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Tango Programme Officer attends CIVICUS World Assembly

Sep 12, 2011, 1:33 PM

TANGO’s programme officer for networking, Kebba K. Barrow, is in Canada to attend the CIVICUS general assembly from 10 to 12 September 2011, a press issued by the NGO umbrella body has said.

The World Assembly is the primary venue where civil society, donors, governments, and business concerns collaborative towards strengthening the rights of every individual to “exist, express and engage”.

CIVICUS World Assembly’s strength is its ability to act as a forum where these traditionally unconnected sectors of society engage in constructive dialogue to act collaboratively towards the strengthening of civil space.

The central theme of the Assembly is “Acting Together for a Just World”. Every year the overall theme is explored through a focused theme. In 2011 the theme will focus on ‘CIVIL SOCIETY and Global Decision Making: Doing it Better’.

More frequent policy decisions are being made at the global level but are yet to have their real impact at the local level.

The voices of the local people and grassroots organizations need to be heard at the global level, on issues including human rights, climate change, development effectiveness and women’s rights, if we are going to achieve a more just world. In tackling this issue, the World Assembly will centre on four thematic tracks: climate justice, development effectiveness, civil society and democratic space, and connecting people through technology

Delegates to the World Assembly may choose to focus on a single track or selected activities from multiple tracks.  By engaging all facets of civil society as well as representatives from other sectors in participatory dialogue around these issues, we can explore how to ensure that the voices of the people are heard in global forums.

The first World Assembly was held in Mexico City in 1995, Budapest in 1997, Manila in 1999 Vancouver in 2001,  Botswana in 2004, and Scotland in 2006, 2007 and 2008,

Institute de NOUVEAU MONDE has been selected by the CIVICUS movement leaders to organize the World Alliance for Citizen’s Participation’s 9th, 10th and 11th World Assemblies in Montreal - Canada.

The four-day programme will comprise plenary sessions, interactive discussions, knowledge sharing and training workshops, learning exchanges, social events, film screening, and exhibitions.

Knowledgeable and specialised resource persons from every region of the globe will provide perspectives and insight on issues related to the theme.

The expected output of the assembly includes having firsthand knowledge on the state of the art of civil society thinking, establishing cross-cutting relationships with the civil society, business, media, government and donor organizations, and professionals from around the globe.

There will also be in-depth exchange of expertise on how people from all sectors act together to (re)gain the power to enforce decisions.

Training and capacity building on a wide range of tangible skills, for example, fundraising, networking, mobilization and volunteering will also be undertaken.

As a member of the Steering Committee of the Affinity Group of National Associations, Mr Barrow will participate in the annual meeting of The Affinity Group of National Association’s scheduled for 9 September 2011, before the official opening plenary of the World Assembly in the evening of 10 September 2011.

Mr Barrow will also participate in the International Civil Society Index Workshop of some of the National Coordinating Organizations (NCOs) of the Civil Society Index that has completed the mapping study of Civil Society Organizations in their respective countries.

The Civil Society Index (CSI) is an action-research project that assesses the state of civil society in countries around the world, with a view to creating a knowledge base and an impetus for civil society initiatives.

Established in 1993, CIVICUS aims to nurture the foundation, growth and protection of citizens’ action throughout the world, especially in areas where participatory democracy and citizens’ freedom of association are threatened.

Through its worldwide membership base, CIVICUS aims to have a positive impact on civil society organizations’ ability to engage with governments, corporations and international institutions to effect broad social, economic and political changes.