PORTO ALEGRE–A delegation of Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Youth Organization (ARF-YO) members joined over 155,000 activists from 135 countries at the fifth World Social Forum held in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre. Participants of the five day conference–which convened on January 26 under the slogan of "another world is possible," gathered in Brazil to organize for tolerance–justice–and peace.
Established in 2001–the World Social Forum is a meeting place for those who are interested in building a world in which meaningful relationships among humans flourish. As the Forum’s charter of principles reads: "The alternatives proposed at the World Social Forum stand in opposition to a process of globalization commanded by the large multinational corporations and by the governmen’s and international institutions at the service of those corporations’ interests–with the complicity of national governmen’s. They are designed to ensure that globalization in solidarity will prevail as a new stage in world history. This will respect universal human rights and those of all citizens–men and women–of all nations and the environment and will rest on democratic international systems and institutions at the service of social justice–equality and the sovereignty of peoples."
Representing the ARF at the conference were Onnik Tamjian and Khachig Der-Ghougassian of South America’s Armenian National Committee–Mkhitar Markarian of Armenia–Anet Armen of the United States and Damian Mnagian–and Juan Botista Karageozian of Argentina–both of whom were instrumental in educating Forum delegates about the genocide committed against the Ottoman-Armenia’s in 1915.
To date–ARF delegations have participated in World Social Forum organized conferences held in Florence (2002)–France (2003)–London (2004) and the Ecuadorian capital of Quito (2004). Next year–Forum conferences will be held in several locations around the globe–in anticipation of the 2007 conference–which is scheduled to take place in Africa.