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Local NGOs to step up legalisation efforts

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Local non-governmental organisations are to step up efforts to have their status legalised and for a formal Social Contract with Government to be signed.{{more}}

With this in mind, they are to hold a series of sectoral consultations and community discussions over the next three months, based on the contents of two documents, the Draft Civil Society Bill, tabled in Parliament some five years ago, and the proposed Social Contract between Government and Civil Society organisations, a product of intensive discussions.

The decision to conclude the long drawn-out process of formalising relations between the Government and civil society was taken at a meeting held on Tuesday, August 28, at the Fisheries Complex, organised by the SVG Non-State Actors Panel, a broad network of local civil society organisations. It was addressed by Chairman of the Panel, (on the Social Contract), and Local Government Officer Denniston Douglas (on the draft Civil Society Bill).

Last week’s gathering examined both documents and made suggestions and recommendations as regards both the content of the documents and the way forward. The participants expressed frustration with the procrastination on the part of civil society to conclude these processes and agreed to meet with leaders of organisations in the following sub-sectors: youth, women and community, culture, sports, the private sector, the trade union, farmer and credit union movements, faith-based and other non-governmental organisations. A special effort is to be made to seek an audience with the official Opposition to exchange opinions on the documents and Government/Civil Society relations.

These discussions are due to begin early in September and to be concluded by early December. They will be accompanied by a media campaign.

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