East African ministers pledge support for World Social Science event in Durban


On the 20th anniversary of the Copenhagen declaration and programme of action on social development eleven ministers from the eastern Africa region concluded their discussions on the topic of global justice with a call for the ‘active participation’ of policy-makers and researchers from the region in the World Social Science Forum 2015 (WSSF2015), which is taking place in Durban, South Africa, from 13-16 September.

WSSF2015 is a global event of the International Social Science Council and is hosted by the Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa, and the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA).

The ministers of social development, who gathered in Nairobi, Kenya from 24 to 26 February, participated in the first forum for ministers of social development for eastern African countries. The meeting took place under the auspices of UNESCO’s Management of Social Transformations (MOST) programme.

At the closing of the meeting, the ministers signed the Nairobi Declaration on Global Justice. The declaration contains 17 specific undertakings by the ministers to contribute to the attainment of global justice. Among these undertaking is recognition of the importance of social science and humanities research in understanding and addressing the rapid social transformations that are taking place in all regions of the world. It also places poverty eradication and the reduction of inequalities at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) that are being formulated to replace the Millennium Development goals.

The theme of the WSSF2015, ‘Transforming Global Relations for a Just World’, is a perfect fit with the goals set out on the minister’s declaration. The sub-themes of the 2015 Forum deal with different aspects of inequality from the causes of extreme poverty, illicit financial flows, to successful experiences in reducing discrimination.

The statement in the declaration on the WSSF reads that the minister’s meeting agree to ‘Undertake to engage with, as well as support the active participation of social science and humanities researchers from the region in, the 2015 World Social Science Forum in Durban, South Africa, which will be held from 13 to 16 September 20 I 5 on the theme ‘Transforming Global Relations for a Just World’.

The declaration was signed by the ministers of social development from Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Tanzania.