By Josette Combes

The exactions committed in a so-called legal framework against people, communities, common goods and nature, encourage us to re-read the admirable Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We are forced to note the extent to which the powerful allow themselves to flout this breviary of universal peace with impunity. The dramatic situation of migrants (art. 13 and 14), the exploitation of subjugated peoples (art. 4 and 5), the predation of indigenous lands by multinationals that destroy them to set up profitable but polluting industries (art. 17). Consider, for example, Article 12: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. Thank you GAFAM for the absolute violation of this article. But one can look at the first 28 articles and see that they are all wishful thinking in the face of current practices around the world (see Amnesty International reports). And the current situation in Colombia is a further demonstration of the violence inflicted on citizens by the armed forces. Article 29 does remind us that there are duties to access these rights. The level of incivility that now prevails suggests that this dimension is ignored, while the peaceful expression of demands is repressed. As for the thirtieth, it usefully states: Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein. Let us recall in passing that women have intervened to ensure gender equality

Why such an introduction to the May Bulletin? Because the Declaration can be considered to contain all the elements that serve as a foundation for SSE advocates, and it seems worth remembering at a time when RIPESS EU is pursuing its ten-year anniversary campaign. Four of our members express their relationship to the network, newcomers like Ess’plicite, founders like MES or CRIES or Zmag.

Among the news: the launch of a new network by The Solidarity Economy Association, UK, the feminist platform in Geneva, the AGORA of the République de l’ESS on 10 June in Dijon.

The Erasmus 2 SSE VET2 project will end in July and we are publishing a video clip that briefly presents the whole process. You will also discover the different webinars produced by the members, some have already been done, others are to come. See the agenda where they are listed.

If we look at what is common to all these initiatives, it is the concern to re-establish sufficient justice and freedom for humanity to escape the excesses that are the daily lot of the world today. RIPESS Europe has made a number of policy recommendations in response to the European Commission’s consultation for the Social Economy Action Plan. What influence will this have? Obviously, we cannot prejudge this, but this is one of the major roles of the network: advocacy. With the ambition to bring about a world where their rights are realised and promote peace between humans.