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Social Forum Set For April 2003

Oceania Social Forum

Bringing together the peoples of Oceania to renew the vision of the world we share

Nelson, Aotearoa/New Zealand 21st –24th April 2003

A social forum inspired by the 2001 and 2002 World Social Forums that have been held in Porto Alegre, Brazil, is to be held in Nelson, from Monday 21st to Thursday 24th April 2003.


The World Social Forums and the Regional Forums they have spawned, bring together individuals and groups “that are opposed to neoliberalism and to domination of the world by capital and any form of imperialism”. With their overarching theme “Another World is Possible,” the Forums offer an opportunity “to building a planetary society directed towards fruitful relationships among Mankind and between it and the Earth,” and represent a positive movement for change.

In light of the rapidly deteriorating US financial position and a Japanese economy that analysts fear is close to collapse, there is a pressing need to explore alternatives to the existing social and economic paradigm.

The WSF’s Charter states that “The meetings of the World Social Forum do not deliberate on behalf of the World Social Forum as a body. No-one therefore will be authorised, on behalf of any editions of the Forum, to express positions claiming to be those of its participants.”

The increasing number of organisations, groups and social movements from all over the world that are involved in the process of building the WSF are making it a truly world phenomenon. Large numbers of the 60,000 attending this year’s Forum came from overseas with almost 1000 delegates from Italy and 700 from France. Their youthfulness suggest that the movement represents the way of the future.

The venue. New Zealand has a history of being a birthplace of world changing people and ideas and a record of taking progressive initiatives. In the 19th century it was the first country in the world to give indigenous people the vote and to grant universal suffrage. More recently it led the world with its anti-nuclear legislation. Over the years New Zealand has been able to wield an influence out of all proportion to its size.

Possible Outcomes As with the World Social Forum, the Oceania Social Forum will be a forum for the expression of concerns that can be readily linked to the globalisation of neoliberalism, provide the opportunity for the eme rgence of new visions and real alternatives, and encourage the development of movements for change in New Zealand, Australia and the Island nations of Oceania.

Meetings have been held regarding the Oceania Social Forum with representatives from the Council of Trade Unions (CTU), the Association of NGOs of Aotearoa/ New Zealand (ANGOA), the Council for International Development, Dev- Zone, (formerly the Development Resource Centre), Amnesty International, Proutist Universal, and the Latin American Solidarity Committee. The Forum’s organising committee in Nelson holds 2 weekly meetings and is looking to appoint a co-ordinator(s).

National Steering Group

Presently includes

Sukhi Turner: Mayor of Dunedin

Pat Hanley: Projects manager of ANGOA (Association of NGOs of Aotearoa)

Makere Harawira

Bruce Dyer of Proutist Universal

Proposed structure of the Forum

Monday 21st April: rally

Mornings: conferences

Afternoons: workshops and seminars

Early evenings: testimonials of esteemed contributors

Evenings: concerts and cultural events

Possible speakers

Confirmed Edward Goldsmith. Yet to be confirmed, Vandana Shiva, Maude Barlow, Tony Clarke, Paul Hawken, Sohail Inayatullah, and Annette Sykes among others.

Conferences and workshops

People interested to hold conferences and/or workshops are invited to make contact with details of their proposals.

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