JIS News

Confidence in both political parties and governments throughout the Caribbean and Latin America has fast been eroding, so much so that, people have been mobilizing themselves more into organizations in an attempt to enunciate their views and opinions in order to create change.
According to Senator Delano Franklyn, Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, civil society organizations have become part and parcel of the political process in every country because, political parties had failed to fulfill the expectations of the people, and by extension, governments had also failed.
“These civil societies have been around for many years, now they have become a new phenomena in international development in light of increased globalization,” the Senator remarked in his keynote address at the recent Fourth Regional Meeting of Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Civil Society Organisations at Beaches, Grande Sport Villa in Ocho Rios, St. Ann.
The Senator told JIS News that since 1989 the government had been leading from the front, in terms of dialogue with all sectors and stakeholders in the society. He said that for the government to carry out its mandate, dialogue with the people was imperative, so that, at the end of the day, the government could reach a position based on collective input.
“We have been doing everything that is possible to foster the growth and development of all organizations as well as to encourage wider participation of people in the process,” Mr. Franklyn said.
Acknowledging that funding for civil society organisations would always be a challenge, as it was even for the government, the Senator said that the success of the organizations was dependent on their goals and objectives.
“The government while it recognizes that some organizations will always be in need of funds. I believe that while we are open, through respective Ministries to assist if possible, organizations themselves need to be a little more creative in terms of how they raise their funds,” Mr. Franklyn noted.
Despite the obvious challenge, the Senator was heartened by the fact that, many organizations were able to access grants from international bodies to achieve their goals. The fact that the IDB was hosting yet another regional meeting with civil organizations, the Senator said was a testament of, a deeper strengthening of its relationship with civil society organizations, which also involved financial assistance wherever necessary.
Lauding the efforts of the IDB to organize a series of consultations and discussions with civil society organizations from around the Americas, the Senator said that the bank has gained tremendous credibility over the years for its efforts to promote civil society participation.
“Banks such as the IDB must operate in accordance with the social reality of life and, this can only be done when the bank engages in a process of consultations and discussions,” the Senator said.
“Banks cannot proclaim to be for the people if it does not know the people. They cannot continue to proclaim that, it is for the people, when it does not understand the people,” the Senator continued.
Urging other lending agencies to follow suit, in terms of engaging people in a process of dynamic discussion, the Senator also implored those who represented civil society to speak on not only their own behalf but, also on the behalf of the people who they represented.

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