to a large range of civil society stakeholders
In its Statement adopted on the 18th of September 2020, the Board of the Progressive Alliance asserts the following objectives and priorities:
- We want human life, human dignity and human rights for all human beings without distinction. This should translate into access to key public goods in the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals and their interconnection between social, economy, ecology, institutions and society. We call for:
– a new Social Contract, providing universal access to health care, education and social protection and environmental quality for all citizens, to be included and financed as a priority in the national SDG plans
– the recovery plans for the Covid-19 crisis to make these objectives their priority, to be co-financed by public investment at national, regional and international levels
– the One Health principle to be applied to all workplaces in order to ensure healthy and safe working conditions and reduce sources of pollution
– the UN Global Humanitarian Response and the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to be given more financial resources and to count on stronger coordination between UN Agencies
– the vaccines against pandemics to be attributed the statute of vital global goods, thus ensuring universal access and public subvention for their costs from research to dissemination.
- We want our economies to ensure the response to vital needs and to provide a renewed basis for full employment while remaining open to free and fair trade. Our economies should. We call for:
– recovery plans that protect companies and jobs while creating new employment in vital supply chains, that address new social needs, and that promote innovation to transform our economies into greener and inclusive ones fully aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals
– a just transition as a process with strong Trade Union and workers representation involvement and resulting in well-being, inclusion and decent work for all
– these recovery plans to be financed with greater mobilisation of investment in accordance with sustainable finance standards, and to be publicly co-financed from public budgets that count on new sources of taxation, notably digital, financial, carbon and wealth taxes
– big companies, multinationals and financial capital must contribute their fair share to public finance as people have paid enough, in the recent past, for crisis they did not provoke
– the debt of highly indebted countries to be suspended, provided they align their policies with the SDGs, good governance and the non-use of tax havens
– the WTO trade negotiations to be relaunched with the ambition of creating real opportunities to upgrade the social, environmental and technological standards of all countries.
- We want to reverse the current trends towards a very worrying climate change by engaging in a deep transformation of the way we consume, move and produce. We call for:
– a worldwide commitment to fully implement the Paris Agreement on climate change
– a coordinated phasing-out of all subsidies to highly polluting companies, and a massive investment in renewable energies counting on the support of the Green Climate Fund
– the transformation of all supply chains, from farm to fork, to provide affordable, accessible, healthy food for all as a matter of multilateral regulation
– a change in our urban life towards low carbon houses and affordable public transport by launching large investment programmes which can create many new jobs
– a renewed attention to peripheral and rural areas in order to stop the unsustainable exodus towards big city centres and metropolises
– a multilateral framework to be developed to manage and share the costs of our global commons of biodiversity, forests and oceans.
- We want to make the best of the current digital revolution and prevent its misuses in our personal, working, cultural and political life. We call for:
– access to digital literacy and to internet connections to become generalised and free, and big data as a common good
– basic social rights to be established for all platform workers in the world
– an innovation policy in all countries to support SMEs and clusters in responding to local needs with tailor-made solutions and apps
– a global digital tax to be imposed on big online platforms in order to finance education and social protection for the digital era
– common international standards that frame the use of big data and artificial intelligence, and that block all manipulations against our common values
– a global initiative to develop artificial intelligence in order to improve governance at all levels.
- We want a safe, secure and peaceful life, preventing old and new risks of tensions and conflicts. We call for:
– a more effective control of weapons of mass destruction, with concrete disarmament commitments
– a global common framework to ensure cybersecurity
– a more effective international system to monitor interference in our democratic life
– stronger means to be given to UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations that combine security, development, governance and human rights, and that are supported by the Peacebuilding Fund.
- We want our democratic life to be based on a fundamental principle of no discrimination between human beings, and on a fundamental principle of full gender equality by empowering women in all fields and at all levels. We call for:
– this anti-discrimination principle to be included in all legal systems and in all educational and public communication programmes and human rights violations to be scrutinised with stronger means
– compulsory measures to be introduced to ensure gender balance on all public and private boards and in all public administration services at international, regional, national and local levels
– full access to reproductive rights, and full and strong protection against violence to women and girls
– compulsory mainstreaming of gender balance in all public policies and budget, including care services and social protection
– joined-up approaches to migration, protection and sustainable development in order to create a win-win situation between origin and host regions and global governance according to the UN Migration Compact
- We want future generations to have hope, and to be confident and creative, with a strong sense of human solidarity and of care for their planet. We call for:
– the eradication of child poverty to be a central priority in all sectorial policies, from heath, education and housing to asylum and migration
– each young person to be given a real chance of obtaining a springboard job or access to further skills, as well as access to all fundamental social rights. This should be considered as the central pillar for the renewal of our societies through:
– submitting all political solutions to future-proof tests conducted by intergenerational panels where young people should be in the majority
– extending young people’s access to international collaboration programmes, and to social networks in all fields, as a powerful way to strengthen their sense of global citizenship.
- We want to develop a global civil society that strives for common global causes. We call for:
– a stronger involvement of organised civil society in the High-Level Political Forum to take into account those directly affected by policy implementation
– global networks and partnerships to be encouraged to participate in the whole policy cycle in the multilateral system, from identifying new problems, to designing new solutions, to implementing and assessing them
– A World Citizens Initiative (WCI) to be an instrument that allows citizens to submit proposals to the UN General Assembly, while advanced digital platforms should be developed to facilitate the dissemination process and the online signature collection system
– new media instruments to be created that can build between national debates on international issues in order to develop an international public sphere.
- We want an updated UN system that reflects the political and social composition of today’s world and that ensures a more coherent and consistent global governance. We call for:
– stronger UN competences for norm-setting and capacity-building in the health, social, environmental and digital arenas, and in immigration
– a more systematic interaction between the UN system and other multilateral organisations, notably regional organisations using democratic procedures, with these regional organisations also being given a more explicit role in the UN General Assembly, ECOSOC and Security Council
– an inter-parliamentary network to be set up, involving representatives from the national parliaments of UN members and from regional organisations, as an additional consultation mechanism, and a regular exchange of views on the main issues on the UN agenda
– the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO to count on leading teams that reflect today’s world composition and that are part of the UN system
- developing countries to be given the means for a stronger voice and role in the UN system
- a Global New Deal that rebalances the world for a more democratic, fair and sustainable order to be the overarching goal of the negotiation of new global solutions in the various policy fields.
In today’s world, this Global New Deal should start as a Health, Social and Green Deal!