Civil Society Declaration at the CIVICUS Assembly

Montreal Declaration and Plan of Action

This civil society declaration was presented on September 7th at the 2012 CIVICUS World Assembly by GCAP Representative Rajiv Joshi in Montreal, Canada.

We, the participants of the Post-2015 Civil Society Conference at the CIVICUS World Assembly, gathered in Montreal 4 September 2012, in the firm belief that it is possible  to eradicate poverty, hunger, and injustice. Grounded in the fundamental principles of equality, social justice, and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, we commit to work together with peoples and governments worldwide to create the conditions and mechanisms that will guarantee the fulfillment of this vision of the “World We Want.”We continue to hold governments and the international community to account on the commitments of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). At the same time, now we need to define a more ambitious global framework for after 2015, when the MDGs expire. We currently face multiple and convergent crises of growing inequality, undemocratic governance, a broken global financial system, and climate change. We seize this opportunity to leverage citizen action and build momentum towards a fair, equal, and inclusive agenda for humanity, one that incorporates the voices of women, youth, and people living in poverty, and ensures democratic space for all people to demand and achieve fair and accountable governments. 

Our world has reached a tipping point. We stand on the edge of a precipice; time is running out. We need to organize and act decisively to assert the fundamental human rights of all people. We call for bold and concrete steps towards a coherent framework that links the post-2015 process with the outcomes of Rio+20, most notably the intergovernmental open working group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We affirm the importance of connecting the environmental sustainability, human rights, and anti-poverty agendas, while emphasizing the necessity of our engagement in this political process.

We demand a rightful place at the table for civil society, and further resolve that the multilateral process on the post-2015 development agenda must be open, inclusive, transparent, consultative, and take the aspirations of people most affected by poverty and climate change, as expressed by those people themselves, as a starting point. This process must be founded on principles of social justice, solidarity, human dignity, and freedom, and be free from all forms of discrimination, including on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, religion, and culture. We demand the meaningful inclusion and participation of all sectors of society, with special regard to socially excluded communities, at all stages of this process, including its negotiations and implementation.  

We call on civil society organizations, trade unions, women’s, peasants, indigenous, human rights, and social justice movements to come together to coordinate a global campaign that connects grassroots struggles with the arenas of privilege and power.  We urge civil society globally to build a grassroots campaign that will determine the content of the demands and proposals we take forward to our partners in the United Nations system.

We conclude by reaffirming our overarching vision and goal for the “World We Want” beyond 2015: the eradication of poverty, the reversal of growing inequality, and the fulfillment of environmental sustainability and human rights.

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