Social Pioneers Come of Age
Fisher, Julie, UNESCO Courier
Non-governmental organizations took centre stage in Seattle, but many have been spinning their web for several decades around the globe
Everywhere we turn there is good economic news. The massive growth of the global economy, fed by revolutionary changes in communication, promises unending prosperity that will, it is said, benefit even the poorest people on earth.
Protestors in Seattle who questioned the role of the WorldTrade Organization in supporting the present contours of globalization were widely portrayed in the media as new activists focusing on small issues such as the fate of the sea turtle. Yet the "Battle in Seattle" was but one tip of a mountain range of non-governmental challenges to politics as usual.
This worldwide explosion of NGOs (non-governmental organizations) actually began about thirty years ago, in response to the intertwined crises posed by poverty, population, and environmental degradation. Population growth can lead to deforestation or soil exhaustion, and thus increased poverty. The latter fuels migration to giant urban centres, or to more remote areas where the cycle begins anew. Moreover, environmental destruction by multinational corporations can further poverty by disrupting the traditional co-existence between people and …
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Publication information: Article title: Social Pioneers Come of Age. Contributors: Fisher, Julie - Author. Magazine title: UNESCO Courier. Publication date: September 2000. Page number: 17. © 1984 UNESCO. COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group.
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