Social Forum in Tunisia
A meeting was held on February the 19th by the Maghreb Machrek Social Forum Committee, where the preparation for the World Social Forum 2013 was discussed. The meeting, prepared by the NGOs in the Maghreb region, brought together more than forty NGOs from Tunisia, Morocco, Western Sahara, Algeria and Libya.
The Committee approved the decision to hold the next World Social Forum in March – April 2013, in Tunisia.
The Committee agreed that conditions were ripe for organising this conference, with a decisive factor in this assessment deriving from the previous Conference of the General Union of the Tunisian Workers (UGTT), which has since extended its leadership in the wake of the Tunisian revolution (ten out of thirteen new members have been elected). The UGTT announced its decision to fully participate in the preparation of the World Social Forum in Tunisia. Furthermore, the presence of the Deputy Secretary General of the UGTT at the meeting held on February the 19th confirmed their commitment to the cause.
The Committee has concluded that the option of a shared World Social Forum previously envisaged is no longer necessary. Instead, it deems itself able to hold the WSF 2013 in Tunisia on its own. This WSF will be prepared through numerous initiatives, many of which have already been scheduled. This Forum will discuss Migration in the Maghreb (Oujda in Morocco), the Maghreb Machrek Forum of Women, Morocco; a Forum on the revival of trade unions in the Maghreb Machrek region; a seminar on Religion and politics, probably in Egypt, a meeting on Western Sahara, an international seminar on migration December 18, 2012, the Forum of Solidarity with Palestine in Porto Alegre, November 29, 2012, etc..
The Committee affirmed its intention to invite those from new NGOs (movements of the Arab Spring, the revolt in Southern Europe; Occupy Wall Street, London, Montreal; social and student movements in Chile, Senegal, Croatia , ..) to come and organise joint meetings in Tunisia.
The Committee has decided not to organise a major Maghreb Machrek Social Forum in July 2012. Nevertheless, it will be holding a major international event in Tunisia, Monastir, from July the 13th to the 16th 2012, during which there will be an opportunity for the Founding Assembly debates on Maghreb Machrek Social Forum . The Committee intends on welcoming group of migrants across the Mediterranean; to arrange a meeting with these new movements to prepare the meetings at the WSF.
The Committee has set up a facilitation group in Tunisia. It has confirmed its intention that the organisation of the WSF 2013 will be managed by the Tunisian Committee as part of the Organising Committee of the Maghreb Machrek Social Forum. iT IYTh Th The Committee has highlighted its determination to carry out this work in accordance with the International Council. It will establish committees (methodology, finance, strategy, communication, expansion) that will work closely with the corresponding committees of the IC.
Subsequently, the Committee will ask the International Council if the international secretariat can be involved in the preparation and if Helio can work in constant liaison with the Committee including having a group on the ground, with the Organising Committee and the Tunisian WSF.
The Tunisian Committee of Organisation has started preparations for the event. The new president of the Tunisian Republic, Moncef Marzouki, announced, at the request of the Tunisian Committee of its intention to receive him next week. This first meeting will be followed by an official meeting between the President of Tunisia and a delegation from the International Council and FSMAGH where the draft of the WSF 2013 will be presented in all its aspects, both political and organisational. The Tunisian Committee began preparing by holding presentation of the WSF for all the Tunisian social movements.
Additionally, the Committee has written letters that will be sent next week to the Tunisian ministers of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Social Affairs, Culture, Transport and Tourism to inform them of the decision to hold the World Social Forum 2013 in Tunisia and to meet up with them about it.
The Committee which will be organising the WSF proposes to organise the next IC meeting in Tunisia during the international event from July the 13th to the 17th, 2012. The suggested agenda of the conference includes the preparation of the WSF 2013 in conjunction with other NGOs in Tunisia and in the region. Moreover, it is also proposed that the agenda includes, as determined by the IC of Dhaka, a political debate on the global situation and condition of the WSF’s course of action. This debate will take place just after the mobilizations of Rio +20. It will be organised with the participation of NGOs that have played a role in the animation process and participants of the new NGOs that will be invited to prepare the WSF 2013.
We propose to the IC to ask the WSF Organising Committee to organise the next International Council meeting in Tunisia, from July t 15th to t 17th, 2012.
The members of the International Council who attended the Organising Committee of the WSF:
Kamal LAHBIB (FMAS)
Hamouda SOBHI (FMAS)
Nicolas HAERINGER (ATTAC)
Gustave MASSIAH (CRID)
Bernard Dreano (HAC)