“Our future is public”, the conference to be held by GI-ESCR

The international conference, which has among its organizers the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR), aims to develop strategies and narratives to strengthen public services as a tool to guarantee economic, social, cultural and environmental rights , and to address the impacts of the climate crisis.

The Conference, which will take place from 29 November to 2 December 2022 in Santiago de Chile, will bring together social movements, trade unions and civil society organizations from around the world to articulate a common agenda on sectoral issues such as health, water, education and economic justice, among many others; and cross-cutting themes such as the gender approach, climate justice and the democratic public domain.

Gl-ESCR is a non-governmental organization promoting transformative change to address the endemic problems of social, economic and gender injustice, through a human rights-based approach. One of our areas of work is to investigate and monitor the impacts of the privatization of public services that guarantee the enjoyment of economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, and we advocate that States comply with their international human rights obligations in relation to the provision and regulation of these services.

In Chile, the GI-ESCR action aims to promote human rights-respectful, gender-inclusive and climate-sensitive constitutional alternatives to the Chilean constitutional process. They also provide technical assistance to Chilean partners and strengthen their influence in discussions on a possible new constitution.

In its first two days, the conference will be dedicated to holding thematic sector meetings on assistance, health, education, agri-food systems, economic justice and social protection, energy, housing, transport, waste and water. For its part, the final two days will collectively bring together all movements and organizations participating in the conference for a multi-stakeholder discussion on cross-cutting issues including the climate emergency, gender equality, economic and fiscal justice, and democratic public ownership.

Magdalena Sepúlveda, GI-ESCR executive director, indicated that “public services are the basis of just societies. They are also the tool that states have to fulfill social, economic, cultural and environmental rights, such as health, education , water and sanitation. I hope that this conference will contribute to the strengthening of these services, to achieve a more inclusive and sustainable future”.

José Antonio Guevara, GI-ESCR Deputy Director, added that “we are very excited to convene a unique world conference in which hundreds of people, faced with the various crises afflicting the planet, will discuss the elements that a new Social Pact must satisfy, which puts people and nature at the center Representatives of social movements, non-governmental organizations, indigenous peoples and academia will agree on common strategies to encourage governments to have quality and well-funded public services to guarantee economic, social , cultural and environmental rights of all people, without discrimination”.

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