Protecting civic space in times of COVID19
CSPPS is thrilled to announce its participation at this year’s Paris Peace Forum, as one of 80 selected projects. Our project "CSPPS Coordinated Response to Support Local Action during COVID-19" will be showcased at this year's edition of the forum. The project demonstrates the work implemented in support of local peacebuilding organisations in fragile and conflicted-affected settings to face the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Forum presents a unique opportunity for CSPPS to meet other stakeholders in this field, to learn from each other's good practices, and to establish future opportunities for local initiatives.
Created in 2018, the Paris Peace Forum was launched with the purpose of collectively finding solutions to global problems. The forum brings together heads of state, international organisations, the private sector and civil society to work together towards global governance solutions to achieve peace. After a year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, the forum will be held hybridly in Paris for its fourth edition from November 11-13. This year’s edition aims at addressing governance gaps, such as the North-South solidarity gap, and at finding solutions to recover and build back better.
The project "CSPPS Coordinated Response to Support Local Action during COVID-19", showcased at the forum, was launched in 2020 with the goal to assist local civil society organisations working on peacebuilding and statebuilding in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. In consultation with its members, CSPPS identified the most pressing impacts of the pandemic and facilitated the implementation of proposed response activities. Those are documented in the second report on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on its membership entitled “Persistent Impact: An Urgent Call for a Conflict-Sensitive Approach to the COVID-19 Pandemic”. It was found that the voices of local peacebuilders are still not sufficiently heard by national and international decision-makers, and their lived experiences are not taken into account enough. The report builds on the earlier report “Fighting COVID-19, Building Peace – What Local Peacebuilders say about COVID-19, Civic Space, Fragility and Drivers of Conflict” which was launched in 2020, describing the immediate impacts of the pandemic unfolding on civic space and work of civil society.
Ms Fidèle Djebba, CSPPS country focal point in Cameroon, will speak as a representative of CSPPS as well as Association Rayons de Soleil on Friday 12th of November at 12:00 (CEST). Ms Djebba will present her organisation’s work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on the Cameroonian civil society, in particular the gendered impacts. Ms Djebba will further expand on the “National dialogue of civil society on the security situation in Cameroon and the set up of the Country Team” implemented by Rayons de Soleil in 2020 together with CSPPS. Around 100 organisations of civil society were consulted with the aim of collecting their perception of the security situation in Cameroon and the impacts of COVID-19, discussing this with the government, and formulating a joint Civil Society National Action Plan on how CSOs can become more involved in the crisis response.
CSPPS’ role as an advocate for a whole-of-society, conflict-sensitive approach will be brought to the fore at the Paris Peace Forum, with the aim to ensure the meaningful and inclusive consultation and participation of civil society in global COVID-19 responses.
“This year, CSPPS wishes to emphasize the cruciality of safeguarding and ensuring civil society’s involvement in their respective contexts’ conflict-sensitive COVID-19 response. We want to stress the importance of collaboration between all stakeholders in order to fully recover from the pandemic in a peaceful, just, and sustainable way. Inclusively, we can build forward better.”
Peter van Sluijs, CSPPS Coordinator
Join us on our journey towards a peaceful and resilient future!
Register here to attend the sessions online and to interact with the wider community. For those present in Paris, we hope to welcome you at our project booth at Grande Halle de la Villette!