President Obama will host an event with heads of state, civil society, multilateral organizations, and private foundations to discuss growing restrictions that are being placed on civil society organizations (CSOs) worldwide and spur an intensive effort over the next year to develop coordinated strategies to push back against the proliferation of restrictive practices. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg will attend the event.
The event will focus on how participants can work together to: (1) improve the policy environment for CSOs by strengthening adherence to international norms and promoting best practices for government and civil society engagement; (2) coordinate multilateral, diplomatic pressure to roll back restrictions in constrained environments and prevent new restrictions from being enacted elsewhere; and (3) identify new and innovative ways of providing technical, financial, and logistical support to civil society. A critical element of this discussion will be how to strengthen existing institutions and initiatives that are working to empower and protect civil society, including the Open Government Partnership, the Community of Democracies, and the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.
President Barack Obama, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, President of Mongolia Elbegdorj Tsakhia and President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto will all be giving speeches at the event.