World NGO Day Discussions at the House of Commons

February 15, 2012

Ms Sung-Joo Kim (center) and Mr Marcis Liors Skadmanis (right)

Mr Ian Liddell-Granger MP will be holding an introductory meeting to discuss the initiative known as World NGO Day at the House of Commons on the afternoon of 14th March 2012. The vision for this initiative is that the United Nations (UN) General Assembly will pass a resolution establishing a day where the contribution of all NGOs to society throughout the world will be celebrated through local events, global awards and projects that will further enhance their role and develop their capacity to continue their vital activities and contribution. The UN has recognized through much of its work that NGOs are a key partner to ensuring the success of development, relief, education, human rights and conflict prevention schemes that the UN pursues. This day will highlight this contribution and raise the profile of NGOs and all that they do. In order to achieve the adoption of such a resolution the General Assembly requires a considerable degree of development of the concept, lobbying of key decision makers and demonstration of how the concept will work through country, regional and local, events or projects.

World NGO Day, an initiative first conceived in 2008 by Marcis Liors Skadmanis COO of the Latvian British Chamber of Commerce, was officially accepted as a resolution by members of the Baltic Sea Region NGO Forum in April 2010. The Baltic Sea Region NGO Forum was represented at this event by over 200 civil society organisations from Belarus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Island, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Norway and Sweden.

In April 2011 World NGO Day initiative carried out a series of discussions with UN representatives who have acknowledged the great potential of the initiative and on 1st November 2011 the World NGO Day Secretariat was established, having its headquarters in London. The Secretariat has the responsibility to perform the functions necessary to maintain and support the World NGO Day Initiative’s development. On the 18th of November 2011 for the first time in history various NGOs around the globe celebrated the international World NGO Day.

This meeting is to promote this concept to key players in the NGO or Third Sector community in the UK and the UK Government’s focus on the “Big Society” concept has much synergy with the World NGO Day initiative.

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