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From its inception in 1995, the CIVICUS World Assembly has been a key international gathering for civil society, governments, donors and other stakeholders to engage constructively in finding common solutions to global challenges. For the history of the World Assembly click here.

The new format and approach of International Civil Society Week is an exciting opportunity for CIVICUS to reflect, research and brainstorm with others on how to make the World Assembly more innovative and meaningful.

The World Assembly 2016 will be the flagship event of ICSW 2016 and will take place on its last day, 28 April 2016. The Assembly will employ three event formats:

  1. “My Stories”: Inspiring stories by activists in achieving social change This segment will feature experiences shared by the CIVICUS Nelson Mandela – Graca Machel Innovation Awards winners. The Nelson Mandela-Graça Machel Innovation Awards celebrate civil society activism by awarding activists and organisations for their excellence, innovation, and brave risk-taking within grassroots development and governance campaign initiatives.
  2. “In Conversation with”: Interviews with leading civil society voices This segment will feature conversations with civil society leaders about their work, courage and perseverance in seeking durable peace and democracy.
  3. Panel Discussions: Dialogues on topical issues for civil society This segment will feature two panel discussions on:
    • What will it take to create inclusive societies and organisations?
    • Sustainable Development Goals: why should we care?


Mr. Ali ZeddiniMr. Ali Zeddini is the Vice-President of the Tunisian League for Human Rights (La Ligue Tunisienne des Droits de l’Homme -LTDH), one of the four organisations that formed the Tunisia’s National Dialogue Quartet and is also a 2015 Nobel Peace Prize recipient.



Mr. Emílio Álvarez IcazaMr. Emílio Álvarez Icaza, is the Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. He was the Ombudsman of Mexico City, independent consultant and expert on issues relating to human rights in Mexico. He has been a professor of human rights and has participated in several civil society initiatives. He is the author of three books on human rights issues, and a contributor to more than 80 publications. He has received more than 50 recognitions, awards and national and international distinctions.



Ms. Raquel RosenbergMs. Raquel Rosenberg is co-founder of Engajamundo, an organization focused on empowering Brazilian youth to understand, participate and influence international political process. Her leadership in innovation and engagement passed through by organizations such as AIESEC, the BRICS Institute, and a diversity of international conferences such as Rio+20, Global Power Shift, Summit of BRICS, and Climate Change UN Conferences. A sancer in her spare times, Raquel is a fellow of Adopt a Negotiator, Red Bull Amaphiko and an affiliate of Ashoka Brazil.


Ms. Tamara AdriánMs. Tamara Adrián is a Venezuelan lawyer, professor of law and lawmaker at the National Assembly of Venezuela (2016-2021). She is author of many articles and books relating the matters she teaches, as well as LGTTTBI law. Her works have been published internationally. Her articles refer to many different topics: contracts, torts, commercial law, company law, capital markets, and, of course, to gender and sexual diversity, sexual orientation, discrimination, as well as to gender violence, women’s rights and many other issues.



Ms. Victoria Tauli-CorpuzSimón Gaviria Muñoz is Director of the National Planning Department, the Colombian government agency in charge of defining, recommending and monitoring public and economic policy. Previously, he served as National Director of the Liberal Political Party (Partido Liberal), which made him the youngest person to ever occupy this position. Simultaneously, he served as member of the House of Representatives from 2007 to 2014.



Mr. José Carlos UgazMr. José Carlos Ugaz became President of PROETICA, Transparency International’s chapter in Peru, in 2002, then an Individual Member of Transparency International in 2008. A lawyer by training, Ugaz served as Ad-Hoc State Attorney of Peru in several corruption cases. During the Fujimori-Montesinos affair (2000-2002), his office opened more than 200 cases against 1,500 members of the Fujimori network. Under his mandate, US$205 million in assets were frozen abroad and US$75 million was recovered. Ugaz was a member of the United Nations (UN) Peace Keeping Mission and the UN Election Observers Mission for El Salvador, and from 2004-2006 served at the World Bank’s Institutional Integrity Office. He has been teaching criminal law at the Universidad Católica del Perú since 1986. Ugaz was elected to the TI Board in 2011, and elected chair in 2014.



Ms. Lakshmi PuriMs. Lakshmi Puri is Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. She is directly responsible for the leadership and management of the Bureau for Intergovernmental Support, United Nations Coordination, and Strategic Partnerships. She steered UN Women’s engagement in major intergovernmental processes, such as the Rio+20 conference and the Commission on the Status of Women. She also led efforts to build strategic partnerships, particularly with civil society and women’s organizations, and oversaw the adoption and implementation of UN system-wide accountability and coherence systems for gender equality and women’s empowerment.


Ms. Shantal Munro-KnightMs. Shantal Munro-Knight is a development specialist and Executive Coordinator of the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC), a coalition of Caribbean non-governmental organizations. Munro-Knight has a long history in social development work and execution of research and educational programs, having worked in the youth sector for a number of years and plays a key role in advocacy and implementation of the Sustainable Development agenda. She has also held a number of international and regional positions on boards of organizations, including on the CIVICUS board and in the informal transitional group of the new platform: ‘Action for Sustainable Development’.



Mr. Mazen DarwishMr. Mazen Darwish is a Syrian human rights activist, who has been internationally recognised for his courage in defending freedom of expression. As the founder and Director of the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression, he was one of the rare journalists who dared publish details of arbitrary arrests and violations by policy and security forces in Syria. After being disappeared by authorities and spending three years in detention on trumped up terrorism charges, he has received multiple awards for his bravery and commitment to human rights.



Mr. Felician Pius MkudeMr. Felician Pius Mkude is the Secretary General of the Tanzania Federation of Disabled People Organizations – SHIVYAWATA. SHIVYAWATA is a non-governmental federation established to bring together national disabled people’s organisations to provide a larger, louder and common voice to the community. It campaigns and advocates for action on issues related to persons with disabilities and is currently involved in a project supported by DataShift which is using citizen-generated data to assess access to public services for persons with disabilities in Tanzania.

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