The value of having civil society voice in ministerial forums
In anticipation of the Commonwealth People’s Forum 2015, the Seychelles High Commissioner has spoken about how valuable it is for civil society to have a voice in the ministerial forums that shape their lives.
Speaking at the Small States Forum at the 19CCEM , H.E. Marie-Pierre Lloyd said, “There’s a lot for civil society to learn from each other. You meet somebody from the Pacific, you are from the Indian Ocean, and you find that there are other ways people are coping or addressing the challenges. And also at the global level, having the presence of policymakers from various countries, from other international organisations, and for them to be able to hear, because I firmly believe that civil society is representative of societies and they need to have a voice.”
There’s a lot for civil society to learn from each other The High Commissioner acknowledged that dialogue has been difficult in the past, but remains confident that constructive engagement can only improve. “I know in the old days there was a lot of fear and mistrust between civil society and governance institutions. I think that is now less and less, so there is hope.”
H.C. Lloyd identified such forums as spaces for civil society to learn from each other how to make themselves heard. “This is where the Foundation gives them that platform to be able to see what they have to say and engage in a manner that is more effective.”
A holistic approach to governance with civil society participation
H.C. Lloyd drew on her background in both government and civil society to highlight that both must work together if societies are to improve the livelihoods and quality of life of the people they represent.