II Baltic Sea NGO forum. 2002

The Russian CBSS Presidency
II Baltic Sea NGO forum
19-20 April 2002, Saint-Petersburg

Dear friends!

The co-operation around Baltic Sea is getting the new impulse under the last years. Different structures and organisations held their events devoted to the all variety of fields of co-operation in Baltic region.

Though all nations around Baltic Sea have strong cultural, historic and economic ties, binding them together as one region, political development and civil society status of Eastern and Western parts of the region differs strongly from each other. The very important roll in the process towards sustainable development and building of civil society can be played by NGO sector.

NGOs are able to contribute to further Baltic co-operation in different areas, first of all in the fields of social care, environment, human rights, international relationships. In order to be fully and equally involved into the planning and implementing process Baltic NGOs have a strong need to have it's own arena, meeting point.

During the its presidency in Council of Baltic Sea States (CBSS), Germany took the initiative to held the Baltic NGO Forum, it was organised in 28-29 May 2001 in Lubeck. The preparatory for this event Baltic NGO meeting was held in Copenhagen in March, which conclusions were formed in Copenhagen declaration.

One of the most important decisions taken in Lubeck's Forum was to held the annual Baltic NGO Forum in the country, chairing CBSS.

This year the presidency in CBSS belongs to Russia. No doubt that to held Baltic NGO Forum in Russia will mean the great contribution to further development of civil society, strengthening the roll of the third sector in our country. St. Petersburg, which is Russia's Northern capital, also preparing for its 300 anniversary is a very right and natural place for this important event.

So, 2nd Annual Baltic CBSS/NGO FORUM will take place in St. Petersburg, 18 - 21 April 2002.

Norden Association in St. Petersburg, being national focal point for NGO's Baltic co-operation, has been appointed to perform as co-ordinator for this event also. The preparation process is now going on full run.

We would specially underline the great value and importance of participation from both Western and Eastern parts of Baltic region, though the financial possibilities are of course different. In that case the financial support from national or international foundations or other structures will be highly appreciated.

We are looking forward to meet the participants from all countries - CBSS members!

On behalf of preparatory committee,
Darja Ahutina, director Norden Association
National focal point