Guinea-Bissau civil society approves common agenda for peace and sustainable development

Over 20 civil society organizations and networks in Guinea-Bissau, on 18 June, have approved a common agenda to promote for peace and sustainable development in their country and agreed to establish a coordination mechanism for joint action.

21 Aug 2020

Guinea-Bissau civil society approves common agenda for peace and sustainable development

The approved agenda has five axes, namely, Promotion of political dialogue among political actors; Promotion and monitoring of the rule of law, justice and combating impunity; Promotion of transparency and combating corruption; better coordination of CSO actions to combating COVID 19; Promotion of and monitoring previous commitments for stability – Stability pact.

The initiative emerged after joint reflection over the last weeks of the CSOs leaders who concluded that civil society in Guinea-Bissau was divided, vulnerable to political influence and did follow-up on past initiatives such as the Stability pact of February 2019. Those weaknesses, they realized, were making civil society lose credibility, effectiveness and impact.

The group includes the major organizations and networks such as Movimento da Sociedade Civil (Civil Society movement), Liga Guineense dos Direitos Humanos (Human rights league), Women’s Political Platform, Youth associations network (RENAJ) and the National Youth Council (CNJ).

The CSOs will now work on a strategy to push their agenda forward. “We are not here to create an organization we are here to create a coordination space to have a common national agenda for peace and sustainable development”, stated Fode Carambá Sanha, leader of the Movimento. “We are not linked to any political party. We all must avoid and denounce everything that can undermine our development and injure the people of this country.

Each and every one of us must make an effort to invite others to be part of this space. Any organization can propose an issue to be debated to find a common position.”, said Fode Carambá Sanha explaining the principles that guide the civil society common platform. Augusto Mário, president of the Human Rights League, said in turn that “It is not the first time we try to strengthen our joint action, often we succeeded, sometimes we’ve failed”.

“Technology now offer us the opportunity to extend our discussion to our members in the regions”, stated Augusto Mário highlighting the participation of CSO members from the regions via videoconference. The United Nations in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS and UNDP) and the European Union support this initiative.