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Pierre Vuarin

Seminar on Charter of Human Responsibilities

Governance and Food Sovereignty

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China, Governance and Civil Society

Date and place of the activity: Saturday 17 January at 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Organisation proposing the activity: The Chinese Network Contact: Wang yi and Chen Yue Guang

Other organisations and networks participating in the activity: Charles LĂ©opold Mayer Foundation

Rationale : It is not possible to conceive of the art of governing a region, a country, a region of the world or the world itself by only taking into account the role of governments and public authorities. In complex societies like ours, a large number of actors play an essential role: companies, the press, and the myriad actors of civil society. The concept of governance springs from this observation and we understand it with this meaning. However, to conceive useful governance in which these different actors play a useful role, we feel it is important to dialogue and debate on the basis of different experiences occurring at present in different contexts. The context of China is different from that of European democracies. However, can we identify common principles? Main topics addressed during the activity: During this seminary, in brief, the Chinese network will present its general reflections on the concept of governance and more particularly on the development of civil society or the third sector. Furthermore, the way that issues of governance can be integrated will be discussed by dealing with the challenges of food and the preservation of the environment. Regarding the same topics, the members of the FPH will highlight several key questions on the basis of the work carried out, in particular in the papers of proposals for the 21st century.

Alternatives proposed to further social change: Give a content to governance other than that of the World Bank. It is necessary to revolutionise the notion of governance by setting out several major principles: the links between the different levels of governance, the conditions required to ensure the positive role played by the different actors, the place and role of community and social organisations, transparency and counterweights, the legitimacy of political action, setting up public debates and the formulation of political decisions, etc. Apart from the principles, promising places, topics and moments must be found in order to make these ideas tangible and where these efforts can be continued.

Keywords: governance, community governance, revolution of governance, linking of levels, active subsidiarity, transparency, counterweight, political legitimacy, food sovereignty, right of peoples to feed themselves, nutrition, actors, enterprises, civil society, common goods, water, biodiversity, soils, right to food, agrarian reform, GMO, sustainable agriculture, territories,

Links with other WSF 2004 activities: Governance and Food Sovereignty, workshop from 19 to 17 at 8 p.m. organised by CERAI and APM


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