Thursday, January 25, 2007

WSF strengthened civil society voices

As the first World Social Forum held in Africa comes to an end, CIDSE argues that two major objectives of the Forum have been achieved. "First, this Forum has boosted the mobilisation of civil societies across the African continent", said Jean-Marie Fardeau, director of CCFD; it will further "strengthen their presence in international spaces of decision making such as the UN, the WTO and the World Bank."

Second, the WSF was once again an excellent opportunity for exchange and strategising, providing both open spaces while capturing the many concrete outcomes of the Forum. "CIDSE's appeal 'Prospecting for Solutions' on extraction of natural resource is an excellent example of a concrete action taken at this Forum", said Markus Brun of Fastenopfer (Switzerland).

The CIDSE appeal was drafted with the participation of 100 delegates from more than 30 countries and urges governments, multilateral organisations and companies to make sure that the extraction of natural resources also benefits local communities. Mary Robinson and hundreds of delegates signed up to the appeal.

Jean-Marie Fardeau concluded that "the local organising committee overcame many logistical and financial hurdles and thus presented good conditions for fostering the exchange and networking among delegates from across the world. The World Social Forum 2007 contributed to making another world possible."

Source: CIDSE.

See also Euforic civil society dossier.