Magenta Foundation Intervention on OSCE/Civil Society Relations during the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) 2008
Friday, 14 November 2008 00:00

Interaction Civil society & OSCE/ODIHR

The annual Human Dimension Implementation meeting covers a whole range of subjects and attracts many NGOs, also due to ODIHR’s successful outreach efforts. So many that at times, because of the full agendas and excess of interventions the speaking time can sharply drop, hampering NGOs in making their full contribution and valuable recommendations and hampering participating states to fully benefit from NGO input. This weeks sessions were prime examples of this.
Those who have been following the Tolerance conferences of the last few years will have noted that it is now a common practice to have a Preparatory Civil Society meeting preceding those conferences.
Civil Society preparatory meetings enable NGOs to prepare in an intersectional way, share experiences and opinions, learn and benefit from each other and articulate their ideas and recommendations jointly in a spirit of mutual cooperation and solidarity, resulting in a NGO document presented to the plenary. This does in no way restrict NGOs from bringing their individual contributions to the plenary.
The longstanding tradition in the OSCE of granting civil society almost equal footing at events is a much-treasured one. To ensure full Civil Society participation and interaction during the HDIM, we recommend to the participating states and ODIHR to:

  • Facilitate Civil Society preparatory meetings at the HDIM, analogue to the preparatory meetings facilitated by the TnD program staff and others, but organized and controlled by Civil Society itself.
  • Safeguard at all times the right of NGOs to fully participate in the HDIM, including the right to do individual interventions and give recommendations.

On behalf of:
Magenta Foundation, The Netherlands; Amnesty International, United Kingdom; Penal Reform International office Central Asia; Feminist League Kazachstan; Turkmenistan’s Aydynlyk; Sova Centre for information and analyses, Russian Federation; SONDIP, Finland; Association of Citizen’s Sumnal, Republic of
Macedonia; We Remember Foundation, Belarus; Romani CRISS Romania; Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union; Russian-Chechen Friendship Society; Human Rights First, United States; Freudenberg Foundation, Germany and Amalipe Center for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance, Bulgaria;