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On the sidelines of the first Arab Week for Sustainable Development at the Arab League

On the sidelines of the first Arab Week for Sustainable Development at the Arab League

Maat presents its experience in monitoring and supporting the fulfillment of international human rights and development obligations

Akil: We call for the establishment of the Arab Network to follow up on international commitments in the field of human rights and sustainable development

 

On the sidelines of the first edition of the Arab Week for Sustainable Development, Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights held a regional meeting entitled “Civil Society Techniques in Supporting the Implementation of National Plans for Sustainable Development” on Monday, May 15, 2017, in which it reviewed its experience and vision of the role it should play Arab civil society in following up and supporting the fulfillment of the international obligations of Arab governments related to human rights and sustainable development, which is the vision and experience based on the experience of Maat in working with international mechanisms for the protection of human rights over ten years, and the UPR project as a tool to improve public policies that Maat implements in cooperation with European Union since early 2016.

It is worth noting that the first Arab Week for Sustainable Development is held in cooperation between the League of Arab States, the World Bank Group, the United Nations Development Program and the Egyptian Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation, and is sponsored by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and is the most important and largest Arab event aimed at creating an Arab roadmap to achieve The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals with the participation of representatives of Arab governments, international, regional and Arab organizations, civil society, the private sector, women, youth, media, universities and research centers.

 During the meeting, which witnessed a large participation of all concerned Arab parties, Maat Foundation discussed techniques for following up and supporting the implementation of national commitments related to the issue of human rights and sustainable development, the role of the media in supporting civil society efforts to help governments fulfill their obligations, civil society alliances, and how NGOs can participate. To help governments fulfill their obligations.

The meeting began with a speech by Professor Ayman Aqeel, the lawyer in the cassation and the head of the Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights, in which he indicated that Maat adopts the principles of dialogue and participation in its reform efforts, stressing the role of civil society as a partner in development, especially in light of the challenges facing the Arab region, represented in the growing Terrorism, hatred and grinding economic pressures facing the countries of the region.

During her presentation of the Maat Foundation's experience represented in the universal periodic review project as a tool to improve public policies funded by the European Union Fatima Othman, the project coordinator, indicated that there are six main entrances that Maat relied on in following up and supporting the state’s fulfillment of its obligations emanating from the UN mechanism, the most important of which are public awareness, field follow-up and monitoring. Documentation, capacity building and mobilization of civil society efforts, communication with the media, dialogue and alternatives related to commitments, preparation of reports and communication with UN and international bodies.

In his speech, the journalist and human rights expert, Mr. Hazem Munir, pointed out that civil society work is based on initiative and volunteering, and needs a degree of independence and not be subordinate to governments in the way that some existing laws or draft laws are established, and he stressed that civil society organizations are genuine partners in The development process has its tools in this regard

As for Dr. Hoda Badran, President of the General Union of Egyptian Women, she emphasized the importance of alliances between civil organizations and their relationship with the government and the international community. Badran also gave a historical look at the emergence of civil societies that preceded the regular institutions that provide social services to citizens and the development of this role and its approval by the United Nations .

Then, the media expert, Mr. Hassan Thabet, said that some media contribute to spreading a negative, differentiated image of civil society organizations, which weakens the ability of the two parties to contribute to the sustainable development process that mainly targets future generations, which distinguishes them from the pattern Development currently prevailing, which does not take into account the idea of justice between generations.

Then Ayman Aqil, President of Maat Foundation, presented a set of lessons learned and recommendations aimed at promoting the fulfillment of rights and developmental and human rights obligations in the Arab region, which are represented in the need to adopt a comprehensive Arab follow-up mechanism under the umbrella of the League for human rights and sustainable development situations in all Arab countries, provided that the mechanism includes real and institutional participation for all Parties (governments - national institutions - non-governmental organizations and national stakeholders), and the President of Maat Foundation announced the Foundation's initiative to participate in any training programs or technical support provided to Arab organizations through the university, where Maat will put the expertise of its employees and consultants to serve this issue on a voluntary basis.

Aqeel also stressed the importance of the integrative view of human rights and sustainable development, which requires governments and civil society to deal with sustainable development goals and human rights issues as two sides of the same coin. Aqeel also called for the establishment of the “Arab Network for Follow-up of International Commitments in the Field of Human Rights and Sustainable Development.” To be a networking entity that includes Arab civil society organizations and works in coordination with the Arab League with the aim of helping countries fulfill their obligations in the field of human rights and sustainable development.

It is noteworthy that the Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights, which enjoys the consultative status of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, pays a growing interest in strengthening the role of civil society in following up and supporting states' fulfillment of their international obligations emanating from international and regional mechanisms for the protection of human rights and the achievement of sustainable development, and it participates continuously in international activities. related to .

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