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A Call to Renew the Foundation of the Alliance

Let Us Face up to the Challenges of Our Time Together. Let Us Build an Alliance for a Responsible, Plural and United World

Whereas the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall foretold of a new organization of the world, founded on international multilateralism based on law and democracy, we have been plunged into a completely different scenario. That of the undivided rule of the American Empire over the rest of the world. Neoliberal globalization is spreading its tentacles out unceasingly, reaching every last corner of the planet and doing nothing but aggravating inequalities between the rich and the poor, and between the North and the South. This early twenty-first century scenario—become even more explicit after the September 11, 2001events—is marked by the passage from neoliberal globalization (in which the will for power was hindered by the Cold War) to neo-imperial globalization (in which the logic of war is added to the logic of competition, laying bare the interests of the United States and their allies).

The twenty-first century will have to be one of great transformations. Changes in our way of thinking, feeling, producing, consuming, being together, and governing ourselves. Every man and woman knows this but feels overwhelmed by his or her helplessness and isolation. It is against this helplessness that we need to react and this reaction is coming from all over the world in many forms.

The encouraging sign of our time is indeed that world resistance is progressively organizing. Its particular manifestation is the emergence of a civil society displaying its growing importance on the occasion of every World Social Forum and the other Regional Social Forums.

Committed to a logic of resistance and also of proposals, we have contributed to building an Alliance for a Responsible, Plural and United World.* This Alliance is a network of individuals and institutions convinced of the need to form alliances in order to face up to the new challenges. It stands for the pluralism of ideas in the debate and against hegemony and sectarian practices, and it has assumed the responsibility of always providing, along with its denunciations, proposals for transformation and change.

For years, this Alliance has contributed to raising awareness among the budding global civil society of the need to think of viable alternatives to the neoliberal and imperial model of society. It did its duty by contributing, along with many networks and citizens’ alliances, to the promotion of responsibility, solidarity, and plurality, values that are threatened today by the logic of war and confrontation.

How can we continue to advocate these values without underestimating the existing power struggles? How can the logic of peace be made to progress in the face of pre-emptive wars and different forms of terrorism?
How can a global and democratic governance be implemented at a time when multilateralism is at a standstill?

How can we take the democratic debate to greater depths within civil-society organizations themselves as well as within political systems everywhere in the world?
How we implement the alternative proposals drawn up by citizens’ networks and alliances?

The questions raised before us today are that many challenges that we must face up to together. In this perspective, building a new foundation for an Alliance for a Responsible, Plural and United World constitutes a historic opportunity to be seized. The Alliance is neither an institution, nor a political party, nor a traditional organization; it is a network to discuss and draw up proposals and other forms of exchange; it is a place open to anyone willing to start up social and political dynamics for change; it is a way of taking down the barriers among different initiatives and promoting bonds to build another globalization; it is a worldwide adventure of men and women for humankind to move onward in its progress.

The Alliance finds its meaning through our individual and collective commitments. Together, we must think of ways to make this dynamics tangible, ambitious, and adapted to the local and global challenges we are all facing. We must imagine and design a collective project in which innovation and action are connected. Only our collective capacity to formulate projects for the short, medium, and long term can guarantee the valuable autonomy we need. We therefore owe it to ourselves to set up mechanisms that will guarantee both our moral and material independence, and our cohesion and durability.

This is why we are launching this call today. Our proposal is to build the next stage of the Alliance for a Responsible, Plural and United World jointly by taking part in an open, collective discussion that will help us perceive the scope of our diversity and aspirations to make of this world a place of peace.

- 1) This paper was written as a result of a work session at the meeting that took place in Barcelona in June 2003, on the basis of contributions and comments from Siddhartha (India), Laurent Fraisse (France), Elisabeth Bourguinat (France), Paul Makedonski (Peru), Hamilton Faria (Brazil), Nadia Leila Aïssaoui (Algeria/Lebanon), Germà Pelayo (Catalonia/France), Arturo Palma (Chili/France), Heloisa Primavera (Argentina).
- 2) Your reactions and responses will determine whether we open an electronic forum to gather debates, comments, and proposals.

* Set up in 1994 with the support of an independent international foundation under Swiss law, the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation for the Progress of Humankind (FPH).

Themes involved

-The Alliance story
-Think tank

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