Dear friends of the Public Eye on Davos

February 4, 2002

The Public Eye on Davos? Conference ended yesterday with a panel discussion on the topic of Security and the World Economy. Irene Khan, the General Secretary of Amnesty International, who had also attended the World Economic Forum (WEF), praised the quality of the Public Eye Conference in her talk. Irene Khan said that a discussion like the Public Eye?s final panel would have been unthinkable at the WEF.

The Public Eye in New York surpassed the expectations of The Berne Declaration and Friends of the Earth Switzerland. The Public Eye has grown. More than 1500 spectators attended the nine panel discussions at the UN Church Centre in New York. Fourty speakers from all five continents were present. Amongst these were 17 women, 15 of whom originated from countries in the South.

The Public Eye consolidated its co-operation with the World Social Forum (WSF) in Porto Alegre. An official message of support from Miguel Rossetto, vice governor of the federal state of Rio Grande do Sul, was presented by Marcelo Lucca who acted as ambassador of the World Social Forum. Today Monday, the Public Eye coordinator, Matthias Herfeldt, will transmit a farewell message by phone for the end of the World Social Forum. Miguel Rossetto has invited the Public Eye team to come to Porto Alegre in the spring to discuss further co-operation.

Representatives from non-governmental organisations, who participated in the WEF, reported that the pressure from the WSF and the Public Eye was felt at the WEF. The World Economic Forum still cannot deal constructively with criticism. The WEF stopped the distribution of the Earth Times, a journal that has appeared at all big UN conferences and at major international events since 1991, because one article criticised the conditions at the WEF press centre.