Lebanese Republic
22 October 2018
Meeting with the general directors Ezzeddin: We believe in the importance of dialogue leading to the involvement of civil society in public policies
12 July 2018

Under the auspices and in presence of the Minister, Dr. Ezzeddin, the Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform organized a roundtable entitled ““Strengthening dialogue between civil society organizations and government institutions in public policies making”. Some general directors from a number of Ministries such as Justice, Tourism, Environment and Labor, in addition to the President of the Economic and Social Council, representatives of the Ministry of Energy and Water, the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of State for Women's Affairs and representatives of the European Union and experts attended this meeting.

In her opening speech, the Minister Ezzeddin said: "In this ministry, we believe in the importance of dialogue leading to the involvement of civil society in public policies." In this context, she noted that "more than words, we have already concretely  achieved several steps in this domain”. She explained that this meeting was a continuation of the work already initiated by AFKAR program in the Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform, funded by the European Union, in order to reach a strategy and practical mechanisms. She added that AFKAR program seeks systematically to pave the way for strengthening the dialogue of partnership between two of the three groups: the public sector, the private sector and civil society, who are committed to establish a state based on justice and democracy. AFKAR program, through its work on the component of public policy dialogue, is implementing a solid basis, a pilot experience based on the achievements of the program, as supporting civil society initiatives, building the capacity of its organizations in the fields of management, communication and dialogue, or through previous experiences, particularly in ministries dealing with these organizations in policy making.

The Minister Ezzeddin noted that this vast configuration in which civil society revolves, contrasts with the sectoral diversity and working methods in governmental institutions, and makes dialogue a moral requirement that may need a special law to regulate and activate it, especially that there is more than one official organism supposed to work in conformity with the requirements of this dialogue. Besides, she called for the commitment of the parties to adhere to a meaningful and constructive dialogue, based on the ability to listen, and to take into consideration the existing experiences and use them in decision-making. By this way, the NGOs demands will be the real echo of people voice.

Following the Minister’s speech, a presentation of  AFKAR platform roadmap was conducted by experts, including some coordinators from the concerned ministries, as well as the beneficiaries of the program. The roundtable was moderated by AFKAR program manager, Mrs. Youmna Chacar Ghorayeb, presenting valuable interventions and experiences testimonies of a number of ministries with civil society, through guest houses or nature reserves, contracts with NGOs or donations to projects related to ministries such as justice, industry, interior and municipalities.

Finally, the participants agreed on the importance of the planification in order to implement the dialogue mechanisms, aiming to build a bridge between the public sector and the civil society. This important step will strengthen the link between both parties.

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