The Association for Development, the World Rural Forum, came into being as a result of the International Congress on Trade and Rural Development held at the end of November, 1988 in Vitoria. At the Congress, a serious, multi-disciplinary reflection was made on the PROS and CONS of a freer trade and a more global economy in the development of agricultural activities and of rural areas in general and in the face of the supposed imminent opening of a new, multilateral round of talks at the World Trade Organization.
The most noteworthy results of the Congress were:
- The unanimous though not official approval of the "VITORIA-GASTEIZ DECLARATION: FOR A GLOBALIZATION WHICH IS COMPATIBLE WITH RURAL DEVELOPMENT". The basis of this declaration was the diagnosis of the agricultural and rural situation and the establishment of some points which led to objectives which were in consonance with the approved declaration.
- A far-reaching agreement to create an Association or Forum which would have the task of achieving continuity from the point of view of time and putting the declaration into practice.
The initiative taken is a privileged meeting point for the creation of new relationships and the implementation of projects to strengthen these relationships. 7 years later, the Forum's project is now a reality and it has over 80 formal members and hundreds of collaborators throughout the world, all of whom are individuals and organizations linked with and committed to rural development. We give great value to matters which are apparently of little significance and to local aspects in an endeavour to make sure that these matters are not relegated or lost in the speeches made by the important decision-making entities.