Civil society is our ears and eyes: Katjavivi

27 Nov 2018 18:50pm
WINDHOEK, 27 NOV (NAMPA) - The Namibian government is determined to promote the visibility of the civil society, Speaker of the National Assembly (NA), Professor Peter Katjavivi has said.
Katjavivi made these remarks when he officially opened a two-day Annual Democracy Forum (ADF) on inclusive democracy for sustainable development here on Tuesday.
Namibia as the current chair of the Council of Member States of International Democracy Electoral Assistance (IDEA) in conjunction with the International IDEA Secretariat is hosting the ADF this year through the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation in collaboration with the Electoral Commission of Namibia.
“We view Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) as our ears and eyes on the ground in helping us to understand particular situations during the execution of our parliamentary oversight responsibilities all over Namibia,” acknowledged Katjavivi.
CSOs, he further said, are key partners in contributing to transparency and good governance, adding that the level of engagement between Parliament and the CSOs is on the upsurge.
This will assist the country in the act of good governance, transparency and accountability, which is an ingredient of inclusive democracy, he noted.
The speaker described democracy as not only participating in elections, but the use of power and the management of conflict, an area in which, according to him, Namibia has been doing well.
Senior Advisor of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, Petter Skjæveland who also attended the event said respect for human rights and rule of law is key to democracy.
“I should admit that we have benefited from the rule of law in achieving democracy as a country,” Skjæveland explained.
The conference will also hold round table discussions on issues such as the conceptual and legal basis for inclusive democracy and integration of marginalised groups in society, gender equality as well as the inclusion of people with disabilities amongst other issues.
The ADF is a global event where IDEA Member States and partners, policymakers, CSOs and representatives of academia come together to discuss a specific theme and formulate recommendations and proposals with the objective of promoting a specific democracy related issue.
The forum ends on Wednesday.