Home General News PACJA Executive Director Mithika Mwenda calls for strengthening of institutions that protects civic Space for eradication of poverty, injustices accross the globe

PACJA Executive Director Mithika Mwenda calls for strengthening of institutions that protects civic Space for eradication of poverty, injustices accross the globe

by Robert Guyana

Pan African Climate Justice Alliance( PACJA) Executive Director Mithika Mwenda has called for the strengthening all the institution that protects civic space across the globe emphasizing that they play a key role in ensuring people’s voices are heard and its key shaping the future.

Mwenda while addressing a United Nations Civil Society Conference in Nairobi said that a resilient civic space is an essential catalyst and has also triggers democracy and effective governance.

” New opportunities of civic engagement are also emerging, leveraging on technology to reconnect communities and foster dialogue and progressive conversations between people, societies and economies. It’s crucial to support these initiatives and strengthen the institutions that protect civic space, ensuring that the people’s voices are not just heard but instrumental in shaping the future. A resilient civic space is, therefore, an essential catalyst and trigger for democracy and effective governance,” Said Mwenda.

This year’s conference theme was, “Shaping a Future of Global and Sustainable Progress,”

Mwenda reiterated on a call to action adding that it is a beacon of hope, promise, renewal and solidarity for a world grappling with the complexities of modern challenges, shifting geopolitical alliances, widening inequalities, unwarranted wars and genocides like the ones orchestrated by Israel against harmless Palestinian women and children, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, all exacerbated by planetary crises.

He said that the world has witnessed a shrinking of civic space which has resulted from Polarisation , social fragmentation and rise of digital avenues that has led to serious disadvanatages in the strengthening of the civic space.

” We are in a geopolitical context of shrinking civic space, often occasioned by political polarisation, social fragmentation, and rise of digital platforms that amplify divisive narratives, misinformation and fake news.

” These elements has not only continued to overshadow our collective voices but has also sabotaged consensus and unity building,” He said.

He added, ” However, the erosion of democracy globally is not just a threat—it is a worrying reality that we witness, whether we are in advanced economies, or in Africa. The rise of right-wing movements and bigotry, especially in civilisations from where we have borrowed our modern practices, cast long shadows across the globe,” he said

He said that the rise in Authoritarian regimes paints a shadow picture to the Civic space and a serious action was needed adding that global shift towards authoritarianism, with increased pressure on human and environmental rights organisations and intimidation of journalists, scholars, and minorities, underscores the reality of democracy’s retreat in the face of rising extremism.

” The situation calls for concerted efforts and rethink, particularly by philanthropies historically credited with standing with the people and fighting for principles of liberal democracy. In the meantime, genocidal wars continue to ravage nations, leaving behind a trail of destruction and despair as exemplified by the Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Palestine crises. Unfortunately, the deeper human cost is immeasurable and far-reaching. Indeed, the aftermath of conflict extends beyond the cessation of hostilities, as trauma, loss, and mistrust lingers for generations,” he added.

Mwenda pounted out that it was unfortunate that climate justice and the transition towards a sustainable future has remained elusive for many, especially for those who bear the least responsibility for the ecological crises that the world faces.

” Climate justice is predicated on the principle that the transition to a sustainable future must be equitable and fair, recognising that those least responsible for climate change often bear the brunt of its negative impacts. Developing countries face a myriad of obstacles towards sustainability. They lack the financial and technological capabilities to invest in renewable energy and green infrastructure.,” he said.

He added that poverty, had deprives individuals of not only financial security but also opportunities and choices.

” It is a barrier to education, health, and the ability to participate fully in society. This is a stark reminder that our economic systems and policies often prioritize efficiency and growth over the well-being of all members of society. This makes the moral imperative to address debt and poverty not only clear, but extremely urgent. It also demands for a review of the traditional economic models and metrics through focusing and investing in sustainable and inclusive development initiatives that provide the foundation for long-term economic stability and prosperity for all, not just a privileged few,” he said.

He urged the conference to help and ; Call for enhanced accountability mechanisms within the multilateral mechanisms, among African Governments and civil society to enhance transparency in decision-making processes, resource commitment and action in delivering agreed upon goals. Call on the review of delivery mechanisms for SDGs and the Global Pact to enhance locally-led actions in promoting inclusion of all while leaving no one behind and As a fundamental principle, the establishment of the future pact and all associated deliberations should steer clear of any covert attempts to.

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