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15 december, 2020

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The Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation and the Civic Chamber of South Ossetia signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation

The Civic Chamber opened its doors to the delegation from South Ossetia

The Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation and the Civic Chamber of South Ossetia signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation

On December 15, a delegation of the Civic Chamber of the Republic of South Ossetia visited the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation.

“We have waited and prepared for this meeting for a long time, and now finally we have the chance to sign a Memorandum of Cooperation, which, I am sure, will become a powerful incentive for our further partnership. So we can say that the year has not passed in vain,” said the President of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation Lydia Mikheeva greeting the guests. “The priorities of our work for the next year will continue to be providing genuine assistance to the population, strengthening the role of the Civic Chamber as an institution of civil society, as well as identifying social conflicts. And of course, exchanges with our friends and partners from neighbouring states are of great importance for us — I hope that next year our communication will be even more intensive,” she added.

The President of the Civic Chamber of the Republic of South Ossetia Sergey Kudziev thanked the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation for the invitation to visit the Russian capital during this difficult period, and also shared the current experience of the South Ossetian Civic Chamber in developing civil society. Furthermore, he expressed hope for the rapid growth and expansion of the chamber's activities, taking into account the exchange of experience with the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation. “Despite the fact that the Civic Chamber of the Republic of South Ossetia was established in 2009, it has not been very active. The composition of the chamber has recently been renewed, and we are striving to improve its work. We want to get acquainted with how the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation operates, as well as the entire Russian third sector,” he said.

During the meeting, the members of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation shared practices in developing the non-profit sector and public oversight with their colleagues from South Ossetia. In particular, representatives of various commissions of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation spoke briefly about their key areas of activity.

The First Deputy Chairman of the Commission of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation on Examination of Socially Significant Draft Laws and Other Legislative Initiatives Artem Kiryanov spoke about the main activities of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation: public examination (zero readings) of draft laws, analytical work, monitoring the state of civil society, as well as public oversight.

Furthermore, he noted the crucial role of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation in creating the institution of public councils under the executive branch: it is the working group of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation that chooses people who are worthy enough. “The work may not be obvious, but over the past few years, with the help of open selection procedures and elections independent of the executive branch, we have ensured that the public councils play an active role in the civil process. We also initiate meetings of several public councils at the Civic Chamber,” he stated.

The Chair of the Commission of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation on Housing, Public Utilities, Construction and Roads Svetlana Razvorotneva spoke in detail about various forms of public oversight: public inspections, public monitoring, as well as receiving and processing citizens' appeals. Additionally, she shared her experience of the activity of civil society and public oversight in the development of infrastructure and she elaborated on important areas of work in this regard. “Of course, the most important task of the Civic Chamber from our viewpoint is to protect the interests of citizens. Legislation in our field is rather complicated, that is why we help to understand it – we also advise and train. Our regional representatives, regional chambers, and NGO representatives help us a lot. We are united and we act together — in each region we have representatives. We are trying to help the authorities, among other things, to solve all problems related to infrastructure and the quality of life of citizens,” she said.

The Deputy Chair of the Commission of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation on Development of Economy and Corporate Social Responsibility Olga Golyshenkova shared her experience in developing communities of young professionals as part of the Civic Chamber’s work and noted the effectiveness of different types of expert public associations at the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation: commissions, inter-commission working groups, as well as coordination councils. Furthermore, she told her colleagues from South Ossetia about the Civic Chamber’s project orientation direction. “Each member of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation has the right and opportunity, as is expected, to initiate special projects in the direction of his activities. Each member of the Civic Chamber representing a specific public group should have a project or projects in his respective area that he considers important, mandatory and necessary to develop,” she said.

The Deputy Chairman of the Commission of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation on Development of Agricultural Sector and Rural Areas, member of the Civic Chamber of the Republic of Dagestan Aigun Magomedov spoke about the achievements of the commission, including within the frames of regional work: public hearings on promoting tourism in Dagestan, as well as activities in winemaking and agriculture. In addition, he noted the need for high mountain regions to receive a special status as this could also be relevant for colleagues from the Republic of South Ossetia. “Mountainous territories need to receive preferential advantages from international organizations. In the mountains, expenses are quite different. Because of this, there is a continuous outflow of the population. It is impossible to live the same way as in non-mountainous regions. I am initiating a revision of the model law on the development of mountainous areas. It is being considered now,” he said.

All participants of the meeting noted the importance of open dialogue of civil society in developing international cooperation. The Chairman of the Civic Chamber of the Republic of South Ossetia Sergey Kudziev thanked all the members of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation for a detailed review of the institution’s activities.

Lydia Mikheeva and Sergey Kudziev signed a Memorandum of Cooperation and Understanding between the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation and the Civic Chamber of the Republic of South Ossetia. Under the Memorandum, the parties undertake to make efforts to develop civil society institutions as important consultative instruments and to promote and strengthen the traditional concepts of friendship, solidarity and mutual understanding between the peoples of Russia and South Ossetia through organizing mutual visits of delegations, round tables, seminars and conferences at the expert level on topics relevant to both sides.

During the visit, the delegation of the Civic Chamber of South Ossetia was received by the Vice President of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, Director of the Victory Museum Alexander Shkolnik.

During the meeting, Alexander Shkolnik said that despite the fact that the pandemic had mostly transferred communication with foreign partners online, the Civic Chamber had many plans for developing international projects. In particular, a new coordination council for international cooperation was being created in the new, seventh composition of the Civic Chamber where, in addition to members of the Chamber, the heads of the largest Russian non-profit organizations that carried out international projects would be included.

“I would like the dialogue between our civil societies to be productive and intensive. After all, public figures, as practice shows, can achieve great success through individual efforts in areas where the state is acting too slowly or does not know how to approach the problematic issue. That is why it is so important to develop dialogue, and also to be aware of what worries and occupies the minds of our citizens. I hope your visit will bring our cooperation to a whole new level,” said Alexander Shkolnik.

Alexander Shkolnik also conducted an excursion for the representatives of the Civic Chamber of the Republic of South Ossetia showcasing the new exhibition “Feat of the People.” The exhibition was opened on occasion of the 75th anniversary of Victory and became a key event as part of the Year of Memory and Glory. Members of the delegation of the Civic Chamber of South Ossetia had words of high praise for the museum’s new exposition.

Tags: Svetlana Razvorotneva, Artyom Kiryanov, Aigun Magomedov, Lidia Mikheeva, Olga Golyshenkova, Alexander Shkolnik

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