Regional: SADC CNGO develops advocacy plan post 7th Civil Society Forum

Regional: SADC CNGO develops advocacy plan post 7th Civil Society Forum

Date: October 4, 2011
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The SADC Council of NGOs (SADC CNGO) held a post 7th Civil Society Forum strategy meeting on 28 September in Gaborone to do a swot analysis of the event and finalise an advocacy plan with members of the steering committee.

The meeting attended by members of the APEX body, interest groups and development partners who make up the steering committee came up with a strategy and action plan based on the sectors’ priority areas.

The Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance that represents the gender sector in the region on the steering committee will be responsible for advocacy on and tracking implementation of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development through the annual Barometer. Other proposed responsibilities were allocated to those who represent the various sectors based on the draft plan that emerged from the parallel sessions held during the Forum. These include:

  • Governance and accountability work will be led by SADC CNGO. One of their priority areas is to develop a campaign calling for lifting the suspension of the SADC Tribunal and advocacy efforts around countries identified as hotspots. The SADC CNGO will also lead the human security; free movement of persons in SADC campaigns and engage the SADC Secretariat in modalities of institutionalised engagement between civil society and SADC.
  • Climate change and natural resources sector plans will be led by Economic Justice Network. Most of their activities are geared towards preparations for the 17th United Nations Conference of Parties (COP 17).
  • Trade and regional economic integration and other aspects of the human security such as finalising the SADC Protocol on Employment and Decent Work will be led by the Southern Africa Trade Unions Coordinating Council.
  • The Southern Africa Youth Movement will be responsible for overseeing the youth, children and people with disabilities sector plans.

Overall, the participants commended the success of the 7th Civil Society Forum in spite of the challenges in obtainingsufficient resources to hold the event where the Heads of State Summit took place as per tradition. Angola proved to be expensive and the small advocacy group that proceeded to have a meeting with civil society there and hand a communiqué to the Heads of State could not enter the country.

A challenge has been thrown upon civil society to follow through with the plan of action and declaration to ensure that by the 8th civil society forum to be held in Maputo Mozambique in August 2012, concrete progress will have been recorded. In its conclusion, the meeting noted that the SADC Gender Protocol Alliance continues to provide a good example of how progress on implementation of SADC Protocols should be monitored. A desktop study has since been commissioned by the SADC CNGO to analyse monitoring and evaluation systems in place to track implementation of six SADC Protocols that will be used as case studies.

Regional Level
The SADC Gender Unit will be calling on Gender Ministers to support the development of a Regional Action Plan for the Implementation of the SADC Gender Protocol and standardised framework for developing costed national action plans that are aligned to the Protocol. Dates for a workshop will be soon be announced.

National Level

Costing of gender national action plans
The Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance is calling on Ministers to follow the example shown by Namibia in revising and costing its national action plan, and incorporating the targets of the SADC Gender Protocol by the 2012 gender ministers meeting.This provide a domesticated roadmap to implementing all 28 targets of the SADC Gender Protocol at national level.

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