In the year 2005, WANGO published and made the Code of Ethics and Conduct for NGOs available for the international community, completed the first phase of its peace through soccer initiative in thirty-one nations worldwide, inaugurated several new national chapters, and was represented in several significant international conferences.
On February 5, 2005, the WANGO Universal Peace Award 2004 was presented to H.E. Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda, the first President of the Republic of Zambia, at an Award Luncheon during the 3rd International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) African Conference held in Lusaka, Zambia. H.E. Dr. Kaunda was bestowed the Universal Peace Award, WANGO’s highest award to individuals, because of his remarkable service to humanity, both in politics and in the non-governmental sector.
Taj Hamad, Secretary General of WANGO, and Dr. Noel Brown, Award Committee Chairperson, were present to confer the Award. Mr. Hamad acknowledged that Dr. Kaunda is truly one of the great peace-loving sons of Africa, who has worked toward the goal of peace, freedom, and well being for the people of Zambia and Africa at great personal sacrifice. His long record of seeking solutions to the most difficult problems facing people in this region, and his bold and steadfast work to bring about non-violent social and political change makes him one of the world’s leading beacons for peace of our time. Zambezi Times reported of the emotional acceptance speech by the Universal Peace Awardee, when Dr. Kaunda, acknowledged as “a living legend” and “a visionary leader in the forefront of the movement to liberate all of Africa,” recognized those who had gone before him, many of whom had given their lives to the cause of freedom. (Universal Peace Award 2004)
The Fifth Annual All Nigeria NGO Summit and Exposition, organized by NGO Guide 2000, with the support of the World Association of NGOs (WANGO), Organization for Research of World Peace (ORWP), and the Lagos and Bauchi State Governments, was held February 24-26, 2005 in Bauchi, Nigeria. Two hundred seventy participants from various NGOs, government, corporate organizations, media, academia and civil society were in attendance. The objectives of the Summit, with the theme Polity, Stakeholders and Survival of Democracy, was to renew the role of NGOs as part of the polity and stakeholders in the survival of democracy in Nigeria, to plan strategy to move the Nigerian NGOs in the global race to meet the Millennium Development Goals of poverty reduction, democracy, good governance and human rights attainment, and to articulate clear standards needed for the pursuit of excellence in NGO operation, administration and regulation.
After two and a half years of effort, WANGO's Code of Ethics and Conduct for NGOs was published in March 2005. The members of WANGO, surveyed regarding this Code in the month of May, gave it an extremely high approval rating. Ninety-one percent of those who responded were in favor of WANGO member organizations being offered the opportunity to self-certify that they meet the standards noted in the Code of Ethics and Conducts for NGOs.
Self-certification by an NGO would be voluntary; it would not be a requirement of WANGO membership. On the basis of the completed membership survey, the recommendation of the Membership Committee, and the approval of the International Executive Committee, the Code will service as the ethics and conduct code for the Association. The Code is available online on the WANGO website. NGOs worldwide have signed as supporters of the Code of Ethics and Conduct for NGOs. (Support the Code)
On March 27, 2005, the WANGO Sri Lanka Chapter was inaugurated before a gathering of 100 persons at the Samadeepa Centre in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. The thirty-one NGO founding members made a collective effort for the formation of the chapter in Sri Lanka.
Secretary General of WANGO, Taj Hamad, participated in a debate, Africa Series Part One, held June 15, 2005, at The British Museum in London, U.K., sponsored by The British Museum and The Guardian newspaper. The topic, “Currencies of Trust: God and Mammon. Has Religion Succeeded Where the Nation State has Failed?” provided a thought provoking event.
The open forum addressed the issue of whether religion has succeeded where the African nation state has failed, and where Africa can put its trust and hope in the future -- God or man. Chaired by Jon Snow, writer and BBC broadcaster, the diverse panel included Neil Mac Gregor, Director, The British Museum; Dr. Christopher Davis, writer and anthropologist; Bishop Joseph Osei-Bonsu, Bishop of Konongo-Mampong Diocese, Ghana; Ian Linden, writer on politics and development, with focus on religion and conflict in Africa; Ebenezer Obadare, fellow at the London School of Economics; and Taj Hamad, Secretary General of the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations.
Mr. Hamad noted that the nation state and religions must take the work of the NGOs seriously. NGOs are taking on the role left undone by others. He cited that many people think that faith-based NGOs are all evangelical Christian, but a faith-based NGO can be Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu; it is one who has affirmed faith in God. He affirmed that it is necessary to take a wider view of faith-based NGOs, and recognize their value in society.
From July 2004 to May 2005, Play Soccer Make Peace! (PSMP!) tournaments were held in thirty one nations, and prizes were awarded, with WANGO members and affiliated NGOs coordinating the tournaments. A minimum of eight teams participated in each country's project, sometimes more. In Gaza, there were sixteen teams representing all the supporting factions. The countries in which PSMP! tournaments were held included Nigeria, Ghana, Democratic Republic Congo, Zambia, Solomon Islands, Liberia, Estonia, Mongolia, Guyana, Cameroon, Senegal, India, Kenya, Palau, Israel, Gaza, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Peru, Cambodia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Nepal, Uganda, Albania, Ukraine, Benin, Jordan, Marshall Islands, and Angola.
Mohammad Darawshe, the local representative in Israel, reported that “during the tournament, Jewish and Arab youth and coaches had the chance to come into contact with one another and partake in joint activity,…something that does not happen enough in our country.” In Nigeria, the winning team had players from two warring communities in its club. As the first prizewinners were recognized, the families of the players, who were sworn enemies for years, met for the first time at the ceremony to rejoice their awards and victory. Evans Lombe of Zambia reported that, at first, two football clubs did not want to interact for fear of the other learning of the team’s plans and strategies. After their orientation that PSMP! it is not only about winning a game or the tournament, but rather to come together, to share, and inspire each other in building peace, respect and love among themselves, the two teams played in the tournament, and after continued to visit each other for friendly tournaments, and to do community service together.
All thirty-one PSMP! tournaments were very successful. The players connected to the vision of PSMP!, its Principles and Codes, while unique aspects of the country's culture and history with soccer were reflected in each of the tournaments. The vision of Play Soccer Make Peace! continues to grow with the great input and effort of the WANGO members who bring their creativity, enthusiasm and drive to the project.
On August 3, 2005, Dr. Frederick Swarts, Anne Smart, Jean Rondon, Taira Fujita, and Hyang Sook Lee participated in the 2nd Annual International Roundtable on Service and Volunteerism in Washington D.C. At the Roundtable, better practices, policies, and initiatives used in conflict resolution, response to global disasters, meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and sustaining the private sector with service and volunteerism were shared. Discussion topics varied, ranging from "National Service Policy to Global Service Moment" and "Breakthrough Research Findings on Volunteering and Service" to "Youth Volunteerism."
Dr. Noel Brown, a WANGO International Council member, participated in the International Leadership Convocation in New York City on September 12, 2005. In the session, “Civil Society, and Non-State Actors in the 21st Century: Challenging and Strengthening the UN, and Transforming the World," Dr. Brown spoke on the integral role that the non-governmental community plays in today’s society and the necessity for a healthy partnership between the government and the NGOs.
The WANGO Conference 2005 was held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic from November 17-20. With the theme, The Role of NGOs in Creating a World Fit for Children, NGOs were called to rise to the challenge in doing their part in creating a world fit for children.
Three plenary sessions addressed the most effective approaches to obtaining the 2005 conference theme. The opening plenary, NGOs, in Partnership with Government, Effecting a New Tomorrow for Our Children, discussed the global challenges of abuse, HIV/AIDS, sale and trafficking of children, hazardous and exploitative labor, persistent poverty, terrorism, armed conflict and discrimination that the youth face in today’s world, and emphasized the need for NGOs to take the responsibility to face and overcome these difficulties. The second session, Youth Envisioning a World Fit for Children, was composed of a panel of youth leaders who offered their own perspective on how to obtain a world fit for children. It was followed by an interactive plenary session, Creating a World Fit for Children through the Millennium Development Goals: The Role of NGOs, which provided the opportunity for participants to break into smaller groups to discuss the application and progress of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals. Professional training, empowerment sessions, and networking opportunities filled out the schedule. (2005 Conference website)
Two new WANGO chapters were officially recognized during the General Assembly at the WANGO Conference. The chapters, both in Africa, are in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Zambia. (WANGO chapters)
The 2005 WANGO Awards Banquet was held during the Conference in the evening of November 19 at the La Fiesta Theater in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Five WANGO Awards were presented in the categories of Education (Bharativa Jain Sanghatana (BJS) of India), Humanitarian (Ladies Charitable Society (LCS) of Iran), Society and Health (Hogar Crea Dominicano), Peace and Security (Roots of Peace), and a special award for a Century of Service to Humanity and Society (Rotary International). (2005 WANGO Awards)