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UN General Assembly VS  People’s  General Assembly

September 18, 2013—At the moment when world leaders gather in New York to review development agendas and plan for the coming decades, a group of grassroots and feminist organizations, networks and social movements from different backgrounds and contexts will share their visions and proposals for a just world, where all are able to live with freedom from fear and want. The People’s General Assembly on Development Justice (People’s GA) will be the venue for people from the global south and the global north to challenge governments to address the needs of the world’s 99%, the ones who earn the least, yet bear the costs of excessive consumption and greed.

The People’s General Assembly will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 11am at Thomas Paine Park (Foley Square), 111 Worth Street, in New York, NY, USA.

The human and environmental effects of growing inequalities, conflicts, forced evictions, militarization, gender-based violence, extremisms, and corporate greed will be brought to the forefront during the assembly. While 2015 was set as a target date for achieving specific goals about poverty, health and education, many of these goals have failed to address the causes of social injustice and marginalization. Women, globally, are disproportionately affected by the adverse effects of continued global inequalities and insufficient responses.

Civil society and feminist movements are coming together to stake a claim in the post 2015 global sustainable development agenda. They will speak out and share their visions and demands for development justice, putting human rights at the center as a means of transforming the lives of the most marginalized.

“Decisions made in boardrooms…to increase corporate profits have real consequences in the lives of people. We are the people paying for excessive greed,” says Eni Lestari, an Indonesian migrant worker who will speak about the conditions that forced her to migrate and become a domestic worker.

Speakers from around the world will participate in the People’s GA: Helen Hakena, a human rights activist working to promote peace and development in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea; Nim Chray, a village resident from Cambodia who was arrested after protesting against forced evictions; and Taslima Akhter, who photographed the remains of collapsed Bangladeshi garment factory.

The People’s GA is organized by the Campaign for People’s Goals for Sustainable Development; Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development; Association for Women’s Rights in Development; Center for Women’s Global Leadership; and IBON International.

MMS representative Celine Paramundayil will be attending this programme.