At the World Social Forum, which opened at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, Kenya, yesterday, hundreds of delegates from both the developing and the developed world vowed to fight inequality and social injustice in the world. The forum is the first to be held in Africa and has been planned to precede the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, by a week.
‘Let people participate fully in the control of the processes of decision-making in public affairs,’ said former Zambia President Kenneth Kaunda in his keynote speech, ‘and denounce all forms of exploitation of person by person in any shape or form.’
Flavio Lotti of Peace Table Italy, speaking on behalf of Europe, asked Africans to pardon the West for the historical injustices of colonialism. ‘I feel the burden of our historical responsibilities. Forgive us for what we did, what we are doing and what we have not done,’ he said.
He went on to criticize the West for spending millions of dollars on armaments, new military bases and wars while millions of the world’s inhabitants are starving.
Delegates from Asia, including the Indian activist and friend of Slow Food, Vandana Shiva, called for a fight against all forms of fundamentalism, which, they said, are making the world an unsafe place.
The Nation (Nairobi)