Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Symposium and Civil Society Fair in Cyprus: “Where there is a will, there is a way”

Information provided by Petra Kreinecker, TRIALOG Capacity Building Officer

“Where there is a will, there is a way” was the slogan of the 3 days international civil society fair taking place in Cyprus from May 3-5, 2007 at the green line between Nicosia/Lefkosa with the active participation from civil society organizations (CSO) of both parts of Cyprus, but also from different European countries and Israel. The Cypriot Organization “MC-Med” in cooperation with Intercollege held a symposium on the topic "The State of civil society: Where do we go from here?". After welcoming words from the organisers, the US-Ambassador and the new UNDP-ACT director the participants attended panels, workshops and Network-Cafés which took place in parallel on different topics such as: Gender Gap, Advocacy and Networking, Partnerships and Fundraising, Volunteerism, Active European Citizenship or Principles, Values and Ethics.

At the same time the UNDP-ACT International Civil Society Fair “Open Voices – Active Citizens” took place near by on a hugh football area, without any shadow, but under the "umbrella" of the blue helmets... In this open exhibition, more than 50 national and international civil society organisations from both parts of Cyprus presented their activities and materials.

Regardless of the hot and sunny Mediterranean days, the very tight programm schedule with minimum two constant parallel sessions was followed every evening by high-level Round-Table discussions on the first day about “What role for Civil Society” with Alan Fowler (CIVICUS, INTRAC) and on the second day on “Experiences from around the world” with the participaton of other international experts.

It was a very good event, despite a certain overload of different topics and parallel sessions and perhaps too little active representation of Cypriot CSOs in the UNDP-Panels, which were dominated by international male experts.

Find more information on the symposium, the opening speech and presentations at:

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