Over 200 representatives of the Ukrainian government, civil society and the international donor community gathered to discuss ways to stimulate partnership and co-operation between the state and civil society during a two-day conference on 18 and 19 December in Kyiv.
The aim of the conference, entitled “Partnership and co-operation between the state authorities and civil society organizations in Ukraine: Success and Challenges”, was to spur a constructive dialogue and discuss best practices in establishing partnerships between state institutions and and non-governmental organizations.
Jeffrey Erlich, Senior Project Officer of the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine, said that the OSCE’s participating States have repeatedly recognized that NGOs are crucial to upholding human rights, democracy and the rule of law. “A virtuous circle can be created when the state supports civil society, which in turn supports a more democratic, responsive state,” he said.
“International standards, including the Council of Europe’s, provide a clear action plan both for public authorities at all levels and civil society organizations to build effective partnerships resulting in reforms based on inclusive policy dialogue,” underlined Màrten Ehnberg, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine.
“The National Strategy for Civil Society Development has identified priority areas where co-operation has already been initiated. But implementing it is an impossible task without continued consultations with and feedback from the expert community and NGOs,” said Rostyslav Pavlenko, Deputy Head of the Administration of the President of Ukraine.
Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine Ihor Zhdanov said that to approach the co-operation between the authorities and the civil society sector in a strategic way would be to move from providing individual grants to offering institutional support to NGOs.
The gathering was organized in partnership with the Administration of the President of Ukraine and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, in co-operation with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine. International partners who took part in the conference included UNDP and USAID.
The conference was part of the project “Assisting Government of Ukraine in Implementing National Strategy for Civil Society Development”.
National Programme Co-ordinator
OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine
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