The Civil Society and Human Rights Network (CSHRN) participated in a consultation gathering on designing of ICCO regional plan for Sough Asia on 23rd to 25 th of February 2010 in Katmandu of Nepal. As a partner organization of ICCO, CSHRN formulized and presented the massages of CSHRN members to the consultative gathering. CSHRN was represented by Mr. Wazir Ahmad Khorami, Liaison officer of CSHRN. The consultative gathering brought together all South Asian partners of ICCO (Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan).
The Afghan civil society delegation consisted of six organizations raised the issue of challenges concerning human rights, rule of law, democratization, peace-building process and justice issues in Afghanistan. The Afghan delegation emphasized on the role of civil society in promotion of human rights and respect for rule of law in Afghanistan. CSHRN representative presented the lessons learned from Afghan civil society to the regional gathering. According to the lessons learned the Afghan civil society of Afghanistan has three main roles:
First, the messenger role of civil society, the Afghan civil society would like to play a collaborative mediator role between the Afghan state and the Afghan citizens. For this propose the CSHRN organizes constant dialogues with the Afghan citizens and Afghan state institutions.
Second, monitoring role of civil society, the monitoring role of civil society in Afghanistan is a challenging role. The problem is that civil society in Afghanistan doesn’t have the capacity to monitor the human rights situation and the process of democratization in the country. Along with that, CSHRN is doing some monitoring programs by organizing surveys with the Afghan citizen in some provinces of Afghanistan. The Afghan delegation expressed their concern for the luck of capacity of civil society in monitoring role of civil society in Afghanistan.
Third, advocacy role of civil society, the Afghan civil society is organizing a series of awareness reassign programs as well dialogues in the deferent aspects of human rights and democracy in Afghanistan . Advocacy is a new issue for the Afghan civil society. The civil society of Afghanistan needs a lot of educational programs in advocacy fields. CSHRN Secretariat with the support of its international partners is planning to organize workshops to enhance CSHRN member organizations capacity in the fields of advocacy.
During the gathering in Katmandu the Afghan delegation mentioned that the lack of good governance in Afghanistan leads the country to the current difficult situation. The inputs of Afghan civil society delegation were discussed by other civil society delegations of the South Asian countries.
The ideas of the Afghan civil society delegation developed into main issues of the gathering for development of the strategic planning for ICCO role in Afghanistan.
The consultative gathering in Nepal was a good opportunity for CSHRN to learn the experiences of other countries in the region. The consultative meeting in Katmandu played a good role for exchanging experiences amongst civil societies of South Asian countries.