News

News

An UNDEF-funded project in Zimbabwe works to empower women and increase their participation in politics and the decision-making process. The project, implemented by the Women and Law in Southern Africa Research and Education Trust, trains women in the Binga District to be popular opinion leaders, who will in turn train other women and men and spread the acquired knowledge across their communities. more >>
India’s Ambassador to the UN, Manjeev Singh Puri, kicked off UNDEF's Board meeting by handing over a cheque for 1.85 million dollars from the world's largest democracy. This brings to over 31 million dollars India's total contribution since the Fund was established in 2005. more >>
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 >>

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