Porto Alegre, 24th. To 27th. October 2001.



The fifteen thousand educators, students, researchers, authorities, syndicalists, representatives of many and varied social and popular forces, all protagonists of the history and committed to the public, free and good quality education as a necessary and possible condition to every men and women of all ages, sexual orientations, belonging to any ethnic, cultural or religious group in Earth to reach PEACE and better life perspectives to humankind, hereby present to the governments of all countries and to all people in the World the positions that were approved during the closing plenary session of the World Education Forum.
The age we live in, when the capital, in order to increase its profits in concentrations never seen before, leads the great majority of the worlds population to war and misery, and by forsaking and slaughtering childhood, produces the most cruel and dehumanizing face of this society model, has got to be seen as a bursting period.

In the present world conjuncture, after the terrorist attack of September 11th, absolutely repudiated by everyone, became clear not only the instability between south and north and the growing gap among rich and poor, but the risks of the violence that is originated at the irrational acts, which jeopardizes all sorts of civilization. The dominant forces intend to display the existing moment as a world calamity. However to the larger part of the human beings this burst may be seen as the crossing from one situation to another, where solidarity, freedom, equality and the respect to the differences strengthen as values allied to the comprehension that there are today, in the world, forces and wealth able to feed all starving people and to provide material and spiritual conditions to everyone, among such conditions a public, free and good quality education is distinguished.
Within this context and being part of these forces the World Education Forum was gathered, showing that the crossing moment have been built in every corner of the planet by social movements and governments, which are committed to democracy, to popular causes, and to the proposition, in the towns or in the country, of alternatives to the excluding neoliberal globalization.
There are many fronts to fight, in several parts of the world – the Zapatists Forces, the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST), the movement against the apartheid, the 3rd. World Conference Against Racism and Xenophobia held in South Africa, the March for Peace, accomplished by the UN in Peruggia and Assisi, the Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions for the Aid of Citizens (ATTAC), among many others. In these movements are found the popular and democratic alternatives that refuse the financial pressure represented by the World Bank, by the World Trade Organization (especially the general agreement on trade in services that risks public education), and the Monetary Found, which claim to be “reorganizing worlds economy”.

In this context, we have as fundamental to enhance the solidarity and the organization among all social, associative and syndical movements, promoting world meetings in different countries and cities. The reactions that took place in Seattle, Davos, Cancun, Quebec and Genova; the strikes and marches set forward by workers of different classes, and specially educators and students; the World Social Forum and the present World Education Forum point out that, keeping the feet grounded on the present and censuring the terrible harm that has been continually laid upon every people, men and women of the world are hopeful constructing the future. Therefore, it urges to disclaim the commercialization of education that allows to the northern countries to, by taking advantage of their prevailing position, attract the brains from the countries of the south through a selective immigration. All these elements indicate the possibility of extending the truly solidary, popular and democratic alternatives, included among them the ones related to the public, free and good quality education in every stage. As a consequence, we understand that the struggle against the neoliberal globalization demands that we state the current solutions and search for new opportunities to take action, whether in local, regional, national or world level.
Are welcome to the construction of popular and democratic alternatives every force, organization and section of the society that realizes the need of a sweeping change in the economic proposals that are in progress worldwide, as well as in the national and local public politics in order to allow an fair resources sharing, the environmental sustainability and the access of everyone to the worlds cultural heritage, ruled by the formation of values like solidarity, freedom and the recognition of the contrasts, so the issues that have been creating hierarchies among human beings will be overcame. The establishment of a sharer project to oppose the neoliberal globalization model demands that all forces join in this struggle, which had just began, and the refusal of every fundamentalist power.

We are brothers in this fight for the understanding that, no matter which are your beliefs, ways of living, tastes, feelings or differences concerning special educative necessities, any human being is always a citizen who must have his rights observed. Education, an essential condition to dialogue and PEACE, plays a leading role in this struggle, considering that the varied and always collective rooms where it takes place are realms of discussion, experiencing and companionship. Within this process, public school becomes the space/time for men and women with the most different backgrounds to have the chance of meeting others and themselves. So quite the reverse of the forces of capital that affirm that public school is already surpassed, we state once more its power and constant activity in reinventing our societies´ everyday living.

The conquest of the political power in concrete situations, is also one of the fronts to fight, since globalization of the capital has always needed national and local governments able to execute its plans and to assert its power. The creation of alternatives to the neoliberal proposal has been constructed by truly democratic and popular governments, which were arranged with difficulties and figure as a crescent possibility.
The struggle for changes in the professional field, seeking the perspective of a maintainable professionalization that grants to every men and women the access to the advances in science and technology, must be followed by the assuring of social rights to the workers and by the universal acknowledgement of professional certification. This struggle has a close relation with all the changes pointed, demanding, this way, the extension of the humanist, technical, scientific, ethnic and aesthetic knowledge and the real incorporation of the right to the differences, so that we may understand, approach and overcome the hierarchies among human beings, whether they are set by gender, age, ethnic, racial, religious, cultural or political matters. Concerning these issues, workers in education have a lot to tell on their efforts, and try more and more to participate, together with the several social movements, in the construction of a fairer and more peaceful world, affirming the excellence of their work with the infancy, children and youth, adults and older people.
The World Education Forum joins in the discussions realized in the several education forums that took place last decade on world basis, which identified with the ideals and utopias exposed in this document, and indicates these ideals as priority topics in the World Social Forum/2002.
The World Education Forum is a reality and a possibility in the construction of nets that integrate people, organizations, social and cultural movements, on local, regional, national and world level, which assure Public Education to everyone as a inalienable right, warranted and afforded by the State and never reduced to be a service nor a merchandise, in the perspective of a solidary, deeply democratic and fair society.

Porto Alegre (Brazil), October the 27th. 2001.

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