Video conferences bring transparency to decision-making spaces

Conectas sent a contribution to the report of the High Commissioner on “civil society space in multilateral institutions”

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has received contributions for its report on “civil society space in multilateral institutions”, to which Conectas contributed by submitting suggestions on good practices for civil society engagement with multilateral institutions. The Brazilian experience with online broadcasting of public hearings, video conferences with the Ministry of Foreign Relations and webcasting of sessions of the UN Committee on NGOs served as the basis for the contribution sent by Conectas.

In its submission, Conectas notes that Brazilian foreign policy is controlled by the Ministry of Foreign Relations in a manner that is neither transparent nor democratic and without any public participation. In this context, video conferences have emerged as an innovative tool as they represent one of the few mechanisms for participation currently available in Brazilian foreign policy.

According to Camila Asano, coordinator of programs at Conectas, “in terms of impacts, these video conferences provide an opportunity to increase the political cost of decisions that run counter to human rights and to improve public sector accountability”.

“Through this virtual tool provided for by the PFDC (Federal Attorney General’s Office for the Rights of the Citizen) of the MPF (Federal Prosecutor’s Office) we are helping to democratize access to policy dialogue spaces with the Ministry of Foreign Relations,” said Asano, “since the system permits the simultaneous participation of representatives residing in different cities across Brazil at a low cost.”

Read the contribution from Conectas here.

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