The Global Progressive Forum
by Charles Lemos, Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 11:31:15 PM EDT
The Global Progressive Forum (GPF) is a common initiative of the Party of European Socialists along with its political group in the European Parliament, and the Socialists International. The GPF sprang up from the success of the first World Social Forum held in January 2001 in Porto Alegre, in Brazil. The Global Progressive Forum aims to bring together a diversity of peoples from Africa, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, India, and Latin America to discuss and propose alternatives to the negative aspects of the current globalization process which specifically affects the developing world.
As the G-20 wraps up in London, another global forum is about to get underway in Brussels. The Global Progressive Forum (GPF) will bring together progressive politicians, trade unionists, NGOs, academics and figures from major international institutions from five continents to develop a new vision of a globalized world which benefits all of humanity not just a select few. The GPF will take place in the European Parliament and will be opened by former US President Bill Clinton.
The Global Progressive Forum will feature debates and discussions on the issues of global governance, trade, financial markets, fair labour markets, migration and climate change, all aimed at coordinating global answers to the multitude of global crises that we face.
The problems we face are global problems and the solutions require input from the breadth of humanity. Neo-liberalism has failed. It has created great wealth but for whom? The top 0.1% of income earners in the US have increased their share of the national income from just under 2% in 1978 to over 6% by 2005, In Britain, the top 1% of income earners have more than doubled their share of the national income since 1979 to 13%. Globally, social inequality is far worse today than it was in 1960. Clearly, we are headed in the wrong direction.
Neo-liberal market fundamentalism was always a political doctrine serving certain class interests. Its failure should be self-evident. As of 2005, eighty countries had lower per capita incomes than at the end of the 1980s when the neo-liberal agenda was in full swing. The record is even worse when we consider that the average per capita measure obscures the growing inequality and endemic poverty evident in all of these countries. Poverty in most countries is rising because: debt payments to foreign financiers continue to eat up a major part of the income the country earns through exports each year; foreign investment is not creating the needed jobs; and, tax forgiveness and incentives to transnational corporations deplete local social spending budgets, just as they do increasingly in the developed countries. Poverty remains a moral imperative and an urgent one at home and abroad.