Lebanese Civil Society Speaks Up through IndyACTís new Parliamentary Laison Unit

Lebanese Civil Society Speaks Up through IndyACT’s new Parliamentary Laison Unit
Beirut – January 28th - The time has come for the Lebanese civil society to voice its demands directly in the parliament. That is why IndyACT has established the National Civil Society Parliament Laison Unit – NCSP which aims to increase the influence of Civil Society Organizations - CSOs on the legislative process of Lebanon in order to catalyze democratic reform, by establishing a CSO liaison unit in the Lebanese Parliament. IndyACT invited the candidate CSOs that proposed their campaigns to a meeting on January 28th at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Hamra to present their cases.
NCSP liaison officer, Tarek Zebian kick-started the meeting by discussing the latest updates in the NCSP and introduced the proposed campaigns which all contribute in solving civil, social and environmental causes.He explained that the liaison unit will help CSOs in Lebanon with their legislative demands from the parliament and assist them in achieving the policy change they are campaigning for by providing a number of services. 
The unit will work to have the support of a number of MPs which should help in passing the laws relevant to the four selected campaigns. 
“We will eventually vote for four campaigns that will become later on the main work of the NCSP liaison unit, or at least in the first stage,” said Zebian. 
The campaigns that applied to be part of the NCSP’s work and showed great enthusiasm towards having certain laws passed were; APSAD - Preserving Beirut Heritage, Zero Waste Campaign, Nationality Campaign, Sustainable Transportation, Increasing the Public Spaces, Juvenile Law, Narcotics Law, Expanding the UN convention for people with disabilities, Maintaining the Anti-smoking law, and the law on “Access to Information”.
Members of Skoun, Nahnoo, Lebanese Transparency Association, Lebanese Physically Handicapped Union, Byblos Ecology, Beyond, World Vision, The Youth Association of the Blind, APSAD, Green Peace and many others presented these campaigns. 
The voting process has already started and the official launching of the campaign should take place sometime in March. So maybe this year will be the new dawn of historic civil society victories in Lebanon!


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