In the aftermath of the coup d’etat in Thailand on May 22, 2014, Focus on the Global South states our belief in the following principles:
- Civilian rule must have supremacy over the military at all times, even in times of crisis. Too many times in our region, military forces have taken an overshadowing role in domestic politics, with negative consequences for the people. The role of a military must be limited to defense from external use of force against the nation or its peoples. The supremacy of civilian rule must not be questioned or threatened.
- Human rights should be upheld under all circumstances. Human rights are by their nature universal and inalienable, and apply to all members of a society regardless of social class, ethnicity, belief or other factors. No circumstances permit detention without due process. The freedoms of movement, assembly, association and speech, including allowing access to accurate and timely information through a free and fair media, must never be violated.
- Real democracy allows equal and broad participation among the people in addressing common social-political and economic problems, favoring the greater good and not just the interests of the elite or select social sectors.
- Corruption is a serious problem that plagues modern capitalist societies. While transparency and administrative procedures to enforce accountability are needed, such measures alone will not solve the problems of an economic system that by its very nature encourages corruption and exploitation. Corruption should not be used as an excuse to cancel out democratic choice.
- Lasting social peace and stability can only be achieved if marginalized sectors of society have a defining role in determining the direction of a country. Independent social movements play a vital role in developing and promoting solutions to problems, not replacing the electoral process but providing alternatives reaching beyond the limits of government bureaucracy and political parties. In times of crisis, strong, plural, politically independent and responsible social movements are the key to finding solutions that truly address the root causes of the crisis.