IV World Urban Forum Civil Society Closing Speech


Civil Society Closing Speech
Nanjing November 6th, 2008

Dear participants,

It is a great pleasure and an honor to speak on behalf of the Civil society and to present this closing speech. I am very honored to have been chosen.

I particularly thank the City of Nanjing for organizing an event with such an important outreach. My thanks also go to UN-Habitat that, every 2 years, pools partners together in order to discuss and search for solutions to the multiple problems that our cities face.

I could not conclude without addressing the Civil society organizations that came from the entire world to contribute to the dialogues and to the organization of networking activities, as well as those organizations that have shared their experiences in booths.

Chairperson, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen; as you know, the Social Forum philosophy is to organize multi-stakeholder dialogue platforms between governments and other partners: local authorities, private sector, and civil society organizations.

This platform wants to be a space of dialogue in which all the actors are equal, representing the principle of equality and equity.

There should not be division between the two categories of actors: on one hand, the Very Important Partners (VIPs) and on the other, the Less Important Partners (LIPs).

We want an inclusive, permanent, profitable and sincere dialogue.

During this forum, we have had consultations with UN-Habitat and also with the authorities. These meetings had successful results. We sincerely hope that the roles and the responsibilities of all stakeholders are clearly defined.

Chairperson, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen; it is time to think, as Civil Society, about the commitments agreed upon during the former forums in Nairobi, Barcelona, and Vancouver. Since then, what changes have occurred, are the various concerns taken into account? Which are the means to implement global and sustainable change?

The “After Nanjing” will allow us to reflect upon all these problems in order to better consider the communities’ concerns at the next World Social Forum 2009 in Brazil.

I thank you for your attention,

Khady Diagne