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2003 NGO Consultations

In 2003, WFM-IGP was invited by the government of Canada to play an active role in involving NGOs and other civil society actors worldwide in the next phases of expanding awareness and support of the ICISS Responsibility to Protect report. WFM-IGP conducted preliminary consultations with civil society organizations from all regions to discuss the ICISS report, and learned that civil society groups were interested in promoting its key concepts and working towards their implementation. In particular, there was a strong desire to ensure that governments take seriously the responsibility to respond to emerging crises, and that work on preventative measures at an early stage when non-military options are available.

To view more information on the consultation process, a list of participants, and our reports from these consultations please continue browsing the pages below.

NGO Consultation Process

As part of the effort to involve civil society organizations in the process of promoting these important concepts and developing effective mechanisms to ensure their implementation, the Government of Canada held a roundtable meeting with NGOs to discuss the future of the ICISS Report. Having received an affirmation that NGOs are likely to be interested in promoting and operationalizing the concepts in the Report, Canada approached WFM-IGP to solicit its support. A request was made that WFM-IGP become actively involved in reaching out to NGOs and other civil society actors in these next phases.

Over a period of approximately five months, WFM-IGP conducted a preliminary consultation process with civil society organizations for the following purposes: to create awareness of the ICISS Report and the inter-governmental process; to deepen the debate within civil society organizations about the Report; to determine what relevant civil society activities are already taking place and how civil society organizations may become more deeply involved in this process; and to generate interest in continued involvement among civil society groups.

To accomplish these goals with a limited amount of funding available, WFM-IGP carried out various types of activities, including organizing roundtable meetings to discuss the Report; monitoring the outcome of meetings about the Report organized by others; raising the Report at conferences and events on relevant issues; individual outreach; and the distribution of information materials and a questionnaire.

First, roundtable meetings were organized by WFM-IGP in the cities where there appeared to be a high level of awareness of the ICISS Report and one or more organizations had volunteered to co-host an informal session. These included New York, USA, Washington, D.C., USA, Ottawa, Canada, and Geneva, Switzerland.

Next, WFM-IGP took advantage of situations in which meetings relevant to this agenda were being planned, to distribute the Report and a questionnaire which paralleled the roundtable meeting agendas, and to generate discussion. One important opportunity was the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, which gathered approximately 100,000 NGOs from all regions of the world in January, 2003. At the Forum, WFM-IGP held a seminar on the Responsibility to Protect, distributed thousands of copies of basic information materials and the ICISS Report, took advantage of speaking opportunities on other panels to discuss the Report, and mentioned it from the floor of many seminars. Another opportunity to distribute the ICISS Report and the questionnaire to NGOs from all regions of the world and stimulate discussion of its key findings was provided by the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), which invited WFM-IGP to speak at a training session for southern NGOs during the UN Human Rights Commission meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

WFM-IGP also attended a meeting of high level government, UN and NGO representatives from all regions of the world at Wilton Park in the United Kingdom.

Other organizations also held meetings on the Responsibility to Protect during this timeframe, and WFM-IGP was in touch with organizers prior to the meeting to help shape the goals and provide input into the agenda where appropriate. Afterwards, WFM-IGP followed up with meeting organizers and participants to discuss the outcome, review any documents and reports, and where possible to invite organizers to participate in other events to share the ideas generated. Such was the case with meetings held in Abuja, Nigeria and San Jos, Costa Rica.

Finally, WFM reached out individually to many NGOs, including human rights and humanitarian organizations, womens groups, peace organizations and policy groups in every region. This was generally done through individual meetings, but was supplemented by phone conversations, email communication and distribution of the questionnaire. The latter focused in particular on southern groups that had been involved in the development of the ICISS Report.

Civil Society Participants

American Friends Service Committee
American University
Amnesty International, UN office
Amnesty International Canada
Arias Foundation
Bosnia Support Group
Canadian Mission to the United Nations, Geneva
Canadian Council of Churches
Canadian Red Cross
Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee
Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue
Cheval Rouge
CPCC Conflict Prevention Working Group
CPCC Gender Working Group
Eisenhower Memorial Commission
Fdration Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l'Homme
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Fund for Peace
George Washington University
Global Impact
Government of Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs
International Alert
International Center on Nonviolent Conflict
International Committee of the Red Cross
International Council on Human Rights Policy
International Peace Academy
International Peace Operations Association
International Rescue Committee
Law consultant, Ethiopia
Lawyers for Social Responsibility
Management Systems International
Mennonite Central Committee
National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the US
North-South Institute
OXFAM International Advocacy
Peace and Conflict Studies, Conrad Grebel University College
Physicians for Global Survival (Canada)
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Quaker UN Office
Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies
Refugees International
Save the Children UK
Steering Committee on Humanitarian Response
Tufts University
Unitarian Universalist Association
United Church of Canada
United Nations Association-Canada
United Nations Development Program
University of Maryland
University of Michigan
US Department of State
US Institute of Peace
Woodrow Wilson Center
World Federalist Association
World Federalists of Canada
World Federalist Movement
World Vision

Meeting Co-Organizers
CARE International
Human Rights Watch
International Council of Voluntary Agencies
Project Ploughshares
Partnership for Effective Peace Operations
Conflict Prevention Program, Woodrow Wilson Center
World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy


NGO Consultation Reports

Final Consultation Report 
New York, USA 11/02 
Geneva, Switzerland 3/03 
Washington, DC, USA 3/03 
Ottawa, Canada 4/03 


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