• wsfic icfuturecontribution 16

last modified May 18, 2013 by admin

Dear Friends and comrades in the International Council,

I am writing this mail to reflect a growing sense of concern about the drift in the WSF and especially of the uncertainty about the future of the Forum itself. 

This mail may be seen as coming from an 'unresponsive' member of the IC (for the last 6 months). Being unresponsive is a legitimate reason not to take expressed views seriously. I would, however, draw attention to why a lot of people like me have been unresponsive in the last few months.

It has been almost impossible to get any clear indication regarding what was discussed at the last IC meeting. No proper minutes were circulated, that I am aware of (maybe i missed them). I did ask a couple of times on this list that proper minutes regarding the major decisions of the Monastir IC meeting. I received nothing and gave up.

From the exchanges it seems now clear that major decisions are being taken or are being proposed based on discussions at a poorly attended IC meeting, the decisions of which were never properly disseminated. What this means that a few people, fortunate to be in the know, are mandated to decide on the future of the Forum. I may be overstating the case, but it is true that there are a lot of people who are entirely unaware about the context of the present decisions and are not in a situation to be able to contribute to the discussions.

It quite well may be the case that the Forum in this form will not survive. That need not be a negative outcome -- everything does not have to be permanent. It may also be the case that the Forum can survive better after the present IC is dissolved. For me this questions are secondary. What is more important is the seriousness that has been shown in trying to make this debate inclusive. 

There was a time when the forum could legitimately claim that it genuinely was inclusive. Which means that what the Forum became and what it contributed to the alter globalisation movement was not the result pf the work of a few wise women and men. Let not it be said, when (if this is the desired outcome) we dissolve this Forum that this was a decision that was taken by a few people for reasons best known to them. Such an end to the Forum would be a sad epitaph to a historic process and disrespectful to the enormous amounts of time and energy put in by millions of people across the world.

If something new is to rise from the ashes the Forum, so be it. But that will not happen because a few people believe so. It will happen because the time for the new has come and this is supported by movements who want such an outcome.

Again, all this, for me is theoretical. What is critical is for a larger, more informed, more inclusive debate. I am willing to go alog with suggestions about having more time to meet in Tunis. Like many others, I had already booked my ticket before the IC dates were announced and can stay only for the first day for the IC.

I now understand that there is some proposal to dissolve the IC. I am not here debating on the merits of the proposal but reminding IC members that in 2005 there was a fairly long process and several debates that talked about restructuring the IC after its dissolution. I know that the context then was very different (the WSF was still on a high after the Mumbai 2004 and Porto Alegre 2005 WSF), but it may be a little useful in preparing the present debate more inclusively. I am attaching the proposal from the Expansion Commission of 2005 and a discussion paper on the IC that had then been circulated.

Looking forward to seeing all of you in Tunis (if only to renew friendships and camaraderie for one last time!)

In solidarity,

Amit Sengupta

Peoples Health Movement/ WSF India

joined  docs  expansion issues 2005   expansion amit 2005