Today, the Korean civil society encounters problems such as those resulting from the development drive of the 1960s which brought about broken communities. Irregularities and injustice are presently evident in the korean society: democratic political reform has broken down, with authoritarian trends replacing them, while new reforms based upon local autonomy and citizens' participation have not yet been realized. The country's affiliation to the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development(OECD) and the World Trade Organization(WTO) emerges as a challenge, although the market and social order has not permeated to the grassroots.
The dominance of WTO-oriented policies has created a crisis for the people. To overcome this challenge, "localization" of decision-making should be strengthened. The people need to be able to maintain a high degree of mutual co-operation and solidarity, and citizens' participation should be promoted in order to improve the existing local government system.

This background brought forth the following 10 priorities of the Taegu YMCA:
1. Building up and development of civil society based upon democracy and participation.
2. Citizens' campaign for liberation and national reunification.
3. The role of the YMCA movement for reformation of the citizens' daily lives and cultivating local community.
4. A citizen's movement for the realization of education reform.
5. Developing citizens' culture in an information society.
6. A citizens' movement for security and safety in daily lives.
7. A green transportation campaign.
8. Building a green city.
9. A citizens' movement for clean government.
10. The role of the YMCA in a time of globalization.

<Written by Mr. Song, Jin-Ho, Executive Director of International Cooperation. Taegu YMCA>



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