Second launch of the ICGLR Civil Society Organisations Handbook

19 Sep 2016
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Following the first launch of the ICGLR Civil Society Organisations handbook in Uganda, a second launch was held in Nairobi, Kenya. This launch took place 19 August 2016 during The ICGLR Civil Society Forum Launch Workshop and was organised by the Great Lakes Project partner Nairobi Peace Initiative Africa (NPI-A) in collaboration with Kenya National Coordination Mechanism. This event brought together members of the Civil Society Committee and the Kenya Office. The event  was attended by civil society organisation delegates from country, representatives from the Government of Kenya; Ministry of Devolution and Planning, Kenya National Coordination Mechanism, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Youth Council.

During the launch, there were multiple presentations.  Bernard Okok, Programmes Coordinator, NPI-Africa reaffirmed that they had engaged in the process with ACCORD and GPPAC that engaged with the government through mutual dialogue and negotiation. The civil society continued to play a predominant role in the application of the Dar es Salaam Declaration, including in the elaboration of policies, in bringing together the populations and the administrations of the state, in building peace and political pluralism, as well as in sowing the seeds for a renewal of trust and popular solidarity among the states of the region. The presentation recognised the importance of civil society organisations' role in humanitarian and social issues to guarantee access to basic social services by the populations affected by conflicts and effects of natural disasters. It was noted that the challenges of community involvement and participation needed to be strengthened to ensure support mechanisms for ICGLR policies on civil society organisations. 
Dr Patrick Kanyangara, from ACCORD shared the important to provide mechanisms for civil society organisations to gain experience and engage on cross-cutting programmes related to environment; unemployment, poverty reduction and natural resource that were the part of the source of regional conflict.

The Keynote Address was delivered by Ambassador Josephine Gaita, ICGLR National Coordinator of Kenya. She stated that the launch of the CSO handbook reaffirmed Kenya's commitment to ensuring that the ICGLR Civil Society Forum Secretariat establishment was completed before the next ICGLR summit. The government of Kenya was committed to ensure that the civil society organisations played a bigger role in the aspiration of the Pact on Peace, Security and Stability which was a significant step towards the operationalization of the civil society organisations work in Kenya.

This handbook provides practical information about the structure of the ICGLR and its decision-making process and cycles. It highlights the importance of engaging with the ICGLR and indicates different spaces in which people from the region can participate to develop policies and actions and jointly strengthen the organisation in the prevention and management of armed conflicts. This handbook is written by the Great Lakes Project partners, NPI- Africa, ACCORD and GPPAC.  You can download the manual here