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North-South relations are still shaped by the colonial era. Many countries of the Global South do not yet have homogeneous economies. They are in a dependent position as suppliers of raw materials and buyers of the processed products of the industrialised countries. It is not only the wealthy in the industrialised countries who have an interest in maintaining these dependency relationships, wanting to sell their goods worldwide, wanting raw materials from everywhere and no competition from other suppliers. It is also in the interest of people in the industrialised countries who want cheap products and wealthy people in the global South who profit from the export of raw materials and the import of finished goods. Without change, this relationship between the global North and South will not give most young people in the global South a chance for decent working and living conditions, despite their often European education. Many have experienced this and see flight as the only chance to improve their situation. For most migrants, this is not successful. This lack of opportunities is also the reason for the growing instabilities in many states of the global South and the increase in violence, war and terrorism.
In the 1970s, the industrialised countries blocked all attempts by the new politically independent states to establish a new world economic order to build up their own economies. Although they were able to achieve corresponding resolutions in the UN with their majority, they were then unable to enforce them.
In political circles, there were fears that this blockade would lead to violent confrontations between North and South because the people in the South would not put up with the lack of opportunities for most of them in the long run. Some politicians in the North therefore wanted to defuse the North-South conflict through dialogue in order to secure peace, but also because they actually stood up for equal human rights worldwide for all. Politicians and business people from North and South formed the North-South Commission to work out proposals for directly curbing the existential hardship of many people in the South and for fundamental structural changes for decolonisation. They hoped that prominent people who see that the unjust North-South relations cannot secure a peaceful future will take up the proposals and implement them. This did not happen. Attempts through the formation of a South-South Commission did not lead anywhere either.
We propose to start from this attempt, to study it and to continue it, and this time not to rely only or mainly on celebrities, but to tackle the self-organisation of the majority of people on both sides. Successful development cooperation requires changes in the balance of power not only between North and South, but also in the global North and the global South. We can support each other in this.
If you want to get involved, join the networking team; as our capacities grow, we can form our own team on this issue, perhaps at the global level as part of Worldbeyondwar global. Active people in the South should also intensify the South-South dialogue again and work on and continue the work of the Commission.