Sep 23, 2009, 6:50 AM
(Friday 3 September 2010 Issue)
Kebba K Barrow programme officer at TANGO who attended the 9th CIVICUS World Assembly in Montreal, Canada, from 20th to 24th August 2010 has returned to Banjul, and shared the outcome of the forum with this paper.
According to him, CIVICUS is an international alliance of civil society organisations, established in 1993 aimed at nurturing the foundation, growth and protection of citizen action throughout the world, especially in those areas where participatory democracy and citizens' freedom of association are threatened.
He said that its strength is its ability to act as a forum where these traditionally unconnected sectors of society engaged in constructive dialogue to act collaboratively towards the strengthening of civil space.
Through its worldwide membership base, he said, it aims to have a positive impact on civil society organisations\ ability to engage with governments, corporations and international institutions in order to effect broad social, economic and political change.
According to him, the theme of the World Assembly this year was \Acting Together for Just World\ and every year the overall theme is explored through a focus theme.
This year, he explained that the focus theme was 'Seeking Out Solutions'. This theme, he added, will address the issue of economy, development and climate. He said the assembly had convened various stakeholders of society to debate and suggest possible solutions to the challenges facing societies today.
Barrow who claimed to be a member of the Steering Committee of The Affinity Group of National Associations, said he participated in the annual meeting of The Affinity Group of National Associations on the 20th of August before the official opening of the World Assembly the same evening.
He also participated in the International Civil Society Index Workshop of some of the National Coordinating Organisations (NCOs) of the Civil Society Index that had completed the mapping study of Civil Society Organisations in their respective countries.
The Civil Society Index (CSI) is an action-research project that assesses the state of civil society initiatives.
The index, he said, was installed and implemented by-and for-civil society organisations and that it also actively involves and disseminate its findings to a broad range of stakeholders.
Meanwhile proceedings of the World Assembly could be found online @ www.civicuassembly.org and for more information on CIVICUS check the CIVICUS WEBSITE: www.civ.