NGO Coalition Continues Working for the Empowerment of Civil Society in Georgia


<p>The endorsement of 5 silver principles, launching of the civil society forum in 2005 and the running of a civil society support project in Adjara are just a few of UNAG’s activities it has carried out recently in its continued effort to empower and strengthen the civil society sector in Georgia. With the belief that a well developed civil society is the only way to achieve democracy UNAG, along with six other local civil society organizations, launched the Citizens Advocate Program in 2002. Following this the member organizations established a coalition built on shared visions, goals, experience and resources which became the Civic Initiative Center (CIC). The coalition has recently initiated a project aimed at facilitating new partnership to establish a vibrant, country-wide network of civil society organizations.</p> <p>The project will be implemented by a team of 7 civil society organizations - the founders and members of the CIC - and will be directed and managed by the CIC Executive Branch. This process will culminate in the formation of a coordinating network of CSOs - Forum Georgia.</p> <p>As recent developments in Georgia have clearly proven, civil society – especially in the regions and provinces of Georgia – constantly needs to reflect upon and discuss issues directly affecting their lives. This reflection must also manifest itself in voices speaking about the ongoing political, social and economic trends in the country. However, due to a lack of relevant mechanisms and institutions helping to ensure increased civic participation, the concerns and opinions of the general public are rarely articulated and even less often taken into consideration.</p> <p>Based on this emerging reality, a new partnership that will help energize CSOs and prompt them to successfully address and responding to public issues and concerns is now being developed. Within the framework of this project, the coalition will organize regional issue-based retreats, disseminate information through the media, and organize a national retreat to promote network activities and address public issues.</p> <p>The Forum Georgia will play an essential role in the development of a dynamic civil society in Georgia. The forum will become an important advocacy resource which will reach all sectors of society – public, private and government – to promote the interests of citizens by raising awareness and conducting open debates regarding issues on the public’s agenda.</p>