Antoine Bérilengar SJ: Bridge-building and a missed opportunity for Africa

This Social Forum is well-timed. It takes place at a moment when the world faces some big crises such as the food and energy crisis and an unprecedented financial crisis. This Forum is therefore an opportunity to help find solutions to those crises. Hence the organisers’ decision to make ample room for debates around those issues. Present to the Forum were not only the main civil society representatives but also some victims including young people, women, indigenous peoples and small producers. In my opinion, the time is no longer for accusations and confessions, but for action. It is at that level that suggestions must be followed with implementation. Political will is needed in order to transform those suggestions or proposals into concrete actions. It is at that level that mechanisms must be found to allow politicians to work hand in hand with civil society in order to launch concrete actions that can reduce the peoples’ suffering.