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IATP's Alexandra Strickner is reporting from the 9th World Social Forum in Belém, Brazil.

The 9th World Social Forum (WSF) started with an Amazonian rainfall and it ended February 1 with another. As with the opening demonstration, activists from social movements, trade unions and non-governmental organizations did not allow the rain to stop them from gathering for the closing event of the Forum. With all its complications--among them the hot and wet weather and the sometimes tricky logistics---this Forum has shown that the movement for another world is present, growing and solidifying concrete alternatives.

The final conclusions from the different networks and social movements had a clear message: the current global crises we face, which have plunged millions more people into poverty, are the evidence of a failed economic model. This failed model does not secure the satisfaction of basic needs of all people on this earth. It destroys the natural basis of survival, and only benefits a small minority that accumulates unimaginable sums of monetary wealth.

The movements proposed to build an equitable, alternative economic system that satisfies basic human needs and restores and preserves the natural basis of life on this planet. This new economic system needs to be rooted in socially and ecologically viable local economies (providing people with jobs with dignity), and should promote solidarity among people regionally, as well as globally. Additionally, it must  prioritize healthy food, clean water, and qualitative public services that are accessible to all. This new economic system also includes a publicly controlled finance system--one that supports the implementation of the new economic model, as well as the democratic control of people over their economies. This means the way we produce and consume needs to radically change.

Besides the promotion of global days of action, WSF ended with two key proposals aimed at enhancing  the building of broad alliances and collaboration among movements and social organizations within the respective countries, as well as at the global level. The first proposal supports the concept of territory to define struggles. The Global Water Movement and the Farmers Movement gave an idea of this new approach: recognizing that the struggle for land and food sovereignty is intrinsically linked with struggles over water, these two movements will start to work together at the territorial level. On the global level, a broad range of global and regional networks have agreed to continue to build the collaboration they started for this Forum, organizing two cross-networking spaces.