Finn Church Aid brings together civil society representatives from all over the world for historical conference

As the first ever international conference focusing on the role of Civil Society in the New Deal, the Civil Society Inclusivity Conference will bring together civil society representatives from Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Afghanistan and Somalia in Helsinki, Finland on June 17-18, 2015. The conference will be conducted by Finn Church Aid, UNDP and the Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS).

Last year in 2014, for the first time since the Second World War, more than 50 million people are forcibly displaced (UNHCR), most of them due to internal conflicts.  Additionally, a total of 1.5 billion people live in conflict-affected states which are furthest away from achieving the Millennium Development Goals such as ending hunger and poverty, reducing child mortality and achieving universal primary education.

Transitioning out of fragility or conflict is a long, political process that requires country leadership and ownership and ensures inclusivity of all relevant stakeholders. However, only 30 percent of Official Development Assistance goes to in fragile and conflicted-affected contexts.

Recognizing that strong, constructive state-society relations lie at the heart of building peace and building resilient states, Civil Society Inclusivity Conference brings together civil society representatives from fragile states, their government partners, and international development professionals.

During the Civil Society Inclusivity Conference, the will have a dialogue to identify entry points for effective civil society engagement, compare experiences in implementation trajectories of the New Deal and jointly determine best practices in amplifying civil society involvement in the enhancement of peace and prosperity of their countries.

What New Deal?

The New Deal was created in 2011 as an effort across all signatory governments and international partners to prioritize and better align development cooperation in fragile countries by engaging donors, host country governments and civil society and help fragile countries find pathways toward peaceful and sustainable development.

The Civil Society Inclusivity Conference is funded by UNDP and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.