The long awaited Busan negotiations on aid and development have started today for civil society ahead of the official 4th High Level Forum negotiations on 29 November - 1 December here in South Korea.
The Global Civil Society Forum opening plenary this Saturday 26th of November gathered some 500 CSO representatives from around the world and across thematic sectors for a 3-day meeting of final deliberation and strategizing. On November 29th, 300 of these representatives will go on to participate in HLF4.
Our Korean host KoFID Anselmo Lee and Carolyn Long of InterAction welcomed the delegates, followed by BetterAid and Open Forum co-chairs – Antonio Tujan and Emele Duituturaga – who delivered an inspiring and yet urgent message on the work done and what is still left to achieve. In the next three days, CSOs will gather in thematic and regional workshops to debate and consolidate common position one last time based on the CSO Key Messages and Proposals and the latest draft Busan Outcome Document.
Also spoke leading Korean trade union representatives, Association for Women’s Rights in Development, and a representative from the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Republic of Korea.
A highlight of this Day 1 was the Keynote speech of Maina Kiai – UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, who urged:
“ Governments need to ensure the protection of several main international principles: freedom of assembly, freedom of association, freedom of expression, the rights of civil society groups to seek and secure funding, and the states duty to protect these freedoms and rights ,”
He added “ this 4th High Level Forum provides an opportunity for such a dialogue, and I urge us all to use this as effectively as possible ”.
Maina Kiai then participated in the Open Forum workshop on Enabling Environment for civil society, openly sharing his insights with the audience and fellow panelists from the Cooperation Committee of Cambodia (CCC) and CIVICUS.
For CCC, the event is an opportunity to once again draw attention and support with regards to the controversial LANGO – Law on Civil Society – which has been threatening to restrict Cambodian civil society substantially and is still under consideration by the government.
Open Forum encourages you to read, circulate and add quotes of your own country/regional CSOs to the press release highlighting Maina Kiai intervention on enabling environment for civil society.
More to come in the next days from Busan!