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Yemen - Demokrati: Krav om bredere politisk medinddragelse

YEMEN: Arab civil society groups call for greater political participation

IRINnews.org, 17. august 2005

En international workshop med deltagelse af mere end 50 repræsentanter fra politiske partier og NGO'ere i Yemen og andre arabiske lande fremkom med opfordringer til regeringerne i de arabiske lande om at sikre bredere folkelig inddragelse i de politiske beslutningsprocesser. Workshop'en var finansieret af G8-programmet "Democratic Assistance Dialogue".

SANA, 17 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - A regional workshop on the role of civil society groups in democratic change wrapped up on Tuesday in the Yemeni capital Sana, calling for active and equal participation of such groups in decision making in the Arab countries.

The event, called "The Role of Civil Society in the Current Democratic Changes" brought together more than 50 representatives of political parties and NGOs from Yemen and other Arab states.

The two-day workshop was organised by Yemen’s Human Rights Information and Training Centre (HRITC) under the G8 created programme of Democratic Assistance Dialogue (DAD).

"The participants will be partners in setting up real tasks prior to the initiation of Arab Democratic Dialogue Forum (ADDF) scheduled for next September. We are serious about creating a fully-fledged partnership. We as civil society should contribute in development issues and we think that ADDF will be great if all take part in," Eiz Eddin al-Sabahi, HRITC Director said.

He added that civil society in Arab states was now trying to have a bigger role in implementing political reform processes.

DAD was programme established out of the G8 initiative called: "Partnership for Progress and a common future with the region of the Broader Middle East and North Africa" at the 2004 summit.

The initiative is based on partnership with the countries of the Middle East and North African region, and is open to all the Arab League member countries plus Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey.

Italy, a G8 member, Yemen and Turkey are organising DAD events.

Rome has chosen the topic of debating a multiparty system, Ankara will focus on support for women and Sana has opted for democratic dialogue, according to Jamilah Raja, director of DAD.

Participants at the conference stressed the need for establishing a culture of dialogue that should be instilled in society through education and the school curricula.

This, they said, would ensure freedom of political parties, open doors for a free media, and international monitoring of elections.

The event, which was also attended by some Arab human rights activists and lawyers, recommended greater participation for women in politics.

In addition, there was a call for the youth and rural people to be empowered and brought into the political decision making process, so that they can contribute in building and improving their societies.

Kuwaiti lawyer, Abdulkareem Jasem, described the event as a good opportunity for everyone to discuss future plans and how they can play an active role in the development process at large.

"Civil society organisations are trying their best. However, it is unfortunate that their recommendations and decisions clash with political regimes that do not believe in democracy and good governance principles," he said.

"The world, in this era of globalisation, is witnessing a lot of historic changes in various areas and the Arab regimes must cope with this and turn to public participation," he added.

© IRIN - This article appeared originally on IRIN News.org and is published by engelund.dk according a general agreement. To view the original article, please click here.
IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Networks) is a project of UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
[This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies.]


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Opdateret d. 3.10.2005