Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Building Sustainable and Effective Regional Cooperation at the Black Sea

The Romanian NGDO Platform – FOND organized in partnership with the European Commission and the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs the 6th edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum entitled “Building Sustainable and Effective Regional Cooperation”, taking place in Bucharest from 4-6 September 2013. The Black Sea NGO Forum is an annual event which aims to create an open space for debate, mutual knowledge and understanding, communication and cooperation among civil society representatives, Governments and international organizations active in the wider Black Sea region, with a focus on sharing good practices in various domains and success stories of regional cooperation.

This edition brought together around 180 participants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine, Romania, Russia and EU countries. Among the guest invited were: H.E. Niculae Idu, Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Romania, H.E. Ambassador Traian Chebeleu, Deputy Secretary General, Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), Carmen Falkenberg-Ambrosio, Head of Section, Regional Programmes Neighbourhood East, Radu Podgorean, State Secretary, the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Răzvan Rusu, General Director for Regional Affairs, the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rilli Lappalainen, Secretary General, the Finnish NGDO Platform to the EU (Kehys).

The 6th edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum explored the ways in which civil society can contribute to the sustainability and effectiveness of regional cooperation in the extended Black Sea area and offered the opportunity to share experience and good practices with other regional cooperation initiatives such as those of the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas.
The forum combined both plenary sessions and workshops and encouraged networking throughout the event. Among the topics discussed were: child protection, good governance/ local development, youth cooperation, public administration authorities and NGOs and citizen and cultural diplomacy, financial instruments available for civil society in the Black Sea Region.
The last day of the event was dedicated to the Non-EU sub-regional meeting - CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE), organized together with CONCORD - The European Confederation for Development and Relief. With this occasion, participants were informed about the principles of CSO Development Effectiveness, the areas of work of CPDE, its governance structure and working groups.

An important outcome of this meeting was the election of the CPDE representative from the Non-EU sub-region in the governance structure of the CPDE, who will contribute to the global advocacy effort towards development effectiveness. This is the first time that the Non-EU sub-regional meeting of CPDE is organized at the Black Sea NGO Forum and it is an initiative that FOND welcomes again in the future.

There are two successful results of the previous editions of this Forum- the regional coalition on child protection in the region (ChildPact, http://www.childpact.org/) and the Black Sea Youth Network.

A very important result of this year’s edition was the elaboration of “The Bucharest Statement” by the participants at the workshop “Building a regional cooperation mechanism for child protection” facilitated by ChildPact Coalition, through which the civil society and governmental representatives from 6 countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania and Serbia) made a commitment to promote coordinated action towards strengthening regional cooperation for child protection in the wider Black Sea Region. The Statement was joined by a petition asking BSEC and its Members States to create a regional cooperation mechanism for child protection and a regional trust for children that will fund this mechanism.

You can consult the agenda of the event here: http://issuu.com/adrianaionela/docs/black_sea_forum_final_agenda_2013_w
The presentations given throughout the event are available on the FOND website at: http://fondromania.org/pagini/editia-2013.php
For more information on the Black Sea Region, please visit: www.blackseango.org

Photo: Participants of the 2013 Black Sea NGO Forum

Information provided by Adriana Zaharia, FOND, adriana.zaharia@fondromania.org


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