Uri Savir, President and founder of the Glocal Forum

The Glocal Forum
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Fax: +1 202 333 1638

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This archived article was published 13 June 2004
2004 Glocalization conference starts
campaign to help children in danger

Celebrities, mayors, public and private sector institutions and youth from around the world converged on Rome in mid-May 2004 to take part in the launch of ‘We Are the Future’ and the Third Annual Glocalization Conference. Eighteen years after Quincy Jones initiated the historical ‘We Are the World’ campaign, he has joined hands with the Glocal Forum, a Rome-based NGO (non-governmental organisqation), for this new initiative designed to secure a better future for children around the world.

The conference began with a launch concert in the historical setting of Rome’s Circus Maximus. The event featured internationally renowned artists and celebrities including Alicia Keys, Angelina Jolie, Herbie Hancock, the cast of Stomp, Take Six and other performers and presenters. The concert was free, but proceeds from the concert’s broadcast and related merchandise sales will benefit ‘We Are the Future’ programmes, including children's centres in six cities worldwide. The first centre opened on 8 April, 2004 in Kigali, Rwanda. Other centers will open later this year in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Asmara, Eritrea; Freetown, Sierra Leone; Kabul, Afghanistan; and Nablus, Palestine.

In the last decade alone, two million children were killed, six million injured and 12 million left homeless as the result of regional conflicts. In developing countries that are in conflict or post-conflict situations, 30,000 children under the age of five die every day, many from easily preventable causes. Concert producer Quincy Jones said that this event was a clarion call to the world to take notice of the plight of children everywhere. “Mortality rates among children are soaring and the international community must respond. We believe that ‘We Are the Future’ is an important first step,” he added.

‘We are the Future’ is the collective dream of The Glocal Forum and the Quincy Jones' Listen Up Foundation, with support from the World Bank and its President James Wolfensohn, and the participation of the city of Rome and its Mayor Walter Veltroni. The programme takes an innovative approach to aiding children by creating a coalition of the private sector, international organizations and young people while forging city-to-city relationships to share resources and information for the benefit of the local communities in conflict and post-conflict areas.

Founded in 2001, the Glocal Forum is a non-profit organisation that encourages global powers to have broader respect for local powers and cultural diversity in a process defined as GLOCALIZATION. It is a process that places the city as the central player in international relations and finds local solutions to the global challenges of peace-building and development. The Glocal Forum's city-to-city approach brings together mayors, international institutions, private sector leaders, citizens and youth in a new global-local coalition of forces. Projects focus on socio- economic development, tourism, youth, sports, culture, media and information technology. There are more than 300 Glocal Forum members from 134 countries and all five continents.

Since 2001, the City of Rome and the Glocal Forum together have promoted and organized an annual conference on glocalization. ‘We are the Future’ was conceived at last year's conference as a way to promote the city-to-city approach to sustainable globalization.

‘We are the Future’ will assist children through sustainable local projects that deliver support services via ‘We are the Future’ centers created in select locations around the world. Through mobilising resources for initiatives which effectively address the needs of children, ‘We are the Future’ will build upon and partner with existing projects and initiate new efforts that will include: access to pharmaceuticals; agricultural training combined with nutritional expertise; ICT for education and health including the use of tele-medicine in the delivery of basic health care and the establishment of recreational spaces and programming; all the while, stimulating dialogues for peace.

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