/R E P E A T -- CIVICUS World Assembly - Seeking out Solutions: Economic
Justice - Montreal Welcomes International Civil Society/

MONTREAL, Aug. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - This Friday will see the opening of the 9th World Assembly of CIVICUS, an international alliance of some 1000 civil society organizations from all around the world. From the 20th to the 23rd of August, around 600 delegates from over 80 countries will come together at the Palais des congrès to discuss what solutions civil society can propose regarding contemporary socio-economic and environmental issues. The Institut du Nouveau Monde (INM) is co-hosting this outstanding event. The artist Luck Mervil, who recently established the Vilaj Vilaj Foundation for the restructuring of Haiti, will serve as master of ceremonies for the event.

The central theme in CIVICUS' World Assemblies is Acting Together for a Just World. These conferences enable representatives of civil society to think about current issues, to work on developing solutions that come from citizens, and also to have fruitful dialogues with the representatives of government, the private sector, sponsors and media, all of which participate in these assemblies.

"CIVICUS' eight previous World Assemblies showed the creativity and enthusiasm that civil society can display when facing issues such as justice and equity, including poverty, HIV/AIDS, gender equality and the participation of young people," said Ingrid Srinath, Secretary General of CIVICUS. "The World Assembly in Montreal will play a part just as important. Civil society organizations can take advantage of this dynamic environment to establish ties and to strengthen those that already unite them."

This year, the main theme of the CIVICUS World Assembly is Seeking out Solutions: Economic Justice. This theme will also be discussed through the cross-cutting themes of development effectiveness and climate justice, the central themes for the 2011 and 2012 assemblies. Moreover, the 2010 event will kick off a three-year series of World Assemblies in Montreal.

"It is a privilege for us to welcome to Montreal representatives of civil society from across the world," said Michel Venne, INM's Director General. "The fact that the next three CIVICUS World Assemblies will be taking place in Montreal offers a great opportunity for the Québecois and Canadian civil societies to be inspired by what is being done elsewhere and to form new and fruitful partnerships with international organizations."

Activities that will take place during the 9th CIVICUS World Assembly include plenary sessions, round tables, workshops, networking sessions, learning exchanges and social events. Among the guest speakers are Otaviano Canuto, Vice President for the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network at the World Bank; Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International; Tomas Brundin, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs; Judy Pasimio, Executive Director of the Legal Rights Centre Philippines; Salil Shetty, the new Secretary General of Amnesty International; and Stephen Guilbeault, Deputy Director of Équiterre.

The World Assembly will also allow foreign delegates to discover flourishing initiatives developed by Canadian and Quebec civil society. In this way, delegates will have a chance to familiarize themselves with various achievements, such as those of the Chantier de l'économie sociale, which aims to promote and support the development of socio-economic businesses and organizations, as well as those of the Chantier sur la démocratie de la Ville de Montréal, a citizen authority under the responsibility of the mayor, which promotes the participation of all Montrealers in municipal life. In order to explore the city differently, L'Autre Montréal will offer a preview of the "Urban Wandering" circuit with the theme of fighting against poverty and exclusion.

Furthermore, the World Assembly will have special activities dedicated to Haiti, which will feature panel discussions between people who are committed to rebuilding the country. Also, the BBC World Service radio programme entitled World Have Your Say, which draws a daily audience of 40 million people worldwide, will be broadcast from the Youth Assembly on Friday and the World Assembly on Monday.

On Monday, August 23, the Citizen Media Rendez-Vous will take place at the Palais des congrès in Montreal at the same time as the CIVICUS World Assembly. The second edition of this one-day event will focus on the way new media informs social movements. Delegates of the world assembly are invited to the afternoon panel discussion, which aims to better understand citizen media and to encourage inclusive participation and social justice.

To get more information on the programme of the World Assembly, visit the CIVICUS website (www.civicusassembly.org).

CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is an international alliance of members and partners in over 100 countries. CIVICUS works to promote the emergence, growth, and protection of citizen action, especially in areas where participatory democracy and citizens' freedom of association are threatened.

The Institut du Nouveau Monde is a non-partisan organization whose mission is to encourage citizen participation and to renew ideas in Quebec. INM's action encourages citizen participation and contributes to the development of civic competences, the strengthening of social ties as well as the growth of democratic institutions.

SOURCE Institut du Nouveau Monde

For further information: For further information: Roch Bilodeau, 1 866 618-7537; Devendra Tak (CIVICUS), 514 560-7960; Source: Institut du Nouveau Monde

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