By Angel Mendoza, Forus’ communication team 

On May 22nd, Forus, its members and more than 400 civil society groups from around the world came together to demand that world leaders act together to fight #COVID-19 and deliver a 12-point plan (see full set of 12 points below¹) to better rebuild in response to the global crisis triggered by this pandemic.  

The statement comes ahead of a joint ‘Day of Solidarity’ to highlight community action around the world on Friday, 22 May 2020. to protect everyone, everywhere and to ensure no one is left behind. That’s why the slogan was “joining forces to show that we are #StrongerTogether”. 

The Global Day of Solidarity was coordinated and powered by a large group of civil society organisations from around the world, convened by the UN SDG Action Campaign, Project Everyone, Global Call to Action Against Poverty and Action for Sustainable Development

Many actions where proposed on early May to engage civil society in this initiative. On 15 May, for example, it was proposed to send a letter to local representatives by heading government using a template letter. (Available in English, French, Spanish, Russian) 

Secondly, civil society in general was invited to share experience on social media using the hashtag #StrongerTogether and also to share their initiative on this map. On May 22th, CSOs and many citizens joined the Global Day of Solidarity and shared their stories of solidarity, with a picture of local action using colour to highlight strength in diversity. People everywhere demonstrated their colourful expression of solidarity in the face of crisis and have created a butterfly effect of transformative change, hope and togetherness and have drawn rainbows to be displayed at windows. 

Some our Forus members like PIANGO, UNITAS, BOND, PLATAFORMA ONGD, UNNGOF, DOCHAS, COORDINADORA ONGD, SLOGA & the Lithuanian NGDO Platform join the Solidarity day by sharing messages, videos and initiatives on their social media.  

¹Full set of 12 points mentioned above. 
The UN to: 

1. Connect immediate response and recovery funding directly with local groups which includes a ‘gender marker’ for women, marginalized people, community organisations and social enterprises to ensure we leave no one behind. 
2. Safeguard freedom of expression and support innovative approaches to digital freedom of assembly to ensure all voices are heard. 
3. Promote the global ceasefire and support governments to re-direct military spending to social protection. 
4. Call for a ban on the live wild animal trade and a halt to deforestation. 
In the short term ‘response’ phase, member state governments and donor agencies to: 
5. Safeguard health-care workers and social care workers on the frontline by ensuring they have access to safe and decent working conditions and are resourced properly. 
6. Involve civil society organizations in policy and operational responses to COVID-19. 
7. Uphold financial and policy commitments to a human rights-based approach, in particular the rights of older people, persons with disabilities and women, girls and gender diverse people. 
8. Implement clear social and environmental conditions on any emergency financial stimulus to companies, such as treating workers fairly and cutting carbon emissions. 
In the medium term ‘recovery’ phase, Member state governments and donor agencies to: 
9. Drive a seismic shift towards universal healthcare, welfare payments and social protection that include essential services such as vaccine programs, sexual and reproductive health products and services for all. 
10. Cancel national debts to ensure sufficient finance is available to governments to ensure a just recovery. 
11. Adopt fairer taxation policies on those who hold the most resources in our society, alongside measures to tackle illicit financial flows to pay for these protections. 
12. Put in place incentives for a feminist, green industrial revolution to enable rapid scaling up of sustainable jobs. 

For more information, please go to www.covidcitizenaction.org & www.solidarityinaction.org/