2005 News Archive

26 December 2005: Reduction in State Registration Fees for NGOs in Tajikistan
Registration fees for Tajikistan NGOs have been substantially reduced taking effect on December 26, 2005 after the adoption of the amended Tajik Law “On State fees”.

5 December 2005: US Treasury Announces New Guidelines for Anti-Terrorist Financing
On December 5, 2005, the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued a revised set of voluntary anti-terrorism financing guidelines to assist charitable organizations in complying with Executive Order 13224 and the USA Patriot Act following 9/11.

1 December 2005: ICNL Commissioned for Research by Canadian Government
The Audit and Evaluation Directorate in Social Development Canada has commissioned ICNL to prepare and present a paper on approaches to evaluate the impact of legal and regulatory reform on Canada's voluntary sector.

28 November 2005: Kazakhstan Ratifies International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
On November 28, 2005 Kazakhstan made a significant step forward in the real implementation of the Human Rights standards necessary for establishing a democratic state.

21 November 2005: Global Forum on Civil Society Law: A Great Success!
The conference drew together 150 leading experts from over 60 countries.

11 November 2005: New Draft Law Restricts NGOs in Russia
Russian Parliament considers new draft law on NGOs which may significantly restrict the activity of Russian NGOs, discriminate against foreign NGOs and foreign persons, and might result in termination of activities of foreign NGOs in Russia.

25 October 2005: President of Azerbaijan Issues Executive Order on Elections
On October 25, 2005, President Ilham Aliyev of the Republic of Azerbaijan issued an Executive Order "On Urgent Measures in Connection with Preparation and Conducting of Elections."

20 October 2005: Council of Europe Releases New Report on Freedom of Association in Member Countries
The Council of Europe Ministers' Deputies have just released a report on freedom of association in the Council of Europe member countries.

29 September 2005: ICNL Exceeds $5 Million in New Projects
In the past year, ICNL and its affiliate ECNL have raised over $5 million for 40 new projects in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Europe and North America.

31 August 2005: New NGO Law Threatens the Existence of Civil Society in Eritrea
Introduced in May 2005, the NGO Administration Proclamation (No.145/2005) imposes taxes on aid, restricts NGOs to relief and rehabilitation work, increases reporting requirements for foreign and local organisations and limits international agencies from directly funding local NGOs.

15 August 2005: ICNL and TUSEV Conduct Workshops on Public Benefit and State-NGO Cooperation in Turkey
On July 14-15, ICNL worked with TUSEV to lead two workshops for NGO and government officials. The first workshop focused on regulatory treatment of public benefit organizations and the second workshop explored NGO/state cooperation frameworks.

11 August 2005: Foreign Management Control Bill in India
The existence of civil society in India is currently threatened by the Foreign Contribution Management Control Bill (FCMC).

4 August 2005: Amendments to the Serbian VAT Law
On July 25, 2005, amendments to the Serbian Value Added Tax (VAT) Law came into force.

22 July 2005: China Creating New Law on Volunteering
China is drafting a national law on volunteer services to protect volunteers' rights and to encourage more people to volunteer.

13 July 2005: ICNL Elects Board and Advisory Council Members
At ICNL's July 8-9, 2005 Annual Meeting in Washington DC, new Board and Advisory Council members were elected.

12 July 2005: President Karzai Signs New Law on NGOs
On June 15, 2004, President Karzai signed a new Law on Non-Governmental Organizations. The signing of the new law is the culmination of a three-year process of developing a comprehensive new legal framework for NGOs, in which ICNL has been proud to assist. The new Law marks a significant step towards creating a more conducive environment for NGOs to operate in Afghanistan and toward repairing relations between NGOs and the Afghan Government.

11 July 2005: ICNL in South Africa
ICNL assists South African partner in government-civil society project to improve the enabling legal framework and benefit non-profit organizations in South Africa.

8 July 2005: New Reporting Requirements for NGOs in Kazakhstan
By the Law “On introduction of amendments and addenda into several legislative acts on matters assuring national security” of July 8, 2005 all rep offices of foreign non-commercial organizations in Kazakhstan have a new statutory duty: to publish annual reports on their operation in Kazakhstan.

6 July 2005: ICNL and Law Reform in Vietnam
ICNL has continued its on-going role as primary technical advisor to the Vietnamese government and civil society organizations as the process of study and consultations moves toward drafting of a new Law on Associations in Vietnam.

27 June 2005: Conference on Volunteerism in Serbia
ICNL, in cooperation with the Initiative for Regulating the Volunteer Status in Serbia - IZVoR, organized a national conference on "The Status of Volunteers in Serbia" on June 21 in Novi Sad.

30 May 2005: ICNL Conducts Training in Kyrgyzstan for the CSSC Legal Advisor's Network
On May 11th and 12th, 2005 within the framework of two Projects, the “Civil Society Support Initiative” (directly funded by USAID) and the “Legal Advisors Support Network” (funded by the Eurasia Foundation), ICNL organized and conducted a 2-day training for the CSSC Legal advisors’ Network covering all 11 CSSCs based in the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic.

11 May 2005: ICNL Hires New Legal Advisor for Latin America
The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law is pleased to announce that Laura García Olson has been hired to serve as our new Legal Advisor for Latin American programs in Washington, DC.

5 May 2005: Summary of the Analysis of Draft Laws in Kazakhstan
With USAID support, ICNL has worked on NGO law reform issues in Kazakhstan since 1997. At the invitation of a group of deputies, ICNL is currently working on a comprehensive analysis of two pending initiatives (together “Draft Laws”). The Draft Laws contradict international laws and international best practices.

30 April 2005: Draft Laws Registered in the Majilis Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan
In April 2005 two draft laws have been registered in the Majilis Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan. If enacted, these laws would impose severe restrictions on activities of both foreign and local non-commercial organizations in Kazakhstan. ICNL is working on analysis and recommendations to these draft laws.

20 April 2005: House Committee on Ways and Means Public Hearing
The The House Committee on Ways and Means convened a public hearing on April 20, 2005 on “An Overview of the Tax-Exempt Sector.” A document was also prepared by the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation that provides a description of the historical development and present law of the Federal tax exemption for charities and other tax-exempt organizations.

15 April 2005: ICNL Cosponsors and Participates in Regional Conference on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Freedom of Association in Almaty
On March 30th and 31st, ICNL legal consultants from all five Central Asian countries attended a seminar sponsored by ICNL and OSCE in Almaty on the topic of Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Freedom of Association. Over 80 participants, representing all five countries, took part in the seminar and included representatives from government agencies; international and local NGOs; donor organizations and other local citizens.

15 April 2005: Controversial NGO Bill in Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe has refused to sign the controversial Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Bill in its present state and has referred it back for further consultations. If signed into law, it will bar NGOs from receiving foreign funding for governance programmes. Most NGOs depend on foreign funding for most of their programmes

15 April 2005: Threats to Freedom of Association Arise in Kosovo
Despite the efforts of ICNL and the Kosovo NGO community, on February 23, 2005, the Kosovo Assembly passed the Freedom of Association Law, incorporating last-minute amendments which violate the major human rights conventions protecting the right to free association.

31 March 2005: Fifth International Fundraising Workshop
"Fundraising: A Step to Potential Donor" to be held 28 – 31 May 2005 Crimea, Ukraine. We are pleased to announce a 3-day workshop on resource mobilisation for the post soviet region. The workshop will take place in May 2005 in Ukraine.

2 March 2005: Draft Amendments on NGO Law in Macedonia Discussed with the NGOs and Ministry Officials
On March 2, ICNL, the Ministry of Justice and the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation, organized a roundtable discussion on amendments to the Law on Citizens' Associations and Foundations. The roundtable event was opened by the Minister of Justice Ms. Meri Mladenovska-Gjorgievska, while the roundtable event was led by ICNL and the co-drafters of the law amendments Dr. Natasha Gaber-Damjanovska and Prof. Borce Davitkovski.

21 February 2005: Legal Issues Facing the Health Sector
ICNL and Global Health Issues -- understanding the synergies between an enabling legal environment and NGO work in the health sector.

5 February 2005: Bosnia and Herzegovina Working Group Prepare Draft Law
In Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), a working group composed of representatives of local NGOs, international agencies, and ICNL has prepared a draft Law on Volunteers. The draft seeks to create an enabling legal environment for volunteers, which are currently not recognized in BiH.

3 February 2005: European Court of Human Rights Finds in Favor of New Communist Party
In a judgment rendered February 3, 2005 in Application No. 46626/99, the European Court of Human Rights held that Romania had violated Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights as a result of the decision of the Romanian Registration Authority to deny registration to the New Communist Party.

27 January 2005: Macedonia NGO Conference Organized by ECNL
The conference on “Financial Sustainability of NGOs – Philanthropy and Taxation” was held in Skopje, Macedonia on January 27, 2005. It was organized by ICNL's affiliate the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law, the Association of Tax Workers and the First Children’s Embassy in the World - “Megjashi”.

5 January 2005: Tsunami Relief Efforts
A powerful earthquake and the resulting tsunamis have killed more than 150,000 people and millions more have been affected throughout Asia and across the globe. The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law understands the tremendous impact that this disaster will have on families, communities, civil society organizations and others in the coming months and years.

1 January 2005: Douglas Rutzen Assumes Presidency of ICNL on January 1, 2005
The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) is pleased to announce that Mr. Douglas Rutzen assumed the presidency of ICNL as of January 1, 2005. Mr. Rutzen’s appointment offers ICNL the opportunity for continued growth and commitment to civil society legal issues that was spearheaded under outgoing president Stephan Klingelhofer’s tenure.