Accordingly the WSF hosts annual meeting in which it coordinates campaigns, share and refine strategies.
By Albert Matongo
The debate of these two existing forums and how they conducting their duties has been of paramount importance.
The divergence of their roles can only be understood after tracing their earliest manifestations, in particular the basis upon which they were formed.
Before delving much into primary objectives of why such forums were created, it is imperative to first unpack that the World Social Forum (WSF) was designed as a counter forum to the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Generally the WSF it is a global platform which comprises of various groups and organization, human rights activist as environmentalist’s and their argument is that they seeks to criticise the WEF which they regard as a vehicle responsible for furthering capitalism.
Accordingly the WSF hosts annual meeting in which it coordinates campaigns, share and refine strategies.
The official origin of WSF can be traced around 2000, a couple of months after the Seattle Ministerial Conference which was done in 1999.
At this conferences discussions about the Singaporean issues which included trade facilitation, investment and government procurement as well as competition policy did not end well in the World Trade Organization.
This resulted in three key activists meeting in Paris to discuss alternatives to contemporary globalization.
The activists included Bernard Casssen, the chairman of Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions for the Aid of Citizens (ATTAC), the second was Oded Grajew, the founder of Brazilian Business Association for Citizenship, (CIVES) and lastly Francisco Whitaker of the Brazilian Justice and Peace Commission (BJPC).
At this meeting Grajew proposed a forum that would counter and oppose the WEF which annually met in Davos, Switzerland since 1971.
Worth noting is that these founding characters regarded the WEF as a driving vehicle for capitalism. Of critical importance is that the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland meets annually and it united various international top corporate executives, bankers, financiers, policy makers and trade ministers as well as bigger multilateral financial institutions which include the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, (IMF).
The WEF stipulates that its aim is versatile and it includes commitment to state of the world through public-private sector corporation, collaboration with various groups and organizations in order to come up with solutions and actions to global challenges.
One of the most critical thing which the WEF has discussed is the “Great Reset”. This is a new initiative by the WEF in accordance with the Prince of Wales to guide decision makers on the path to a more “resilient, sustainable world beyond coronavirus”.
Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum stated that “the pandemic represents a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world”.
It is against these actions that the WSF opposes the WEF as a being an agent of neoliberalism.
The WSF seeks to create a society that is based upon reflective thinking much against the duties and innovations of the WEF. Such ongoing debate has even resulted in demonstrations and protests in Switzerland especially during the days when the WEF is being done.
The main of the WSF has been the quest to search for an alternative to globalizations projects and these was fundamental in its first two forums held in Porto Alegree 2001 and Brazil 2002.
Therefore in as much as the WSF has been aiming to achieve participatory democracy and the existence of prominent feminists groups within the forum is a huge step towards its effort of democratization.
This is necessitated by the decentralization through its relocation from its pace of origin Brazil to other areas such as Kenya. Worth noting is that WSF has done a lot to uphold gender issues, and effectively advocating for greater democratization to the current form of globalization.
It is therefore against such a background that the WSF has always been committed to counter the WEF, since the latter is always viewed with suspicion as being an capitalistic initiative without equal and inclusive participation of the developing or emerging states.
Thus it is therefore important to always keep on monitoring and understanding the various mechanism and initiatives done by these two forums in order to understand issues of political economy.
Matongo Albert Msc in International trade and diplomacy (UZ)

About us

The Harare Times. News Magazine.



Latest posts