Over the years, development agencies have worked together to raise issues and funds. Recent examples include the Disasters Emergency Committee and the Jubilee 2000 Movement for debt cancellation. The public seems to like the idea of NGOs and others working in a cooperative way for the common good.
Yet if we are to make an impact on eradicating poverty, protecting the environment and the peace, then a wider group of movements, networks and agencies have to come together. This can help build a global movement for social justice to change the world so that poor people and poor communities benefit. The Trade Justice Movement is one such model where groups have come together to campaign for change. The international community has agreed to the halving of world poverty by 2015, and this will only happen if there is a political will, resources and a global movement to ensure that governments and the international institutions are able to deliver.
Working together, we can have a bigger impact, a broader appeal and a louder and more united voice. It could also empower ordinary people to believe that they really can change the world. There will be tensions in the aims, methodology, policies, and the competition for profile. But we cannot afford not to cooperate.
There is such a growing movement taking advantage of the internet, conferences and the coming together of groups and individuals for action. It needs more cohesion, a collective stance and the ability to educate, organise and mobilise vast numbers of people to be agents of change. This is the challenge for the future - for NGOs, faith-based organisations, trade unions and environmental groups - to cooperate more and to help build just such a global movement of solidarity.