One week before the official Asia-Europe government meeting (ASEM) gathers in Milan, over 400 people from 42 countries in Europe and Asia gathered at the 10th Asia-Europe Peoples forum (AEPF) to present their demands and recommendations.
The Alternative Trade Mandate pledge campaign was launched on 2 April in Brussels, calling on European Parliament election candidates to make EU trade and investment policy serve people and the planet, not just the profit of a few large corporations.
As the Social Movements Assembly of the World Social Forum of Tunisia, 2013, we are gathered here to affirm the fundamental contribution of peoples of Maghreb-Mashrek (from North Africa to the Middle East), in the construction of human civilization.
In the long term we have to transcend capitalism as it cannot ensure a decent livelihood for all nor is it compatible with preserving necessary ecological balances. In the short-term we must start out with basic social democratic demands.
The flawed neoliberal notion behind India's hosting of the Commonwealth Games, that 'development' starts with attracting foreign capital investment - has brought only corruption and the destruction of communities to Dehli.
Amongst many other analyses and debates, the more extensive awareness of the active role of the state and of states in the purportedly highly successful 'market economies' in East Asia and South East Asia is bringing discussion of the role of state back into quite mainstream development discourse.
Alternatives to neo-liberal globalisation are needed that not only change people-to-people and South-South relations and situations, but also South-North relations and inter-actions to the benefit of all of humanity and our common planetary home.
The massive concentration and growth of corporate power poses a major threat to what remains of public services, highlighting the ever-deepening crisis of democracy, and the urgent need for people to reclaim the state.
Mining in India has been significant in contributing to the 45 million people displaced thanks to "development" projects, yet the industry is still not being made to compensate communities for the loss of livelihoods, homes and environmental health.
The AEPF this year in Brussels brought together citizens for dialogue, solidarity and action, as a platform from which to oppose corporate-dominated, undemocratic and neoliberal responses to ongoing crises.
The term crisis implies a short lived period of uncertainty - suggesting there is something temporary or anomalous about the current state of the global economy. On the contrary, our global economy, from the financial clouds (or bubbles) to the real roots - where men and women work, live and survive - is suffering from systemic flaws based on an ever expanding void between rich and poor.