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Vol 9 • Issue 1 • Spring 2010

Le Chéile



from ordinary citizens, organisations working in local communities and grassroots organisations to international NGOs thereby bridging the gap between discussions at the international and global levels and the realities citizens face in their respective constituencies. This also provides a platform for the voices of marginalised voices to be heard at the global level and in having a say on the issues affecting them. But without a complete overhaul of the democratic nature of global institutions and a change in global economic governance the achievements of coalitions such as GCAP

will be minimal if the voices of those they seek to amplify are not represented in global institutions.

Civil society groups have increasingly come to the realisation that there is an urgent need to close the silos on issues related to work at local and national levels with work at global levels on financial

regulation, global economic governance and climate change to name a few. In August 2010, CIVICUS will be having its World Assembly, which will bring together civil society representatives, governments, business and international organisations

to engage in discussions on ways of working together and improving the lives of citizens across the world. The youth version of the assembly brings together young people from around the world to share knowledge and build capacity on the knowledge shared. This is a useful starting point, but may just be another gathering of people if delegates do not act on and implement the decisions taken when they return to their respective constituencies.

Like never before civil society needs to invest time to generate grassroots awareness and build

solidarity on economic and financial issues, establish and modify networks and advocacy programmes in order to protect colleagues defending citizens and the spaces in which they operate. Most importantly civil society needs to build on and improve existing knowledge, expertise, coalitions and also its legitimacy, transparency and accountability.

Ingrid Srinath will be the keynote speaker at The Wheel’s annual conference on 27 May. See for conference details.

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