Updated at 18:49,15-10-2021

Congress of NGOs Assembly is postponed: authorities didn't give the room

The next, seventh, the reporting and election Congress of the Assembly of Nongovernmental Organizations and initiatives (Assembly of NGOs), which was scheduled to be held on May 5-6 in the Minsk International Educational Center (IBB) won't take place.

As the head of the executive bureau of the Assembly of NGOs Sergei Lisichenok informed the IBB leadership refused to provide a room for the Congress.

Assembly of NGOs is the largest in Belarus non-governmental association of democratic organizations and initiatives. Founded in 1997, today it includes more than 300 organizations. Assembly of NGOs has been denied in registration in Belarus for three times. In 2011, the association was registered in Lithuania.

As Lisichenok noted, IBB "would be glad to take this forum". "However, the Minsk city executive committee, which has a share of ownership in the room, suddenly refused to rent it to us. All day negotiations were continuing in the Minsk city executive committee, but they came to nothing. We have to move the event to another day, which we would announce additionally later", he said.

"The failure to conduct a major forum of civil society in Belarus once again points to the fact that Belarusian authorities continue to oppose themselves to the public. It is obvious that this is a political decision that was taken not within the walls of Minsk City Executive Committee", Lisichenok said.

Now, he said, the organizing committee of the Congress is discussing the transfer of the event for June.

Lisichenok noted, representatives of public organizations of various interests were invited to the forum. For two days representatives from 200 member organizations of the Assembly of NGOs had planned not only to elect a new leadership, but also to discuss the state of civil society, development of regional initiatives, mass media, the promotion of social dialogue, interaction with the political sector, the role of the Assembly of NGOs in Belarus.

On the first day of the event, participants planned to hear a report on the activities of management over the past three years. Were to be adopted resolutions and statements on topical issues of third sector organizations, the relationship between civil society and the state, dialogue within society.

On the second day the festival for public organizations in the form of video presentations and activity booths was scheduled. The best organizations were intended to reward with gifts.

In panel discussions, "NGOs and society", "NGOs and Europe", experts from different fields have planned to discuss what can NGOs give the society in Belarus, whether the implementation of pro-European projects of NGOs without the cooperation with the government of Belarus is possible, as well as other significant issues.