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Assembly > Medias > December 2001, 09

The Journey Does Not Stop in Lille

The adventure is coming to an end. Nine days of constant debate, thousands of post-its pasted on hundreds of panels, words translated, clarified, recomposed, and negotiated to achieve better understanding and finally, to be presented in a mere two minutes - not one sentence more - by each of the reporters…

Any summary is necessarily a simplification. The World Assembly's will be no different. What will remain of these past days spent together?

Above all, a Charter. This primary Alliance project will be updated so that a text that is closer to the truth of the citizens of the world can be presented at the summit of Porto Alegre. A truth emerged from the NGO Workshop, and was adopted by most of the others: "We need to move on from protest to responsibility." In plain language, this means it is no longer enough to analyze, to demonstrate, and to question governments and power structures, it is also "necessary to tell each other what each of us can do." This transformation of the Alliance into a force of proposals is what everyone wants. "It is time for the Alliance to gain ground with respect to anti-globalization activists," said an American delegate.

The Charter will be a working tool for all the local, national, and regional actors for a fair and socially responsible world.

More concrete forms could turn up. Assembly participants, for instance, proposed to carry the messages of the Alliance to future international meetings. One delegate designated himself to organize a conference for South Asia. Another suggested a " Peace March" under the aegis of the Alliance. One group asked that the Alliance itself designate a "World Parliament" with permanent representatives." This would be a way of presenting the states with a fait accompli, said the reporter, and perhaps to force them to act in favor of a world organization."

There are many projects for action. They are usually less ambitious ones. During the Assembly, a lot of addresses were exchanged, a lot of experiences compared. The word "network" is translated today into the thirty languages of the Assembly. Sharing is essential among people involved in micro-projects "to give each other a stronger dimension," as well as among continental experiences to strenghthen one another and compare their difficulties, and as well as among different cultures. Sharing is necessary among networks: development networks with health networks, NGOs with local elected officials, academics with local project leaders: "knowledge is produced through experience sharing, not specialization," stated the rapporteur of a workshop.

The pooling will take place all Monday morning. One by one the rapporteurs will summarize their discussions in a few words. The French Secretary of State for an Economy of Solidarity, Guy Hascouet, and the Mayor of Lille, Martine Aubry, will be present for this next-to-last session.

The final session, with music-as it should be-will be the adoption of the Charter of Human Responsibilities. Its foreword, however, is quite clear: "The journey does not stop in Lille. The Charter will have to continue its path within the civil society and international institutions." The Alliance, on its part, will continue to test the relevance of the text within the different cultural contexts and the different socioprofessional spheres.

Tomorrow an adventure will be over: that of assembling 400 persons, so different and distant-geographically, culturally, and socially. Another one begins, which is not about to end.

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