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Jaipur team to attend World Social Forum

Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: A 15-member delegation of the Jaipur-based Centre for Community Economics and Development Consultants' Society (CECOEDECON) left here on Thursday to participate in the six-day World Social Forum-2007 (WSF) in Nairobi, Kenya, beginning on January 20.

Nearly 1.5-lakh representatives of community-based organisations, social movements and non-Government organisations from more than 100 countries are expected to attend the WSF to be held at Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani from January 20 to 25. Over 1,000 activities will take place in the 106 spaces provided at the venue.

The theme of WSF-2007 is "People's Struggles, People's Alternatives'', upholding respect for human rights, participatory democracy, and peaceful relations and solidarity among people and ethnicities. The event is coming for the first time to an African country this year, after being held earlier at places such as Mumbai, Karachi, Porto Alegre, Bamako and Caracas.

The activities during the event will include seminars, workshops, performances, exhibitions and film shows on the issue such as HIV-AIDS, women's empowerment, privatisation of common goods, peace and conflict, and free trade agreements.

CECOEDEDON Director and convenor of the delegation, P.M. Paul, said the members of the delegation would make presentations on "asserting people's food sovereignty'', a two-day event during the WSF on January 21 and 22.

The deliberations on food sovereignty will focus on agrarian reforms, indigenous peoples, living wages and income, caste and gender factors, national liberation, and repression and political killings.

Food, Trade and Nutrition Coalition-Asia -- a partner organisation -- will also assist in evolving an effective strategy for advocacy work on specific issues and institutions in the agriculture sector.

Mr. Paul said food sovereignty as the people's right in the Indian context spanned beyond the common concept of producing sufficient amount of food without taking into account its quality, scale and variety.

The WSF has evolved over the past few years as an open platform for groups and movements opposed to globalisation and capitalism for reflective thinking, democratic debate of ideas, formulation of proposals, free exchange and interlinking for effective action.

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