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We are deeply concerned that the current version of the Political Declaration lacks both clarity of vision and a sense of urgency. It does not reflect the Copenhagen spirit of hope and cooperation nor does it acknowledge the root causes of the profound moral and ethical crisis which we face in the light of the rising levels of poverty, the growing disparity between rich and poor and the escalating number of armed conflicts.

The follow-up to Copenhagen has not resulted in greater social justice for the poor, the unemployed and the excluded of the world. Ironically, social policy initiatives have constantly been held hostage to the prevailing market forces. Such dependence on the market for social development was called into question at the Social Summit. A....Social progress will not be realized simply through the free interaction of market forces. Public policies are necessary to correct market failures ....@ (Programme of Action, chapter 1, paragraph 6).

Globalization, also recognized at Copenhagen as impacting social development, has proceeded with unforeseen speed and created unprecedented crises, the causes and consequences of which are not sufficiently acknowledged in the Political Declaration. As the Secretary-General stated earlier this week in setting a direction for the United Nations in the new millennium: AA backlash has begun because [the] benefits [of globalization] are so unequally distributed and because the global market is not yet underpinned by shared social objectives.@ Globalization, without an underlying moral commitment to resource sharing, inclusiveness and building sustainable communities, cannot be considered positive progress for humankind.

We are concerned about the tendency to weaken the Political Declaration by deleting language which requires the transformation of words into serious and practical action. This exercise subsequently weakens the implementation of the Programme of Action. We appeal for renewed resolution in the Declaration for governments to take action. We affirm our conviction that for social development goals to be successfully achieved at the international level, they must be accompanied by the transformation of international financial institutions and other actors so that they are more accountable, transparent and participatory.

We call for an alternative vision of a global community whose interdependence is not reduced to trade and markets. We affirm our common destiny as co-inhabitants of the one earth for which we all share responsibility and from which we should all equitably benefit. We call for a change of heart which recognizes that real value cannot be expressed in monetary terms and that life - and that which is essential to sustain it - cannot be commodified. The role of the economy is to serve people, communities, and preserve the health of the earth. A moral vision calls for the full participation of diverse communities of poor and powerless people in the economic, social and political decisions which affect them. The aim of economic life should be to nurture sustainable, just and participatory communities. Building such communities will require nothing less than profound moral courage and the willingness to be open to new ways of living and working together.

The Ecumenical Team
5 April 2000 PTO


AFor Clarity of Vision, A Sense of Urgency and A Change of Heart@


(List in Formation)

  1. Arab NGO Network for Development, Ziad Abdel Samad
  2. Asian Centre for Organizational Research and Development, Kiron Wadhera
  3. Asociacion Ixacavaa de Desarrollo e Informacion Indigena/Costa Rica, Esther Camac Ramirez
  4. Botswana Council of NGOs, K. Moletsane
  5. Broederldk Delen/ Belgium, Bart Bode
  6. Citizen=s Coalition for Economic Justice/ Korea, Jong-Sung You
  7. Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, WCC Ecumenical Team
  8. Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepard, Clare Nolan
  9. Corporacion Regional/ Colombia, Alberto Yepes
  10. Danish Association for International Co-operation, Helle Dossing
  11. Danish United Nations Association, Holger Hansen
  12. Department of Welfare in South Africa, Tiro Holele
  13. Development Alternatives with Women in a New Era/South East Asia, Gigi Francisco
  14. Elizabeth Seton Foundation, Marie Elena Dio
  15. European Solidarity Towards Equal Participation of People, Mirjam van Reisen
  16. Freedom from Debt Coalition/ Philippines, Lidy Napil
  17. German NGO Forum on World Summit for Social Development, Jurgen Reichel
  18. Human Rights Internet, Juan Blanco
  19. Instituto del Tercer Mundo/ Uruguay, Patricia Garce
  20. International Association of Charities, S. Choppin De Janury
  21. International Council of Women, Emma Brossman
  22. International Council on Social Welfare, Julian Disney
  23. International Federation Terre des Hommes, Peter Eisenblaetter
  24. International Federation of University Women, Conchita Poncini
  25. International Movement ATD Fourth World, Diana Skelton
  26. International Research and Development Foundation, Alabas Metidi
  27. International Research Foundation for Development/ East Asia, Lee-in Chen Chiu
  28. International Union for Land Value Tax, Pat Aller
  29. Lutheran World Federation, Dennis Frado
  30. Maryknoll Fathers, Carrol Houle MM
  31. Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, Marie Dennis
  32. Maryknoll Sisters, Mary Duffy
  33. NGO Vincentian Community International, Richard J. Devine
  34. Norwegian People=s Aid Forum/ EuroStep, Gunttild Orstavik
  35. Office of Economic Justice, Women=s Division, GBGM/ UMC, Marilyn Clement
  36. Pax Christi International, Mary Evelyn Jegen
  37. Red de Educacion Popular Entre Mujeres, Celita Eccher
  38. Rural Reconstruction/ Nepal
  39. Save the Children Alliance, Turid Heiberg
  40. Service Decumenique pour la Pax/Cameroon, Giorgine Kengne Djeutane
  41. Sisters of Mercy
  42. Social Development Network, Edward Oyugi
  43. Social Watch, Roberto Bissio
  44. Society of the Divine Word, Lawrence Correa
  45. Swedish Red Cross, Ingrid Grahn
  46. The African Women Economic Policy Network/ Uganda, Hellen Wangusa
  47. The Norwegian Forum for Environment and Development, Ragnhild Tungesvik
  48. Third World Movement/ Africa, Zo Ramdriamaro
  49. Third World Network/Ghana, Yao Graham
  50. Women=s Environment and Development Organization, June Zeitlin
  51. Women=s Legal Aid Centre/ Tanzania, Rehema Kerefu
  52. World Wide Fund for Nature South Pacific Programme, Kesara Tabunakawai
  53. World Confederation of Labour, Paul Tennanssee
  54. United Nations Environment and Development/ UK Committee, Jasmin Enayati

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