Global Social Justice is an initiative aimed at producing, collecting and distributing information about global social development and redistribution. Our aim is to promote global social justice that goes beyond poverty reduction and can tackle global inequality. It will imply to re-think development, solidarity and rights.
Today’s world has unsustainable income inequalities and globalization is thriving on them. They threaten political and social stability and are barriers to the free movement of peoples. Solutions will involve national as well as global responsibilities.
Social justice is a global public good for which the international community is responsible, while national governments remain the major actors for concretely organizing social protection. This initiative should help to promote global income redistribution in a better way than the current development cooperation policies. Obviously, it is based on the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the International Covenant for Economic, Social and Cultural rights, as well as the Right to Development.
To-day, all major international development organizations have adopted a social protection agenda, while many ideological differences remain. We more particularly welcome the ILO Recommendation on social protection floors, which is the initiative that best answers the real needs of workers and people in general.
There is a real risk however that only a minimal implementation will be possible, while the concept of social protection is being eroded by initiatives that hardly go beyond poverty reduction. We therefore want to work on a new concept, which the 'social commons'. This points to the fact that all human beings have identical needs, even if there solutions may be different. It also points to the necessary collective dimension of social protection, based on rights and solidarity. In this way, social protection can become a tool for systemic change.
We want to pay attention to all initiatives that can promote the emergence of a world where every human being not only has enough to eat, a roof over her head, education and health services, but also work, social protection and a healthy environment. It means that states should have the resources for implementing all necessary policies. Therefore, it is necessary to globalize solidarity.
We also want to pay attention to all new initiatives that go beyond traditional 'development' thinking and seek to achieve totally new policies and practices, such as the 'buen vivir' in Latin America.
Special attention will be paid to the issue of global taxes in order to organize a global redistribution of income.
This initiative has been taken by Francine Mestrum, researcher working at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, activist and member of the International Council of the World Social Forum.
A support group is now in the making, and already includes:
François Houtart, founder of CETRI (Centre Continental), and co-founder of the World Forum for Alternatives and the World Social Forum.
Pedro Paez, member of the Ecuador Commission for the Bank of the South, ex minister of Economic Policy coordination and ex member of the 'Stiglitz Commission'.
Marleen Temmerman, Professor at the University of Ghent (Belgium) and member of the Belgian Senate.
Oscar Ugarteche, researcher at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México.
Gorik Ooms, former chairman of Doctors without Borders (Belgium) and researcher at the Institute for Tropical Medicine in Antwerp
Gus Massiah, former chairman of CRID, Centre de Recherche et d'information pour le développement.
Christophe Aguiton, researcher and union activist, co-founder of ATTAC France.
Demba Moussa Dembele, director of the Forum for African Alternatives, Dakar.
Peter Wahl, WEED, Germany
Membership of this group does not imply agreement with the ideas promoted on this website, but indicates a moral support for the search for global alternatives and social justice.