For Immediate Release
On March 24, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Ambassador Richard H. Jones attended the launch of “NGOs are Stronger Together” (NST), an initiative that brings together 60 Lebanese non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to foster stronger coordination, communication, and collaboration between the groups enabling them to shape a shared vision of civil society and devise a clear engagement strategy. The “NGOs are Stronger Together” initiative is implemented by the MEPI Lebanon Alumni Association (MEPI LAA) and funded by the U.S. Embassy MEPI Office’s Local Grant Program. Through a series of workshops over the next fifteen months, NST will provide a forum for NGOs to share best practices and develop networks that will allow them to advocate for a common cause through partnerships with other civil society organizations, government officials, and the business community.
During his remarks at the An-Nahar building downtown, Ambassador Jones highlighted the importance of a vibrant civil society for Lebanon’s democracy and encouraged the citizens’ engagement in their communities. He stressed that “America’s role here is to further the United States’ strong and abiding partnership with the Lebanese people. We endeavor to encourage greater civic engagement so that all Lebanese can promote positive change in their communities and participate in the political processes that affect their lives. This is especially relevant as the May 2016 municipal elections approach.” Following the introductory remarks at the launch ceremony, over 100 representatives from civil society, international organizations, universities, media organizations and the private sector participated in a panel and broke into groups to discuss a needs assessment, alliance themes, and NST’s work plan moving forward.
MEPI stands for the Middle East Partnership Initiative, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. To learn more about MEPI or the MEPI Lebanon Alumni Association, please see the following links: https://lb.usembassy.gov/education-culture/mepi/ and https://www.facebook.com/MEPI.LAA/