Nobel Peace Price for the World Food Programme

It is a shame this programme still has to exist, but the price is well deserved!

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Report WSF 2018 Salvador de Bahía

Hola, el GT de la Relatoría del FSM 2018 comparte la version en Español del libro electrónico (pdf) sobre la última edición del Fórum, como una contribución al proceso. Habrá una breve presentación en la reunión del CI (Sheila, Damien, Tiburcio y Rita) https://wsf2018.org/es/relatorio-fsm-2018/

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To “transform the world”, only one solution: full support to democratic multilateralism

Federico Mayor

Five years after the Agreement of Paris on climate Change and the Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on the Agenda 2030 (Sustainable Development Goals), the measures adopted have not been implemented, with a very severe irreversible lack in our intergenerational responsibilities. The refusal –as always- of the Republican Party of North America to the United Nations System leadership has been crucial. The situation has been further aggravated by the pandemic of the COVID-19.

In these moments of very somber horizons, only a firm position of all the countries –global threats require global joint reactions- could redress the present trends.

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Mensaje del Grupo Renovador Mexico (GRFSM-Mexico)

Esp – Engl

Pareciera que la intención de Chico Witaker en su último texto (26/09/20) por Whatsup apunta a señalar no sólo las dificultades de decidir sin romper la unidad del FSM, sino a atender la naturaleza y la viabilidad de una acción. ¿Qué puede y qué no puede hacer el Foro? ¿Cómo actuar, con quién, para qué? Son preguntas abiertas, que no tienen fácil solución. Por eso hay que ocuparse de ellas como algo verdaderamente sustancial. Muy bien, si decidimos actuar es ¿para hacer qué? ¿Sólo declaraciones, o algo más? En esto hay una regla de oro: el que propone actúa. Y actuar sobre problemas de alcance global implica definir muy bien los objetivos y los caminos, buscar apoyos, reunir fuerzas ¿no es así?

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Le groupe Rénovation du Forum Social Mondial lance un processus de réflexion

Maintenant que la situation mondiale exige une prise de conscience et un engagement face à la gravité des choses, il est décourageant de comparer les espoirs, l’enthousiasme et la mobilisation qui ont accompagné la naissance du Forum Social Mondial à Porto Alegre en 2001, avec sa marginalisation aujourd’hui et les grandes mobilisations qui ébranlent les fondations d’un système infiniment plus en crise et délégitimée qu’il y a 20 ans. Le FSM à l’époque était une référence mondiale. Holistique, non sectoriel, transversal, horizontal, participatif. Des centaines de milliers de personnes de divers lieux et engagements se sont réunis près de cent fois pour débattre, échanger et construire un monde meilleur. Cette brillante idée de certains militants brésiliens s’est accompagnée de la générosité et de la situation politique au Brésil à l’époque et de l’intérêt de divers gouvernements qui croyaient à la paix et à la coopération internationale.

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THE WSF RENEWAL GROUP BEGINS A PROCESS OF REFLECTION

Now that the world situation demands greater awareness and commitment, two decades away, it is discouraging to compare the hopes, enthusiasm and mobilization that accompanied the birth of the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre in 2001, with its marginalization today in the large mobilizations that are shaking the foundations of a system infinitely more in crisis and de-legitimised than 20 years ago. The WSF at the time was a world reference. Holistic, non-sectoral, transversal, horizontal, participatory. Hundreds of thousands of people from various places and commitments came together almost a hundred times to debate, exchange and build a better world. This brilliant idea of ​​some Brazilian activists was accompanied by the generosity and the political situation in Brazil at the time and the interest of various governments that believed in peace and international cooperation.

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EL GRUPO RENOVADOR DEL FMS INICIA UN PROCESO DE REFLEXIÓN

Ahora que la situación mundial demanda mayor conciencia y compromiso, a dos décadas de distancia es desalentador comparar las esperanzas, el entusiasmo y la movilización que acompañaron el nacimiento del Foro Social Mundial en Porto Alegre en el 2001, con  su marginación de hoy en las grandes movilizaciones que están sacudiendo los cimientos de un sistema infinitamente más en crisis y deslegitimación que hace 20 años. El FSM en su momento fue un punto de referencia mundial. Holístico, no sectorial, transversal, horizontal, participativo. Centenares de miles de personas de diversos lugares y  compromisos se juntaron casi cien veces para debatir, intercambiar y construir un mundo mejor.  Esta brillante idea de algunos activistas brasileños se vio acompañada por la generosidad y la situación política del Brasil de entonces y el interés  de varios gobiernos que creían en la paz y en la cooperación internacional.

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Para un FSM para la acción, hay que ver el mundo con ojos del presente y del futuro pospandémico

Aram Aharonian

Hace dos décadas, la movilización de trabajadores, campesinos, estudiantes, exigía la necesidad de otro mundo posible, en plena arremetida del neoliberalismo y de la financiarización de la economía. Había esperanza, había entusiasmo, había movilización. Estábamos (re)descubriéndonos, viéndonos con nuestros propios ojos.

Y también surgían gobiernos progresistas, preocupados por las grandes mayorías de sus países, por la paz, el multilateralismo, que, vale reconocerlo, dieron aliento a la creación y a las casi un centenar de sucesivas reuniones multitudinarias del Foro Social Mundial, desde Porto Alegre al mundo.

¿Otro mundo todavía es posible?, se pregunta el sociólogo brasileño Emir Sader (1). Lo cierto es que éste, el de hoy, ya es otro mundo. No el que queríamos, no por el que luchábamos, pero sin duda muy, muy diferente a aquel de principios del milenio. Ese mundo ya no existe. Pero tampoco existen los imaginarios unitarios de ese mundo que anhelábamos.

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The Trial of the Century

Progressive International
“Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence and thereby eventually lose all ability to defend ourselves and those we love.” ― Julian Assange On Friday October 2, the Progressive International will convene a planetary cast of activists, artists, thinkers, and political representatives to stand with Julian Assange in the fight for truth and justice against extradition to the United States. The event takes its inspiration from the Russell-Sartre Tribunal of 1966, when representatives of 18 countries gathered to hold the United States accountable for their war crimes in Vietnam, in the absence of an international authority that dared to do so. Friday’s public event will put the United States government on trial for its crimes of the twenty first century — from atrocities in Iraq to torture at Guantánamo Bay to the CIA‘s illegal surveillance program — and draw attention to the extradition case of Julian Assange for revealing them, a case that will shape the future of publishing, journalism, speech, and democracy for decades to come. Wikileaks has been an inspiration to social movements around the world. Now it is time for social movements to stand with Assange. Our collective freedom is at stake.
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Observations concerning the renewal of the World Social Forum process 

Tord Björk, Sweden

In January 2020 the International Council (IC) meeting decided to start a dialogue with main international movements to give new energy to the World Social Forum (WSF) process ahead of the 20 year anniversary in January 2021. This resulted in four digital international meetings between June 27 and September 27. An intellectual polarization also became explicit concerning the form of WSF. On the one hand between those promoting what is called open space saying WSF should not take common positions and those claiming that WSF has to become a political subject and make decisions, a conflict that has been evident in more than ten years but made more explicit this year.

Official reports from these meetings have been made or are on their way. My personal observation is that the sharp and sometimes seemingly endless intellectual controversy has been helpful in producing a unifying way forward. This has come about due to the love of the WSF child by both opposing parties in the intellectual conflict. Both sides have been given central roles in facilitating the renewal process. Due to this practical work together inviting new movements and movements that were engaged before this unifying has been possible. In the last meeting Francine Mestrum, a strong proponent of turning WSF into a decision-making body expressed this unifying message – The young do not care about whether WSF is an open space or a decision-making body, they see the need to come together and act in common.

The intellectual controversy is not over, but moving ahead acknowledging that there might be useful strength in both opposing positions while moving the process forward. This might be seen in comments from both sides acknowledging the need to be a political subject whether through open space and decision-making process by self-organized process or by the WSF as a whole. Partly the unity has been the result of glossing over the problems both sides have in showing how their vision can solve the great problems we have ahead. A certain degree of ambiguous language in a good sense has been necessary to enable the process to move forward.

Now we enter into a new era for renewing WSF. The sometimes ambiguous language must be replaced with more time consciousness and clear messages. The twenty-year anniversary in the end of January 2021 is the most pressing deadline. The Davos meeting will take place in digital form while their physical meeting has been postponed. What kind of actions WSF will do at the 20 year anniversary in physical and/or digital form needs to be planned urgently. The kind of mass mobilization needed to address the multidimensional crisis with its hunger, mass unemployment, poverty among filthy rich, suppressing trade unions for peasants and workers and other movements, destruction of biological diversity and creation of pandemics, climate crisis, repair of social solidarity and care work, economic and military imperialism against non-privileged countries cannot wait. The antiglobalization movement initiated by movements like the Zapatistas and carried forward by movements like Via Campesina as well as WSF is well placed to take an initiative if being self-critical. Antiglobalization demands are still important but need to be connected to local and daily life issues in a more clear way.

Here the discussions during the digital future of WSF meetings have developed considerably. From mainly addressing focusing on issues of concern for a single or local issue and ideologies while in the end addressing what issues are needed to address in general. Here the environmental issues came to the fore and then explicitly not only c,.imate but equally important the struggle for biological diversity. Several proposed to change the name of WSF to World Ecosocial Forum to explicitly show how social and ecological issues in the future will be treated as more equally important issues. Such a change of name might be important but might not take place, anyway upgrading environmental issues in the WSF process met only approval. The same goes for peace issues.

The key organizational change to renew the WSF was proposed by Ashish Kotari from Global Tapestry of Alternatives (GTA). He proposed the IC to establish a continuous dialogue with main international movements to find common ground. This might be a more historic change if taken seriously of both the IC and the international movements. It can bring about enabling turning the WSF into a key actor in becoming one of several catalysts for fomenting the political subject that all agree is needed to change the present world order. What it means is the end of proclaiming WSF as the unique actor enabling movements to connect issues and combine new ways of finding common ground. Instead, this puts different ways of multidimensional initiatives on an equal level. Which initiative is best at connecting an understanding of the multidimensional crisis with political action calling it practical, local, or international will not be an issue decided by normative statements but rather more humble by trying to find synergy solutions creating a change of relevance for people’s daily life.

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