In light of developing a new NGOs law in Egypt that copes with the changes Egypt experiences especially after the revolutions of January 25 and June 30, CEOSS organized a meeting on Saturday, September 28, 2013 to identify the view of the civil society in Cairo and some provinces about the new NGOs draft law. The meeting was attended by Dr. Ziad Ahmed Bahaa Eddin – Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Ahmed El-Borai – Minister of Social Solidarity, and members of the Supreme Committee for Civil work, which developed the draft law, as well as representatives of more than 150 organizations and a number of intellectuals and media professionals.
Dr. Rev. Andrea Zaki, CEOSS General Director, stressed that the aspirations of the national community were crystallized in the first draft and as such, we must commend the current efforts made by the government. He added that an issuance of the NGO law in Egypt that brings together freedom, transparency, and accountability will give a great opportunity for civil society organizations to achieve their objectives in the service of the community. He stated: “Our participation, as civil organizations and individuals concerned with the social and volunteer work, in the discussion of the new draft law putting our ideas and our vision, represent a genuine partnership between the local community and the State.”
Dr. Ahmed El-Borai, Minister of Social Solidarity said that the new draft law is a project of the State and not individuals. It stems from NGOs and civil society rather than government, as was previously the case, stressing that the State or the Ministry did not interfere at all in this project and that the Ministry had requested a deadline of 3 months to complete the articles of the new law, but the committee completed it before the deadline.
Dr. Zeyad Bahaa El Din, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, pinpointed that the relation between the Community Based organizations (CBOs) , non-governmental and governmental organizations depends on ” integration not competence”. He highlighted that ” CBOs should work on alleviating cost, time, and administrative compulsion”. He expressed his appreciation for the efforts of the committee who set this law, reinforcing that “it is the rights of the civil society to set its own law, and to be supported by the government.
The meeting also tackled a number of inquiries and recommendations that the attendees thought must be taken into consideration in the new law.