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Global Forum goal: a model of development where all are included

Por Laurence Pantin

Representatives of the organizing committee of The Global Forum: Financing the Right to Sustainable Equitable Development welcomed this morning about 1000 participants and members of 700 NGOs gathered to find alternatives to the neo-liberal model of development.

Paul Tennassee, representative of World Confederation of Labor before the UN and member of the International Support Committee expressed his displeasure with the so-called Monterrey Consensus and the need to resist the current unjust global order, promoting labor and environmental standards, gender equality and human rights.

The Forum´s goal is not only to influence the Monterrey consensus, but to go further and propose an alternate model of development where all are included, said Laura Frade, a member of the Mexico Organizing Committee and of the Women`s Eyes on the Multinationals Latin American Campaign.

Denouncing the market`s anarcho-dictatorship, Frade rejected the “anti-globalization” label and said she assumes the role of globalization critic. Civil society is not against a globalization that is inclusive, but against a globalization that asphyxiates, she added.

Debt forgiveness will be one of the Forum´s demands, Tennassee said. Other demands include more aid to the least developed countries. Aid is not alms and the rich should give to the poor because they recognize other people can help them become more humane, wrote Helio Gallardo, professor of political philosophy in Costa Rica in a message read to the audience.

In another message read to the audience, UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Mary Robinson recalled that the right to development is a human right, and she expressed her confidence that participants in the Global Forum would defend it during the UN conference on financing for development.

The Global Forum`s opening ceremony took place in the Coca Cola Auditorium of the Fundidora Park, where former workers of the now-closed Fundidora steel company were invited to participate in the renaming ceremony of the auditorium. Instead of bearing the name of a multinational, it should carry the name of Monterrey´s steel, said former-worker Jesus Medellin.

The ceremony concluded with the installation of a Peace Post. This symbol is important, according to Patricia Hume, a member of the Mexico Organizing Committee, to avoid that financing for development be used in the war against terrorism, as some officials have started to do in the last few days, arguing that terrorism is a consequence of poverty.

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