Tribute to Marc Nerfin

Marc Nerfin was born on 26 September 1930 in Switzerland and passed away in his home in Paris on 15 August in the loving care of his beloved wife Joy Assefa.

He was a visionary thinker in the international development dialogue and provided major contributions to the work for a fair, equal and sustainable world order.

Marc Nerfin had close ties to Sweden ever since United Nations Conference on Environment in Stockholm 1972 and later on through his collaboration with the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation.

He played a decisive role in the symposium in Founex, Switzerland in 1971, which secured the participation of the third world in the Stockholm conference. It was, at the time, the most qualified analysis of the integration of the environmental and social to the development process and was further elaborated in Cocoyó, Mexico in 1974. The results were published in ”What now? Another Development”, a project by the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation led by Nerfin. This served as the foundation for what would later become ”sustainable development” and made a lasting impact in the Swedish development cooperation debate.

In 1976, Nerfin created a global forum on development issues, International Foundation for Development Alternatives. Many Swedes contributed to the series ”IFDA Dossier”, where Nerfin 1986 advocated for a mobilisation of civil society in the publication ”Neither Prince, nor Merchant: Citizen”. He completed his engagement with the news agency Inter Press Service, where he long held the position of Vice President.

Marc Nerfin is remembered as a wise, loyal and caring friend.

Göran Bäckstrand
Lars-Göran Engfeldt
Olle Nordberg
Henrik Hammargren