Next Friday, October 27, in Rome (Italy) the Global Alliance is holding a ‘special event session’ at the World Congress on Communication for Development (see earlier posts) whose official title is: The role of public relations in the new development paradigm. In preparation for this event -and in view of the final recommendations of the three day debate with some 600 participants from all over the world- a first, rough and explicitly ‘all-encompassing-and-to-be-very-much-slimmed-in-its-final-version’ draft of the final document, was put together on behalf of the organising committee by Paul Mefalopulos (World Bank) and circulated for comments to all presenters, including of course the ones from the Global Alliance…One the GA’s presenters, Peter Walker, Executive Chairman of PIELLE consulting firm, sent a critical comment which opened a direct debate with the drafter, in turn provoking a second reply by Paul and on….and on. Somewhat confused, and surprised by the unexpected passions revealed through this exchange, I sought light and clarification from Ursula Stroh, the highly reputed and specifically competent South African scholar from the University of Pretoria who is now teaching Global Relations at the University of Maryland and sent her the whole exchange for comment. I am confident no one will mind if, for the benefit of my many friends who have taken to increasingly visit this blog, I post the more crucial elements of this debate as I strongly believe its contents are of extreme and enlightening interest –besides the questionable merit of the ‘naming game’ in which we all, and much too often, seem to cherish involving ourselves in…..(by the way, I will not even say how many visits this blog receives every day, because it is an embarrassing figure and clearly not representative of reality, as spammers have begun to pester obliging me, at least momentarily and until I find a better solution, to introduce a filter: so comments now need to be approved by me before being posted. I apologise for this… but this is the only way to avoid frankly depressing spam messages which ruin the overall quality of the comments)….
So, for your perusal and in anticipation of what I am sure will be a stimulating Congress, please find:
°the first all encompassing draft of the final document (argument and recommendation);
°Peter’s first comment to a letter from Warren Feek, Executive Director of the Communication Initiative seeking replies to specific answers related to Paul’s draft paper (18 October Walker reply to Feek);
°Paul’s first reaction to Peter’s comments (Paul on Peter’s comments)
°Peter’s reaction to Paul’s (oct 20 peter’s reply to paul)
°my reply, as coordinator of this GA effort (toni to peter and paul)
°my ‘private’ note to Ursula Stroh asking for some ‘light’ (toni requires help from ursula)
°Ursula’s very forceful reply (ursula sheds light)
I know it’s a lot to read, but… bear with it my friends…it is well worth it!
And, ca va sans dire!!, please continue the debate….and tell me and other readers of this blog what you think!