This year, Focus on the Global South (Focus) celebrates 20 years of a dynamic, interesting and rewarding life. Founded in 1995 at the height of the globalist project, Focus has witnessed many political, economic and environmental crises and confronted them head on. Focus has joined hands with numerous organisations, movements, unions, thinkers and activists to challenge economic and financial globalisation, neoliberalism and dictatorial regimes. We have continued to oppose war, military occupation and human rights violations, and to fight injustice and inequality at multiple levels. Our methodology from the onset has been to link paradigms with practice, and global, regional, national and local trends and actions.

Alongside resistance to injustice and inequity has always been a firm commitment to building alternative systems and frameworks to replace the structures of market capitalism and neoliberalism. These include deglobalisation, feminist economics, food sovereignty, agro-ecology, agrarian and aquatic reform, the commons, climate justice and transitions to low-carbon economies and societies. A critical component of our vision is democratic accountability from states and inter-governmental bodies to the peoples of the world.

Over the past 20 years, Focus has also experienced significant changes as an organisation: we have expanded and contracted our size, opened, closed and re-opened offices, and adapted ourselves to changing circumstances, while remaining true to our core beliefs. We have provided a home to numerous activists and researchers, and the Focus family now extends to many regions of the world.

In essence though, Focus is today as it was in 1995: a collective of activists committed to progressive change, healthy environments, justice, equality, dignity, peace, feminism and pluralism. We are both, proud and grateful to be able to celebrate our 20 years of life with the people, movements and organisations that have founded shaped and supported us and kept us honest. This conference is an important space to celebrate milestones, foster dialogues about the future, renew unities, strength and solidarities, and forge new partnerships. We look forward to working together with present and future allies to build a better tomorrow.