By Emmaus International*
“It is not enough to take action, we must overcome, that is to say, take more action than the forces moving in the other direction”. Abbé Pierre
GENEVA (IDN) – The World Forum of Alternatives led by the most excluded was held in Geneva, Switzerland, from September 17-20, 2018 on the invitation of Emmaus International and its allies: movements led by people living in poverty and deprivation and victims of all types of discrimination.
The following is taken from the statement issued at the closing of the meeting.
“[The most excluded of the world] are speaking out. They want to keep using their voices, and will do so, expressing their determination not to submit to those who purport to speak for them or instead of them.
We reject the war declared against people living in poverty, the absolute rule of inequality, the domination of the “market” and profit, and the organised destruction of social safeguards which have been obtained through struggle.
We uphold the primacy of each person’s dignity as a universal right, unconditional welcome, and the power of sharing and solidarity. We have learned to give rather than receive.
We call for freedom and independence for all, so that each person can control their own life and participate in society, and we emphasise the central role of people living in poverty in the process of change.
We know that a fairer world is possible, one built on solidarity, equitable redistribution of wealth and respect for democracy.
We fight for social and environmental justice – in other words, a sustainable world; for an ethical economy based on solidarity which serves humankind; for peace and freedom of movement and residence with a view to establishing universal citizenship.
We call for local and national elected representatives and international and regional public institutions to gain awareness in order to reengage with their responsibilities to preserve the common good, and to stop supporting the pursuit of profit alone (multinationals, lobbies, etc.).
We urge citizens to reengage with decision-making bodies at all levels, to create new democratic practices.
We are meeting with dynamic forces and social movements which are fighting against all forms of exclusion, calling on the necessary alliances to effectively combat this.
* Created in 1971 by Abbé Pierre, Emmaus International is a solidarity-based movement, acting against poverty and exclusion. It brings together 350 associations in 37 countries, spread over 4 continents. Abbé Pierre (born Henri Marie Joseph Grouès), who was born in August 1912 and died in January 2007), was a French Catholic priest, member of the Resistance during World War II and deputy of the Popular Republican Movement (MRP).
Image credit: Emmaus International.
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