• charter-fsm-wsf-en-colorized

last modified November 7, 2020 by facilitfsm

Examining the world social forum charter of principles

The committee of Brazilian organizations that conceived of, and organized, the first World Social Forum, held in Porto Alegre from January 25th to 30th, 2001, after evaluating the results of that Forum and the expectations it raised, consider it necessary and legitimate to draw up a Charter of Principles to guide the continued pursuit of that initiative. While the principles contained in this Charter - to be respected by all those who wish to take part in the process and to organize new editions of the World Social Forum - are a consolidation of the decisions that presided over the holding of the Porto Alegre Forum and ensured its success, they extend the reach of those decisions and define orientations that flow from their logic.

It is important to note that the charter  was written after the first forum and not before, it is based on practical experience

A colorization of the charter, among others possible

SYNTHETIC DEFINITIONS  of WSF process what it is and what it is not




Vocabulary and elements in the charter in red  : space process events encounter activities entities instances declaration decisions atlernatives actions  some elements put in black block letters  

Comments and additions in blue

Practical Formal Vocabulary e-g :  Entities that deem themselves as participating in the process (moments of intercommunication between participants in the process) events (groups of activities), and initiatives (public actions for another possible world)

Comments at the end of each article

In capital letters suggested ADDITIONS for CLARIFICATION of drafting in article 7 and 10 which is incoherent with article 6

1. The World Social Forum is an open meeting place for reflective thinking, democratic debate of ideas, formulation of proposals, free exchange of experiences [ principally through self organized activities] and interlinking for effective action [ initiatives] , by groups and movements of civil society that are opposed to neoliberalism and to domination of the world by capital and any form of imperialism, and are committed to building a planetary society directed towards fruitful relationships among Humankind and between it and the Earth. [a dialogic process]


2. The World Social Forum at Porto Alegre was an event localized in time and place. From now on, in the certainty proclaimed at Porto Alegre that "another world is possible", it becomes a permanent process of seeking and building alternatives [initiatives] , which cannot be reduced to the events supporting it. [Events are clusters of activities - the process can feed on isolated activities - notions of decentralization and dynamics of fsm and fospa extension] [Focus on alternative actions initiatives is critical]


3. The World Social Forum is a world process. All the meetings[events] that are held as part of this process have an international dimension.  [The process is structured by events not being limited to them - this is visualized in an WSF calendar of events]


4. The alternatives [initiatives]  proposed at the World Social Forum stand in opposition to a process of globalization commanded by the large multinational corporations and by the governments and international institutions at the service of those corporations interests, with the complicity of national governments. They [ those initiatives] are designed to ensure that globalization in solidarity will prevail as a new stage in world history. This will respect universal human rights, and those of all citizens - men and women - of all nations and the environment and will rest on democratic international systems and institutions at the service of social justice, equality and the sovereignty of peoples.[The dialogical process is closely related to non-violent resistance change actions]

5. The World Social Forum brings together and interlinks only organizations and movements of civil society from all the countries in the world, but it does not intend to be a body representing world civil society. [The process is voluntary and does not pretend to be representative - it is a common good of its participants a tool fed by all]


6. The meetings [activties] of the World Social Forum do not deliberate on behalf of the World Social Forum as a body. No-one, therefore, will be authorized, on behalf of any of the editions of the Forum, to express positions claiming to be those of all its participants. The participants in the Forum shall not be called on to take decisions as a body, whether by vote or acclamation, on declarations or proposals for action that would commit all, or the majority, of them and that propose to be taken as establishing positions of the Forum as a body. It thus does not constitute a locus of power to be disputed by the participants in its meetings, nor does it intend to constitute the only option for interrelation and action by the organizations and movements that participate in it. [To participate in the activities of the process does not imply anything - to place activities or initiatives in the process or to organize or to facilitate eventrequires to declare oneself as participants in the process as described by the charter of principles]


7. Nonetheless, organizations or groups of organizations that participate in the Forums meetings must be assured the right, during such meetings, to deliberate   [through self organized activities] on declarations or actions  [initiatives] they may decide on, whether singly or in coordination with other participants. THE PARTICIPATNTS FACILITATING The World Social Forum undertake[s] to circulate such decisions widely by the means at its disposal, without directing, hierarchizing, censuring or restricting them, but as deliberations of the organizations or groups of organizations that made the decisions.  [To value circulate and spread the initiatives placed in the process in the occasion of activities and of events is a fundamental task of the facilitators of events of the process ]


8. The World Social Forum is a plural, diversified, non-confessional, non-governmental and non-party context that, in a decentralized fashion, interrelates organizations and movements engaged in concrete action  [initiatives] at levels from the local to the international to build another world. [ a diverse process without center operating in network mode ]


9. The World Social Forum will always be a forum open to pluralism and to the diversity of activities and ways of engaging of the organizations and movements that decide to participate in it, as well as the diversity of genders, ethnicities, cultures, generations and physical capacities, providing they abide by this Charter of Principles. Neither party representations nor military organizations shall participate in the Forum. Government leaders and members of legislatures who accept the commitments of this Charter may be invited to participate in a personal capacity. [A diverse plural process regulated by the recognition as participants according to a charter of principles and respecting some exclusions relative to who can place activities and initiatives]


10. PARTICIPANTS IN  The World Social Forum [is] ARE opposed to all totalitarian and reductionist views of economy, development and history and to the use of violence as a means of social control by the State. It THEY uphold[s] respect for Human Rights, the practices of real democracy, participatory democracy, peaceful relations, in equality and solidarity, among people, ethnicities, genders and peoples, and condemns all forms of domination and all subjection of one person by another.  [There is a clear prescription of values and goals of active participants]


11. As a forum for debate,[ principally through self organized activities]  the World Social Forum is a movement of ideas that prompts reflection, and the transparent circulation of the results of that reflection, on the mechanisms and instruments of domination by capital, on means and actions to resist and overcome that domination, and on the alternatives  [initiatives] proposed  to solve the problems of exclusion and social inequality that the process of capitalist globalization with its racist, sexist and environmentally destructive dimensions is creating internationally and within countries.  [ A dialogical process that fuels the movement of ideas - it is not an active entity - manifestations of the processes are activities and presentation of initiatives - they are not the implementation of the initiatives themselves - It is the  participating entities that act]]


12. As a framework for the exchange of experiences [ principally through self organized activities], the World Social Forum encourages understanding and mutual recognition among its participant organizations and movements, and places special value on the exchange among them, particularly on all that society is building to centre economic activity and political action on meeting the needs of people and respecting nature, in the present and for future generations. A dialogical process that allows in part to project oneself into the social intellectual cultural cultural prefiguration of another possible world - in a realistic position]


13. As a context for interrelations [ principally through self organized activities], the World Social Forum seeks to strengthen and create new national and international links among organizations and movements of society, that - in both public and private life - will increase the capacity for non-violent social resistance to the process of dehumanization the world is undergoing and to the violence used by the State, and reinforce the humanizing measures being taken by the action [ initiatives] of these movements and organizations. [A dialogical process that allows participating entities to work articulations between them, that can be very broad, without imposition of "convergences" - it is not a movement of movements]


14. The World Social Forum is a process that encourages  [ principally through self organized activities] its participant organizations and movements to situate their actions  [initiatives], from the local level to the national level and seeking active participation in international contexts, as issues of planetary citizenship, and to introduce onto the global agenda the change-inducing practices that they are experimenting in building a new world in solidarity.  [A process of global citizenship - weaving ties, - favoring cross-participation between individuals and entities around shared concerns despite distances]

Approved and adopted in São Paulo, on April 9, 2001, by the organizations that make up the World Social Forum Organizing Committee, approved with modifications by the World Social Forum International Council on June 10, 2001. (This colorization is proposed as a didactical tool by Pierre)