Declaration of Graz for Co-operative Development

We don’t believe that we can improve the situation of the whole world. 

But we can change the inequality in the World step by step

  • by personal contact
  • by cross cultural encounters
  • localised structures and
  • by funding mini projects

What is the Declaration of Graz?

At the beginning of the 1970’s a group of young Graz people started a self–taxation group to provide funds to help the Third World.  Out of this initiative DOG grew as an Association for co-operative development in the countries of the South.

We are convinced

that the impoverishment and the desolate situation of these countries are based on:

  • the misappropriation of their natural resources and their products by the colonial empires over centuries of imperialism
  • the exploitation of their labour forces, even after the end of the era of colonialism
  • the economic World order set up by the countries of the North

In the meantime the elites of the South have taken over the role of the exploiters of yesteryear.


We are convinced

that it is of great importance to create public awareness in the North that our wealth is only one side of the World economy coin and on the flip side is misery and poverty in the countries of the South.


We State

The economic globalisation suffers from a deep crisis.  The period of steady growth after World War II is over for once and for all.  Today the World economy is characterized by tough competition for markets and production locations in order to prevent the profits from sinking in the face of overproduction.


What can we do?

We have to create consciousness of the fact that this development threatens the living conditions and survival of all people, especially in the South, who do not belong to the elite of international capital but are dependent on earning their living and in particular those whose starting point conditions are even worse, for example women, children, handicapped people, refugees, expellees…

We are particularly concerned about the people in the South who are not protected by any kind of welfare state and who have no chance at all to earn their living by working.  We must ensure that their chance for a life in dignity and independence is not threatened by transnational companies.

We must clear about:

The extent to which we have internalized the forces of the capitalist system:

  • the compulsion of success and consumption,  the ideology of  property
  • the blindness of these forces against the disastrous consequences for the social and natural environment
  • the blindness of this compulsion for the consequences of inconsiderate implementation of dangerous technologies for man and nature.


How can we prevent

the whole planet from getting the battlefield for rising profits of a small economic minority, of a fight that threatens to destroy the worldwide social and ecological balance?


We whole hartedly support

movements that fight against the economic disadvantage of the countries of the south on the basis of elementary political and social principle rights by using all legal means and for the rights of independent states worldwide.

We must convinced people

of the fact that, in order to live in peace, the World must be oriented towards values that enable a secure material, spiritual and social existence for all peoples Worldwide.  An orientation towards the principal needs of the World population, towards a careful and sustainable handling of nature but above all: a conscientious solidarity with all peoples on earth whose human rights are threatened.


An alternative world is possible


DOG associates itself with all social movements that have the same aims: peace and ecological movements, with the initiatives of “attac” and with women’s organisations worldwide.


The chance is with us:

We are convinced that the compulsion of success and consumption are not good for our lives.

Therefore we invest a small part of our prosperity for the financing of projects of the autonomous development of  small communities of the countries of the south. Up to now we have raised about € 376.300,- for more than 25 localised projects, in order to improve the situation for some people in Africa, Latin America or Asia. We support  information initiatives regarding different social initiatives in Austria.

We ourselves select the projects that we finance  and place much emphasis on direct contact with project workers in the countries.


From our projekt works:

Human rights are indivisible:

They cannot be repealed by cultural and religious differences. Therefore we mainly promote emanicipatory initiatives.


Therefore we mainly focus on:

  • Projects that combat rural and urban poverty, principally those that supply regionally grown products.
  • Projects that oppose the destruction of the environment and maintain the humane and natural environment.
  • Projects that promote literacy, further education and vocational training, especially those which develop local manual skills. These projects take into consideration the existing skills and abilities of the population.
  • Projects that take into consideration the cultural identity and traditions of the target group.
  • Projects that support women’s groups that work for their social, economic and political independence
  • Projects that combat child labour
  • Projects that promote health and preventative medical measures.
  • Not only on singular projects, but also on comprehensive project programs.


Demands directed to our government:

  • Raise the funds for development cooperation up to the internationally agreed obligation of 0.7 % of GNP (excluding the promotion of exports to developing countries by Austrian companies). The financing should be by means of a compensation  tax for  raw materials.
  • Active co-operation by Austria for relieving the debts of those Third World Countries that are ready to respect human rights and protect the environment.


In its 30 years of existence DOG has promoted projects here and abroad, mainly in Africa and Latin America to the value of  € 627.970 (including the financial project support by the provincial government)


Translated by Burghild Gerhold & Waltraud Pritz