‘Civil20’ Summit opens in Moscow

First Summit of the ‘Civil20’ opens in
Moscow

 

Over
350 people – representing  civil society,
international organisations, business and the media – took part in the Civil20
Summit which opened on 13 June 2013. At the summit civil society was
represented by delegates from the G20 countries, NGOs, and academic circles, as
well as participants in the working groups that prepared the Civil20
recommendations, the Global Group of NGOs and the Civil Society Group.

 

The
summit was the culmination of a civil track within the context of Russia
chairing the 

G20.
Its main goal was to achieve a productive dialogue between global civil
society, politicians and decision makers having regard to the priorities set
out in the official agenda of the Russian chair. The Civil20’s recommendations
might result in substantive amendments being made to the final communique of
the G20 leaders. It merits mention that Russia has been the first of the G20
countries to hold a meeting of the Civil 20 in this way. Its summit was opened
by Elena Topoleva, co-chair of Civil20, director of ASI, member of the
presidential council on the development of civil society and human rights and
member of the Public Chamber. The head of the department of specialists in the   presidential administration and Russian
sherpa in relation to the G20 summit, Ksenia Yudaeva, stressed in her welcoming
address that the summit had been preceded by serious preparatory work.
Recommendations had been actively sought via the internet and the next day the
co-chairs of the civil summit – the civil troika – would be meeting with
president Putin and presenting him with a collection of recommendations. Ms
Yudaeva   read out words of greeting from
the Russian president. In his message to participants in the Civil20, he made
the point that the recommendations would help the leaders of the

G20
to arrive at decisions on complex issues facing the world community today.
Mikhail Fedotov, chair of the presidential council on the development of civil
society   and human rights, speaking at
the opening of the summit, said: ‘I am 
convinced that only dialogue between civil society and the state is
capable of producing positive results and that its absence will always have the
opposite effect of causing problems.’ He stressed his conviction that the forum
then taking place would allow for a concrete programme for dialogue to be
discussed, finalised and drawn to the attention of the G20 leaders.

 

Replying
to questions from the floor, Fedotov suggested that thought be given to working
up and putting to the G20 leaders common standards for the legal regulation of
NGOs.

 

Mishel  Sidibe, deputy secretary general of the UN
and executive director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS, said that the
meeting, which provided for a serious discussion on civil society, was very
timely. He added that currently there was a worldwide crisis of confidence
between governments and the governed and the fact that Russia had taken the
initiative to discuss these questions within the context of the G20 was very
important. He thought the Civil20 summit could come up with practical ways of
making the world a better place, promoting a fairer society and creating a new
partnership between the state and the public.

 

The
summit programme was to consist of plenary sessions, cross-sectional meetings,
working groups, open forums and an open session of the drafting committee. Once
finalised the application to the G20 leaders or civil communique would include
a preamble and nine thematic sets of recommendations reflecting all the lines
pursued by the outreach group. The communique would be drafted on the basis of
the position documents that had been compiled by the working and policy groups
of Civil20 and distributed to participants two weeks before the summit to
facilitate discussions at the open session of the drafting committee and for
approval at the concluding session.

 

Information
about the Civil20 proceedings can be found at
http://www.civil20.org/summit2013/live.php

 

http://www.asi.org.ru/ASI3/rws_asi.nsf/va_WebPages/AACA1795EC7612FD44257B8900255C22Rus

 

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