Second General Conference

Kuwait – State of Kuwait

18-20 December 2006

The Arab Network for NGOs held its Second General Conference in the city of Kuwait (18-20 December 2006) in cooperation with the Kuwaiti Federation of Women.  The Conference took place under the auspices of HRH Sheikh Sabbah El Ahmed El Jaber El Sabbah, prince of the State of Kuwait.  The Conference was attended by representatives of eighteen Arab countries amounting to 600 members of the Arab Network in addition to researchers, experts and donors.

During the Conference a report of achievement for the period between the First General Conference (Beirut 2002) and 2006 was submitted to the assembly and a new Board of Trustees was elected.  The theme of the Conference was “The role of Arab NGOs in achieving the Millennium Development Goals” under which six sub-themes were discussed:

·        Role of Arab NGOs in fighting poverty.

·        Role of Arab NGOs in providing informal education.

·        Role of Arab NGOs in women’s empowerment.

·        Role of Arab NGOs in the fields of health and environment.

·        Role of Arab donor institutions in supporting NGOs.

·        The initiative of the Arab Network for NGOs regarding legislations regulating Arab NGOs.

On the base of the Conference proceedings, a final statement was issued and participants adopted a series of recommendations about future plans and areas of concern aimed at improving the role of the Arab Network for NGOs:

1.     Amendments agreed upon to be introduced to the By-Laws.

2.     Granting attention to projects of small loans and micro credits as well as their impact on the alleviation of poverty.

3.     The social responsibility of businessmen in the context of their cooperation with the voluntary sector.

4.     The need to focus on people with special needs.

5.     The need to identify the state of marginalized women in rural areas in conjunction with the role of the Civil Society.

6.     The importance of taking advantage from the programs of long distance learning and education in promoting cultural development.

7.     NGOs need to focus on the quality of education as well as on the sectors that dropped out from formal education.

8.     A growing concern with health and environment is requested from the Civil Society.

9.     An Arab alliance for people with special needs should be created under the umbrella of the Arab Network for NGOs.

10.  The Arab initiative about legislation regulating NGOs should be widely discussed in the various Arab countries.

11.   Information technology is a vital component at the service of the Civil Society and an Arab alliance of organizations concerned with this issue should be established.

12.   It is important to promote volunteerism among youth and grant this sector of the population the attention it deserves.