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On the occasion of the UN Secretary General's visit to Angola, the Director General of Mosaiko, Father Júlio Candeeiro, took part in a meeting held in Luanda between the Secretary General and representatives of Angolan civil society.
The meeting was an important opportunity to clarify with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon the main challenges facing civil society in Angola, namely:
- Difficulties regarding access to justice in Angola and the challenges faced by institutions responsible for the administration of justice to maintain their autonomy and independence.
- The need for greater involvement by civil society organizations in monitoring the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals in Angola.
- The needs to: (1) prioritize the reduction of the major economic and social disparities existing in Angola, and (2) reduce the extreme poverty that still plagues much of the population.
- The necessity to ensure that the 2012 elections take place in a free and peaceful atmosphere. In this respect, the organisations present asked the Secretary General for greater involvement by the international community (similar to what happened in 2008).
- Following the withdrawal of many international donors, threats to the continuation of their work have been increasing in thematic and geographical areas where the Angolan state does not invest significantly.
In conclusion, the UN Secretary-General welcomed the presence of the invited organisations at the meeting, and restated that the UN's function is not to decide, but to advise and influence the policies of States.
fr. Olivier Poquillon o.p.