News

News

An UNDEF-funded project in Iraq has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with six Governorate Councils as part of an effort to strengthen civil society participation in democratic processes and advance accountability in Government institutions. The project, active in the Governorates of Baghdad, Babil, Karkuk, Najaf, Basrah and Karbala, works to make communities more aware of their rights to participation and basic services, as well as evaluate the performance of Governorate Councils to address citizens’ needs. more >>
An UNDEF-funded project for using public interest litigation to strengthen human rights and the rule of law in Southern Africa has yielded some significant developments in just one year. The initiative's implementers, the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, recently litigated a case in Botswana on behalf of four elderly sisters challenging a discriminatory customary law practice prohibiting women from inheriting a family home. more >>
UNDEF funds a new project in Libya, Morocco and Tunisia to engage youth and civil society in public policy dialogue. It works through more than 200 local public policy programmes, training trainers and producing learning materials under the Project Citizen curriculum, developed in a successful earlier UNDEF-funded project in Morocco. The curriculum helps youth and civil society groups analyze public policy analysis and hold informed policy dialogue with decision-makers and community leaders. Local, national and regional conferences will be held to showcase the best public policy proposals. more >>
UNDEF finances a new project for a centre of excellence to mainstream Libyan women in politics and develop a nationwide civic education strategy. The centre will train women in democratic processes and institutions, gender, leadership and interpersonal skills. Once the project completes its pilot phase, it will present the Libyan government with a plan to introduce the training across the country as a whole. more >>
Former slaves and their descendants -- in particular women -- remain victims of severe discrimination in Mauritania. Hampered by illiteracy and poverty, they are excluded from political processes, unaware of their human rights, and subject to electoral manipulation. UNDEF funds a project to advance their political participation, strengthen their decision-making skills and build political dialogue. In November 2012, the project held training sessions in the province of Medbougou on organizational and leadership skills, social mobilization and advocacy. more >>
Efforts for democratization and development in Kyrgyzstan continue to be hampered by political and administrative corruption that limits access to public goods and services. Vulnerable groups are excluded from access to land, water, shelter, sanitation, clothing, healthcare and education, as well as from participation in decisions that affect their lives. more >>
The UN Secretary-General issued a message on Human Rights Day, 10 December, warning that "In several parts of the world, we have seen alarming threats to hard-won gains in democratic governance. In some countries, civil society groups face growing pressures and restrictions. Legislation has been introduced specifically targeting civil society organizations and making it almost impossible for them to operate. Champions of democracy have encountered new confrontational measures. more >>
An UNDEF-funded project in Tajikistan has created a Youth Council representing each of the 44 counties of Kuhistoni Badakshon province, providing training and confidence-building for a new generation of citizens. By providing insights into the workings of local and region governance, the effort allows young people to experience direct political participation, gives them an opportunity to shape their communities, and build independent thinking and leadership skills. more >>
UNDEF opens its annual window for project proposals for its Seventh Round of Funding on 15 November 2012, following the green light given by UNDEF Advisory Board. Project proposals may be submitted on-line between 15 November and 31 December. Only on-line proposals in either English or French will be accepted. more >>
In a keynote address to the Council of Europe's World Forum for Democracy, the UN Secretary-General spoke of the practical actions the UN is taking to support democracy. "Our Democracy Fund, the UN Development Programme, UN Women, the UN Peacebuilding Fund and the UN Secretariat are working with other partners within and beyond the United Nations to foster democracy around the world," Ban Ki-moon told the event held in Strasbourg on 8 October. more >>

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