Dear friends and comrades,
Fourteen years ago, at the beginning of the new millennium, the World Social Forum came to the fore as the response of the people to the globalization of the markets. It was deliberately meant as versatile meeting of movements, trade unions and associations from around the world, looking for progressive solutions to global problems: poverty, social inequality, lack of democracy, racism, environmental destruction, and absence of economic and social justice. By using dialogue among equals, as well as horizontal processes, it provided proof that social forces from different parts of the world, which may be militant against different problems, can still converge around common goals and so formulate an alternative vision and blueprint for the planet. With values like these, condensed in such slogans as "people before profits" and "another world is possible", the World Social Forum was the space in which ideas and modes of action were born and grew which would eventually question the global neoliberal supremacy.
The World Social Forum will take place from March 24 to March 28 in Tunis.
The opening march will take place on March 24, at 4 pm, Bab Saadoun Square toward the Bardo Museum. The slogan will be : 'PEOPLES OF THE WORLD UNITED AGAINST TERRORISM'.
Yesterday’s attacks in Tunis motivate us even more to come together at the World Social Forum, that will take place in Tunis next week; in the spirit of solidarity and to take a firm stand against terrorism.
In the light of yesterday’s attack at the Museum of Bardo in Tunis where 20 people were killed and 44 wounded, SOLIDAR calls for participation to the World Social Forum as the appropriate answer from all pacifist and democratic forces for a better, more fair and free world based on peaceful co-existence.
Through this attack, terrorist groups attempted to undermine the democratic transition taking place in Tunisia, while creating a climate of fear amongst citizens who aspire freedom, democracy and peaceful participation in establishing democracy.
SOLIDAR supports progressive social movements and democratic forces in Tunisia and in the wider Middle East and North Africa to oppose violence and terrorism, whilst promoting human rights, fundamental freedoms, freedom of association, peace, democracy and social justice.
Global Social Justice will be present in Tunis at the WSF from 24 to 28 March. Tomorrow we will publish our programme, with many workshops on social protection and the commons.
The United Kingdom scuttled much of its trans-Atlantic partnership with the United States this week, when it became the first G7 country to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) over US objections. European countries France, Germany, and Italy followed suit, with Australia and South Korea now re-evaluating their positions to consider joining the USD $50 billion capitalized AIIB. Japan is holding firm on its alliance with the United States in refusing to join the AIIB. United States National Security Council spokesperson Patrick Ventrell declared that “any new multilateral institution should incorporate the high standards of the World Bank and the regional development banks…we have concerns about whether the AIIB will meet these high standards, particularly related to governance, and environmental and social safeguards.”
When a group of women in the remote village of Sadhuraks in Pakistan’s Thar Desert, some 800 km from the port city of Karachi, were asked if they would want to be born a woman in their next life, the answer from each was a resounding ‘no’.
They have every reason to be unhappy with their gender, mostly because of the unequal division of labour between men and women in this vast and arid region that forms a natural boundary between India and Pakistan.
"South Asian countries need to realise the tremendous capacity for leadership women have in planning for and responding to disasters." -- David Line, managing editor of The Economist Intelligence Unit