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‘Reflections on ‘Arab Spring’ at Center of CS Policy Forum

Available in: Français, Español, العربية

bCivil society participation in the 2011 Spring Meetings was substantive and significant.  Some 330 CSO representatives from 54 countries participated in the Spring Meetings (see list), the largest number ever.  The IMF and WB sponsored 35 CSO and Youth Leaders (see list), from developing countries to attend, the majority being from the Middle East.  The sponsored CSOs participated in an orientation session on the IMF and WB, met with senior officials, and organized their own policy dialogue sessions. 

pThe Civil Society Policy Forum, held from April 13 – 16, comprised 40 dialogue sessions involving over 150 Bank, Fund, and CSO speakers.  Most sessions were organized by CSOs (i.e. Bank Information Center, InterAction, CIEL, Oxfam, Planned Parenthood, EURODAD, Greenpeace, Publish What you Fund, Sierra Club, World Resources Institute) on such topics as: aid effectiveness, energy, safeguards, climate change,  youth employment, and reproductive health. World Bank units also organized policy consultation meetings and briefing sessions on a wide range of topics: Africa strategy, Program for Results (P4R) consultation, social protection review, education strategy, safeguards review, open data briefing. 

The highlight of the CS Forum were a number of sessions – with suggestive titles such as “2.0 Revolutions” and “Youth: Challenges in a Globalized World” – led by youth leaders from Egypt, CSO Food RoundtableTunisia and other countries which focused on the global impacts and future of the democratic movements in the Middle East.  There was also a CSO Food Roundtable which brought together Bank President Robert Zeollick with leaders from leading CSOs (i.e. Oxfam/America, InterAction, and Action Aid) and to discuss the impacts of food price volatility on the poor.  Reflecting the overarching theme of food security during the Spring Meetings, there was also an Open Forum on Food Prices which used social media to link thousands of participants worldwide.

edThere were two unprecedented meetings between developing country CSO representatives and WB/IMF Executive Directors.  The first involved some 10 IMF and WB EDs with some 25 developing country CSO and Youth Leaders.  The second involved eight Latin American CSO representatives with five Latin American WB EDs.  Both meetings were substantive and constructive in nature and addressed a number of issues: prospects for global economic recovery; food price volatility, Bank’s energy and safeguard policies; role of civil society in the Arab Spring, and climate change. 

lunchAfter the Spring Meetings, a number of CSOs released press statements on the outcomes of the Development Committee and IMFC meetings, as well as on a number of topics: food security, energy, and gender.  Of note was a letter released by a group of 12 CSO and Youth Leaders from the Africa region and US Diaspora groups at the end of the Spring Meetings calling for greater attention to food scarcities, energy poverty, and youth unemployment in their region. 

2010 SMs Photo Gallery 
CS Forum Schedule 
Lists of Arrived CSO Participants
List of Sponsored CSOs and Youth Leaders
2011 Spring Meetings General Information for CSO 
CSO Food Roundtable 
IMF Coverage
IMF Video of Global Youth - Leaders of Change
CSOs Evaluate 2011 Spring Meetings Policy Forum  


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