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Assembly > Medias > December 2001, 03

It Takes So Long to Make a World
A First Day of Sharing and Discovering

"Lord, it takes so long to make a world," goes the song, and the World Assembly certainly confirms that. Above the murmur of whispered interpretations, the Assembly began with lengthy sharing among the many individuals.
There was such distance to begin with between the Chinese and the South American farmer, between the Moroccan and the Indian woman, between the Lebanese local official and his African colleague: cultural, social, and institutional distance. More than by the oceans, they have been separated for centuries by their history. "And yet," noted a participant in the women's workshop, "the cross-cutting aspect of the issues simply jumps out, turns out to be so obvious." When the status of a repudiated woman was brought up, whether in the North or in the South, the same humanity, or rather the same inhumanity appeared. When women's weak position in the public sphere was complained about, that turned out to be a universal reality. As for the Chinese farmer, he was not that distant from the landless farmer in South America: both suffered from globalization, which had placed them in competition at their own expense and for the benefit of the developed countries' economic interests. Neither of them quite knew what was behind the GMO acronym, but both knew that if they lost the right to sow their own seeds, they would lose their freedom!

Then began the second part of the workshop, addressing the proposals organized around the four lines of action common to everyone: "representation," "economics," "the biosphere," and "governance." Post its flew and were stuck on the panel, displaying the ephemeral ideas that will be discussed tomorrow and become proposals.

Delivering a new world takes time and requires allowing every statement to be expressed at its own pace. Here, there, and everywhere, there was a constant succession of workshops, all different: the military, with their discussion organized around an agenda; company leaders or NGOs in heated debate; local authorities, wondering if granting power to the minorities would not be a negation of democracy ...

Not everyone is saying the same thing. It will take time, and more time, to build a common language over the official-language barrier.





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