Evaluating the Forum

During the closing ceremony, 352 thematic proposals received so far were placed before a huge panel. Talking to newspersons before the ceremony, Chico Whittaker acknowledged that the two themes more frequented by the participants were the one on human rights and the one on social struggles. Asked about the ongoing discussion between debate and action as objectives of the Forum, Chico again emphasized the fact that the Forum?s mission ?is not to decide which actions to take on or which plans to undertake?. These functions are well performed by the organisations coming to the Forum. As an example, Chico mentioned that the campaign being organised against the traffic in arms is carried out by Peace and Justice organisations and not by the Forum. The great job the Forum has done is to prepare these 11 thematic axes that were the result of much articulation and coordination among various groups. He emphasized three positive aspects of the Forum: its growing capacity to manage itself (the International Committee has not organised a single activity this year); its understanding that the process is more important than the content; and the shift in perception about the WSF, from being seen predominantly as a group of anti-globalisers to being thought of as a group of alter-globalisers. He also acknowledged that they have not succeeded in convincing the media that the ?big shots? (Lula and Chavez) are not the most important persons of the Forum.