APWLD Updates on the People’s General Assembly

People’s General Assembly

Updates from New York

APWLD with partner organizations IBON, CWGL. AWID and FIRE held the People’s General Assembly on Development Justice on 21 September 2013 in Foley Square park, new York City, New York, USA. The People’s GA was an opportunity for solidarity with people from grassroots organizations and social movements to share their own vision of a just and equitable world. The People’s GA brought together civil society actors to challenge government leaders to address the most pressing issues affecting the well being of the people and the environment.

In the news: Delegates to the People’s GA

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SOS Obama: from the village roof to the UN assembly

When Nim Chray and her neighbours living in a village near Phnom Penh International airport were threatened with eviction in November 2012, they found a bold way to get the world’s attention to their plight. Nim and her neighbours painted SOS signs on their roofs and placed photos of United States president Barack Obama, the day before Obama was scheduled to attend the ASEAN summit in Cambodia.

This daring act led to their arrest by Cambodian police. While the eviction has been put on hold, development around the airport continues to threaten the villager’s homes and livelihoods. Nim will have a chance to get Obama’s attention when she attends the UN General Assembly as part of a civil society delegation from the Asia Pacific.

Forced eviction without proper compensation are on the rise in Cambodia as the drive to develop makes private corporations greedy for more land.

“Authorities also told us that we wouldn’t be receiving any compensation. You can imagine how confused and distressed we were since most of us had purchased our land formally, with the documentation, signatures and thumbprints to prove it” says Nim.

Those who do receive compensation find that the amount they receive is not enough to set up new homes and livelihoods where they are relocated. For Nim, attending the UN General Assembly will be an opportunity to make the world’s leaders, multinational corporations and governments accountable to displaced communities.

“Illegal land-rights eviction in Cambodia is an important issue because without a home, there is no life. If children don’t have a house, they will not feel at home. Development in Cambodia does not have to happen this way.”

Nim will also speak at the People’s General Assembly on Development Justice on 21 September 2013. The People’s GA will bring together people’s movements and civil society organizations to challenge the world’s leaders to address growing inequalities, environmental inequalities and increasing marginalisation.

More information about the People’s GA can be found here.

Flash mob at the People’s GA

Cambodian villager Nim Chray speaking about landgrabbing and forced evictions in Phnom Penh

Speakers, volunteers and organizers of the People’s GA

Photo grabbed from APWLD’s Facebook fanpage

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