CIVICUS – 105 countries united by a common goal

Over 700 delegates from 105 countries attended the CIVICUS World Assembly in Gaborone, Botswana on 21–25 March 2004 – considered to be the best Assembly yet. The main themes were ‘acting together’, ‘justice’ and the ‘valuing of human life and working together’.

Four interconnected subthemes (economic justice, political injustice, social justice and civic justice) and five cross-cutting themes (HIV/AIDS, gender equity, youth involvement, capacity-building and marginalized people) were discussed in a wide variety of workshops, plenary sessions and learning exchanges. Delegates participated in ‘weaving their dreams’ by making graphic recordings summarizing the daily highlights of discussions and presentations. The Assembly ended on an emotional and inspirational note with a closing address by Graça Machel.

Civil Society Watch Programme

CIVICUS has published a study on legislative frameworks and country practices governing civil space in Zimbabwe, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda. It investigates freedom of association, expression and assembly in the four countries, focusing particularly on the grave and worsening situation in Zimbabwe, and finding that African governments act very differently with regard to these issues. The report is part of an advocacy campaign by the CIVICUS Civil Society Watch Programme, which operates in countries where the space for civil society organizations is restricted. It provides support to civil societies and works to ensure that an enabling legal and political climate exists in which civil society can flourish.

New board members elected

In March, CIVICUS elected a new board, which will serve for three years. The officers and committee chairs are Aruna Rao (Chairperson), Peter Shiras (Vice Chairperson), Stuart Etherington (Treasurer), Anabel Cruz, Alan Fowler and Monica Patten. New members include Cecilia Dockendorff, Rieky Stuart, Jan Jakub Wygnanski and David Robinson.

For further information about the Assembly, see

To request copies of the report contact Roberto Wohlgemuth at or Rachel Iruraat at

For more information about CIVICUS, contact Caroline Manuel-Ubaldo, Director of Communications.

CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
CIVICUS House, 24 Pim Corner Quinn Sts, Newtown, 2001 Johannesburg, South Africa
Tel+27 11 833 5959
Fax +27 11 833 7997

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