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Thursday, June 20, 2024

CSO COUNCIL HOLDS FINAL COORDINATION MEETING TODAY

Date:

MONROVIA – In a bid to set the pace for the 2023 General Assembly, the National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL) will on today, Tuesday, June 20, 2023 hold its last coordination meeting.

Like previously, the final coordination meeting is scheduled to be held at the Council’s headquarters situated at the Lutheran Compound in Monrovia.

It could be recalled that NCSCL which is the apex body of all civil society organizations in the country, held the second coordination on June 8, 2023, at the Council’s office in Monrovia with members organizations in attendance.

At that meeting, there were a series of presentations made by the Constitutional Review Committee as the ensuing GA would primarily focus on constitutional amendments. During the last meeting, the Constitutional Review Committee presented the draft constitution with inputs made by the CSOs that attended the meeting.

The upcoming GA had earlier been earmarked for Tubmanburg, Bomi County; however, the body unanimously consented to shift the venue to Grand Cape Mount County with the date maintained for June 27-30.

Accordingly, the annual GA is line with the constitutional provision of NCSCL, which mandates the leadership of the Council to hold an annual GA in May of every year, but it was voted and agreed by the body during the first coordination meeting that this year’s GA be rescheduled for June.

The GA, which is the highest decision-making body of the Council, gives delegates the opportunity to put forth ideas that are geared to enhance the growth and development of the NCSCL. Furthermore, the GA enables delegates to make major decision (s) on behalf of the Council.

As indicated, this year’s GA will primarily focus on constitutional amendment.

At the engagement, some existing laws that govern the running of the council will be critically examined so as to make amends by putting into place new laws that suit current-day reality.

The issue of constitutional amendment is evident from all indications, and as such, every CSO group has agreed that the leadership works to amend the entire constitution.

Predicated upon the need for a constitutional amendment, the current leadership and member organizations have had a series of mass meetings and agreed on the compelling need for amendment, thus deciding to make the issue a cardinal point for the GA.

“This year, the focus of the GA is on the Constitution, because we all agreed that the Constitution is void of a lot of things; it’s empty. It’s not specific – there are lots of things missing,” says Madam Veronica Johnson, a senior member of the Council and a member of the Planning Committee of the ensuing GA.

As part of the many efforts aimed at amending the current constitution, the leadership of the NCSCL headed by Chairperson Madam Loretta Alethea Pope-Kai, decided to set up an ad hoc Constitutional Review Committee that is reviewing the Constitution to present it to the body during the GA.

By this, the delegates will brainstorm and do whatever possible amendments to the existing legal instrument and adopt it as a body, something that cannot be done unilaterally by any member of the leadership of the council except at the GA.

Meanwhile, the Council calling on development partners for support towards the successful holding of the GA as there is no set budget for the council’s biggest meeting.

As required by law, the pending GA will be attended by representatives from member-based civil society organizations of the NCSCL. Currently, the Council is made up of nearly 2,500 registered members.

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