The CIVICUS World Assembly serves as a primary venue for civil society practitioners, researchers, activists, concerned business leaders and representatives from governments to share ideas and experiences on strengthening citizen participation.
The World Assembly’s main objective is to create a space where a diversity of voices can be heard, a space to exchange experiences, challenges, successes and dreams and, most importantly, concrete ideas for a more equitable and just world. One of the World Assembly’s strengths is its ability to act as a forum where groups from all sectors around the world develop successful models for advancing national, regional and global agendas, and for finding solutions to the crises that the world is facing today.
Previously, the World Assemblies took place in Mexico (1995), Hungary (1997), the Philippines (1999), Canada (Vancouver, 2001), Botswana (2004), Scotland (2006, 2007 and 2008) and Montréal (2010, 2011 and 2012). The CIVICUS Board made the decision to annualise the event in 2006, privileging a three-year cycle in one venue. In addition to reducing the logistical burden of organising a major international event, this annualisation allows CIVICUS to focus more intensively on the programme contents, the promotion of the event and on ensuring widespread participation.
Since 2007 the CIVICUS World Assembly has been preceded by the CIVICUS Youth Assembly. A full part of the main event, the Youth Assembly is a unique opportunity for young people to meet and get ready to engage effectively with other World Assembly delegates. It aims to bring together the world's most engaged, dynamic young activists in the fields of social and civic justice.
The overarching objectives of the CIVICUS Youth Assembly are:
• To promote youth participation within the World Assembly;
• To act as a platform for networking and collaboration amongst youth;
• To collaboratively express youth opinions and perspectives on World Assembly topics and issues;
• To strengthen youth engagement in CIVICUS work.
Another central feature of the CIVICUS World Assembly are the CIVICUS Nelson Mandela Graça Machel Innovation Awards, created after the 2004 CIVICUS World Assembly in Gaborone, Botswana. They aim at funding innovative ideas emerging from organisations or groups of organisations participating in the CIVICUS World Assembly.
Rethinking the CIVICUS World Assemblies
CIVICUS: World Alliance of Citizen Participation held its 11th World Assembly on 3-7 September 2012 in Montreal, Canada. The event, co-hosted by the Institut du Nouveau Monde, ended a cycle of three Assemblies in Montreal.
The CIVICUS Board of Directors decided to establish a Task Team to reflect on the concept of the CIVICUS World Assembly and its future. The Task Team is co-led by Rajiv Joshi, Board member, and Henri Valot, Director of Outreach. The focus of this task team is to evaluate and possibly “reinvent” the concept of the CIVICUS World Assembly and plan a new cycle to be implemented during 2013-2017. A secondary objective is to reflect on how CIVICUS can do its convening most effectively.
An online consultation with CIVICUS members and key stakeholders will be conducted at the end of 2012. A draft report will be issued at the end of January 2013 and shared with Board members, CIVICUS members and partners. A final recommendation for a new World Assembly cycle will be proposed to the Board for endorsement in March/April 2013.
For more information on a specific World Assembly, check those pages: