LANGUAGE AND THE NEW MANIFESTO

Indie Dinala, a student on the Science, Society and Development course here at IDS, attended the Manifesto launch on 15 June. These are her personal reflections on what was discussed:

“The new manifesto is definitely the way forward. Especially in that it is responsive to social justice, the ever-changing globalised world and other important 3D issues it raises that can contribute to sustainable development.

One interesting thing to me was the reasons for the UN’s rejection of the 1970 Sussex Manifesto because it ‘prescribed targets’, thereby deemed as overstepping into the politicians’ mandate, rather than that of academicians; and that the recommendations sounded like a ‘manifesto’. These narratives offer an insight into how sometimes seemingly trivial issues may have implications on how policy decisions are taken.

It’s interesting that among the other concerns that stakeholders raised at the launch, the issue of the language of the New Manifesto kept surfacing from many commentators. This issue, though apparently small, may require serious attention. If not, the new manifesto may end up lying on the policy makers’ shelves, gathering dust like many other documents before it – that is, if it survives being thrown out of the window.

Obviously what this means is that the new manifesto will need to be spelled out in as clear and simple terms as possible, in order to make it easier for anyone from a a busy politician to individuals at grassroots level to grasp its very good concepts at a glance.”

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