On April 9, ICNL’s Vice President of Operations Nilda Bullain participated in a panel entitled Civil Society and its Environment: Driving Sustainable Development, held at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York. Co-organized by CIVICUS, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN, the meeting provided a forum for experts to discuss the future of civil society and the importance of an enabling environment for civil society for the post-2015 development framework.
Among other topics, the panelists affirmed the need for global partnerships with civil society to promote development, emphasized the importance of an enabling environment for civil society at the national and international levels, and noted an increase in legal restrictions on civil society around the world.
Although civil society organizations (CSOs) have been recognized as independent development actors through a number of international treaties and conventions, the rising trend of shrinking civic space is impeding the ability of CSOs to help achieve development goals. Among our other efforts to address the backlash against civil society, ICNL is a partner with CIVICUS on the Civic Space Initiative, a project aimed to protect and expand civic space at the global, regional, and national levels. ICNL also provides up-to-date information on legal restrictions on civil society through our Civic Freedom Monitor country reports.