One World Action

Linked with womankind worldwide, with Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (mostly named Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women), and with CEDAW in San Francisco.

  • Our VISION is of a Just and Equal World, where there is no need for One World Action.
  • Our MISSION is to create the power and opportunity for the poorest citizens to transform their own lives, and to challenge the international policies that maker and keep people poor
  • To this end, we provide funding, expertise and practical support to partner organisations committed to strengthening the democratic process and improving people’s lives in poor and developing countries … (full text who we are).

international conference on CEDAW (the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) on November 11 at the Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Yard Inn, London …
… For more information on the conference, please get in touch with Marie by e-mail mailto:mbirchall@oneworldaction.org or at 020 78337 311. (see more on Homepage).

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Address and map: One World Action, Bradley’s Close, 74-77 White Lion St., London N1 9PF, United Kingdom;
Contact.

What we do /The Missing Goal: Putting democracy at the heart of development.  

Our world is at a crossroads: will we in this 21st Century follow a path to peace, justice and progress – or to increasing inequality, conflict, gender violence and disaster? Our world has never been richer, yet the gap between rich and poor is widening – why is that? International development has risen up the political agenda, but it is more associated with Bono than with the systematic exclusion and disempowerment of citizens worldwide.

The 2005 Make Poverty History campaign broadened UK public support, but failed to deepen it – and politics was left out. There are signs of public impatience with inaction and failure of governments and leaders to make change happen in an increasingly affluent and divided world that leaves 1 billion people living on less than a US$1 a day, women systematically excluded by violence and discriminations, and a child dying every 3 seconds from preventable causes. Increasingly, the value of the contribution of non-government organisations (NGOs) is also being questioned.

There has been a plethora of mostly government initiatives – the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Commission on Africa, the G8’s 2005 promises on debt relief and more aid, the Global Fund on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. But the fundamental issue – that poverty is caused by lack of power and voice – is ignored.

This lack of voice – of functioning, accountable and inclusive politics and democracy – is the Missing Goal that is undermining achievement of the official MDGs. Only by explicitly addressing power imbalances, by bringing democratic politics back into the discourse and practice, and by joining citizens South and North in a common struggle, can a just and equal world be achieved.

The PROBLEM:

  • Poverty is rooted in exclusion from power and participation; lack of food, of access to education, of clean water and sanitation – these are symptoms.
  • Changing the balance of power towards the most marginalised – sustainable, democratic development – is a political process; to pretend otherwise is dishonest.
  • Yet politics and the views of citizens are often ignored in development “solutions”, and citizens often do not know their rights, or are even treated as “non-citizens”.
  • Women are systematically excluded, through violence and other barriers. 70% of those living on $1 a day are women – this isn’t coincidence.
  • Without inclusive politics, accountable government and women’s rights, the most marginalised citizens – disabled people, people living with HIV/AIDS, urban poor – will continue to have their rights denied.

Our SOLUTION:

  • Change happens when citizens know and claim their rights, and hold their elected representatives and public officials to account at all levels.
  • We must seek, therefore, to make sure people know their rights, and to create the democratic spaces where they can engage with their governments –local, municipal, national – to exercise those rights.
  • People are their own best advocates; we must not presume to speak for excluded people, but to support them in creating spaces to speak.
  • To achieve real change, we must work in both the South and the North, because decisions made in the rich North – on aid, trade, foreign policy – have direct impact on those in the South.
  • Citizens South and North ultimately have common cause in creating a just and equal world, and by working together in networks, people’s organisations, representative political parties and social movements we can succeed.

Our Strategic AIM for 2013 – We will put democracy at the heart of development: … (full long text what we do).

Links:

CEDAW Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women alias Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, also described: on wikipedia; on UN.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/; on OHCHR; and on Bayefsky.com.

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