27
October 2021

The Supreme Standing Committee for Human Rights Technical Secretariat Holds a Hearing Session with Civil Society Representatives in Connection with the President’s Declaration of 2022 as the Year of Civil Society

The SSCHR TS held a hearing session on October 27 with representatives of a number of civil society organizations in connection with the President’s declaration of 2022 as the year of civil society. The session addressed the role of civil society within the framework of implementing the National Human Rights Strategy as well as the following up and evaluation of its implementation. Ambassador Alaa Roushdy, Assistant Foreign Minister for Human Rights and International Social and Humanitarian Affairs and Head of the SSCHR TS stated that Egypt is currently witnessing a new phase that aims to build a constructive, effective and sustainable partnership between civil society and the Government. Roushdy noted that this phase is characterized by three important features. The first is the President’s declaration on September 11 that 2022 is the year of civil society , and his call on civil society to continue its hard and diligent work side by side with State institutions to achieve sustainable development in all fields; and raise awareness of the culture of human rights. In addition, the President directed the Government to enhance communication with various civil society institutions, and provide all facilitations for the effective implementation of the Law Regulating the Exercise of Civil Work and its Executive Regulations. This reflects the strong political will to strengthen and activate the role of civil society. The second is the launch of the National Human Rights Strategy, which paid special attention to civil society as an essential partner in the process of promoting and protecting human rights.
The third feature of this phase is the issuance of the 2019’s Law Regulating the Exercise of Civil Work, as well as its Executive Regulations. Which guarantees freedom of civil work and the independence of civil society as an essential partner for achieving development and spreading the culture of human rights in society. Ambassador Roushdy emphasized that the SSCHR is committed, in the coming period, to enhance communication and consultation, with civil society organizations to discuss all related issues, topics and challenges in an open and constructive manner.
The hearing session, held today, witnessed the presence of Mr. Ayman Abdel Mawgood, Assistant Minister of Social Solidarity for Civil Society Institutions Affairs. Mr. Ayman stated during his speech that the Ministry is currently working, in partnership with civil society and within the framework of implementing the National Strategy for Human Rights as well as the President’s directives during its launch ceremony, to prepare a national strategy for civil society that includes the pillars of its partnership with the State and the hoped-for goals for the coming years. He also stated that the Ministry is preparing another strategy for voluntary work, given the pivotal role played by volunteers in the field of civil work.
The session also witnessed the presence of Representative Talaat Abdel Qawi, President of the General Federation of NGOs, Ambassador Mahmoud Karem representing the National Council for Human Rights, and representatives of nearly 50 non-governmental organizations. The participants praised the launch of the National Human Rights Strategy, emphasizing that President Sisi's declaration of 2022 as the year of civil society is evidence of the State’s appreciation of civil society and its continuous valuable work. They also emphasized the importance of establishing mechanisms for coordination and communication between State institutions, the National Council for Human Rights and civil society, as they are the sides of the triangle entrusted with implementing the National Strategy for Human Rights. A number of important proposals were also presented regarding the activation of the President's declaration of 2022 as the year of civil society and the role entrusted to civil society within the framework of implementing the strategy and following up and evaluating its implementation. This includes the establishment of an academy for civil society, entrusting it with the role of building capacities and training of workers in civil society organizations, as well as the establishment of civil monitoring units in various governorates to identify popular needs and coordinate with the different parties to meet these needs.