Friday, January 23, 2009

Partnership between local authorities and NGOs: no more clichés!

Source: Concord Flash, nr. 56, November/December 2008

After governance in 2006 and climate change in 2007, in November 2008 the European Development Days focused on the role played in development by local authorities. A recurring, high-level event, these Days – organised by the European Commission in collaboration with the presidency of the European Union – attract 3,000 participants from all continents, from heads of State to NGOs and experts. This year there were debates on global issues such as the financial crisis and the G20, and the food crisis, but they centred mainly on local issues, such as the importance of local authorities when it comes to fighting poverty.

Over 40 panel discussions addressed development issues such as: the food crisis, the financial crisis, the Millennium Development Goals, climate change, the impact of the media in bringing about democratic governance, and the importance of local authorities.

CONCORD and its members either took part in or helped to organise 18 of these lectures and other events. One that stands out is the panel discussion organised by CONCORD and the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, which represents some 100,000 towns and
regions in countries belonging to the Council of Europe, on collaboration between civil society and local authorities. Ms Tavares Gomes, Mayor of São Vicente in Cape Verde; Mr Elngo Mbassi, Secretary-General of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa; Mr Robert Bodja, coordinator of North-South activities for Luxembourg's Climate Alliance; Tara Brace-John,
who has worked for a long time with Dalit women in India, and is in charge of governance issues with the NGO One World Action, and René Billaz, Chair of Agronomists and Vets Without Borders, gave concrete examples of this partnership and challenged clichés on both NGOs and local authorities, especially on the ground. Click here to find out more about this conference

To view the talks given by Jean-Pierre Elngo Mbassi on the financial crisis: and by Robert Bodja on aid effectiveness:

Next year's Development Days will be held in Stockholm (Sweden) from 21 to 23 October, and will focus on citizenship and development. One for your diaries!

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