16th edition of World Social Forum to be held in Kathmandu from Feb 15-19 next year

The World Social Forum (WSF) is an open forum for free and horizontal exchange of ideas, experiences, and strategies oriented toward enacting and generating alternatives to neoliberalism.

NL Today

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Kathmandu: The 16th edition of the World Social Forum Nepal (WSF) is set to be held from February 15 to February 19 next year in Kathmandu. The opening ceremony will take place on February 15 at Khula Manch in Kathmandu.

The World Social Forum (WSF) is an open forum for free and horizontal exchange of ideas, experiences, and strategies oriented toward enacting and generating alternatives to neoliberalism.

Since its inception in 2001 in Porto Alegre in Brazil, the WSF has been a unifying space for the transnational actors of the counter-hegemonic globalization ‘from below’ with the pledge of Another World is Possible, the organizing committee said in a press statement.

“The WSF rejects economic policies and growth through privatizing social services, opposes militarism and imperialism, and provides an ‘open space’ for people to reflect and debate alternative ideas, formulate proposals, exchange lived experiences, and seek alternative solutions for the current crises that the humankinds are facing. The WSF movements explicitly act to oppose neoliberal global capitalism and to address issues of global social justice and environmental sustainability. It is a forum governed by the charter of principles and leadership bodies: an International Council (IC), Regional Forums such as the Asia Pacific Social Forum Facilitation Committee (APSF-FC), and a Nepal Organizing Committee (NOC),” the statement reads.

The thematic assemblies and parallel sessions will be held on 16, 17, and 18 February 2024. An Intercontinental Youth Forum will be organized on 17th February 2024 in Kathmandu. Likewise, a Parliamentary Forum will also be held, it has been said. 

The days will start with several thematic panels followed by self-organized activities/sessions/assemblies and end with informal meetings in open spaces along with cultural programs. There will be around 900-1000 self-organized activities and assemblies throughout the WSF2024 event. The forum is anticipated to have over 50,000 participants, delegates, and guests from all continents of the world.

With a decade-long  armed struggle, people’s movement, other social movements and political struggles Nepal built a dynamic democratic process that has led to political transformation by embracing secularism and adopting a federal democratic republic. With the promulgation of the new constitution on September 20, 2015, Nepal aspired for Socialism-where inclusion, social justice, ethnic, lingual and cultural diversity is espoused. Due to these progressive aspirations Nepal carries, Nepal was chosen as the host for WSF2024, the organizing committee said.  

“The global solidarities are critical to the change we are fighting for, for building peace, security, democracy, equity, and justice. The recent onslaught of right-wing, anti-democratic, and fundamentalist forces threaten the very fabric of our societies, yet they are succeeding in winning support amongst some sections of the people, they are winning elections, forming governments which go on to stifle dissent, generating hatred and divisions, using nationalism, religion, insecurities of all kinds.”

Organizing the WSF event in Nepal will also give an opportunity to share Nepal’s experiences of social movements with the global platform about democracy, social and economic rights in constitution and practices as fundamental rights including livelihoods rights, linguistic and cultural rights, secularism, non-discrimination and recognition of diversity and identity, the organizing committee concludes.