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Fifth Euro-Latin American-Caribbean Forum: what civil society wants

CONCORD and the Mesa de Articulación (coalition of Latin American platforms and networks) held civil society’s Fifth Euro-Latin American and Caribbean Forum with the support of the Spanish platform (CONGDE) and the ALOP network.  Over 40 Latin American and Caribbean organisations took part in this event to prepare for the European Union-Latin American and Caribbean Summit in May 2010.

The Forum centred around five workshops: crisis and the development model; innovation, technology and media; democracy, human rights, migrants and indigenous peoples; association agreements and regional integration; and development financing and cooperation.

In their final declaration the participants recognised that the present crisis provides an opportunity to push forward alternatives to change that take account of the complexity and full range of political, social, environmental, cultural and economic processes on their continents.

The crisis has shown that governments need more courage, more political will and a greater ability to put forward proposals.  To this end, the participants suggested to the governments of the European Union (EU) and of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) a series of proposals and observations on issues of particular importance.  In particular they urge a relationship model between the EU and LAC that is based on political dialogue, cooperation, the promotion of social justice and human, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, taking into account a thoroughgoing analysis of and respect for the development models of their countries, their weaknesses and their strengths.

Participants also stressed that civil society in the LAC and EU countries is vital for safeguarding, promoting and developing rights and democratic spaces on their continents.  They undertook to continue their advocacy and solidarity work, strengthening their links and alliances on the basis of their shared values.

They called on all organisations on the two continents to get involved in the activities that are to be organised around the May summit.  And they ask governments to be more open to ongoing political dialogue with civil society on this agenda of rights and freedoms.

The full declaration is available in Spanish, in Portuguese, in French and in English on the CONCORD website.

The dominant theme of this fifth Forum Euro-Latin American and Caribbean Forum was the partnership between the platforms on the two sides of the Atlantic, after the signing in November of a Memorandum sealing the strategic relationship between CONCORD and the Mesa de Articulación.

The Forum was followed by a work seminar (17 March) between representatives of European, Latin American and Caribbean NGOs, at the initiative of CONGDE.

For further information: Romain Philippe ( Adres poczty elektronicznej jest chroniony przed robotami spamującymi. W przeglądarce musi być włączona obsługa JavaScript, żeby go zobaczyć. )

The Concord delcaration was published ahead of the Summit EU-Latin America & Caribbean countries that will take place on 18th of May 2010.