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Events 2013

Events 2013: The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung at the World Social Forum in Tunis

Series of seminars during the World Social Forum

from March 26 to 30 in Tunis, Tunisia


“Globalization has to be shaped in social and democratic ways.”


It is in this spirit that the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) participated in the 11th World Social Forum (WSF) in Tunis, Tunisia and organized and supported a set of seminars and workshops in cooperation with various partner organizations.


This year, the World Social Forum took place on the El Manar University Campus and in the city of Tunis in Tunis from April 26 to 30, 2013. Thus, for the first time the Arab World hosted the Forum - a conscious decision to bring the WSF to Tunisia, the origin of the "Arab Spring".

Links to the official WSF 2011 website

Every other year, people from all over the world gather during the World Social Forum to discuss global justice. The WSF's theme was "Dignity" and for five days people discussed, argued, rallied and danced. In Tunis, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung - traditionally one of the most important supporters of the WSF - participated with a series of own workshops, conferences and film screenings. Watch our film about the WSF:


For some impressions from Tunis, please see our gallery.

Reports on our events are available at FES Sustainability.


FES stall at WSF 2013; Photo: Mehdi Harzallah


OVERVIEW OF ACTIVITIES:      (corresponding literature below)


Workshop (English/French/Arabic)
Health for All or Profit for Few?

Intellectual property rights and their impact on the access to essential medication

27 March 2013, Time: 9.00-11.00 hrs, Faculté de droits, salle de lecture n° 1

Health is a universal human right. Yet, international trade agreements consider the interest of pharmaceutical companies to be more important than access of the poor to essential medical products. The TRIPS agreement plays a crucial role and needs to be reformed. At the same time, medical research is conducted in a way that allows only few to benefit from its results. Health products come to the markets that are at the same time expensive and little innovative. How can we make sure that the human right to health is no longer a privilege of the rich but a reality for everyone?

Panel on Health for All on March 27, 2013 at the WSF in Tunis; Photo: Mehdi Harzallah

With inter alia: Zafar Mirza, World Health Organization, Christiane Fischer, BUKO-Pharmakampagne, Yousuf Vawda, University of KwaZulu-Natal, video message by Thomas Pogge, Yale University

Partners: BUKO-Pharmakampagne


Read Henrik Meyer's blog post on the event at fes-sustainability.org


Watch Thomas Pogge explaining why the Health Impact Fund is a smart complement to the TRIPS agreement (Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights):


Workshop (English / French / Arabic)

Just Transition and Feminist Pathways

27 March 2013, Time: 13.00 - 15.30 hrs, Place: Faculté de droits, salle de lecture n° 1


We are witnessing a historic convergence of multiple global crises – financial, food, energy and climate and a continuing lack of political will to redress global problems. There is an urgent need to commit to a just transition involving deep structural changes rooted in principles of equity, sustainability, human rights and gender justice. How do feminists envision these transitions and formulate development alternatives based on women’s experiences that challenge the current unsustainable neo-liberal economic system?

Panel on Just Transition on March 27, 2013 at the WSF in Tunis; Photo: Mehdi Harzallah


With inter alia: Rosa Koian, Bismarck Ramu Group, Papua New Guinea, Simone Lovera, Global Forest Coalition, Paraguay, Kinda Mohamadieh, Arab NGO Network for Development, Lebanon


The seminar room during the panel on Just Transition on March 27, 2013 at the WSF in Tunis; Photo: Mehdi Harzallah


Partners: Women’s Major Group


Read Cäcilie Schildberg's blog post on the event at fes-sustainability.org


Participants in the discussion on Just Transistion on March 27, 2013 at the WSF in Tunis; Photo: Mehdi Harzallah

Fishbowl Discussion (English / French / Arabic)

Revolution or Evolution? Strategies for political change in the MENA region

28 March 2013, Time: 09.00 - 11.30hrs, Place: Faculté de droits, salle de lecture n° 1


Two years ago, Bouazizi set himself alight in a village south of Tunis, becoming the iconic start of the struggle of millions of people across the MENA region for their dignity and citizenship rights. Ever since, the Arab Spring has changed the face of the region. Yet, many demands of the people have not been met and new challenges to societies have risen. What lessons can be drawn for future strategies for political change in the MENA region and particularly in those countries still awaiting transition?


Fishbowl Discussion, 28 March 2013; Photo: Mehdi Harzallah


Young activists from Egypt, Tunis, Sudan and Palestine shared their experiences from the past two years in a fishbowl discussion about their struggle for dignity and citizenship rights and invited visitors to join in.


Read Christoph Dinkelaker's blog post on the event at fes-sustainability.org

Workshop (English / French / Arabic)

Global Sustainability Goals - The way forward in shaping transformation towards a more equitable, just and sustainable world?

28 March 2013, Time: 13.30 - 15.30hrs
Place: Faculté de droits, salle de lecture n° 1


The present framework of international development goals revolving around “Millennium Development Goals” for the year 2015 do not provide adequate answers to the global problems, be it global warming or the growing inequalities. Both the debate over a post-2015 agenda as well as the agreement at the Rio conference to formulate Sustainable Development Goals now offer the opportunity to readdress holistic concepts of prosperity and progress in societies. What could an integrated system of Global Sustainability Goals look like? What are its normative foundations? Beyond goals: what accountability mechanisms must be put in place? How could such goals be embedded in a rights-based approach to development and a system of fair burden-sharing?


Workshop 'Global Sustainability Goals', 28 March 2013; Photo: Mehdi Harzallah


Inter alia the panel discussed a new draft discussion paper on a Framework of Universal Sustainability Goals as Part of a Post-2015 Agenda prepared for the Civil Society Reflection Group on Global Development Perspectives.


With inter alia: Roberto Bissio, Social Watch, Anita Nayar/Nicole Bidegain, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), Jens Martens, GPF Europe, Ziad Abdel Samad, Arab NGO Network for Development (tbc), Jean Saldanha, International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity (CIDSE), Sara Burke, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung New York Office


Partners: Global Policy Forum (GPF), Social Watch, DAWN


Read Sara Burke's blog post on the event at fes-sustainability.org

Workshop (English / French / Arabic)

Eco-Social Fiscal Justice as Part of a Holistic Post 2015 Agenda

28 March 2013, Time: 16.00 - 18.30hrs
Place: Faculté de droits, salle de lecture n° 1

Fiscal policy is a key instrument to turn a rights-based approach of sustainability and societal progress into practice. Budgets allow inferences to be drawn about the political influence of different interest groups: Are business interests pushed through? Or is public spending focused on the needs of the people? There are many discussions on Sustainable Development Goals succeeding the MDGs. But Sustainable Development Goals will remain useless if it will not be reflected in correspondent Sustainable Development Budgets.
We discussed how these budgets should look like. And we brought together actors from budget monitoring and transparency initiatives and people who have so far been working on social and environmental issues.


With inter alia: Silja Dressel, GIZ, Filomeno Santa Ana III, Action For Economic Reform, Slim Gargouri, Accountant and tax expert, Rocío Moreno, Global Movement for Budget Transparency, Accountability and Participation, Iara Pietricovsky, INESC (tbc), Diego de la Mora, Fundar, Semkae Kilonzo, Policy Forum, Jens Martens, GPF Europe


Partners: Global Policy Forum, GIZ, Global Movement for Budget Transparency, Accountability and Participation

Workshop (English / French)

Child Labour – What Can We Do?

28 March 2013, Time: 16.00 - 18.30hrs, Place: TBA

Reports of the International Labour Organization indicate that child labour of one sort or another remains widespread and continues. More than 200 million children around the globe have to work, many of them under hazardous conditions. Child labour harms children and keeps them from attending school. Although there are several international initiatives aiming at the eradication of child labour, progress has slowed and global attention has waned in the last few years. How can we change this situation? What can be done to protect children and to guarantee their human right to education?


In a joint seminar the German Education Union (GEW), the Secondary Teachers Union F-SYNTER from Burkina Faso and Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation provided activists and representatives of teacher unions from different countries with a space to discuss these questions and to identify strategies to fight child labour.

Film and Discussion (French and Arabic with English subtitles)
Voices After Revolution
28 March 2013, Time: 20.00 - 22.00hrs,

Place: Hotel Golden Tulip el Mechtel, Avenue Ouled Haffouz El Omrane


Human and civil rights, better economic and social conditions, decent work and salaries were at the core of the Tunisian revolution. Yet, two years after the fall of the dictatorship of Ben Ali, the social and economic situation is worse than before. Liberty of press, artistic creativity and women’s rights – the provisional Islamist dominated government has failed to protect them.


Movie Screening, 28 March 2013; Photo: Mehdi Harzallah


The documentary film “Voices After Revolution”, realized in June 2012 with Tunisian activists, men and women stresses the continuing effort necessary to preserve the objectives of the revolution and to enhance the process of democratic transformation by separating State and religion.


Discussion after the screening of 'Voices After Revolution', 28 March 2013; Photo: Mehdi Harzallah


We screened the movie and discussed with its protagonists.


Read Alex Gangl's blog post on the event at fes-sustainability.org

Workshop (English / French / Arabic)

We Will Not Be Left Behind! Global youth fights unemployment

29 March 2013, Time: 09.00 - 11.30 hrs, Place: Faculté de droits, salle de lecture n° 1


Hundreds of thousands are enraged. They are young and they have no job. The global economic crisis, caused by unregulated financial markets and profit-mongering actors mostly in the global West, is severely affecting the lives of people all over the World. Even the advanced economies in Europe are facing a downward spiral which hinders the chances of young people to live a self-determined life. The rates of youth unemployment are rocketing: In the MENA region they were one of the major reasons for the uprisings. In Spain, more than 50 % of the youth are unemployed. What are the reasons for youth unemployment? What can be done against it? We were happy to discuss with experts and activists from both sides of the Mediterranean Sea.


Workshop on Youth Unemployment, 29 March 2013; Photo: Mehdi Harzallah


With inter alia: Fernando Rocha, The 1 de Mayo Foundation, Spain, Jassim al-Helfy, Info Center Iraq, Sarah Ahmed, Sociologist and Activist, Yemen, David Lizoain Bennett, Young Socialists Spain, Mourad Turki, Consultant, Tunisia


Read Martin Johr's blog post on the event at fes-sustainability.org

Workshop (English / French / Arabic)

Open Forum on the Tax Justice Agenda

29 March 2013, Time: 13.00 - 15.30 hrs, Place: Faculté de droits, salle de lecture n° 1


The debate around tax justice is concentrated on combating tax evasion and avoidance as well as the underlying structures that enable those practices - by corporations as well as individuals. In development oriented circles discussions focus on the precarious state of public finance in many countries in the South and North as well as around the issue of domestic resource mobilization through means of fairer and more effective tax systems and administrations. We want to share experiences and strategies towards our common goals and enable us to cooperate more closely to achieve them in solidarity.
What are pressing issues locally and globally? Is there a need and room for better cooperation? What strategies are to be employed?


Workshop on Tax Justice, 29 March 2013; Photo: Mehdi Harzallah


With inter alia: Alvin Mosioma, TJN-Africa, Antonio Gambini, CNCD-11.11.11, Wolfgang Obenland, GPF Europe, Murray Worthy, War on Want, N.N., CIDSE


Partners: Global Policy Forum, TJN-Africa, War on Want, CIDSE, CNCD-11.11.11


Download the complete overview of our activities (in English, French and Arabic)




Equality and Justice in Healthcare?
TRIPS and More: Current Arrangements for Exploitation rights to medical patents

by Christiane Fischer

Download publication (in English)


Getting the Incentives Right: The Health Impact Fund
A Concrete Contribution to Global Justice and an Innovation in Global Health

by Thomas Pogge

Download publication (in English)


No future without justice

Report of the Civil Society Reflection group
Full Report (in English)

Executive Summary (in English)


Towards a Framework of Universal Sustainability Goals as Part of a Post-2015 Agenda

Draft Discussion Paper (19 March 2013) prepared for the Civil Society Reflection Group

Download draft discussion paper (in English)


Engendering social security and protection

Challenges for Making Social Security and Protection Gender Equitable

by Shahra Razavi

Download publication (in English)


Resolving Sovereign Debt Crisis - Towards a Fair and Transparent
International Insolvency Framework

by Jürgen Kaiser

Download publication (in English)


Résoudre les crises de la dette souveraine - Vers un cadre international de
désendettement équitable et transparent

Download publication (en français)


Social Growth

Model of a Progressive Ecomomic Policy

Download publication (in English)


Green Economy

Turning Over a New Leaf towards Sustainable Development?

by Nina Netzer and Judith Althaus (Eds.)

Download publication (in English)


On the Road to Sustainable Development
How to Reconcile Climate Protection and Economic Growth
by Bärbel Kofler and Nina Netzer (Eds.)

Download publication (in English)



Christiane Heun +49-26935-7407, e-mail contact

Henrik Meyer +49-30-26935-7462, e-mail contact



Emil Lieser + 216 71 775 343 / 71 742 895, www.festunis.org


The FES office is located at 4, rue Bachar Ibn Bord, 2078 La Marsa - Corniche, Tunisia.



Go to the official WSF website to locate venues etc.:


Links to the official WSF 2013 website