Issues

GCAP challenges the institutions and processes that perpetuate poverty and inequality across the world by working on the following 7 themes.

Public Accountability and Just Governance
Women's Rights and Gender justice
Trade Justice
Debt Cancellation
Aid and Financing for Development
Climate Justice
Peace and Security

Aid

Aid for development

GCAP believes rich donor governments and international institutions must urgently provide the major increase in the quantity and quality of resources necessary for the eradication of poverty and promote social justice, the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, gender equality and guarantee the rights of children and youth. These resources must also support sustainable development, workers’ rights, migrants’ rights and the interests of marginalized groups including indigenous peoples. Resources must work to rebuild, not undermine governments and the public sector, enabling them to deliver on the rights of their citizens.

We call on donor governments and international institutions to:

Climate Justice

Children planting

GCAP campaigners commit to keep the importance of poverty relief at the forefront of the debate on climate change. They will do this by raising awareness via national coalitions in rich and poor countries and ensuring that action is taken by the international community and national governments to address climate change and its impact on people living in poverty.

GCAP fights the structural determinants and causes of poverty and challenges the institutions and processes that perpetuate poverty and inequality across the world. GCAP believes that climate change represents one of the greatest threats to people and the planet and must be tackled with urgency.

The GCAP Montevideo Communique, May 2007 states: "The lives and livelihoods of millions are being steadily destroyed by denying them rights over land, water, forest, natural resources and energy. Climate Change is exacerbating this. Floods, droughts, famine and conflicts resulting from climate change also threaten the development goals for billions of the world's poorest people. Action by the international community and national governments is required to address climate change and its impacts in particular on people living in poverty."

Watch the Climate Justice Hearings & Video!

Debt Cancellation

GCAP's position on debt is clear – it should be cancelled non-selectively and unconditionally. The non-selectivity principle is a particularly important one. Indeed, the criteria for deciding that Uganda and not Kenya gets debt relief are entirely arbitrary and illogical. Given the paltry nature of the debt relief offered at the G8 – it leaves Africa with over $200bn of debt and annual repayment obligations far exceeding the scale of the debt relief – we cannot afford to take our eyes off the debt ball. The issue of debt is not so much what we demand but whom we address with what messages. GCAP demands

We call on donor Governments and International Institutions to:

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PHOTO CREDIT: Damien du Toit

Millennium Development Goals

School boys cheer for the Millennium Development Goals

At the Millennium Summit in September 2000, member states of the United Nations unanimously adopted the Millennium Declaration and reaffirmed their commitment to addressing the global challenges of creating a just, shared, peaceful and prosperous world. This Declaration originated from a series of international summits and conferences in the 1990s through which the United Nations sought to renew its global agenda in the post-cold war era. The Declaration contained numerous commitments to enhance the future of humanity in the new century. The United Nations Secretariat subsequently drafted the list of eight objectives, each with a set of targets and specific indicators.

Peace and Security

Children showing their white bands

 

Violent conflicts around the world are consistently increasing the number of displaced persons and refugees around the world. Although not limited to developing countries, the impacts of conflicts on countries with high levels of poverty and inequality are particularly pronounced. Indeed, the inter-linkage between peace and poverty (i.e. the influence of lack of security on increasing poverty and unemployment on one hand and the influence of poverty and social marginalisation on possibilities for instability and conflict) has been discussed in the declaration resulting from the 2010 UN MDGs Review Conference. In this context, the international community discussed foreign occupation as a major obstacle to the realization of the Millennium Development Goals for peoples living under such occupation, and thus the need to take concrete and concerted actions in conformity with international law to remove such obstacles. 

 

GCAP has called attention to the centrality of peace and security in the Millennium Declaration and adopted related language in the Beirut and Montevideo Declarations. The International Day of Peace (September 21st) is also one of the identified mobilization days for the global alliance. GCAP will continue to play an active role in creating awareness through an early warning system, in providing timely information to the global community and in providing support to the victims and engaging with the governments and other factions for peace cannot be over-emphasized. At the regional and global levels, GCAP will direct its efforts towards providing solidarity, exerting global pressure and using their influence to get global responses to solve violent confrontations. 

GCAP will work to ensure: 

  • Control of military spending and corruption, domestic violence, crime, and military occupation 

  • Social inclusion of indigenous communities; and control of xenophobia and racism 

  • Protection of human rights work, civil society space and right to information; de-criminalisation of activism, control of political repression 

  • Accountability within the extractive industries, and environmental accounting, such as adding biodiversity to national measures of wealth 

  • Social and Economic security, including the right to decent work, food and health 

Towards this end we will act to: 

  • Join hands with other relevant networks in tracking and responding to the submission of the draft Declaration on Right of Peoples to Peace in Jan 2011 

  • Collaborate with women’s and peace movements to review the implementation of Resolution 1325 on the ground 

  • Ensure that campaigning on aid will include the review and critically highlight military goals and spending undertaken as part of foreign aid 

By 2014, these actions will result in: 

  • Information campaigns on the Declaration on the Right of People’s to Peace’ will be undertaken across GCAP regional coalitions 

  • Specific processes to strengthen Resolution 1325 will be undertaken across 10 countries 

  • An analysis of aid related military expenditure will be undertaken and its impact on women and socially excluded groups will be developed and publicized 

  • Linkages with conflict over natural resources and its impact on the poorest communities 

Public Accountability & Just Governance

UN General Assembly - Credit: AnnGav

All governments must fulfill their commitments.

They must be fully accountable to their peoples and transparent in the use of public resources. Governments, institutions, and civil society groups must ensure the causes of corruption are aggressively fought, including in the private sector. Governments are obligated under international law to enforce human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights. They must meet this responsibility by delivering economies that are equitable and work for the poorest people, delivering quality universal public services and ensuring decent work for all. In the formulation of bilateral or multilateral agreements related to aid, debt or trade and investment, governments should neither impose nor accept externally driven conditions making the implementation of the rights above impossible.

Governments should:

Governments must commit themselves to achieving and surpassing the MDGS and immediately develop National MDG-Based Plans.

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PHOTO CREDIT: AnnGav

Trade Justice

Myanmar Market

GCAP believes that developing countries must have the right to determine their own trade and investment policies, putting their peoples' interests first. International trade rules and national trade policies should support sustainable livelihoods, promote the rights of women, children and indigenous people, and lead to poverty eradication. However trade rules and policies, and the imposition of harmful economic policy conditions, have become the vehicle for the indiscriminate liberalization of developing country economies undermining sustainable development, increasing poverty and inequality.

We remind national governments of their international human rights obligations

We call upon them to use their influence with the World Trade Organization, International Financial Institutions and in regional and bilateral trade agreements to:

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PHOTO CREDIT: EustaquioSantimano

Women's Rights & Gender Justice

Equity and justice for women

Gender inequality makes women in most societies poorer.

Women face more obstacles than men in labour markets, receive lower wages for the same work, dominate in the informal economy and have less access to credit, land, time, education, and other productive resources. In most parts of the world poor women do the caring, feeding and cleaning for the family, treating for the sick and dying – particularly in this era of HIV & AIDS, as well as earning small amounts of cash through labour-intensive activities. As farmers, workers, heads of households and community leaders they make productive and essential contributions to their community and country. As such, poverty eradication strategies must see women as active agents and not intrinsically vulnerable. For if women are vulnerable it is only because they have been made vulnerable – legally, economically, culturally, sexually, structurally – for centuries.

The fight against poverty therefore requires equality and justice for women.

Sufficient income is necessary to lowering poverty, but getting communities out of poverty will depend on women’s leadership, access to education, time, land, healthcare and credit, as well as women enjoying their reproductive and sexual rights, freedom from violence, and equal rights in the family and in society.

Feminist Task Force

The   Feminist Task Force (FTF) was launched in March 2005 when leaders of international women’s rights groups gathered in New York City for the annual meetings of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. The global launch marked the start of a new alliance aimed at ending poverty among women and putting gender equality at the core of poverty eradication. Established under the umbrella of the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP), the Feminist Task Force calls for “Gender Equality to End Poverty.

For more information, visit the Feminist Task Force Website