Next year’s World Social Forum (WSF), which is now taking place in Brazil, will be decentralized, occurring on at least three continents. The countries that will host these forums, however, were not announced by the WSF’s International Council.
Comprising 129 organizations from the five continents, the Council is the Forum’s main representative body.
Even in its decentralized form, the WSF will continue to adhere to a schedule parallel to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Through April, when the next meeting of the Council will convene, in Paris, countries interested in hosting the Forum should submit their candidacies. Morocco and Venezuela have already declared their interest.
“This is the appropriate move for now,” affirms Chico Whitaker, of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Brazilian National Conference of Bishops (CNBB) and member of the International Council.
“Our problem is to extend and root this process effectively all over the world. Internationalization can be carried out in various ways, and one of them is this, turning 2006 into a battery of forums, beginning on the date of Davos and continuing for the rest of the year.”
For Bernard Cassen, honorary president of the French NGO, Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions for the Aid of Citizens (Attac), this is the moment to decentralize the Forum process “to the maximum.”
“One of the problems is how to incorporate new regions of the world into this grand anti-liberal movement. In this sense, it is important for things to happen in Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe,” he argues.
Due to the change, the organization of the Forum will undergo modifications.
The International Secretariat, composed of the Brazilian and Indian institutions that organized the previous versions of the event, should be altered.
Through April, however, it will retain its executive responsibilities.
In 2007 the WSF will be held in Africa, but the site has not yet been determined. There is speculation that it will take place in Nairobi, capital of Kenya.
Translation: David Silberstein