More than 50 intellectuals, experts, activists and politicians gathered Saturday for the launch of the Common Action Forum, a Madrid-based NGO aimed at providing a research and development platform for ideas and practical steps to make political and international systems more fair and equal.
Forum participants in the opening session noted the rapidly changing international order, observing how economic and political systems have failed to keep up. The result has been an increased rate of poverty and marginalization as well as the feeling of injustice and exclusion.
In an opening statement, Wadah Khanfar, Common Action Forum Chairman, observed how “all of us acknowledge the global economic systems and intellectual political systems have been unable to cope with equitable sharing of resources and governance. In the last two decades alone, this unprecedented change has left so many behind. The time has come to move from criticism of these global systems toward practical steps to achieve real reforms. The Common Action Forum will be the platform for gathering intellectuals, experts and politicians who believe in the necessity of this transition”.
Also addressing the Forum’s opening session was Juan Luis Cebrian, Chairman of El Pais newspaper, the most popular Spanish-speaking daily in the world. Cebrian lamented that national regimes are proving incapable of providing solutions to local problems. The forces most affecting international politics, according to Cebrian, are those involved in regulating economies. Cebrian also noted how technologies are allowing people around the world to communicate and interact at rates far outpacing political and economic order.
Javier Solana, who formerly served as Secretary General of NATO, European Union Commissioner for International relations, and Foreign Minister of Spain, lamented how the world has returned toward severe competition between big powers, including most recently between the United States and Russia. Solana cautioned that the world needs a rebalancing of interests, lest disharmony continue and produce uncontrolled conflict. Solana said that in the absence of economic equality, relations between states would remain confused, generating conflict and competition.
During its two-day session the Forum will address four main topics, including international relations and proposals to build a stable and fair world; internal state politics and alternatives to bring good governance with cultural and local legitimacy; problems with the market economy and remedies for bridging the gap between rich and poor.
The fourth and final session will address rapidly changing social systems, focusing on transition of values in the context of this fast moving reordering of global systems. It will also examine potential opportunities to provide individuals and communities with the necessary influence to change global systems under the domination of authoritarian powers.
Forum participants this year were predominantly representative of the Global South, including Latin America, Africa and the Middle-East, though several European and American personalities also contributed.
The first day of the Forum concluded with the launch of its first innovation, “Roadmap for Refugees,” an interactive platform to serve institutions and individuals assisting refugees around the world. A team of young Common Action Forum volunteers from around the world created and designed this website, which is available here:
For more details about the Forum and its activities follow