Press Release – The launching of the Ethiopian National Priorities Consultative Process (ENPCP)
This first communiquÃ© announces the launching of the Ethiopian National Priorities Consultative Process (ENPCP.) We are freely associated, non-partisan, non-profit civil society organizations (CSOs,) and individuals, that have been deliberating for over a year, with the initiative and support of the Ethiopian National Congress (ENC,) in order to forge genuine partnership, and unity of purpose and action. The objective of this new initiative is to achieve a coordinated effort by CSOs and civic minded individuals that advocate and promote the rule of law, democratic governance, and respect for civil and political rights in Ethiopia. For ENPCPâ€™s vision, mission, structure and expected outcome, please visit www.enpcp.org or www.enpcp.net.
Sustained resistance by Ethiopians from all walks of life against oppression and division has not produced the desired outcome of freedom and democracy, largely due to an unresponsive government but also from lack of unity amongst political and civic leaders that spearheaded the struggle. Promising democratic gains in the beginning were not sustained and often failed to grow and mature. Frustrations have often led to either complete abandonment of the struggle for democracy, or the proliferation of individual and small group efforts that often duplicated one another and proved ineffective in the end. The ENPCP concept was, therefore, first initiated by the Ethiopian National Congress (http://www.ethiopiannationalcongress.org) in 2007, and since then a number of civil society organizations, eminent individuals, scholars, career diplomats and former international civil servants came together to form a constituent body for the new initiative to be known as ENPCP. One of its objectives is to form a global network of Ethiopian civil society organizations.
CSOs currently participating in the ENPCP are the Anuak Justice council, Dejen Le Democracy (Constituents for Democracy-Dallas, Fort Worth), Ethiopian Forum for Peace, Democracy and Development (EFPDD,) Ethiopian National Congress (ENC) and Solidarity Committee for Ethiopian Political Prisonersâ€“Canada (SOCEPP-CAN.) Clear criteria have been established for those CSOs and individuals who wish to participate in ENPCPâ€™s endeavors. What makes the new initiative unique is the fact that it facilitates partnership among CSOs and interested individuals without requiring them to lose their identity or special focus. In fact, if a particular skill or specialization is determined to be very important, the CSO or/and the individual with the best experience and knowledge could be tapped to take the lead by the collective ENPCP.
Since its inception, the ENPCP has been deliberating, through a series of intensive and constructive consultation among its members, on various issues affecting Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa region. ENPCPâ€™s General Assembly has established an interim leadership Core Group and various Task Forces to achieve its objectives. Issues Identification and Prioritization Task Force has outlined key issues to be the national priorities of Ethiopia:
* The role of traditional and modern civil society organizations
* Conflict prevention and resolution
* Accountability, governance and sovereignty.
The initiative has been and continues to be open, and the priority issues identification process as well as the nature and shape of the network, are evolving. It is by no means final.
ENPCPâ€™s Convention and Logistics Task Force will arrange a preliminary meeting in July 2009 as well as a major convention a few months after that, to address major issues of importance regarding Ethiopia. The background documents are available for review. In the next weeks and months, the leadership will start issuing a series of statements and concept papers that provide information about the initiative and the national priority issues through its Public Relations and Outreach Task Force. Current and past leaders, members and supporters of civil society organizations inside Ethiopia and in the Diaspora that agree with the mission of ENPCP are kindly requested to join and support this important initiative.
This is a new beginning. The ENPCP aims to be a forum and a network of Ethiopians. We in the ENPCP believe that if we work together, it would not be far before we sing the songs of freedom. We will not be far from seeing a government that is installed through the free will of the people. It will not be far before we see the Ethiopian Diaspora making significant contributions to making changes that affect the livelihood of Ethiopians. It will not be far before we see the promulgation of laws that open sufficient space for civil society organizations to realize their full potential. We, therefore, call upon all Ethiopian civil society organizations and individuals to join hands in this new and bold initiative.
Let civil societies join hands, and speak and act in unison!
May God Bless Ethiopia!