CETIM was created in 1970 in Geneva. It is a centre for study, research and information on the mechanisms at the origin of maldevelopment, and is also an interface with social movements. Recognised as a public utility, CETIM is a non-profit association.
With more than 150 publications to its credit, the CETIM is a publishing house dealing with North-South relations and development questions from a critical, serious and original point of view rarely to be found in the mainstream media. Its books aim to supply the general public with the tools needed to understand the world and the ways to transform it.
Enjoying consultative status with the ECOSOC, the CETIM supports social movements of the Global South in gaining access to the United Nations human rights protection mechanisms and participating in the drafting of new international human rights norms. It also carries out information and training work on human rights with its partners and the general public.
A Specialized Documentation Center
The CETIM includes a documentation center open to the public. With its 3’000 volumes and 200 periodicals by a vast range of authors, it concentrates on topics such as:
“There is not a developed world and an underdeveloped world but a single world badly developed”
This conviction – the CETIM’s slogan – questions the positive preconceptions generally attributed to the Western development model. This “maldevelopment”, whose dimensions are as much economic, social and ecological, is not confined solely to the “least developed” countries. It extends to the whole of global society. The dizzying debt and socio-economic stagnation experienced by many countries in the South, and the increasingly glaring discrepancies between the living and consumption conditions of the rich and the poor across the globe, confirm the topicality of the designation of a single maldevelopment. Indeed, according to the statistics and analyses of various United Nations agencies, chronic poverty has never affected so many people around the world. Similarly, ecological disasters are multiplying, threatening the very survival of humanity and the planet and creating new potential sources of conflict. Over-armament is also a central issue in the context of maldevelopment.
In this era of “globalisation”, we need to develop new relations between nations, peoples and individuals to keep pace with the upheavals caused by the prevailing economic paradigm.
A primary concern of the CETIM is the search for alternatives capable of ensuring the survival and development of the majority of the countries of the South. These countries are faced with a dominant model that clearly disadvantages them, whether economically (e.g. the inappropriateness of world production to basic economic and social needs, the vicious cycle of the third-world debt), by damaging the social fabric (e.g. unemployment, the dismantling of social welfare systems), ecologically (e.g. deforestation, pollution), or by threatening their culture (e.g. standardisation and loss of cultural identity). The growing marginalisation of regions like sub-Saharan Africa, considered by the industrialised world as possessing no strategic value, is also profoundly worrying.
Generally, the CETIM has chosen to criticise financial and trade institutions (International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organisation) as well as the dominant role of multi or transnational corporations.