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WSF IC Meeting in Paris May 25-27 2011

quarta-feira 6 de julho de 2011, por Ciranda - Document, Ciranda - Document

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Report of the Meeting of the International World

WSF IC Meeting in Paris May 25-27 2011

1) Agenda
2) Revolutions in the Maghreb/Mashreq region.
3) Dakar Evaluation Report
4) WSF Resources
4.1) Preliminary report on 2011 WSF Dakar event

5) Future of the Forum and venue of WSF in 2013
6) Commissions
6.1) Methodology Commission
6.2) Strategy Commission
6.3) Communication Commission
7) New members
8) Next IC Meeting

1) Attendance
2) Axes Working Group
3) Dakar Evaluation Session: Language Working Groups

1) Agenda

2) Revolutions in the Maghreb/Mashrek region.

That was a great euphoria to note how close and easy the revolution was. Who would have thought that an act of self-immolation of a young unemployed would have ended a dictatorship as powerful as that of Ben Ali and be the spark that set fire to the entire Maghreb-Mashreq region. Who would have thought that young demonstrators based on new technologies (in a world seen as underdeveloped, even in the digital domain), would put a Mubarak at jail.

The West quickly started to speak about the Arabic "awakening", as if that world was in a profound lethargy and well adapted to dictatorships and other authoritarian regimes; the amnesia is unforgivable. Western governments do not realize that this wave of protests, revolutions and political tsunami, that occur from Rabat to barbed-wire borders of Israel, through the Gulf States and Iran, are the logical outcome of decades of social movements’ struggles for dignity, freedom and social justice. It means a whole program that highlights how the social issue is fundamentally a political one and can not be achieved without the democratization of political systems and the fight against neoliberal system, which has greatly contributed to the deterioration of the purchasing power of poor people, unemployment, exacerbation of conflicts, the death of thousands of young people trying to force the walls erected by Europe, the rising of identity trends, racism and war…
The euphoria was at its height at the 2011 WSF in Dakar at the announcement of the Mubarak’s fall. We did not realize that behind the falls stood the armed forces, received by the demonstrators with roses and jasmine. The new elites in Tunisia are now powerless to respond to the legitimate impatience of the people for job, access to basic social services and the fight against impunity for torturers. Repression is back, and so one realizes how much change, revolution and democratic transition are hard tasks, especially when some people from the old regime remains in power. Tunisia opened the doors; there is hope in the outcome of the revolution in Tunisia. Other leaders have chosen barbarism and savage criminal repression against the demonstrators, with the support of some Gulf countries; Libya sinks into civil war, opening the door to military intervention by NATO. Thousands of dead and an uncertain future, but nothing will be as before: there is no other way that democracy in a world where the streets and Facebook show a mosaic of fragmented religions, ethnicities, tribes, languages, and an ideological and political fragmentation.
The WSF International Council’s meeting can not ignore the reflections on and its positioning face to a movement that shook not only the Maghreb-Mashreq region, but the whole world. The WSF-IC is expected to face three challenges:
1. Re-thinking the position, within the strategy of the WSF, of a region that has been so far marginalized during the 11 years of the WSF process. The WSF was marked by Latin-American culture, it has been enriched with European, Indian and African cultures, it would certainly do well to integrate the culture of Arabic and Amazigh world.

2. Learning from the unfinished revolutions by questioning the prevailed patterns over the region, including the states of the so-called “Bloc du Refus”, which have nothing to envy the reactionary regimes regarding its criminal repression and contempt for their peoples.

3. Strengthening the articulations with social movements in the region, which requires a high concentration of actions that would anchor, expand and deep the analysis of the region’s complexity, taking into account the centrality of the Palestinian question, which will remain an area of ​​lawlessness, abuses and legitimization of violence until the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people are recognized.

Discussion on IC plenary:

The IC Plenary Session had a debate involving members of both the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, as well as of the ongoing struggles in other countries of the Maghreb/Mashrek region. They made brief reports on the situation back in their countries.

The uprisings in Tunisia began as a revolution of the youth - isolated and alone - after that, the trade unionists joined. Now the dictator is gone, but there are still reflexes of the dictatorship in society and the presence of international intelligence agencies make things more difficult, as they don’t want the revolution to succeed. The fascism is strong and well funded (with money from the Gulf and the US) and the risk that it returns is high. Conservative Islamists are against the revolution and democracy

Egypt has had several oppressive dictators and they tried to build up Egypt economically, approaching the US and selling out public services. In the last couple of years workers started making pressure on politicians in order to get jobs and better life conditions. The uprising in Tunisia inspired people in Egypt to do the same and revolution started on January 25th when the police started turning against the regime. People have three demands: change, liberty and social justice. The military is still in charge and they are pushing for a small-scale reform, instead of a full revolution, while the Muslim Brothers have no social agenda. A path to change was opened since the revolution started, it is full of obstacles but it’s still open.

In Algeria there was an uprising in 1988, as prior to that date there was only one party. People went to the streets, and now the country is in "democracy" - but even though there are political parties and elected representatives, nothing changed. After Tunisia, people started revolting, as democracy and democrats in Algeria have separated itself from people in the street; no elected representatives have spoken with the youth. So unfortunately the uprising seems to be going in the direction of Islamists.

The Kurdish revolution continues in silence. There are demonstrations of a million people, but it is not visible in the international scene. Turkey is always presented as a model of Islam, but it plays the role of the true partner of the United States in the region. The IC should go and see the Kurdish revolution and show support.

There are also uprisings taking place in Africa, in Swaziland, for example - where the struggle against inequality is strong.

These revolutions are specific. It is not about an ideology but social demands regarding employment, social equality, freedom of expression and cultural pluralism. It is a social movement that resembles in many things what the WSF began discussing since its first edition. The big challenge is to build civil States in these countries.

These events in Maghreb-Mashrek give strong support to the Palestinian struggle.

There is a strong anti-revolutionary force being organized by the military, the conservatives, especially the political Islam. A new geopolitics being prepared for the region by the G20/G8; the intervention in Libya; the US still have interested in selling arms for the region and buying oil; the European Union will give economic support to the new democracies based on a subordination to FTAs, while strengthening their border control policies (Frontex); Israel is against democracy in the region.
So the WSF IC should deepen its discussions on the region and the strategies towards it. Global politics have been cruel in the region for a long time, for example, in Iraq, where a global economy was imposed through war and freedom was removed. To defeat this model we must work in the Northern countries too, not only in those regions. Social movements must work together.

The WSF must support and learn from these movements, from their new way of doing politics.

- we must take into account that we cannot reduce all Muslims to conservatism. There are big supporters of the uprisings among the Islamists. As there are Christian organizations in the IC, we should discuss together with some Muslim organizations. It is dangerous to equate all Islam with fundamentalism, and there is a place for Islam in the fight against neoliberalism.

- we must also take into account that women are fundamental actors, so to think in what kind of society we want to build.

- we have a larger task: make the connection between the opposition to the regime to the fight against capitalism, neoliberalism, imperialism - and that connection is not simple to make. They are spontaneous uprisings against compromised political parties. So our major challenge is how do we draw them into the larger struggle against neoliberalism and capitalism.

- Proposition for the next edition of the African Social Forum to be held in Tunisia. This would also provide the IC the possibly to hold the WSF in the region.

- Italian movements want to hold an event to discuss how we can democratize the common space of the EU and Maghreb-Mashrek.

- Support indigenous peoples in the region.

- Working in this region is essential for the IC and the WSF process. The Maghreb-Mashrek region should be the priority for the WSF in the following years (2012-2013).

3) Dakar Evaluation Report

At the IC meeting held in Dakar after the February global event, a Working Group was entrusted with the task to elaborate a methodology for the evaluation of the WSF2011 process and event. The Working group was facilitated by Gina Vargas and saw the contribution of several members of the Methodology and Communication Commissions, other IC members and volunteers linked to IC member organisations. The task of coordinating this wide (around a dozen) working group across continents, the busy schedules of its members committed to their daily work and to the organisation of the IC meeting held in Paris, and some methodological complexities related to the evaluating a process so diverse and large as the WSF made that after several months of activities the Working Group delivered less than the initial expected outputs.

In the spirit of the WSF methodology and the previous accumulated work of the IC Methodology Commission the group strove to balance concrete outcomes with participative and open processes. A questionnaire was designed that combined open and structured questions. A letter was sent to all IC members to share with the Working Group their evaluations and those of their organizations and networks and all participant organizations to Dakar 2011 were approached to share their evaluations. The letter accompanying the questionnaire made clear that the questionnaire was not to be considered a constraining tool to facilitate a mechanical operationalization of the results and that could be disregarded if its guiding role was perceived as unhelpful. Respondents were encouraged to feel absolutely free to formulate their evaluations in the ways they found more consistent with their feelings and thoughts.

The limited amount of time that was available to the Working Group to collect the responses to the Questionnaire/Open Evaluation letter contributed to the less than optimal amount of such responses to finally constitute the body of documents that were presented at the IC meeting in Paris. Eventually the documents collected included 25 responses and 20 documents previously produced independently by this evaluation exercise from the end of the Dakar event.

However, in the spirit of an evaluation as process, coherent with WSF’s values and methodology, the report to the IC plenary by the Working Group, stressed as it, was to be considered as preliminary and, more important, as an attempt to facilitate a wider evaluation process to take place in a collective space as possible. Following a presentation that highlighted both methodological consideration and the initial reflections on the content of the documents considered, a collective exercise was conducted by all IC members attending the Paris meeting. All participants were asked to join linguistic groups to maximize everyone’s engagement according to a methodology developed by feminist activists in the Encounters, in a face to face discussion and exchange of perspectives. The linguistic groups were the following: French, Portuguese and Spanish jointly, Arabic and English (see Annex 3 for the reports from each group). After the group work which lasted around 45 minutes, each group presented their work and a plenary conversation took place (see below for the content of the participatory evaluation). These reflections augmented the previously collected documents and contributed to largely expand the breadth, width and depth of the evaluation of the Dakar 2011 event and process. This process is not however over. The Working Group will continue collecting material will circulate a new Questionnaire to all registered participants to the Dakar forum and will facilitate the collection and analysis of new documents. Its mandate is to contribute to provide an open space for conversation, analysis and reflection on the challenges of the WSF process and its possible responses to those challenges.


1-Downsides and problematic aspects

we should not undermine or minimize the organizational problems or see them as . They are political problems and we should see them this way, as this is related to the credibility of the process and the tension between old and new organizational forms.

On the organizational level, some of the opinions were drastic:

a.A chaotic and catastrophic Forum.
b.Lack of information, cancellation of sessions for the lack of real space.
c.Tension with the University, lack of exchange with students.
d.Lack of transparency.
e.Bureaucratic practices.
f.Wasted use of volunteers – who didn’t know what to do or how to guide.
g.Lack of interpretation facilities. Many paid for interpretation and didn’t have it. They still haven’t received their reimbursement.
h.Chaos in the African day, no connection possibilities left.
i.the power of convergence between networks/movements/themes, which is also the power of the Forum, was reduced to something casual or random.
j.Lack of cultural and artistic spaces
k.Dakar jeopardized the WSF’s credibility.

Additional tensions

l.Presence of Evo Morales at the opening ceremony, with no consideration to the charter of principles and no consultation to the IC.
m.Too much politically correct relation with the Senegalese President.
n.Presence of Petrobras in the Casa Brasil
o.Conflict and aggresion to saharauis by some Middle Eastern groups throughout the Forum. There are mechanisms to prevent this actions.

The gravest was the logistical problems, this was the most visible problem, but it reveils other problems:

p.Politically, the risk of privatizing the Forum, centralizing it into a small decision-making group; neither the LG nor the IC managed to interact with the local coordination of the event. Commissions had a limited incidence. IC Meetings were more informative, with no clear documents.
q.Political and organizational isolation of the African Social Committee in relation to the IC.
r.Expression of the IC limitations, in composition, methodology, giving space to corporative tendencies, debates with no outcomes and fragile consensus.

2. Positive aspects

1.Vision/Perception of the Forum

s.It is the main space for global mobilization of social movements.
t.It has a relevant role as global actor, capable of promoting exchanges and creating alternative opinions.
u.It is a powerful tool.
v.It is a process permanently updating itself; it should always be seeking new solutions and a bigger relation with anti-system struggles.

w.The WSF is a common good of humanity so we must preserve it.

w.i.Dakar WSF
x.Unorganized, but magical.
y.Collective capacity to improvise, self-organize by participants, it saved the Forum.
z.Appeal of the Forum: caravans, they were an inclusive dimension and that connected movements, even though many things should be improved.
aa.Opening March was massive, festive, political.
bb.Extended Dakar, as an important process, could be improved. Its activities were not in the Program and weren’t visible in the Newsletter.
cc.Assemblies were considered successful regarding the multiplication of connections and solidarities and convergences. But it is necessary to re-think the format, which seems too traditional.
dd.Inclusion of impaired people.
ee.New themes: Africa, colonialism, decolonization, Diaspora, migration (symbolic act in Gore Island was very meaningful), xenophobia, environmental rights, right to city, land grabbing, food sovereignty.
ff.Revolutions in Northern Africa. Presented a totally new pattern of change, anticipated by the WSF: main role of civil society and its new actors; social movements, importance of social networks, central role of new democratizing agenda of society, dialectic between global and local.

3. Recommendations

gg.What is being discussed, as strategic issue, is the decision making process.

hh.As it is the IC that decides the venue, it is responsible for guaranteeing a level of quality, preparation and organization of the Forum.

ii.Events are not from one country or region, even though it is necessary that they express their characteristics. It must be clear though that they are patrimony of the Forum.

jj.Call upon the responsible and disciplined self-organization and initiative of participants.

kk.Have exchange spaces with the participation of former organizers, so they can transmit their experiences and feed a more collective reflection ans seek concrete types of cooperation.

There is a necessity to make a protocol for the IC on how to act in states of emergency and lost of control by the Organizing Committee.
A permanent contact must be established between the IC and the OC of the forum, they should work together and better co-ordinate the preparation of the event. The IC and the local Organizing Committee should be more mutually transparent.

For the Language Working Groups see Annex 3.

4) WSF Resources / Resources Commission Report

4.1) Preliminary report on 2011 WSF Dakar event
(Accounts are being audited; final report will be available by end July)

The results of the financial process of 2011 Dakar is currently being audited. The report should be ready in July.

A Resources committee was organized locally to search for funds, guarantee coherence in expenses, propose solutions and authorize payments. This was jointly done by CONGAD and ENDA. An account in Italy was opened to receive funds from the registration system.

Novib has financed 40% of the budget, and the rest of resources came primarily from Action Aid, Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and registration fees. Coopération Française, Government of Venezuela, Government of Catalunia, EED were contacted, but didn’t cooperate.

Budget was revised many times, from €4 million in the first project to €1,436 million raised. Of which €614 000 (43%) in local expenses and €821 000 (57%) in African and international expenses.
- 10% devoted to African and international mobilization.
- 13% devoted to mobilization.
- 18% devoted to Solidarity Fund.
- 14% devoted to interpretation.
There is real deficit of €50 000. How to deal with it?

4.2) Report on current financial situation of WSF process
- waiting for Nicola’s report

While the Dakar WSF has a deficit of around €50 000, the issue of resources turns problematic. The Solidarity Fund is very low. An urgent letter will be sent to members of the IC to request an exceptional support. We should equally work on a reform of the Solidarity Fund which should be based on a sort of annual contribution by members rather than a one-time contribution of the organization of the IC.

5) Future of the Forum and venue of WSF in 2013 / Expansion Commission Report

Based on discussions in the IC and the Expansion Commission, a sub-group of the Expansion Commission was designated to follow proposals for organizing the WSF in 2013.

Following up on the discussions at the IC in Dakar, the idea of holding a global WSF in the North should be considered. This is based on the feeling that this would promote solidarity of movements in the North and the South and also lend strength to the WSF processes in the North, which (especially in Europe) have been weakened in recent years. The decision to hold a future WSF in the North would need to address crucial issues of logistics related to availability of conditions that allow participation from all regions and countries of the world, especially regarding visas and border control.

There were four proposals: Montreal, Galicia, Portugal and Croatia – only the first two had concrete and detailed proposals, so the later weren’t further considered. Representatives from both Montreal and Galicia made brief presentation regarding the proposals to organize a global event. The discussion was centered mainly around the importance, challenge and difficulties of holding a WSF in the north. A proposition of holding a WSF in the Maghreb/Mashrek was started discussed by the members of the IC during this plenary Session.

Representatives from Montreal and Galicia agreed that priority should be given to organizing the WSF in 2013 in the Maghreb/Mashrek region, although the process in Montreal and Galicia should not be lost; the IC has a responsibility that these processes there receive support.

Given the still volatile political situation in the Maghreb/Mashrek region, it is not possible to take a final decision about organizing the WSF in the region. Representatives from the region reported that while discussions have been initiated about the proposal to organize the WSF in 2013 there, no final decision on a venue has been arrived at. While various venues are under discussion, the two prominent ones are Tunis and Cairo. The IC should set up a group for 2013 that will involve itself in the process of accompanying the local organizing committee.

The WSF needs to support the changes in this region, which have started but have not been achieved yet. To bring the WSF to this region would be important for the process, to give it a new boost, and also for the movements and activists there as well - and they must be included in the process. Women in the region are traditionally excluded from main political decisions, so taking women movements from other places to dialog with local women would be extremely enriching and important.

If the WSF is organized in the Maghreb/Mashrek region, the IC needs to work out a plan of activities leading up to the WSF in 2013. Such a plan should include events in Montreal and Galicia in 2012. Representatives from Galicia have offered to reorganize a thematic forum on the methodology of the WSF in 2012. Representatives from Montreal would need to go back and consult on the possibility of organizing an appropriate thematic forum in 2012. There are plans to hold a Maghreb Social Forum in 2012 in Tunisia, and a Social Forum to Support Palestine in Egypt. The IC should be present in these events and take it on with the process of learning from one event to another and create a huge mobilization, an ongoing caravan over two years.

Eastern Europe has been a forgotten region within the WSF process, but it is currently in a boiling process – social and economical. There was a big support to hold a thematic or regional Forum there. The necessity of including Croatia and the Balkans in the European and Mediterranean dynamics was pointed.

- The IC did not take a final decision on venue of the next WSF in this meeting

- The IC decide that a process be initiated to prioritize the possibility of organizing the next WSF in 2013 in the Maghreb/Mashrek Region.

- The next IC meeting should take a final decision about the venue. If the conditions are favorable for organizing the WSF in the Maghreb/Mashrek region, the decision on the venue will be based on discussion and consensus among the WSF processes in the region.

- The IC should initiate a process that leads up to the WSF in 2013, and this should include global events (possible thematic forums) to be organized in Montreal and Galicia. The process in 2011/2012 should also integrate the mobilization around the G20 meeting and the mobilizations around the Rio+20 climate change meeting in 2012.

6) Commissions

6.1) Methodology Commission

Working Plan


Team: Gina, Giuseppe, Hernán

1.To prepare, based in what have been done up until now and what is missing, a more complete proposal of evaluation and considering the long term.
2.ComCom is responsible for sending the evaluation questionnaire to Participants of the Dakar WSF.

Deadline: first week of July

3.Recovering the WSF Memory

Team: Chico, Moema, Norma, Celina

prepare a proposal on the process of recovering and recording the WSF memory, one that includes
2-the proposal of the Documentation Center of Social Movements in Amsterdam
3-the proposal of Porto Alegre
4-the proposal of CEAAL of researching the political and conceptual development of the WSF.
5-Janio will send a proposal of recovering the short-term memory.

Deadline: this proposal will circulate in the Commission one month prior to the IC Meeting in November 2011.

4.Guiding Principles

Team: Liege, Damian, Pierre

This document, approved in the IC Meeting of Copenhagen, that guides the organization of WSF events has not been taken on by the IC. Based on the proposal of a “check list”, done by the Office, a document will be prepared in order to take into account how these principles are – or aren’t – respected.

Deadline: end of August

5.Inter-commission relations

- with Com Com we are working on the evaluation and the guiding principles. We will see ways of feeding the Website with proposals of the methodology commission.

- with Expansion Commission
We will analyze its proposal and we will discuss ways of coordinate efforts in the process of connection between forums/events/processes from now on until 2013.
Hernán will send a first reflection on how to contribute, from the Methodology Commission, to the liaison process between all the different initiatives.

6.Facilitation Team

Cecilia, Hernan, Celina, Pierre

6.2) Strategy Commission

Réunion COMMISSION STRATÉGIE – 27 mai 2011 – Paris

Ordre du jour

6-Groupe de travail sur les thématiques pour les forums sociaux, mais aussi rio+20, G20
7-Suivi du processus et événements associés : quelles sont les grandes priorités ? La 1ere serait Maghreb-Machrek, donc il faudrait faire un groupe de travail pour comprendre ce qui s’est passé.
8-Suivi du processus avec les évènements associés
9-En quoi le FSM aide les luttes et les mouvements?
10-Réflexion sur les inter-commissions

7.Groupe de travail sur les thématiques pour les forums sociaux, mais aussi rio+20, G20

Le groupe de travail est créé
Les personnes intéressées à intégrer ce travail peuvent s’adresser à Francine Mestrum

8.Suivi du processus et événements associés : quelles sont les grandes priorités ? La 1ere serait Maghreb-Machrek

Il faut revoir ce que la commission stratégie va faire. Plusieurs fois dans le CI, on a dit que le format des rencontres du CI ne permet pas d’avoir des discussions politiques approfondies. On parle plutôt des prochaines rencontres, etc.

Par exemple, Dans cette rencontre, on a souvent évoquer le Kurdistan. Mais qui comprend vraiment ce qui se passe là ? Autre exemple : beaucoup de discussions sur Maghreb-Machrek. Mais il n’est pas évident qu’il y a compréhension par tous les membres du CI de tout ce qui se passe dans cette région.
C’est problématique d’avoir ces discussions sans avoir une base de connaissance commune.

L’idée de la commission stratégie serait de pouvoir parler de ce qui se passe dans le monde et des divers processus. Il faudrait donc préparer de petits rapports pour avoir une compréhension commune de la situation. Il faudrait donc qu’en amont des rencontres du CI, il y ait une réflexion et une production sur le contexte et les enjeux politiques mondiaux en les mettant en synergie avec le processus FSM

Accord général sur la procédure à mettre en œuvre :

3.La commission stratégie décide des points qu’il s’agit de traiter pour le prochain, CI, sans oublier de se mettre en rapport avec le groupe de liaison qui est responsable de la préparation de l’agenda du CI
4.Une ou deux personnes prennent la responsabilité de définir quelques questions précises sur le contexte et les enjeux du sujet choisi. Il faut un nombre limité de questions qui provoquent des réactions. Ce n’est pas un document qui établit une position. C’est un contribution sur le contexte et les enjeux qui doit nous permettre d’améliorer la qualité des débats lors des CI et d’avancer sur les thématiques du processus du FSM.
5.Diffusion à la commission stratégie pour amendements et valisation des questions à poser
6.Diffusion et demande aux membres du CI de fournir des contributions concises
7.Les personnes « responsables » réalisent une synthèse des contributions
8.Diffusion à la commission stratégie pour d’éventuelles amendements
9.Diffusion au groupe de liaison (LG) de la synthèse pour que le LG l’envoie aux membres du CI et le met éventuellement en ligne sur le site
10.Ll LG s’assure aussi que ces synthèse soient distribuées en version papier aux membres du CI le premier jour du CI
11.Présentation de cette synthèse lors du CI

Les 3 sujets choisis lors de cette CS sont :

2.la région maghreb Mashrek (responsable : Vinod)
3.la deuxième conférence sur le racisme et les discriminations de Durban 2011 ( responsables : Olivier B et Mireille Mendes France)
4.le RIO+20 et le G20 ( responsables :

Les trois questions initiales doivent être envoyées d’ici un mois (30 juin) à la commission. Les gens de la commission devraient répondre pour le 15 juillet. 1er août les questions sont envoyées au CI qui doivent répondre pour le 15 septembre. Du 15 septembre au 15 octobre la synthèse est effectuée par les personnes responsables (2 ou 3). C’est envoyé à la commission qui répond pour le 1er novembre. Le 7 novembre, c’est envoyé au CI en toutes les langues. Si les gens ne répondent pas, ils sont d’accord.

A voir : La commission stratégie pourrait solliciter des personnes de la Mésopotamie pour faire une contribution pour la réunion inter-commission en septembre

Autre sujet à avoir en tête : la dimension Nord / Sud. C’est un important débat après avoir accepté la possibilité de faire un FSM au Nord.


Il faut identifier les évènements quand on les connait. Guss Massiah en collaboration avec le secrétariat vont réaliser un travail pour identifier quels sont les évènements prévus d’ici à 2013. Pour chaque évènement, on va demander comment ils se situent par rapport au processus : adoptent-ils la charte et les principes méthodologiques ou non? Ça va créer deux catégories : les évènements qui s’inscrivent dans le processus ou celles qui sont associées au processus.

On va ensuite trouver une personne impliquée dans cet évènement et on va lui envoyer le questionnaire (qui existe déjà) de description de l’évènement. Si le CI décide d’une orienta tion pour l’année, nous posons aussi la question sur la relation entre l’évènement et la stratégie pour l’année. Le plus difficile est d’identifier des personnes qui veulent bien collaborer et s’associer à la commission.

Il y a un défi de traduction. Mais les réponses doivent être brèves. Les démarches peuvent être différentes pour recueillir les données (orales, écrites…). Il faut utiliser les ressources de la commission pour traduire en trois langues.


PROPOSITION : que nous constituons un groupe de travail qui se penche sur la question : Est-ce que le processus des FSM a permis d’apporter quelque chose aux mouvements sociaux et aux luttes?

Il faudrait que quelqu’un fasse un premier texte (sur comment on peut prendre la question) qui serait discuté dans la commission. Ce sera travaillé par Gus et Christophe Aguiton.

On parle de l’Espagne, du Burkina, ce qui se passe en Guinée (ça a été oublié, couvert par Maghreb-Machrek) …

Si quelqu’un considère que l’on ne discute pas d’un enjeu fondamental, qu’il écrive un papier et qu’on le fasse circuler. Ce sont des alertes, des papiers d’information et pas d’analyse.

Florent va faire un petit papier sur le Kurdistan. John Patrick sur l’Afrique.


Que des gens de notre commission décident de construire des liens avec des gens d’une autre commission, surtout méthodologie et expansion. Et communication.
Lien avec expansion : Hector de la Cueva
Avec communication : Gus va trouver quelqu’un et assure l’intérim
Avec méthodologie : Geneviève Azzam

6.3) Communication Commission


On May 24th 2011, the day before the IC meeting, a whole day seminar was took place among active members of the Communication commission, mainly dedicated to identifying issues to be discussed and aiming to have better understanding of the role of the commission, its tasks and how action on communication issues in wsf process can be stimulated from it. 

A methodology was agreed for this identification, in order to invite all interested participants in comcom (IC members and observers) to give their inputs, commenting synthetically the Commission’s draft working plan, along a common form, then 
formulating issues to be discussed based on sharing of written comments on each item (see: http:// 

The presence of a representative for the Babels network in this seminar was a positive point, posing the issue of language and translations beyond its technical dimension - in order to stimulate a permanent facilitation initiative/project on “languages” in the FSM linked to communication commission. In a similar way, the issue of the cultural - artistic and dialogical dimensions of communication in the FSM process was presented and could constitute another facilitation initiative (or shared project).


9 reports were made early after Dakar by either projects/initiatives included in comcom working 
plan or local committee groups: 

http://openfsm.net/projects/communication-commission/comcom-meeting-wsf11-evaluation-and- recomendations 

A synthesis is being made (to contribute with lessons learned and proposals for the future); while at the same time participants in the Comcom are invited to contribute actively in the WSF 2011 Dakar evaluation group: 


and send recommendations: 



Members of the Communication commission present in Paris were keen to meet with other commissions to discuss common work and they collectively felt that the issue is not given enough attention by LG (Liaison Group) when designing an IC agenda.

Indeed the intercommission session announced in the agenda was pushed to an evening time on 26th of May, when 
other meeting were called by IC members and therefore could not be held. 

On the 27th afternoon, those still present went to attend the methodology meeting and joined some new working 
groups there (http://openfsm.net/projects/ic-methodology/project-home). As a result, joint work on 4 areas between the commission were established:
- [Live] Memory of the FSM 

- Inter-communication between events 2011-2012

- Guiding principles document revision

- Evaluation extended to registered participants

A few Comcom members were also involved in the strategy commission working group on thematic axes 

[Nevertheless this 27th meeting was not a intercommission meeting with full participation of all present members of each commission and the opportunity to discuss a broader range of issues] 


In the framework of existing shared projects/ facilitation initiatives or in the name of organizations participating in the Comcom 
some cooperation was developed in 2010 and 2011 especially through the dynamics of Palestine world education forum and Maghreb Mashrek process (media, extension, interpretation, etc..) .

Contacts and the inclusion of new members and participants from the Arab word and Middle east at large (including Tunisia, Egypt, turkish Kurdistan, Irak) were made in the meeting which took place on the 25th of May, with the intention to continue developing these links and cooperation and including more Arab world actors to join the Communication commission. 

A first proposal that emerged was for Arabic to be included as a 5th WSF language in all official communication (websites and newsletters).


As new social forum events and initiatives were announced for the next 2 years, given the difficulties experienced in 2010 to try and link with the organizing committees, a renewed intention to work in close contact and with sufficient time was shared in the commission meeting, prioritizing connection with youth social networks - in particular with the experience of the Arab / Mediterranean revolutions. Moreover, as the Rio+20 events in 2012 will be an important milestone for man of the organizations participating in the WSF process, special attention will be given towards its preparation. Among the many initiatives, a few have been proposed: emerging from the Convergence assembly on Communication in the WSF 2011 in Dakar, some events revolving on free media and communication right are programmed around Rio+20; the communication commission can help share the results inasmuch as they are part of the WSF process and of the work of its member organisations.

IPS will produce Terraviva during the Conference in Rio+20. Terraviva was created during the Conference of 1992 and the commission looks to Terraviva as a useful tool of communication and looks favorably to its presence in Rio.

The Commission further discussed on the importance and on the need to consolidate and strengthen the Social Forum Extended project, considered necessary to advance in these practices to facilitate remote participation and exchange between the WSF events in regions far between.


Given the agenda of this IC focused around expansion and strategy issues (Arab world and 2013) and due to the short time dedicated to commissions’ meetings, the Communication commission did not present a new working plan to the IC plenary. The discussion on communication strategy, facilitation initiatives and working plan for the rest of 2011 until 2013 will be discussed in the following months, with a first deadline on June 15th for issues to be consensed and further elaborated. 

Nevertheless, the Commission restated the two dimensions in which it operates: 

One is the political dimension: the fundamental importance of communication to make participation, mobilization, convergence and exchange possible. By contributing to the participation of journalists, independent media and social network activists, as well as to the cultural, artistic and linguistic aspects, there is understanding that communication is a strategic area for the WSF and movements, and a right to be strongly defended in its agenda and spaces. 

The other dimension is operational, through facilitating initiatives in which the Commission contributes to promote the WSF shared platforms and collaborative websites and offers a modus operandi to event organizers, by stimulating common coverage with radios, videos and other media, based on the concept of shared communication.

Finally, the Commission confirmed the intention to work in a more integrated way with the other IC commissions.


In an effort to include more people and in particular IC members who could not travel, the Sfex (Social Forum extended) initiative and the local social forum of Ivry maintained a video stream out of the seminar and ic meeting , with an invitation in a chatroom - videos and transcription are here [see: http://openfsm.net/projects/ic-extended/project-home] . This coverage will be proposed in next ICs, with a more professional equipment and interactive possibilities.

7) New members

The Plenary of the IC approved the two applications recommended by the Expansion Commission:

a) No Vox International – Headquartered in France, with a network in 17 countries across Asia, Africa and Europe.

b) Flare: Headquartered in Italy with network in different parts of Europe, including Eastern Europe.

8) Next IC Meeting

Two proposals were received by the Expansion Commission for organizing the next IC meeting, from:
a) Kurdistan (Turkey) before the IInd Mesopotamia Social Forum (20-25 September)
b) Dhaka, Bangladesh, after the South Asia Forum (around 19-21 November)

The commission took into account the need for the Maghreb/Mashrek region to have time till November (given that elections in Egypt and Tunisia are scheduled for October) to decide on the venue for the 2013 WSF. The Commission decided to recommend that the next IC meeting will be organized in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in November.

The Commission also discussed that there is a need to organize an inter-commission meeting to formulate a composite plan for the WSF process till 2013 and also to develop a detailed funding proposal. This meeting cannot wait for November, especially given the precarious financial situation of the WSF. The Commission decided that an inter-commission will be organized in September, using the opportunity of the Mesopotamia Social Forum in Kurdistan (Turkey).

The Commission also decided that the Mesopotamia Social Forum process would benefit from the presence of IC members, and decided to recommend to the IC that the meeting of the IC in the first half of 2012 be organized in the region.


- The next IC meeting will be organized in Dhaka, Bangladesh, along with the South Asia Social forum, also being organized in Dhaka between 19-21 November. The exact dates of the IC meeting will be confirmed.

- An inter-commission meeting will be organized in September in Diyarbakir, Kurdistan, to coincide with the Mesopotamia Forum between 20-25 September.

- The IC should consider organizing the IC meeting in the first half of 2012 in the Mesopotamia region.

Annex 1 - Attendance


Alianza por un mundo responsable, plural y solidario
Alianza Social Continental
Articulación Feminista Marcosur
ATTAC France
CCFD - Terre Solidaire
CCFD - Terre Solidaire
Comissão Brasileira Justiça e Paz
Focus on the Global South
Fondation Frantz Fanon
Forum Mondial des Alternatives
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Herriak Aske
Institut Panos Afrique de l’Ouest - IPAO
Instituto de Estudios de la CTA
International Alliance of Inhabitants
Kurdish Network
May First/People Link
Peoples Health Movement
Rede Ecosocialista Internacional
Social Watch
Stop the Wall Campaign
Transnationals Information Exchange
Via Campesina
World March of Women

Annex 2 - Axes Working Group

Meeting of the working-party on the renewal of the thematic axes

The working-party met for the very first time and had a very interesting and fruitful exchange of views.
Many questions will have to be discussed and resolved before we can start writing new axes.
The main points which were discussed concerned the objectives of the WSF, the taking into account of the experiences of past and ongoing events, the need of putting into practice new paradigms, taking into account different kinds of movements in different time-frames, the desirability of making the WSF more useful for movements, etc. And maybe the most difficult question that will have to be discussed is the way in which we can promote and encourage dialogue and convergence among and between different axes.
The group has now a couple of questions which can be answered in about a month, after which a first synthesis can be made and the next phase in the discussion, at the next IC, can be prepared.

Annex 3 - Dakar Evaluation Session: Language Working Groups
a) Arabic-speaking group:
1. including Arabic language in WSF communication and main document
2. having a preparatory committee don’t mean that IC have no role in preparing the forum
3. follow up of IC should have mailstones to see that things are working. we can’t start follow up only one month before the forum
4. IN Arabic states of Africa, we need to be prepared to face the a) need for institution to host the event, so we need clean agreement and clear coordination process: B) political persons like presidents and high figures will try to get to the forum and we need to have a solution in advance.
5. thematic work group are good we need more of them and the assembly too.
6. thematic issues of cases like Saharawi, Kurd, other, should be part of any forum. However not to change the face of the WSF to thematic one.

b) Grupo de habla española

12.Encuentro de organizadores de diferentes foros (regionales, globales, temáticos, etc.) celebrados desde 2009, con el objetivo de aprender y comparar metodologías y estrategias de movilización;
13.Más y mejor transparencia y clarificación financiera y de la información;
a.Establecer la figura de un relator financiero.
14.Contacto permanente entre el Consejo Internacional (CI) y el comité organizador local y viceversa. Mejor trabajo colectivo de coordinación y articulación;
15.Reforzar el proceso comunicativo local con la región; mejorar el trabajo de difusión internacional;
16.Dotar al cuestionario de evaluación de más amplitud, así como ser más abierto a la participación de diferentes voces;
17.Mayor coordinación entre los organizadores locales y los traductores, quienes necesitan de unas condiciones específicas para desarrollar su trabajo;
18.Garantizar y definir espacios colectivos de decisión;
19.Involucrar la juventud en los foros, haciendo uso de nuevas tecnologías y acercando la realidad a las dinámicas del FSM;
20.Mejora de la comunicación previa al foro tanto a nivel local como global;
21.Lenguaje cultural-----potenciar nuevas metodologías y pedagogías;
22.Transparencia ética y política;
23.Buscar mecanismos que ayuden a “enlazar” las diferentes temáticas y preocupaciones de los Foros;
24.Establecer una comisión sobre temas “sensibles”--------caso saharauis/marroquíes;
25.Reforzar la metodología de las Asambleas de Convergencia, y no dejarlas para el último día por el impacto que les resta;
26.“Vivencia paradigmática” dentro del territorio donde se realiza el foro;
27.Regular las ventas y las actividades que se realizan en los foros.

c) Reflections from the English-speaking group

Overall lessons, thoughts and recommendations`;
Dakar was a disaster for the individuals that participated, they spent a lot of resources to get there and were lost most of the time. The forum failed for those thousands of individuals. Networks fared much better, because of word of mouth or self-organization. The WSF did not have political cohesion as a whole.

Communication and accountability
- The IC and the local organizing committee should be more mutually transparent, updating the members of what is happening before and during the process.
- We should have called an emergency IC meeting in Dakar- There was a bottle neck of decision making to a few people, leaving an undue burden on the local organizing committee. IC members could have been mobilized to respond to the crises.
- There should be attention to the financial side of the forum. Organizing committee was left on their own on financing.
- We need an improvement on internal communication, between the liaison committee, the commissions and the IC as a whole.

- We need a serious evaluation of IC- an assessment of the IC participation, how the IC functions, expectation of work of IC members, political culture and mechanism of accountability.
- Need a collective discussion of what are the expectations of IC members- we need to construct that together and develop a document that can be available before and after you become a member of IC. An example- is developing a criteria for participation for members who receive Solidarity Fund.
- There is a lot of frustration in the IC- members who no longer come because they see it as a waste of time and resources. It would be good to have a conversation or an anonymous survey on why they don’t participate or what they would change in the IC process.
- We are sitting with a huge problem, we have to go the root of the problem. The IC is fundamentally responsible for success and failure of the WSF. We have to assess how we work, how meetings are conducted, how we treat each other, talk to each other. How do we tackle these issues.
- Proposal: we need to stimulate processes within the commissions and organizers from the forum. And we need to create those vehicles. We need to transfer experiences- permanent facilitation initiatives for the WSF process linked to one or more of the commissions.

Local context.
- The local situation was not sufficiently treated, they had no say. The IC should take the local context as a starting point, to help inform the construction of the forum.
- The WSF bankrupted the World March of Women- when those caravans reached Dakar there was no infrastructure for them. We did not anticipate that extra unexpected expense to help house them.
- The women’s organization in Dakar where left out of the organizing committee
- Recommendation: when deciding on location of future global WSF, we need a clear criteria to host WSF global event. A process of how we came to a decision is clear and informed.

d) Rapport du Groupe de travail Francophone

La réflexion du groupe ont porté sur 3 axes majeurs :
les aspects négatifs
les aspects positifs
les recommandations

A – les aspects négatifs :
le déficit de programmation ce qui a engendré l’arrivée tardive du programme qui parfois se retrouvait en grande quantité inutilisée,
l’occupation des espaces par les grands réseaux qui du coup phagocytes les petites structures,
difficultés des petits réseaux dépourvus de moyens de trouver un espace,
le non respect des engagements pris par les organisations membres du conseil international,
l’attentisme des membres du conseil international et le manque de responsabilité des membres du conseil international notamment en ce qui concerne le problème de logistique à Dakar où on n’a constaté la non implication de ceux-ci pour la résolution du problème,
la démotivation des interprêtres et un déficit de communication ce qui a entraîné un énorme gâchis,
l’absence de vigilance lors de la validation des activités et programmation des ateliers de sorte que Danone s’est inscrite alors que c’est une multinationale qui rame à contre courant de la dynamique alter mondialiste,
le déficit de coordination des caravanes et insuffisance de moyens,
l’absence de connexion entre le camp des jeunes et le grand espace du forum,
faible participation de la jeunesse universitaire du Sénégal,
faible impact médiatique du forum de Dakar,
difficulté du CI à analyser les situations et prendre des décisions idoines,
manque de solidarité et absence de responsabilité collective,
le problème d’appropriation du CI,
inadéquation entre les ressources disponibles et le gigantisme du forum,
exclusion des grands groupes moteurs lors du forum de sorte qu’il ya une constitution d’un club des gens du 3ième âge dans le dispositif du forum,
le problème de la présentation dans le CI,
le forum des riches et non des pauvres,
création d’une oligarchie des grandes structures due à l’autogestion à outrance,
l’absence de liens entre les évènements et le processus du FSM,
prééminence des grosses structures dans les forums thématiques,
beaucoup d’organisations se comportent en prestataire de service,
difficulté financière.

B- les aspects positifs à consolider :

la capacité des grands réseaux à s’auto-organiser et transcender les obstacles,
l’intégration entre le comité d’organisation et le groupe babel,
la mutualisation des moyens financiers,
l’association des interprêtres professionnels,
la pratique des caravanes,
Dakar étendu,
L’assemblée des convergences pour l’action,
La forte mobilisation.

C- Recommandation :
impliquer les grands réseaux dans la gestion de la logistique de sorte à libérer le comité d’organisation afin qu’il mettent l’accent sur les nouveaux participants,
organiser une rencontre du CI 2 à 3 jours avant la tenue du forum qui se consacrera essentiellement sur l’opérationnel,
élaborer un canevas et une programmation formel des activités du forum,
instaurer une vigilance accrue dans la validation des ateliers,
Etre attentif aux difficultés des petites structures,
Mettre un accent particulier sur le financement des caravanes et leur coordination,
Accroître l’impact médiatique du forum,
Créer un mécanisme de travail de sorte à permettre la présence effective des membres du CI ou volontaire 3 mois avant la tenue du forum,
Réduire les tensions autour des finances du forum,
Prendre en compte des grands évènements par le CI,
Utiliser les NTIC dans les rencontres du CI et les étapes préparatoires du forum,
Utiliser les langues locales pour faciliter la participation des groupes des pauvres,
Instaurer une directive dans l’animation des activités,
Avoir des points d’informations lors du forum,
Permettre aux petites organisations d’avoir une possibilité de recours,
Instaurer une cotisation annuelle des organisations membres du CI en remplacement d’une contribution au fonds de solidarité