Concerned Groups Meet Over Humanitarian Crisis Across Globe

As the world increasingly grapples with ongoing and looming humanitarian crises, leading lights across the globe are emphasising the need for global cooperation between civil society groups and international development partners to combat both existing and future humanitarian crises.

They are also emphatic on the need to tackle headlong, vicissitudes of fortune visited on the world by challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, which has reversed 25 years of the progress made by the international community in eliminating endemic poverty.

The humanitarians spoke at a special conference held at the House of Lords, Parliament of the United Kingdom, as the Chairman of the O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation/Chief Executive Officer of Moni Pulo (Petroleum Development) Limited, Dr. Mrs. Seinye O. B. Lulu-Briggs, took the reins as Chairman of the Fund for the Global Alliance of NGOs and CSOs of South South Cooperation (ANCSSC).

While the host of the event, Baroness Pola Uddin praised the ANCSSC for its efforts to bring together NGOs and CSOs to build momentum and energy for organisations in the Global South in order to develop resilience and self-reliance, the Convener of the ANCSSC, Dr. Husna Ahmad, OBE, in her remarks emphasised the immense role that global collaboration between civil society groups and IDPs would play in solving imminent humanitarian challenges.

The event, which held at the Cholmondeley Room and Terrace of the House of Lords, United Kingdom, brought together diplomats, business executives, royalty, academia, members of the ANCSSC, and the International Network of 450-member NGOs and CSOs from around the world who work in collaboration with the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) to deepen the impact of civil society in the Global South.

Speaking on the importance of funding the civil society, Dr. Lulu-Briggs, a champion of women’s rights said: “The emerging economies of the world are bearing the brunt of both the global climate change crisis and the ongoing unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. And there is no doubt that civil society organisations in the Global South will be a vital part of the international development community’s efforts to mitigate and create innovative responses at the community level, going forward.

“In my role as the Chair of the Alliance Fund, I would like to highlight the increasing engagement of the Global South in multiple spheres of international development cooperation, and there is significant expansion in the scope of the South South cooperation. This has resulted in stronger economic bonds, but I believe that much more can be done by invoking Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Goal 17, which focuses on achieving the SDGs through strengthening solidarity, collaboration and partnership,” she emphasised.

Stressing further, the renowned industrialist said: “This is why it is timely to focus on the importance of financing civil society in the Global South. Now, more than ever, we need to take action and stop the rhetoric. We are on the frontline of building community resilience and responses to climate change and to building-back-better in order to get back on track to meeting the SDGs. We do not shy away from this task as we tackle the sombre fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has reversed 25 years of the progress made by the international community in addressing endemic poverty. Civil society in the Global South urgently requires access to financial resources to strengthen and sustain their work.

Dr. Lulu-Briggs thanked the ANCSSC for the honour to chair its important fund and pledged her commitment at ensuring that the global community is galvanised to better fund the civil society in the Global South for the region’s inclusive growth and development.

Earlier in her remarks, Baroness Uddin praised the ANCSSC for its untiring efforts to rally NGOs and CSOs to build momentum and energy for organisations in the Global South in order to develop resilience and self-reliance.

According to her: “It is through this collaboration and partnership that communities and nations can flourish and be impactful. The circle of poverty and injustices can be broken if as individuals, organisations and communities will remain bound by the common objectives of humanity and justice.”

In his remarks, the CEO of the Islamic Council of Donor Institutions and President of the ANCSSC, Sheikh (Dr.) Abdulaziz A. Al-Thani, said that the ANCSSC was poised to “build leaders in the humanitarian sector. I am proud that I am the Chairman of building leaders in Qatar, my country.

But I want it to go everywhere especially to poor countries. My second goal is to bring all people regardless of colour, religion or countries to work together for humanity.”

Sheikh Al-Thani, who is a member of the ruling Al Thani Qatari royal family, also urged civil society organisations to embark on only projects that are sustainable in order to achieve enduring impact.

Mrs. Efe Etomi, the Country President of the Nigerian chapter of the African Women Lawyers Association (AWLA) said the conference “underpins the importance of cooperation and collaboration amongst NGOs and CSOs of South-South Cooperation in tackling humanity’s greatest problem of the unequal distribution of resources. The hardest hit in the poverty chart are those who reside in the global south. This is why it is easy to appreciate the O. B. Lulu Briggs Foundation in its quest to reach out to willing partners to collaborate on poverty alleviation programmes,” assuring that “the African Women Lawyers Association (Nigeria) will always support noble efforts such as that shown by the O. B. Lulu Briggs Foundation to drive active support for the vulnerable and less privileged in society for 20 years and counting.

Ahmad, ANCSSC convener in her remarks emphasised: “COVID-19 has affected everyone globally, particularly the South and then we’ve got the climate catastrophe coming in nine years. What we must recognise is that we only have one planet, and we have to consider our children and future generations coming after us, about how they will look at us and ask us what we did with our planet,” she said, stressing that “we cannot afford to leave anyone behind.”


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