After a FIM assessment revealed that the voices of civil society from the Muslim world are often absent from or poorly represented within dialogue with multilateral bodies, FIM launched “Building Bridges: Engaging Civil Society from Muslim Countries and Communities with the Multilateral Sphere” in January 2006. The Building Bridges Project aims to facilitate the engagement of civil society organizations from Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states with multilateral policies and projects, particularly with the United Nations.
Read more about this project in the Building Bridges Overview. To date, FIM has convened thirteen Building Bridges meetings:
- Dakar, Senegal (November 2014)
- Montreal, Canada (November 2014)
- Quetta, Pakistan (March 2014)
- Jakarta, Indonesia (September 2013)
- Lahore, Pakistan – Regional meeting (April 2013)
- Dhaka, Bangladesh (January 2013)
- Dakar, Senegal (October 2012)
- Lahore, Pakistan (September 2012)
- Stockholm, Sweden (November 2011)
- Lahore, Pakistan (November 2008)
- Thiès, Senegal (March 2008)
- Montreal, Canada (January 2008)
- Dhaka, Bangladesh (October 2007)
- Amman, Jordan (January 2007)
- Doha, Qatar (October 2006)
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (January 2006)
In total, more than 170 civil society actors from 80 non-governmental organizations in 28 OIC countries have attended these events and contributed to the Building Bridges project. Meetings held to date have identified two priority outcomes for the project, namely the need for:
- Civil Society Organization accreditation within the OIC; and
- Increased influence of civil society from OIC and other Muslim communities on the United Nations.
Following the great success of the November 2011 meeting in Stockholm, this project is now in a phase of renewal; plans are underway for more Building Bridges activities in the near future.
Read about International forum to strengthen civil society – multilateral relations in the Commonwealth, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and the Organisation international de la Francophonie (OIF).