World Social Forum Calls for More Economically Just World

NotiSur - South American Political and Economic Affairs, February 7, 2003 | Go to article overview

World Social Forum Calls for More Economically Just World


More than 100,000 people from 125 countries gathered in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Jan. 23-28 for the third World Social Forum (WSF). Participants expressed opposition to the abuses of corporate-driven globalization, neoliberalism, environmental degradation, and to the likely US attack on Iraq.

The WSF was begun three years ago as an alternative to the World Economic Forum (WEF), an annual meeting of economic and political leaders in Davos, Switzerland. The WSF brings together people from diverse social movements who defend a variety of causes, but they share a commitment to a new world order that is socially more just. Their slogan is "Another World is Possible."

Building that world does not simply mean taking an anti- globalization stance, said Martin Khor, director of the Malaysia-based Third World Network. "We are not against international cooperation. In fact, we are championing international cooperation," said Khor. "What we are against is a particular kind of international economic relations where the strong countries and big companies dominate and create rules to perpetuate their dominance."

The principal themes of this year's Porto Alegre forum were: a democratic world order and the anti-war and peace struggle; media, culture, and counterculture; political power, civil society, and democracy; principles and values, human rights, diversity and equality; and democratic and sustainable development.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva opened the forum. Lula, who left following his appearance at Porto Alegre to travel to Davos, where he proposed that rich countries establish a fund to fight hunger and poverty, said, "Davos talks about how to accumulate more wealth and Porto Alegre how to better distribute it."

"I will tell the people at Davos that the world does not need war, the world needs peace and understanding," said Lula to a cheering crowd as he touched on the theme that most unified this year's WSF--opposition to US unilateralism and the looming war against Iraq. "I lead a great country, but one with 45 million people who do not have enough to eat. I want to tell them that a world order in which a few can eat five times a day while many remain hungry is unacceptable."

The symbolic close to the forum was a large peace rally the night of Jan. 27. One speaker noted that, while US Secretary of State Colin Powell was telling the powerful at Davos that the US is "determined" to do whatever necessary so that "the present situation [with Iraq] does not continue," those in Porto Alegre were raising a huge anti-war banner.

Calls for debt reduction and controls on capital transfers

Participants from around the world criticized the policies of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and US-led effort to create the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). They call for the end to financial tax havens for corporations and for controls on the movement of financial capital.

Sergio Haddad, president of the Asociacao Brasileira de Organizacoes Nao Governamentais (ABONG) and an organizer of the event, said, "The elimination of the foreign debt that crushes poor countries and the privilege of the market as the logic that structures societies" are the foundation of the anti-globalization and anti-neoliberal efforts.

WSF participants say their opposition to unfettered US- style capitalism was finding more receptivity following a year of unprecedented business scandals involving multinational corporations. "Washington always preaches to the developing world about eliminating corruption and the rule of law," said economist Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Washington, DC- based Center for Economic and Policy Research. "Here you see the United States has experienced corruption that is worse than anything in developing countries."

Writing in the Pakistan newspaper Daily Times, Walden Bello, sociology professor at the University of the Philippines and executive director of the Bangkok-based Focus on the Global South, said the WSF in not without critics, even among progressives.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

World Social Forum Calls for More Economically Just World
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.