A 3-day event called “South-South People’s Solidarity Meetings” was held in Hanoi, hosted by the Vietnam Peace and Development Foundation (VPDF) and sponsored by ActionAid International.
The Meetings aimed at taking forward the decision on launching the South-South Solidarity Network and related discussions at the various regional, inter-continental and social forums, notably the Nairobi World Social Forum in January 2007.
Mme Nguyễn Thị Bình, VPDF President, addressed the general opening and closing sessions.
Attended by invited guests and representatives of social movements and people’s organizations from 23 Asian, African and Latin American countries, the Meetings lasted from September 21 to 24, 2007.
They consisted of a South–South Solidarity Co-ordination Meeting, a Conference on Promotion of People’s Alternatives, and a Workshop on “Agriculture under WTO”. A special panel presentation, “Vietnam on the road of renewal towards socialism”, was conducted on this occassion.
The participants had an intensive discussion and exchange of analyses of the current world situation and challenges faced by peoples of the South, ways of co-ordination and promotion of South-South people’s solidarity, issues to be addressed and a forthcoming plan of activities.
The Meetings adopted a list of issues for joint research, including:
• Democratization and people’s power;
• Land and agriculture;
• Knowledge and intellectual property;
• Ecology and climate justice.
They agreed on a plan of work, including:
• organization of the Network’s participation in and support for the Meeting of 200 of WPA in Caracas in October 2008;
• preparation for and organization of a forum in the WSF 2009 to promote the researched alternatives;
• conduct of exchanges with Latin America on issues related to farmers’ movement and democracy./.
The Meetings adopted a Declaration saying notably:
“The Bandung conference stands out as a significant landmark in the history of South-South Solidarity against colonial and neo-colonial expressions of imperial subjugation of the South. It signifies a great contribution to the many victories of the peoples of Asia and Africa in their struggles for sovereignty, self- determination and national independence...
Humankind entering the 21st century is facing more challenges. Peace, security and national sovereignty are being encroached upon by imperialist policies of aggression and intervention, unilateralism, arms race, terror, ethnic strife and religious conflicts. Neo-liberalism is being imposed and spread in all continents, fostering economic domination, control and exploitation, furthering inequality, and worsening the situation of working people. The international political and economic order imposed by imperialist powers has further restrained national and people’s sovereignty, practicing unfair trade, pushing nations of the South into the “race to the bottom”. Control by capital over media and politics has further concentrated political power in the hands of only a few in many societies. Environmental degradation, climate change, epidemics, and HIV/AIDS are posing serious threats to the existence of humanity. While fundamental human rights are being persistently deprived, new dimensions of rights violations have emerged. Countries and peoples of the South have been the first victims.
Many societies of the South today, to various degrees, are in a much better position to face the challenges of the domination of the North than they were fifty years ago when they still were deprived of industries and technological capabilities. Today they can develop their own path of development and technological capabilities. Today there is a large room for developing significant South-South cooperation in trade and technology. In certain countries, the achievements of the struggle against capitalist globalization, rising in Asia, Africa and Latin America, opened a new hope for realization of the people’s aspirations.
People’s demands for progressive change have been growing. Nevertheless, while domination and exploitation are being expanded, intensified and globalized, the people’s struggle is still fragmented and even divided at different levels. Thus, there is an urgent need for renewed solidarity and unity of the people of the South in the struggle for a better world.
The social organizations and movements represented at Africa-Asia Solidarity processes before and during the Indian Social Forum in Delhi, India in November 2006 and the World Social Forum in Nairobi, Kenya, in January, 2007 have decided to launch the South-South Solidarity Network to promote this objective. The South-South solidarity network is open to all progressive people’s organizations, movements and individuals from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America striving for a world of peace, security, equality, dignity and human-centered sustainable development. While we welcome the contribution of progressive governments and commit to working with them in achieving fundamental changes in the world, we are committed to building solidarity from below and to maintaining our autonomy as people’s movements.
The South-South People’s Solidarity Network aims to further exchanges of information and experience among its members, promoting joint researches on people’s alternatives to neo-liberal globalization and facilitating networking for joint actions.
We call upon all progressive organizations, movements and individuals from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America to join us in strengthening South-South people’s solidarity in the common struggle for justice, peace, security, cultural identity, environmental sustainable development, national independence and peoples’ sovereignty, democracy and social progress, for a better world for all”./.