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President's message to the World Social Forum

Ljubljana, 01/22/2007  |  press release

Today at the World Social Forum in Nairobi, the president of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Slovenia, Robin Schwigner, will read the following message by the president of the Republic, Janez Drnovšek:

"Why are we here? To improve the world. It's no small task. Yet, if we believe we can do it, then we will succeed. As well you know, when we try and do something without really believing it will happen, then it definitely won't. If we are sure, if we are in no doubt, then it is very likely that what we are trying to achieve will in fact happen.

We need a great deal of positive energy to succeed in our task, but we will generate that energy – in each moment, in each place. Our surrounding will begin to improve. More and more people will join in with the positive attitude, and will want to improve the world around them. And more and more people will be creating positive energy. We'll infect the whole of Slovenia with it! And make Slovenia a harmonious country, an example to others. We will be balanced as people, good and positive. Even our politicians will change. Even the media will start to spread positive energy instead of negative. It will come through the television into our homes. We won't be able to avoid it –we will quarrel less and less. People will help each other and we'll improve our lives in a spirit of relaxation and creativity. Business people will no longer blindly rush only after profit. They'll give their excess earnings to the poor, to charities. And that will create even more positive energy. We will no longer be destroying the environment, the Earth, because we will be more and more aware that we can't saw off the branch we are sitting on!

This infectious disease – improving the world – will start to spread abroad. First to our neighbours, and then beyond. They'll be overcome by an epidemic of good works and justice. They won't find a cure for it. It will infect Europe and its institutions. The European Union will start working as an equal association of positive, good-thinking countries and people. It will change its ludicrous agricultural policy and go to bio production. EU will strive for more fairness and will help the Third World. The selfishness will disappear. The European Union will become a moral authority and more and more countries, and even continents will follow. The epidemic of positive energy will spread to America. It will grow aware of its responsibilities and it will no longer use its powers trying to maintain unbearable global imbalances. It will start to compete with the EU in initiatives to clean up the environment, it will launch a new, far tougher Kyoto Protocol. There will be a real competition to find innovative ways of saving energy. China, India, Pakistan and others will start to compete in sustainable development. And will cooperate on friendly terms as well. Israel will realise it will be far safer if Palestinians can live peacefully in their own state. Extreme religious leaders will no longer spread negative energy around the world, because nobody will be interested to listen. Terrorism will lose its whole basis, it will simply fade away. And finally even the United Nations will start to operate as ought to. The great powers will no longer block its work, its member countries will no longer be caught up in narrow-minded selfishness, but will work in the interest of all humankind.

The world will be a better place. We will no longer destroy the climate. Our aim will be for each human being to enjoy a dignified life. We will be aware of our interdependence. And we will save the world and ourselves."

On Saturday the 7th World Social Forum, the annual meeting of those opposed to neo-liberal globalisation, began in Nairobi. The event gathers thousands of activists opposed to global policies which are, in their words, doing the most harm to the poor. At the forum, the first ever to be held in Africa, the most important items on the agenda will be the fight against AIDS, debt repayment, and the solving of armed conflicts and migrations.

The World Social Forum is a counterbalance to the World Economic Forum, held at the same time in Davos, Switzerland.
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