People's Dialogue

10 စက်တင်ဘာလ 2004


People's Dialogue
Johannesburg, 6-10 September 2004

Brief Introduction

The People's Dialogue on Alternative Regionalisms and Regional Alternatives to Globalisation is being prepared by AIDC together with a range of people's organisations - developmental and environmental NGOs, Trade unions and other labour organisations, women's networks, faith-based and community-based organisations - that are concerned with regional development options and the strategic possibilities for the Southern African Development Community (SADC). These Southern African People's organisations are working together with their counterparts in the Mercosur region of South America toward the creation of a dynamic People's Dialogue on the future of regions as an economic and political base to deal with local, national and intra-regional development challenges.

The People's Dialogue will build on already established relations and interactions between people's organisations in each region and will address issues of common concern. But the focus of this particular initiative is specifically on:

  • the problems identified and the alternative models of sustainable development, and transformative possibilities that are envisaged and can be promoted within and through their formally constituted regional groupings, or possibly through alternative sub/groupings;
  • the positive possibilities and the negative forces against the transformative potential within such groupings posed by governmental and non-governmental/corporate forces and factors within these countries/groupings;
  • the contradictory challenges presented and imposed by forces and factors from outside these groupings which are either impacting directly or acting indirectly through political, economic and social agencies within these countries/groupings; and
  • the potential for such regional groupings, through
    • intra-regional solidarity between peoples, and interactions between peoples and their governments and
    • inter-regional solidarity between peoples organisations, as well as relations between their governments, and to pose counter-challenges in order to effect fundamental changes in the currently dominant global economic system and regime.

Within this broad framework there are many local/sub-national, national, intra-regional and international dynamics at work and there is wide range of questions to be discussed.

Within these perspectives this preliminary working conference is conceived as the beginning of a longer and broader process of Peoples Dialogues in many forms and at many levels:

  • between a much wider range of peoples organisations and social movements in these two regions,
  • between such peoples organisations, separately or in combination, in relation to their respective governmental agencies,
  • between such governments themselves, as is already underway, but more so in consultation with their peoples organisations.

This Southern African/South American Peoples Dialogue will also be located and related to wider processes engaging other similar organisations and equivalent regions in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific.

The People's Dialogue is one of the activities of the TNI Alternative Regionalisms programme, being jointly initiated by AIDC, IBASE, RMALC, Focus on the Global South and the TNI.