Peace and Democracy in the Middle East Rely on a Thriving Civil Society Says Stephen Bubb, Member of the Clinton Global Initiative

Sep 23, 2009, 17:37 ET from ACEVO

LONDON, Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- ACEVO & Euclid Network are committed to promoting democracy and peace in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) through developing civil society in the region, according to their Chief Executive Stephen Bubb, member of the Clinton Global Initiative.

ACEVO & Euclid Network believe strongly, that in order for there to be reconciliation in the Middle East, there needs to be a strong and sustainable civil society in place to support the peace process. Strong leadership of the Middle East's civil society organisations is fundamental to achieving this thriving civil society and hence a reconciliation according to Stephen Bubb.

The role of civil society has proven critical in the path towards democracy in the Balkans and Former Soviet Union. These are two of the regions where ACEVO & Euclid Network are already playing a key role in developing civil society by connecting and empowering its civil society leaders.

ACEVO & Euclid Network plan to expand their reach and projects to the Middle East and Northern Africa this year, where links between civil society organisations and support for civil society leaders are currently underdeveloped and unexplored. This will involve connecting civil society leaders from the region to their European peers to encourage the development of a European civil society that goes beyond the borders of the European Union. ACEVO & Euclid Network will also work to improve the relationship between civil society organisations and governments in the region with the aim of replicating the success they have had in other regions on this front.

ACEVO & Euclid Network will be conducting the project alongside Dr Ani al Banna, founder of Islamic Relief, Muslim Charity Forum, and the Humanitarian Forum. They will also continue to work closely with The EU who have been a source of stability through their work in the Balkans and the Former Soviet Union

Stephen Bubb says,

"Strong leadership of civil society organisations is key to their success in bringing about change . We only need to look to Obama as an example. Obama started as a civil society leader and we all draw inspiration from his leadership.

"After World War 2 we looked to politicians to shape our future, after the fall of the Berlin Wall we turned to business, now following the economic crisis it is time for a third way. Now is time for civil society leaders to show us the way."

Notes to Editors

  • ACEVO is the professional representative body for civil society leaders in the UK Founded in 1987 ACEVO now has over 2,000 members
  • ACEVO's Chief Executive Stephen Bubb was invited to become a member of the Clinton Global Initiative in 2009
  • Euclid Network, the European Network for civil society leaders was formed by ACEVO and partners Ideell Arena(Sweden) and CDJES (France) in 2007