The Global Progressive Forum

Global Progressive Forum
[Note: whenever the word "progressive" appears in this article, think
of it in the same way as when someone describes cancer as

Copyright 2003 The Financial Times Limited  
Financial Times (London,England)
November 28, 2003, Friday USA Edition 1
New forum sets out to tackle inequality

website: The Global Progressive Forum is joint inititative of Party of European Socialists, the Parlimentary group of the PES and the Socilaist International From Mr Poul Nyrup Rasmussen. Sir, A new reform process to harness the energy of globalisation came into being this week with the inaugural meeting yesterday of the Global Progressive Forum. The forum will give progressive thinkers all over the world the opportunity to contribute to an emerging consensus on the need to shake up global governance. The new consensus is inclusive, drawing together international organisations, governments, economists, civil groups, business people and trade unionists, lawyers, academics and experts from other walks of life and from all regions of the world. They share the analysis that the appalling inequality in the world is a threat to people everywhere. Among problems it spawns are international terrorism, security threats, organised crime, the trafficking of human beings and the never-ending growth of the drugs trade. The world simply cannot continue to live on many layers - at the bottom a billion people struggling to survive without even access to clean water and at the top a wealthy few destroying the environment with their resource-hungry lifestyles. The forum and its website globalprogressiveforum are developing policy ideas to bridge divisions between peoples and countries. It recognises that globalisation inspires fear for culture, jobs, the environment and even identity and seeks to move concern from the level of street protest into policymaking forums. Some 1,500 participants and 150 speakers will take part in discussions over the next three days at the European parliament in Brussels. We know that we shall have to work patiently over many years to bring about the reforms that are needed. We must rethink the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and we must bring about change in the United Nations to strengthen the profile of our policy concerns. For example, we need to create a UN human development council, with status comparable with that of the existing Security Council, to tackle the world's worst social crises. If change is to happen, we need to build new alliances of progressive-minded people and organisations committed to the universal values of justice, solidarity, freedom and peace. Clearly, politicians will give a lead. But success will depend on transcending traditional party political lines and creating a new force for progress. We have five goals: * Securing the quality of human life for all * Preserving the environment and sustainable ways of living * Guaranteeing peace throughout the world in the face of old and new threats * Managing global migration and integrating immigrant populations in Europe * Deepening democracy at all levels, re-establishing a strong link between citizens and politics and reinforcing the capacity of public authorities to implement democratic choices, particularly at global governance level. Humanity has the means to achieve this vision. It is up to us to make it a reality. Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, Chairman, Global Progressive Forum (Danish Prime Minister, 1993-2001)