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Caribbean Civil Society Unites to Tap EU Development Funds

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Tuesday, 07 September 2010

Caribbean Civil Society Unites to Tap EU Development Funds

Roosevelt King, the secretary general of the Barbados Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (BANCO), believes that Caribbean governments have dropped the ball when it comes to their commitment to support the initiatives of civil society. He says their lack of commitment dates back to the Cotonou Agreement that was signed in 2000 and regarded as the framework for the European Union's relationship with the 79 countries of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions."If you look at the handbook for non-state actors, you will see that our governments have done absolutely nothing to allow us to reach that level of participation," King told IPS ahead of the first ever meeting of civil society organisations from across the Caribbean, which are seeking to develop a proposal to access assistance from the European Development Fund (EDF). "At least, I should say they have taken us to the threshold but are not allowing us to cross. If it were not for the active vigilance of the EU to ensure that their Euros are properly spent to achieve development through cooperation, we would still be out to sea," he said."Our governments have a mandate to allow us to participate in the country strategy paper (CSP) and the national indicative programme (NIP). To explain these documents in a nutshell, the CSP is like an assessment paper and the NIP is a plan of action listing the main focal areas for funding and a budget for executing the programme. These strategies also exist at the regional level," he added.

Source: Inter Press News Service Agency