Civil Society Groups Gather in Senegal for World Social Forum

The World Social Forum 2010 logo on display at Kita Kumin Center in Osaka, Japan. This year's forum is in Dakar, Senegal. Photo by: Kasuga Sho / CC BY-NC-SA

Civil society organizations from more than 123 countries are gathering Feb. 10 at the World Social Forum 2011 in Dakar, Senegal, to discuss some of the world’s most pressing issues, including human rights, democracy and poverty.

First organized in 2001, the World Social Forum is an annual meeting of social movements, non-governmental organizations and other civil society actors to debate ideas, share experiences and pursue effective action in a democratic setting. The forum says it is nonpartisan and non-governmental, but some government officials are invited to “participate in a personal capacity” provided they agree to the forum’s charter.

This year’s forum is focused on “listening to peoples,” according to Taoufik Bem Abdallah, a member of the African Council and the World Social Forum International Council, and part of the 2011 organizing committee.

“The situation in Tunisia, Ivory Coast and Egypt echoes in the rest of the world because it deals with things common to several countries. We want the 2011 WSF to be a receptacle of energies and booster of peoples’ capacities to improve their own lives,” Abdallah says.

Follow the latest events at the WSF, which ends Feb.11, through this live blog.  

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.