Civil G8 2006: NGOs seek to form global agenda
International Forum “Civil G8 2006” was held in Moscow, according to the REGNUM Agency correspondent. The forum is the civil part to the G8 Summit in St. Petersburg.
The participants discuss problems of global energy security, professional education, HIV/AIDS prevention, social and economic policy making for the sake of sustainable development, human rights protection, biodiversity issues and opposition to the GMO expansion, and the business-society interaction. The recommendations of the forum will be handed to the G8 presidents.
While opening the forum, the coordinator of the National Working Group of the Civil G8 Advisory Council, the chair of Russian Council of Civil Society and Human Rights Institutions under the President of the Russian federation Ella Pamfilova said that the key topic of the forum will be the civil society problems, its interaction with governments and mechanisms of monitoring the fulfillment of G8 obligations.
The member of the National Working Group of Civil G8 Advisory Council, the president of the Social National Project Institute Alexander Auzan noted that “people often take the work done by society and business structures for governments’ achievements.” In this connection he pointed out that the society should effectively organize itself and provide its active interaction with governments. “It is important that we should stop just reacting to the agenda we are offered and become a new source of agenda,” – he said. Alexander Auzan also reminded the audience that NGOs and governments have agreed that the agenda of the next G8 Summit will be formed on the basis of NGOs’ recommendations.
“The horizon of governments’ activities is often limited by electoral cycle, while civil society is responsible for time continuity. So, it is highly essential for us to discuss global policy problems,” – he added.
According to the Secretary General of SIVICUS NGO (World Alliance for Citizen Participation) Kumi Naidoo (SAR), “G8 should not turn into a closed cartel, it should listen to what people in other countries say”. NGOs should also continue its pressure on the G8 governments in implementing their decisions, first of all, on global poverty reduction – a process launched in 1995 but developing much slower than it was expected.
The chairman of the Committee for World Parliament, the chairman of the Global Governance Group (France) Olivier Giscard d’Estaing said that business society, NGOs, and religious organizations are, perhaps, more influential in the world today that governments are. That’s why they should cooperate.
“We should not keep pressing permanently on governments, we should offer our services and cooperation,” d’Estaing said. He pointed that civil society can be really indispensable in reducing social tension and raising security through civil education.
Among the participants of the Forum were representatives of a whole number of global NGOs: CIVICUS, Social Watch, International Association of Consumers, World Women Council, WWF, International Organization for Poverty Reduction, the Greenpeace International, Transparency International, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch.
“Russia is represented by all NGOs which wanted to participate and have something to say,” Pamfilova said. “Memorial” Human Rights Center, Publicity Protection Foundation, Independent Legal Expertise Council, Civil Assistance Committee, Social Verdict Foundation, Social Partnership Foundation and a number of NGOs from the regions attended the Forum.
The forum is finishing its work in July 4. Russian President Vladimir Putin as the president of G8 chair-state is supposed to attend the forum this day.