Annual Report 2017 out now!
2017 was an eventful year, for good and bad. Global commitments to reduce poverty, improve health and wellbeing have given results and absolute poverty rates have decreased. The improvement, though, is of little comfort to the 766 million people still trapped in poverty, people who are likely to live through another global trend, that of growing domestic and regional income inequalities.
On a global scale, the balance of power has been tested and, in some cases, has shifted, from regional breakaways like Brexit, to foreign country involvement in elections, to the #MeToo movement, which grew international and confronted men’s violence against women. While a conflict with possible use of nuclear arms came to the fore, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons received the Nobel Peace Prize – within the Campaign coalition several of our members are found. As a platform for Sweden’s civil society, with a window towards civil society collaboration around the world, we feel confident to say that many of the positive developments of 2017 happened because civil society resisted and defended justice, equality and dignity.
The resistance didn’t come without a price. The clamp down on civil society’s ability to organise has intensified and today only three per cent of the world’s population live in a place considered free from state, parastatal or extremist groups interference.
Legislation designed to restrict civil society organisations’ registration, access to funding, freedom of speech and press is in place in many countries, and specifically aims at halting and suppressing civil society engagement with those in power.
As we salute the people who dared to stand up, who refused to be silenced in 2017, we are also strengthened in our belief that to reach a just and sustainable world, we need to increase our efforts, energy, and resources to civil society going in to 2018.
Lisa Sjöblom, Secretary General & Kent Härstedt, Chairperson.
Get a glimpse of what Forum Syd achieved and supported during 2017 by downloading our annual report