Challenges to Civil Society I

Challenges to Civil Society I

March 17, 2010
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An EG Policy Roundtable in Madrid in which Equatoguinean and international civil society actors discussed democratic reform and human rights.

In March 2010, EG Justice convened a Policy Roundtable in Madrid, bringing together some of the principal Equatoguinean and international civil society actors working for democratic change and human rights in Equatorial Guinea.  Colleagues from around the world shared experiences, presented current work portfolios, and strategized on ways to collaborate more effectively in the future. International NGOs present included Open Society Justice Initiative, Human Rights Watch, the Center for Economic and Social Rights, Revenue Watch Institute, and FRIDE. EG Justice also hosted 5 prominent Equatoguinean human rights defenders and several members of the Equatoguinean community exiled in Spain.

The participants agreed that the Roundtable was a critical step in transforming a loosely allied group of like-minded organizations into a more formalized coalition with clearer advocacy priorities, stronger relationships, and more consistent information and messaging. Further, this meeting immediately resulted in an important synergy among the groups that produced a well-coordinated and highly effective civil society intervention several days later at Equatorial Guinea’s Universal Periodic Review plenary in Geneva. The momentum from the Policy Roundtable also contributed to the successful and well-coordinated civil society campaign against the UNESCO-Obiang Nguema Mbasogo International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences.

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