ASSEMBLY OF NGOs’ CONGRESSES
The first constituent Congress of the Assembly was held on February 22-23, 1997. It was attended by 250 democratic non-commercial organizations. By the end of 1997, the number of CSOs grew to 500. The Assembly started admitting all NGOs sharing the basic principles of equality, independence and democracy, independence of Belarus and human rights as its members.
During the I Congress of the Assembly of NGOs, it was suggested to launch information exchange between NGO members, establish a system of mutual aid and collective protection of NGO members, as well as attract new members to the Assembly.
II Congress of the Assembly of NGOs was held on November 14, 1998. It was attended by 394 NGOs. In the summer of 2000, the Congress resulted into SOS! Civil sector campaign aimed at protecting NGO rights and diminishing the negative consequences of the mandatory state re-registration.
III Congress of the Assembly of NGOs was held on December 2-3, 2000. The association of organizations decided to register the Assembly and hold a mobilization campaign during the presidential elections and election observation in 2001, Assembly’s Charter was approved.
IV Congress of the Assembly of NGOs was held on October 5-6, 2002, having united the participants in Civil Organizations for Citizens festival of non-governmental organizations and round-table discussions dedicated to interaction between NGOs and the government, media, resources and cooperation of NGOs with each other.
V Congress of the Assembly of NGOs was held on May 1-2, 2004 in Minsk and attended by 220 delegates and 40 guests. At the Congress, the Assembly’s Strategic Plan was presented, new conditions for NGO work and alternative mechanisms for the recognition of banned Belarusan NGOs were discussed, a mechanism of public recognition of civil initiatives was developed and approved.
VI Congress of the Assembly of NGOs was held on March 6-7, 2009. A resolution on the participation of Belarusan civil society in the Eastern Partnership and the resolution against the construction of nuclear power plant in Belarus were adopted, and the Statement on the abolition of all forms of political persecution was signed.
VII Congress of the Assembly of NGOs was held on June 16-17, 2012. Resolutions calling for the release of political prisoners and assignment of a UN Special Rapporteur on Belarus were adopted. The participants also put forward demands to stop the repressions against the civil sector on behalf of the State and stressed the need for consolidation and solidarity. Photos from the Congress.