Ongoing Forum and future
The participants made several important decisions and
recommendations about the future of the Forum. A secret ballot was held about
the continuation of the Forum. A large majority voted in favour of continuing
with the Forum and for the further development of its activities.
A discussion was held around the name and the aim of the
ongoing Forum. A proposal was made to change the name and the aim of the Forum
in order to make it more precise. After a long plenary discussion, a large
majority of participants rejected this option, preferring to keep both the
current name, and the aims of the Forum in the future.
Many participants stressed the importance of a civil society
forum in Geneva, which provides the opportunity to strengthen the links and
interactions with the UN system, including the numerous international
organizations and specialized agencies based in Geneva. It is seen as being
complementary to other existing forums.
The UN and other international organizations also expressed
their interest and expectations regarding the World Civil Society Forum.
Several Heads of organizations came to the Forum or sent messages. These
include the Secretary-General of the UN, HE Mr. Kofi Annan; the
Secretary-General of the International Organisation of the Francophonie and
former Secretary-General of the UN, HE Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali; the
Director-General of the UN Office in Geneva, HE Mr. Sergei Ordzhonikidze; the
Director-General of the International Labour Organization, HE Mr. Juan Somavia;
the Director-General of the World Health Organization, HE Ms. Gro Harlem
Brundtland; the Secretary-General of the UNCTAD, HE Mr. Rubens Ricupero; the
High Commissioner on Human Rights, HE Ms. Mary Robinson; the Director of the
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Ambassador Walter Fust; the
Special Ambassador of the World Summit on the Information Society, Mr. Guy
Olivier Segond and others.
Several Heads of international networks also addressed the
participants. These included Ms. Renate Bloem, President of the Conference of
NGOs (CONGO); Mr. Kumi Naidoo, Secretary-General of CIVICUS; Ms. Sirpa
Pietikainen, Chair of the Executive Committee of the World Federation of United
Nations Associations (WFUNA); Ms. Mililani Trask, President of Na Koa Ikaika O
Ka Lahui Hawaii and member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues;
Yoshiyuki Takagi, President of Earth Network Village, amongst others.
A Coordination Council was constituted to facilitate
the ongoing Forum. It includes: regional Coordinators, nominated
by the regional caucuses; Youth and Indigenous peoplesí representatives,
as well as thematic representatives covering various domains
of activity. The participants were invited to take gender
balance into account in the nominations. At the time of the
report, 43 members were confirmed. This Coordination Council
will relay proposals and guarantee that all regions and domains
of activity will be associated with the next Forum. An updated
list is available on the Forum's
It was agreed that the Steering
Committee would continue, but with changes in its shape
and composition. Mandat International was also asked to provide
an ongoing Secretariat for the
Forum in Geneva.
When the next Forum will take place has not yet been decided.
However, several participants suggested it could be held every two to four
years. Regional consultations before the next Forum, to strengthen
participation in the process at all levels, were also recommended.
Several thematic Working Groups confirmed their intention to
continue working after the 2002 World Civil Society Forum. For instance, the
Working Group on the Information Society will work closely with the Secretariat
of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), planned for December
2003 in Geneva.
The Youth Forum also decided to continue its activities
at the same time as the main World Civil Society Forum. It
will constitute a committee of youth representatives and invite
the main youth organizations to participate in the organization
of the next Youth Forum.
List of confirmed members of the Coordinating Council
Forum's web site