Charter of Unity and Initiatives

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1. WHO WE ARE
We are activists representing and supporting civil society organisations in different countries, for South-South and triangular Cooperation, around the world, who are a vital third sector next to the state and the market.

2. WHY
We have been encouraged by the commitments made to ‘localisation’ under Agenda for Humanity, Grand Bargain and Charter for Change that came out of the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit. We believe in healthy collaborative relationships that support the existence and growth of independent, sustainable and accountable local and national organisations. While there is considerable interest in effective localisation among many local CSOs around the world, there are currently not enough networks for independent and locally-grown CSOs, and their supporters.

3. OUR VISION
A world where sustainable, independent and accountable local organisations promote a society based on democratic principles, equality and social justice, and particularly in aid-recipient countries, are leading voices and play a leading role in relief and humanitarian assistance. Generally, we see such organisations also being committed to democratic societies with equality and social justice. This is in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

4. OUR MISSION
Our mission is to create an active and effective network of independent and locally grown organisations and global activists. Particularly a network that is internally inclusive, democratic and accountable, which proactively reaches out to the marginalised and resource less CSOs. This will provide a platform for information dissemination, sharing experiences, evidence, good practice and learning, as well as information about our initiatives and lobby and advocacy strategies in our own countries, share and, where possible, contribute to on-going research and debates, and develop consulted and commonly agreed positions and advocacy strategies around the global agenda of ‘localisation’ ‘participation revolution’ and ‘transparency’.

5. OUR STRATEGIES

a. We will take lead in our respective countries to disseminate information with regard to commitments made under Agenda for Humanity, Grand Bargain and Charter for Change, especially for strengthening the local response mechanism.

b. Collectively we will try to come up with accountability frameworks to hold ourselves and the signatories accountable to the commitments they have made for strengthening the local actors in particular and overall humanitarian architecture in general.

c. We will develop and maintain an easily accessible and sustainable ICT-based platform for sharing knowledge and experiences, among our members and supporters. We will also create a web-based platform that will allow us to communicate widely to all interested.

d. We believe that for concerned populations, the strong distinction between ‘relief’ and ‘development’ does not reflect their realities. Therefore we seek greater convergence and unity among humanitarian, development, human rights and social justice, and peace building sectors worldwide.

e. We believe that we ourselves have to frame what we understand by ‘localisation’, ‘greater transparency’, ‘humanitarian-development nexus’ and a ‘participation revolution’, and how to advance this in practice. We will develop this through research, case studies and evidence building.

f. We believe in positive engagement and positive relationships with all related stakeholders but will retain our independent and critical perspective.

g. In our advocacy, we will always link local experiences and voices to the national and international levels.

h. Through our advocacy, we will also be persistent in demanding for early and durable solutions to protracted crises

i. We believe the media have an important role to play in promoting and supporting an independent, sustainable and accountable civil society sector in every country.

j. While we individually are part of and even may represent specific organisations, within the network our common interests and objectives will prevail, and we will behave accordingly in its governance and accountabilities.

k. We believe in a network that is inclusive, egalitarian and democratic, where ‘representatives’ represent and communicate consulted positions, provide information and feedback, and are accountable to the wider membership.

l. Wherever possible, we will collaborate with other networks to seek synergy in our endeavours

6. NAME OF THE NETWORK,
just a proposal
Alliance for Empowering Partnership (A4EP)