In commemoration of 2018 World NGOs Day, the African Centre for Leadership Strategy and Development (Centre LSD) has commended NGOs across the globe for their “immense contribution to the growth and development of countries around the world”.
Since 2014, February 27 of every year is commemorated as World NGO Day by the UN, EU and individual countries around the world.
World NGO Day is aimed at celebrating “the people behind the numerous life-changing and hope-giving initiatives and interventions that have contributed to global development all year around,” says Victoria Udoh, Centre LSD’s programmes coordinator.
“The World NGO Day is an international calendar day that is annually observed on the 27th [of] February. It was officially recognized and declared by the 12-member countries of the IX Baltic Sea NGO Forum of the Council of the Baltic Sea States in 2010. It was marked for the first time in 2014 by the UN, EU leaders and international organizations with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland as the host,” recalls Udoh.
She described 2018 – which marks the fourth commemoration of the World NGO day – as an opportunity to pause and reflect on how NGOs have fared, “where we are and where we intend to be.”
“The need for this reflection stem from the current globally increasing shrinking NGO space because of the rise in government activities across the globe using laws, policies, and practices that inhibit the ability of citizens to exercise their rights and the freedom of civil society actors to operate freely, without fear or intimidation,” says Udoh.
She decried the situation of things in countries like Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and Singapore which she said were “currently under severe threats of closing civic space” adding that such development contravened international human rights law and the fundamental human right of freedom for peaceful assembly and expression including carrying out peaceful protests.
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