The World Economic Forum, held 25-28 January 2001, saw many of the world’s business and political leaders convene in Davos, Switzerland. The Forum, renowned as a meeting where behind-the-scenes deals are struck, said it wanted to “move to a more active role as a catalyst for the global agenda”.
An international NGO coalition also held a “Public Eye on Davos” meeting to challenge the World Economic Forum. “NGOs will no longer accept a private body funded by 2000 large corporations to draw up road maps for the global future,” commented Peter Bosshard of Swiss advocacy group, the Berne Declaration. “And we object to government officials and international organizations discussing issues behind closed doors.”
The World Social Forum convened simultaneously in Porto Alegre, Brazil under the theme “The World is Not a Market”. It brought together representatives from 122 countries, including trade union leaders, politicians, community leaders, youth and indigenous activists. The Brazil meeting also included a World Parliamentary Forum which brought together parliamentarians to discuss a range of topics such as market deregulation, indebtedness and speculative financial transactions.