Thursday, 19 July 2012

Human Rights - Hand in Hand with Development Cooperation

"Persist – Persist- Persist”, is the message of Marluce Melo from the Brazilian land rights organisation CPT (Comissão Pastoral da Terra), which still resonates in the ears of participants of the conference “Promoting Human Rights – Empowering Civil Society”, as it perfectly reflects the challenges faced in day to day work by many organisations.

More than 100 representatives of human rights civil society organisations (CSOs) gathered in Vienna for three days in June to discuss principles, strategies and methods to strengthen their working structures and exchange good practices and project experiences.

The event was organised by the Austrian development organisation HORIZONT3000, in collaboration with TRIALOG. Project partners from Africa, Latin America and Oceania, as well as NGO-representatives from the EU12 (counties which joined the EU in 2004 and 2007), the Western Balkans and local Austrian organisations were able to benefit from this unique opportunity to debate in-depth human rights, advocacy and lobbying and the sustainable strengthening of civil society.

Many ideas were shared and contacts built across continents. Evija Goluba from Transparency International (Latvia) says: “The most important thing my organisation and I gained from the conference is the fact that many CSOs from the Global South are very experienced. It would be good if they came to different European countries to share their experience.” Kari Käsper from the Estonian Human Rights Centre points out: “The most important benefit was the ability to discuss and see different approaches to the protection of human rights, employed in diverse contexts.” and Marija Dimitrijevic Miskovic from Civic Initiatives (Serbia) reports: “Many new project ideas emerged as a result of this conference, as well as numerous contacts for further cooperation both from the North and the South.”

Participants jointly raised their voice for an increase in Official Development Assistance (ODA) in Austria, which at 0.27% of the GNI is lagging far behind the international agreement of 0.7% and signed a petition addressed to the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

TRIALOG is looking forward to seeing the inspirational spirit and knowledge of the conference transferred to the members of EU12 development NGO platforms.

For more information see the HORIZONT3000 website or contact Elisa Romero at

In the photo above (right): Participants of the conference.
In the picture above (left): Invitation card, various photos from HORIZONT3000 projects.

Information provided by Elisa Romero, TRIALOG

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