A stronger Forum Syd - Globally and locally
With more and more people fleeing war, conflict, disaster and climate change to settle in new countries, the world finds itself on the brink of a new era. Globalisation is on the increase, distances are shrinking and borders are being erased. But the people who flee and migrate also bring resources, ideas and knowledge. Diasporas – migrant groups who live in a country other than their original yet are still linked to it – are playing an ever more important role in poverty reduction around the world. They support development and social reconstruction at home and contribute to the transfer of knowledge between peoples. Every year migrants send 435 million dollars equivalent to their original countries – four times as much as international aid programmes.
Forum Syd firmly believes that migration is a key to development. We have worked together with diasporas for decades, particularly the large Somali diaspora in Sweden, which is represented by over 800 Somali organisations. We are therefore very happy about the official opening of a new Forum Syd country office and the new Diaspora Programme in Somalia in 2015. Through Forum Syd's increased engagement in Somalia we will provide even stronger support to non-profit organisations in their efforts to promote democratisation, peace and stability in the country.
The support to non-profit organisations has never been so important – not just in Somalia but around the world. Civic actors are calling urgent attention to the stifling of democracy in an ever-increasing number of countries. Even though we live under the shadow of climate change, conflict and authoritarianism, the nations of the world coming together to promote sustainable development though the UN’s Agenda 2030 and the global climate deal brokered in Paris. Civil society plays a vital part in ensuring that these commitments are honoured and that people living in poverty are able to claim their rights. The force we represent has never been more crucial.
In order to be a catalyst for change, Forum Syd needs to be a global and efficient organisation that is open to the needs, wishes and ideas of its partners. The board has therefore tasked me with leading a process of change that will strengthen Forum Syd’s local capacity around the world, increase the added value for our members and boost our advocacy power.
Civil society organisations the world over work in partnership with Swedish non-profit organisations to bring about sustainable development. Our intentions are to be the best conceivable mediator of resources to these partnerships through establishing a greater local presence, and to generate collaborations and synergies at a local level between the programmes that we run ourselves and the cooperative projects to which we channel funds. This will enable us to act more swiftly and effectively to the shrinking space for civil society. We are becoming even better at strengthening marginalised people who organise to claim their rights. It is Forum Syd’s aim for the organisation and our members to be even stronger advocates, as together we all have an important part to play in raising the voice of marginalised people in the global decision-making arena.
By increasing our cooperation with members, the research community and the private sector, we can find new ways to tackle problems of global injustice. This dynamic phase of Forum Syd’s work is a thrilling and urgent one. When the new organisation is implemented, we will be even better equipped to empower more people to effect change. We look forward to making Forum Syd an even more unwavering defender of democracy, human rights and equity the world over.