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Report from the World Social Forum in Tunis
April 27, 2015
FSM 2015

Report from the World Social Forum in Tunis

The World Social Forum took place in Tunis from 24th to the 28th of March 2015, under the banner of “Dignity”. Despite the terrorist attack which happened shortly before, on the 18th of March, the most participants wanted to be present to show their solidarity with the Tunisians and to respond against terrorism. By attacking the tourism sector, the aggressors also hit the local economy, which – though we might regret it – depends heavily on the visits of tourists. The opening march to the Bardo museum was the answer of the Tunisian people and the alter-globalization activist.

Dignity and the issues concerning the free circulation of human beings on the Planet were widely discussed. There were five main themes, developed in 1500 workshops and, according to the organisers, with the participation of 50,000 people from around the world, to tackle the challenges of today’s world and its future:

Citizenship and the role of social movements to thwart the power of the reactionary forces and neoliberal logic;
– “
Beyond bordersor the issue of violence created by this concept, which is both abstract and very decisive for those who recognize themselves in a country-nation or who have been deprived of it;
– The
Planet and the climate emergency, environmental justice and the “Good Living” (Buen Vivir) paradigm. The role of social justice, education, health, housing, food sovereignty, social and economic rights, as many dimensions threatened by the undermining of public services and the State, by the commodification logic of transnational corporations.
– Dignity, Eq
uity and Fundamental rights, violated by the politics of religious discrimination, nationalism, sexism and by the exploitation regimens, which have frown almost everywhere;
– The challenge
of Economic Alternatives, bringing together the different formulas of creative resistance and generating solutions to rebuild fairer and more resilient communities.

The workshops were grouped around all of those thematic areas and not surprisingly, the ones promoted by RIPESS were mostly in the alternatives space.

RIPESS_at_wsf2015RIPESS Europe hosted a workshop dedicated to “useful and necessary convergences between actors of Social and Solidarity Economy and Social movements”. The workshop co-organiser was the National Confederation of Employees, a Belgian union that raises its members‘ awareness about the significance of the action of economic and environmental resistance. It was an well attended and interactive workshop, and everyone was able to participate in the debate, bringing their experience. Two members of Solidarity4all from Greece were also there, raising the issue of how to build resistance to the European imposed austerity regime. A report on the debate can be found here [link].

RIPESS International promoted a workshop and the convergence assembly on Social solidarity economy and the Sustainable development goals (SDGs) or post-2015 agenda. All participants considered that it was necessary to put in common their work and specific capabilities to monitor the various processes, but also to disseminate and share at the execution stage all the vital information to support the resistance and mobilization of people.

The meeting concluded agreeing on four main points:

– Human Rights must be the basic framework of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) applicable to all people and not just for those living in the Global South. Inequality and poverty is growing now in the North and the South and most be solved globally.
– There is an obvious contradiction between the pursuit of sustainable well-being for all and the current free trade agreements which destroy the foundations
for the SDGs’ implementation and deprive people of their sovereignty to decide their own form of development and to contest the forms of development imposed by the Western world.
There is the need of a strong political program, not technocratic but where there is real will and investments, which are clear and legally binding.
– The
organisations who participated are committed to defininf a common agenda of mobilizations and alerts, so to work on the convergence with other initiative which participated in the World Social Forum in Tunis in 2015.

Read the whole report on the convergence assembly here.

[By Josette Combes, MES]

RIPESS at the World Social Forum in Tunis
March 23, 2015
FSM 2015

Another world is possible and already exists ! On the occasion of the World Social Forum2015, a delegation of RIPESS will travel to Tunis from 24 to 28 March for the second edition of the WSF in Tunisia. RIPESS and several members of its African, European and North American continental networks will present workshops and participate in aconvergence Assembly, in collaboration with various organizations and social movementsview online the RIPESS program for the WSF.

RIPESS Europe, in particular, will organize the following workshop:


RIPESS Europe, Centrale nationale des employés (CNE)

Participatory debate about the necessity of convergence among those organizing the resistances. How to organize the convergences between social movements of struggle and change agents that are promoters of alternative and solidarity economy, how to better connect the forces between the South and the North.

Here are the other workshops promoted by RIPESS Intercontinental:


Habitat International Coalition, URGENCI (International Network for Community Supported Agriculture) and RIPESS.

This workshop will discuss and share the links between the Right to the City platform, the food sovereignty movement, and solidarity economy. This activity will focus on enhancing local and regional food systems (city region food systems), including tangible experiences in creating better and more sustainable access to food in urban areas. Presenters will share their organizational experiences in implementing structural change in urban areas including implementing Right to the City frameworks/policy and social production of habitat, urban agriculture and Community Supported Agricultural models, Community gardens and allotments, workers coops and solidarity finance.


RIPESS, P’actes européens and Enda Tiers-Monde

Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) is an alternative development model with potential for building more sustainable and equitable societies in a context of multiple crises at the global level (social, economic, climatic, environmental, civilizational). Whether in the fight against poverty and inequality, for the creation of decent jobs or access to basic needs such as food, housing, health and education, initiatives resulting from people themselves and grassroots organizations are growing and connect more and more with each other.

In view of the ongoing negotiations for the definition of the Post-2015 international development agenda (United Nations negotiations on Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs; 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development, Addis Ababa, July 2015, COP21 on climate change in Paris, December 2015), SSE actors are actively engaged in the Post-2015 multi-stakeholders campaigns to build convergences, advance practical solutions, appropriate legal frameworks, and to obtain effective resources for SDGs implementation.

The workshop will explore various proposals from civil society and social movements, including SSE, that: are based on collaborative logic; seek territorial anchoring solutions to serve people, communities and nations; focus on ecological, resilient and sustainable practices to protect the commons; advocate for elaborating qualitative indicators to measure the added value of these initiatives, so as to contribute to articulating the implementation of SDGs around democratic and verifiable tools



Co-organizers:  ATTAC France, Beyond 2015, Enda Tiers-Monde, IBON International, Our World is Not for Sale, Plataforma 2015 y más, RIPESS- Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of Social Solidarity Economy, Social Watch

The year 2015 will be crucial to define the future of the international development agenda. From the 3rdFinancing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa in July, to the final adoption by the United Nations of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September to the December Conference on climate change (COP21) in Paris, the orientations and means of implementation of the approach to sustainable development that will be adopted at global level will have significant impacts on populations. The SDGs approved by consensus at the UN require a paradigm shift because they address inequalities and require developed countries to change their unsustainable production and consumption patterns. Furthermore, they reaffirm the right to social security and essential social services and promote international tax justice, among other important transformations. But the decisions have not yet been fully determined, so these promises still lack any means of implementation or a credible mechanism for monitoring and accountability. People all over the world are proposing concrete solutions and organizing themselves to build fair and sustainable economies and societies. The sustainable development agenda needs to draw on these transformational processes, echo their proposals and support them.

All social movements, social solidarity economy actors, women’s and food sovereignty movements, trade unions, human rights defenders and civil society as a whole are invited to participate in a convergence assembly to share their analyses and proposals, and exchange on positions that should be defended, identify false solutions that should be denounced and discuss strategies for moving toward greater convergence in our actions that will ensure that the decisions taken by governments meet the needs of people and planet rather than favoring the 1%.

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