One year ago today, the New Libya Foundation and partners launched the “Roghata” Urban Planning Charette Program for sustainable development. Thank you Mohamed “Rio” for this tribute
Research & Development
New Libya Foundation fundraising mission takes Aya Husni Bey, Rami Rasamny, Rayan Rasamny, and Rihab Elhaj through a seven day climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro. 100% of the Funds raised from the climb are dedicated to the rebuilding of homes damaged by the 2014 civil war.
Research & Development
Incubator member, The Libyan Wildlife Trust, is partnering with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to begin the implementation of the “WWF Mediterranean Program: Enabling NGOs to Shape the Future of the New Libyan Democracy”. The project will be implemented in Tripoli and Albayda with the participation of local CSOs, local governments, media and local donors. The purpose of the program is to identify Libyan CSOs active in environmental and sustainable development to build their capacity and support their advocacy work, to develop networks of CSOs working on environmental protection, and to assist CSOs in advocating on a local and state level. The project will also seek to establish ties between networks in Libya, Tunis and Morrocco working on environmental and sustainable development.
To learn more about the Libya Wildlife Trust, please visit their website:
Research & Development
Tribute by NLF Staff: She was an inspiration. Here she is supporting one of our initiatives just last week. She believed that investing in the people around her was important and tried to bring good people along with her toward success. She embodied the soft, visionary and hopeful leadership that Libya craves today. Her life is not a loss as we will continue to stand for the things she became a symbol for; Inclusiveness, reason, justice, compassion and peace. May her lovely soul rest in the peace and dignity she lived to provide for others.
The Goodwill Charter Campaign was successfully launched today, June 19th, with exclusive interviews with the campaign team on four major television networks, including the state network “Al-Wataniya”, the more conservative “Al-Nabaa”, the more liberal leaning “Al-ahrar”, and Al-Assema. The campaign was surprisingly received with support across political factions, despite the charter taking hard political positions on contentious issues such as the nature of the State, the role of women and minorities in the state, the separation of powers and the elimination of armed factions.
The Goodwill Charter is a 17 article social contract between voters and the candidates of the House of Representatives. The charter reflects what the Libyan public and civil society believe ought to be the priorities of the House of Representatives to be elected on June 25th. Candidates who sign the charter are given airtime with their constituents through television and radio interviews, spots on social media, and through SMS/Text messages to their constituents.
To read more about the charter in English, visit the “Goodwill Charter” page under the programs tab, or www.Almithaq.ly to view the campaign (in Arabic).
Research & Development
We regret the cancellation of the 5th Networker, scheduled for Saturday, June 14th. The event was to bring together opposing armed factions and moderators as a precursor to the June 19th political dialogue hosted by UNSMIL and the National Dialogue Preparation Committee. Unfortunately, the dialogue has been undermined by parties that made unfounded accusations about the head of the UNSMIL mission.
As we enter into the next congressional elections June 25th, it is imperative to remember that though electoral gains can shift drastically from election to election, stability and cooperation is dependent upon the inclusion of all political parties in the transitional roadmap. Inclusivity and dialogue are means by which Libya can establish the political pluralism necessary for a transparent and accountable governance process that represents all Libyans. It is also central to disarmament and the building of security institutions.
We encourage all Libyans to remember that our demands are all the same; safety & security, freedom from persecution and full rights and freedoms, education, healthcare, infrastructure, employment opportunity, a clean environment and good infrastructure. These demands are neither guaranteed by the warring factions, nor are they a point of contention. We urge civil society and activists to refrain from “siding with” any party in conflict, and to continue to advocate for the fundamental needs of the Libyan people by demanding all parties cease fighting and enter into dialogue.
Saturday, April 26th, Members of the GNC Mr. Ala Mgarief of Benghazi, and Mr. Musa Faraj of Jdabya, as well as Ms. Saida Berween of the Ministry of Local councils, dialogued with civil society organizations and private sector actors on the topic of “How to implement measures for transparency and accountability in governance for the next House of Representatives and Local Councils” at the 4th Networker Event of the Civil Society Incubator Center.
The following are observations and outcomes from the dialogue:
- The General National Congress began work with very limited capacity, thus measures for transparency and accountability were not immediately made a priority.
- The public had lost trust in the GNC within weeks of their mandate, indicating that trust was very difficult to establish/maintain given the political environment and history.
- The GNC did not immediately recognize the huge threat of lost trust and credibility that was apparent as soon as citizens called for the election, rather than selection of the Constitutional Assembly within weeks of the GNC’s election.
- Though the lack of trust in the GNC was evident early on, there were no measures taken to earn the trust of the public, including measures for accountability, transparency, and better means of representation. The reason for in-action on such measures was likely due to the GNC’s failure to recognize the role of trust in democratic representation, and the function and benefits of accountability and transparency measures in governance
- Until today, citizens do not know if their elected representatives go into work, how their representatives vote on various laws and decisions, outcomes of discussions within the assembly, outcomes of discussions within committee meetings, who committee members are, how an item is placed on the agenda of the GNC, how the national budget was allocated for 2014, how it was spent in 2011, 2012, 2013, how citizens can reach their local representatives, how citizens can communicate their hopes and priorities for the State through their parliamentary representatives.
- The lack of transparency and accountability has lead to the existence of a non-democratic process implemented by an elected body, leading citizens to become less responsive to elections, and the proposition of democracy. More dangerously, they have become less responsive to the rule- of-law at large.
- Without the above measures and precedence in transparency, accountability and representation at the highest levels of government:
- There remains little to no opportunity to implement such measures in the public and privatesector, allowing social, political and economic corruption to spread indefinitely.
- There remains little to no opportunity to build credibility and trust in the state to the extent required to attract loyalty of security forces, and activate disarmament initiatives, allowing the state to enjoy a legitimate monopoly on power.
- There remains no opportunity to enjoy stability to the extent required to attract local and foreign investment.
- Because representative bodies typically respond to a strong demand from the “street” or citizens, the implementation of transparency and accountability measures requires a strong demand from the Libyan public and civil society. Civil society has very limited capacity at the moment.
- The GNC members in attendance noted that few groups approach the GNC with the intent or capacity to summon such a demand, and no strong demand has yet been made from “the street”. Because this demand is not a priority coming from organized civil society groups and the public, the matter of transparency and accountability has yet to be made a priority within the governing body of the GNC.
- Unless Libyan civil society and the public make very clear demands for measures toward transparency and accountability in the next House of Representatives and local councils, such governing bodies are likely to suffer from the very same perceptions of corruption, apathy and partisanship which plagued the GNC, and has left the nation in relative anarchy.
- If the Libyan public desires a better governance process (and not just new people in parliament) it must be prepared to collectively demand greater means of accountability and transparency in the next House of Representatives, and local councils, and see such measures through to implementation as a matter of priority.
Mr. Ala Mgarief, Mr. Musa Faraj, and Ms. Saida Berween have agreed to engage with any person or group in civil society willing to advocate for such measures.
Special thanks to event volunteers, Mr. Ehab Masmos, Ahmed Albayas, Othman Anwar, Abd Alrauf Alsherief, Anas Alsaraj, and Amir Abu Sen, without whom the events are not possible. Lastly, we’d like to thank USAID for their generous and responsive support of the Networker.
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April 5th, Tripoli’s democratically elected Constitution Drafting Assembly members presented their vision of what the constitution making process should look like, and addressed questions posed by Networker guests. Two of the five assembly members chose to decline the invitation just minutes before the event, presumably out of a desire to remain out of the spotlight until they are more acquainted with their new position. Former Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Mustafa Abushagour, and independent member of congress, Mr. Musa Faraj had been attending as guests when they kindly accepted an invitation to join the panel at the request of other guests.
The lively discussion was one of the first public appearances of elected CDA members and explored some of the most contentious topics in the constitution, giving rise to some heated debates. The Tripoli CDA members emphasized a public will to ensure a central role for Islamic Sharia in the constitution, as well as explicit protections of the rights and freedoms of all citizens with emphasis on women and minorities. Dr. Mustafa Abushagour emphasized the importance of distinguishing between demands for federalism and a call for greater decentralization, the later being a desire shared by all Libyans.
Once the floor was opened to questions and discussion several guests representing a wide range of constituencies, including student unions, minority groups and youth, presented their hopes for the constitution. The open forum stimulated a discussion on what is a “right” and what is an unsustainable privilege of residing in an oil rich state.
The event ended in a roof-top dinner reception where guests continued the dialogue.
Research & Development
Tripoli, Sunday, February, 9th, the New Libya Foundation and partner organizations launched the “Voters Guide” (ourvotersguide.ly), an online guide revealing the positions of the Constitutional Drafting Assembly candidates on the most critical issues in the constitution. The “Voters Guide” website went live during the press conference, revealing candidate positions on some of the most controversial issues on the minds of Libyans, including who interprets the Islamic Sharia Law, whether non-citizens in Libya should have a path to citizenship, the rights of women, freedoms and general rights, and whether former regime loyalists should be included in the constitutional dialogues.
New Libya Foundation Executive Director spoke about her personal reasons for taking part in the guide, which also focuses on the constitution making process “Our first experience with an elected congress have taught us that without clear guarantees for a democratic process of governance, personal and political agenda’s inevitably take-over. The public would like to know which candidates are going to guarantee a constitution making process that is inclusive, transparent, and participatory, because it’s our constitution, not the Asssembly. We’re going to candidates accountable.
The 15 organizations leading the initiative represent a range of constituencies, including women, youth, all of Libya’s ethnic minority groups, and people with disabilities.
The Voters Guide presents candidates an opportunity to clarify their positions on most of the critical articles in a constitution, including State organization, Citizenship, Economic Rights, General rights and freedoms, Women’s Rights (equality in rights), Disabilities Rights, and Community Rights.