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Road to St. Petersburg
Civil 8

Dialogue of the Russian and World Community with the G8
within the Russian Federation's Presidency in 2006

December 19, 2005, Moscow

See also December 20 Press Conference

1. Ella Alexandrovna Pamfilova, chair of the Civil Society Institutions and Human Rights Council under the President of the Russian Federation
2. Sergei Tsyplenkov, executive director of Greenpeace Russia
3. Alexander Auzan, President, Social Contract National Project Institute
4. Igor Chestin, Director, Wild Nature World Foundation Russia
5. Yuri Dzhibladze, President, Center for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights
6. Tatyana Monegen, General Secretary, National Committee of the World Business Organization
7. Svyatoslav Zabelin, co-chair of the Council of the International Public Organization International Socio-Ecological Union

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Press Release
From year to year the will of international NGOs expressing the civil society interest to influence actively the governments' activities becomes more visible. This fact is recognized by the states-members of G8, paying much attention to the co-operation with the civil society institutions.

In 2006 Russia starts its presidency in G8 which summit will take place in St Petersburg next July. Taking into consideration the Russia's readiness to co-operate with Russian and world communities within its presidency in G8, the leaders of social organizations put forward the initiative of forming a basis for real dialogue and interaction of NGOs with G8, especially with its leaders.

The initiative group supposes the Project "Civil 8 – 2006" to become such a basis. It is supposed that Russian NGOs have to work out and defend their positions – the only way to be heard and understood in the country and all over the world. On the other hand, it is our responsibility to organize such a dialogue in a form allowing the participation of all interested G8 states' and international NGOs. It means that the Project must be an open arena of public policy, of the dialogue of cultures, concepts, opinions. The Project has to provide an open competition of ideas and wide-scale civil expertise, that could influence seriously the development of the NGOs dialogue with G8 and to bring its activities closer to peoples needs.

Following the logic, the first practical task of the Initiative Group would be organization of wide consultations aimed at forming The Consultative Council of NGOs. The Council is supposed to act as a non-formal organ consisting of representatives of well-known Russian and international organizations able to attract the widest number of Russian and foreign NGOs interested in a public discussion of the summit agenda.

The format of a Project will allow its participants to develop precisely its creative self-evolution and at the same time its pragmatic nature.

To obtain the aim the Project participants will form several thematic discussion fields where all Russian civil organizations and interested people can widely discuss the issues declared by the G8 as main points of the summit agenda for 2006.

The Initiative group intends to start in January, 2006, the bilingual (Russian-English) web-site which is planned to become a database of ideas of the NGOs ready to support the Project and to join it as its participants. Finally the web-site would help to elaborate precise recommendations addressed to the G8 governments.

The essential role in forming the atmosphere of the "Civil 8" and preparing recommendations for G8 leaders and governments belongs also to personal contacts of NGOs participating actively in the Project. Two international NGOs Forums are supposed to introduce the St Petersburg summit, the final conference is supposed to take place after the summit.

The main basic principles of the consultative process are as follows: openness, transparency, succession and consistency. That's why it makes sense to use the experience of foreign NGOs accumulated during the previous years of G8 activities and also within the framework of another international processes.

The Initiative Group encourages all interested Russian, foreign and international NGOs to send their recommendations and comments to the following address: info@civilg8.ru

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Source: Civil Society Institutions and Human Rights Council of the President of the Russian Federation