The 9th CIVICUS World Assembly gathered over 500 representatives of civil society, donors, governments, business, academics, media and youth from about 100 countries, from 20 – 23 August, in Montreal, Canada, to seek closer collaboration and greater resolve in addressing the global crises confronting humanity.
Mario Lubetkin, IPS Director General, was a keynote speaker at the Opening Plenary leading the discussion together with Ingrid Srinath, CIVICUS’ Secretary General and the wider audience. The agenda-setting conversation revolved around the assembly’s programme theme of economic justice and the main issues as seen by civil society groups around the world.
Over three days of broad-ranging exchanges and dialogue the participants sought common ground on issues of economic justice, development effectiveness and climate change. Clear themes that emerged included the growing threats to civil society freedoms around the world, and the opportunity for structural change based on values of justice, equity and human rights.
The event included a series of plenaries and workshops that brought together viewpoints from a unique spectrum of organisations, big and small, south and north, government and non-government. A wide range of panelists included the World Bank’s Vice President, Otaviano Canuto, Secretary General of Amnesty International, Salil Shetty, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, Director General of INM, Michel Venne and Executive Director of Greenpeace, Kumi Naidoo, among others.
The ideas generated at the event will feed into other international forums in the coming months, including the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) summit in New York in September, set up to review the progress of the MDGs.
The Director General and other senior IPS staff in Montreal took the opportunity to hold bi-lateral meetings with important civil society partners and potential partners.
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