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On February 5, 2010, WANGO Secretary General Taj Hamad presented the WANGO Education Award to the Foundation for Education and Self-Help (IFESH) in a ceremony held in Scottsdale, Arizona. The award was received by Dr. Julie H. Sullivan, President and CEO of IFESH, and daughter of famed founder Leon Sullivan.
IFESH is one the premier non-governmental organizations working in sub-Saharan Africa. Based on the concept that education and training is the cornerstone of economic and social reform, IFESH empowers local communities by raising the standard of literacy, including training almost 200,000 teachers. It strives for alleviating hunger and poverty, and fosters cultural, social, and economic relations between Americans and Africans, particularly those Americans who are of African decent.
IFESH was established under the vision and leadership of the late Reverend Leon H. Sullivan, who founded IFESH with the goal of providing developing countries with the educational, economic and social tools and resources necessary to lift people out of poverty. Rev. Sullivan was the first African American appointed to the Board of Directors of a Fortune 500 company. He used his position on the board of General Motors to launch an international campaign to dismantle apartheid in South Africa, and he developed the Sullivan Principles, a code of conduct for human rights and equal opportunity for companies operating in that country. The Sullivan Principles were one of the most effective efforts to end racial discrimination in the workplace in South Africa, and directly contributed to the ending of apartheid.
Global Water Security program, March 22 (United Nations)
In celebrating World Water Day on March 22, WANGO supported the Friends of the United Nations in hosting "Global Water Security: Technologies & Strategies for Sustainable Solutions." Held at the UN and sponsored by Hestiun, this luncheon was held in honor of the President of the General Assembly, Dr. Ali Abdusailam Treki, for convening a High Level Interactive Dialogue on Water, and in support of the International Decade of Action "Water for Life 2005 to 2015."
Code of Ethics of the Family, unveiled May 17 (United Nations)
On May 17, 2010, at an event held at the UN Headquarters in New York for the International Day of Families, WANGO unveiled a Code of Ethics of the Family. This code of ethics and standards of good conduct of the family systematically identifies some of the key universal standards and ethical practices recognized by harmonious families and is designed to be broadly applicable to families worldwide. This was the first public release of this Code after a year of work by an international committee.
The Code was unveiled at a gathering of UN diplomats and NGO leaders for the United Nations International Day of Families Symposium, held on the theme of "The Impact of Migration on Families Around the World." The event was organized by the Universal Peace Federation and sponsored by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Guinea, along with the co-sponsoring Permanent Missions of Kazakhstan, Nepal, Nigeria, Qatar, Sri Lanka, and Sudan.
WANGO's development of the Code of Ethics of the Family comes on the foundation of WANGO's widely acclaimed Code of Ethics and Conduct for NGOs
Unlike the Code of Ethics and Conduct for NGOs, which has numerous, detailed standards (132), the Code of Ethics of the Family is designed to be short and simple. It is designed so that individual families can discuss this code with their family members -- parents and children -- and either adopt it as it is or modify it to make a code individualized for their particular family. It is short enough that they can post it on their wall as a reminder of the basic principles that harmonious families share; their duties as parents, children, and siblings; and their responsibilities as a family to the larger society.
Much of the inspiration for the Code of Ethics of the Family can be attributed to H.E. Dr. Abdelaziz Hegazy, the former Prime Minister of Egypt and current Chairman of the General Federation of NGOs and Foundations. On May 11, 2009, in a private meeting in Cairo with WANGO Secretary General Taj Hamad and Dr. Frederick Swarts, Dr. Hegazy revealed his dream for the development of such a code. Subsequently, in an address prepared for the 2009 International Day of the Families Symposium, an event held on May 18, 2009 and attended by over 400 participants, Dr. Hegazy re-affirmed this goal: "For this reason, we ask civil society organizations . . . to call for the establishment of a code of ethics and standards of good conduct for every family to follow, no matter where they are. The code will form the basis for a social and sacred covenant that highlights the rights and duties for the family and the individual.” After this earlier commemoration of the International Day of the Families, a WANGO committee of NGO leaders and family authorities began their deliberations to develop this Code.
(Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948)
World Congress of NGOs, June 8-9 (Online conference)
The 2010 World Congress of NGOs utilized a unique online platform in gathering leaders of nongovernmental organizations from throughout the world, as well as prominent representatives from the governmental and corporate sectors. The flagship event of WANGO, the World Congress was previously convened in such sites as Bangkok, Budapest, Santo Domingo, Washington, D.C., and Toronto. This 2010 program was a web conference, where participants and presenters took advantage of an interactive platform that allowed real-time communication over the vast distances separating the attendees.
Conveyed from June 8-9 on the theme Enhancing Human Dignity: The Role of NGOs, this World Congress of NGOs featured prominent authorities from a broad spectrum of fields and locations. Reflecting the remarkable possibilities of this new type of conferencing, attendees were able to hear speakers from the Sudan, Egypt, Switzerland, Philippines, Romania, India and elsewhere -- without either the speakers or the participants having to leave their office or home, and with the ability to chat, share slides and photos, and poll the participants. Attendees from Spain, Canada, Estonia, Ecuador, Nigeria, and elsewhere added to the content of the program, many of whom gathered in groups to hear the presentations.
Among presenters were H.E. Dr. Ibrahim Gambari, the Joint Special Representative of UNAMID (Joint Africa Union-United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Darfur), who joined the proceedings live from Sudan.. Dr. Gambari (who previously served as UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs and UN Special Adviser on the International Compact with Iraq and Other Issues), also encouraged a partnership with WANGO to help in informing and engaging the NGO community in addressing the Sudan situation.
One of the highlights of the conference was an interview with Bill Drayton. The Founder, Chair, and CEO of Ashoka, Drayton pioneered the now-globally recognized field of social entrepreneurship.
Also presenting were H.E. Prof. Dr. Abdel Aziz Hegazy, the Former Prime Minister of Egypt and current Chairman of the General Federation of NGOs and Foundations, who was interviewed live from his home in Egypt. Dr. J’Lein Liese, Founder of the Foundation for Global Leadership, interviewed Dr. Hegazy and Bill Drayton.
Georges Roos, Founder of the European Futurists Conference Lucerne, who speaking from his office in Switzerland, addressed future trends expected to impact the NGO sector in the next 20 years. Chris Morris, Head of the NGO and Civil Society Center for the Asian Development Bank, addressed the issue of ethics and NGOs from his office in the Philippines. From Romania, the participants were able to hear from Dr. Aurora Martin, President of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership for Sustainable Development, while from India they heard from Asit Ghosh, Founder and Director of Tuff Trak International.
Katya Andresen and David Nour teamed to present on the theme of “Social Networking”. Ms. Andresen is Vice President of Marketing for Network for Good, the world’s largest provider of online donation services to nonprofits. David Nour is a social networking strategist and one of the foremost thought leaders on the quantifiable value of business relationships. Another highly acclaimed session was that by Staci Pierson. Ms. Pierson is Senior Manager of Special Events for the Rainforest Alliance. In this capacity, Ms. Pierson manages the details of all special events, including the organization’s largest annual fundraising gala that raises close to $1 million, smaller fundraising events, and cultivation events for high end donors, institutional supporters and close friends of the organization.
Martina E. Vandenberg gave a riveting presentation on human trafficking, with stunning information and remarkable insights. Ms. Vandenberg is a recognized authority on the trafficking of women and dedicated to ending this form of modern day slavery and organized criminal activity, which involves both commercial sex trafficking and forced labor trafficking. Jerome Clayton Glenn is a renowned authority in futures research. He is ExecutiveDirector of the American Council for the United Nations University and Director of the Millennium Project -- the latter a global network and futures research think tank of over 500 futurists, scholars, business planners, and policy makers from 50 countries, who work for international organizations, governments, corporations, NGOs, and universities. Jeffrey Hurwit is Founder of the law firm Hurwit & Associates, which provides comprehensive legal counsel exclusively to tax-exempt organizations, foundations and charitable donors.
One of the world’s leading experts on nonprofit technology is Holly Ross, who serves as Executive Director of The Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) and as Editor of Managing Technology to Meet YourMission: A Strategic Guide for Nonprofit Leaders. The conference greatly benefitted from her presentation on “New Technologies to Support Your NGO’s Mission.”
Dr. Richard G. Wilkins and Maggie Gallagher, world renowned for their work on behalf of family issues, teamed for a most timely presentation on the issue of “NGOs and Healing the Family.”
Dialogue for Action, June 24 (New York City)
WANGO joined together with the International Herald Tribune (the global edition of The New York Times) and The New York Forum as partners with the Cécelia Attias Foundation for Women for the Foundation's program "Dialogue for Action."
Held June 24 at the Grand Hyatt in downtown New York City, this event was billed as the first event of its kind to build a dynamic community of organizations that champion the cause of women's dignity, equality, and well-being. NGO leaders gathered from every continent and were provided with a platform for dialogue and sharing best practices, while experts and influencers from the public and private sectors of business, politics, media, and academia provided insight to identify solutions to the most pressing issues facing women.
Dialogue for Action is a new platform for Non-Governmental Organizations to discuss the significant issues that women face around the world. It is a project of the Cécelia Attias Foundation for Women, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating and expanding a community of NGOs, philanthropists, and business leaders that are all committed to achieving tangible improvements in the lives of women worldwide. The Foundation provides a strategic, financial, and media platform for established nongovernmental organizations, associations, and charities who champion the cause of women’s equality and well-being. The president and founder of the Foundation is the former First Lady of France, Cécelia Attias.
An annual event, Dialogue for Action was held in conjunction with the inaugural New York Forum, which took place from June 22-23 in the same location. The New York Forum was organized by Richard Attias, the husband of Cecilia Attias, and gathered top CEOs (Fortune 1000 CEOs), sovereign fund managers, financial experts, and governmental leaders from around the world. Richard Attias produced the World Economic Forum for 13 years and launched the Clinton Global Initiative. The New York Forum is the New Davos, but one specifically focused on finding solutions for the economy, rather than the broad issues (health, culture, sports, etc.) now part of the over 300-session World Economic Forum.
Gathering for Dialogue for Action was truly a blue-ribbon gathering. Mrs. Zanele Mbeki, the former first lady of South Africa and founder of the Women's Development Bank, addressed the event, as did Sophie Delaunay, the executive director of Doctors Without Borders, and Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women's World Banking. Also presenting were the presidents, CEOs, or executive directors of such NGOs as Muslim Women Resource Center, Pro Mujer, Partnership for New York City, International Women's Health Coalition, Congolese Women League for Election, Tostan, Her Rights Initiative, UNIFEM, SAATHI, Women Without Borders, and Women for Women International.
The media and business worlds were represented by facilitators Cindi Leive (Editor-in-Chief, Glamour Magazine) and Sade Baderinwa (Anchor/Reporter WABC-TV), and speakers such as Alison Smale (Executive Editor, International Herald Tribune), Pamela Gross (Editor at Large, The Hill), and Dina Powell (President of Goldman Sachs Foundation).
Among the governmental representatives were Ambassador Craig Stapleton, the former ambassador to France, and Fernando Villalonga, the Consul General of Spain. Participants such as Ms. Janet Robinson (President and CEO, The New York Times Company), Ms. Adriana Quinones (Manager, United Nations Trust Fund, UNIFEM), Ms. Ann Nicol (Executive Director, United Nations Association), and Ms. Christine Alfsen (Director, a.i., UNESCO) made for very rich discussions, as participants sought concrete steps to address issues of pressing import for women worldwide.
Amendments of WANGO Bylaws
WANGO Bylaws can be altered only by cooperative action of both the International Council (two-thirds vote of the total membership of the Council) and the WANGO membership (majority vote of voting members of those present at a General Assembly meeting). From time to time since the formation of WANGO, the Bylaws have been improved by such means. Generally, such changes in the past have been in order to expand membership rights.
In 2009, further changes to the Bylaws were recommended. These suggestions were designed to (1) allow greater flexibility for when to hold the General Assembly (Membership Meeting) and International Council Meetings; (2) enhance the ability of the voting members of the Association to elect International Council members and vote on issues by allowing such votes to take place by paper or electronic ballot during years in which the General Assembly does not take place; and (3) allowing members of the International Council to meet by means of conference telephone, Internet communication, or similar communications equipment. These Bylaws changes were unanimously approved by the International Council during its 2008 Annual Meeting and were unanimously approved by the WANGO Membership gathered for the 2010 General Assembly Meeting at the World Congress of NGOs.
WANGO Africa Conference, July 1-4 (Nairobi, Kenya)
Participants from Belgium, France, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States joined attendees from many African nations for the 2010 WANGO Africa Regional Conference. Dubbed Kenya 2010, this event served as a leading meeting for representatives of local, regional, and international NGO – as well as government, business and support agencies – in the region and beyond.
The 2010 WANGO Africa Conference was the second edition of a WANGO regional conference/retreat held in Africa.. This event was held at the Sentrim Hotel & Lodges in Nairobi, Kenya from Thursday, July 1 through Sunday, July 4. The theme of the conference was Non-State Actors and Ethical Reorientation. The 2010 WANGO Africa Conference came on the foundation of the successful 2008 conference in Accra, Ghana.
Kenya 2010 served as a leading meeting for representatives of local, regional, and international NGOs, government, business and support agencies in the region and beyond. It addressed issues crucial to the growth and development of the humanitarian sector in sub-Saharan Africa and the world at large.
The conference also served as a rallying point for NGO activities and as the centerpiece of the Association’s activities in the region, professional development, and sustainable development programs, as well as corporate social engagement in efforts towards active volunteerism. Participants were provided a unique opportunity to acquire the mechanism and support needed to network, brainstorm, and share innovative ideas that assist in the management of their NGOs to multiply their efforts in solving humanity' basic problems.
Among the highlights was a presentation by Leonard N. Kimani, who serves as the Economic Director of Kenya's National Economic and Social Council (NESC) of the Presidency & Cabinet Affairs Office. Mr. Kimani noted the integral role that NGOs play in shaping important social and development policies in Nigeria and policing the public sector. At present, the civil society sector accounts for 5% of the nation's GDP. And with 5,000 registered NGOs, the third sector continues to grow in size and importance.
Among other presenters, were Jean-Jacques Schul (President of the board of directors of IDAY International, the International Day of African Youth), Dr. Jerry Kolo (Professor, American University of Sharjah, UAE), Dr. Frederick Swarts (Assistant Sectretary General, WANGO), Dr. Alvan Quamina (AIDS Project of East Bay, California), Quadri Oluwatosin (Executive Director, Development and Leadership Institute, Nigeria), among many others.
Annual Conference of the Chinese Eminent Business Association
In the second half of August 2010, the Secretary General was invited by the Chinese Eminent Business Association as a guest of honor and speaker in their Annual Conference. Special invitation was given to Dr. Sun Jo Hwang, who also attended. The event was held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, and attended by several thousand participants, including government officials, businessmen, NGOs.
This was followed by a meeting in Beijing on December, 22 to further develop the relationship.
Relocation of International Headquarters
The International body of WANGO maintains two main offices: the International Headquarters and the Office of United Nations Affairs, among other satellite offices. The later has been located at 866 UN Plaza since the inception of WANGO, and also serves as the official registered office of the Association. The International Headquarters, which carries out the bulk of the organization's activities, is located about one hour north of New York City, in Tarrytown, NY.
During September, WANGO made a new move from its offices at 155 White Plains Road to new offices at 200 White Plains Road.
Election of New Chair of the WANGO International Council.
In September of 2010, a new chair was elected for the International Council. The International Council is the supreme governing body of WANGO. It is responsible to supervise and approve decisions affecting the Association's goals, policies, plans, and programs, as well as assumes basic responsibility for funding all programs and support services. Members of the Council are elected by the membership to three-year terms (but may be re-elected), with candidates for membership being official representatives of Regular or Senior Organization Members or WANGO Fellows (a special category of individual members). Vacancies are filled by vote of the remaining Council members for the remainder of the term. The officers of the International Council – including the Chair, one or more Vice-Chairs, the Treasurer of the Association, and the Secretary of the Association – are in turn elected by majority vote of the International Council members.
On September 20, members of the International Council elected Dr. Sun Jo Hwang to the post of Chair. Dr. Hwang is an official representative of the Universal Peace Federation, a long-time WANGO Senior Organization Member, which has provided much financial and logistical support for WANGO over the years. Dr. Sun Jo Hwang also serves as CEO of the IL-Sange Ocean Industry Cooperation and as Chairman of the Council of the Ambassadors for Peace Association, the latter an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Furthermore, he serves as President of the Citizen’s Action for Peace in Korea and as Chairman of the Universal Peace Federation in Korea. Prior to these positions, Dr. Hwang served as Vice President of Se-Gye Times, a daily newspaper in South Korea and Chairman of the Citizens Federation for the Unification of North and South Korea. Dr. Hwang received his Ph.D. in Education Sociology form Hong-ik University in South Korea.
Cooperative Agreement between WANGO and the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
One of the earliest WANGO chapters established was the Nigeria Chapter, which was approved on October 21, 2004. So effective was the leadership of Country Director Mr. Mohammed B. Attah, and so encompassing was his vision and effort for the Continent in general, that the International Council a few years later decided to set up its Africa Regional Headquarters in Nigeria and elected Mr. Attah as its Africa Regional Coordinator. He has spearheaded important initiatives in Africa, including the Zero Illiteracy Programme and two Africa Regional Conference, one in Ghana and one in Kenya. The later event was completely self-supported, without funds from the international body of WANGO.
On August 9, 2010, Mohammed Attah completed negotiations and signed an agreement between the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO). This partnership provides WANGO greater flexibility in promoting a strong voice among NGOs in Nigeria and the promoting of "ethical standards, good governance, accountability and ethical behavior using" WANGO's "Code of Ethics and Conduct for NGOs." Among many benefit according WANGO are those related to custom duties and taxes related to imports for its projects and Non-Nigerian personnel, entry permits, and so forth.
Compliance Manual and Russian Translation of WANGO's Code of Ethics and Conduct for NGOs
The Code of Ethics and Conduct for NGOs – a set of fundamental principles, operational principles and standards to guide the actions of management of NGOs – has been cited, adopted, and adapted by numerous NGOs worldwide. Developed under the auspices of WANGO, the Code was formulated by an international committee representing the wide spectrum of the non-governmental community and included input from NGO leaders from all regions of the world. Numerous standards and codes of conduct and ethics from NGOs and NGO associations worldwide were consulted in formulating this code. Designed to be broadly applicable to the worldwide NGO community, the Code has been translated into several languages, via the effort of the NGO community itself. On the WANGO website, one can find copies of the Spanish and Arabic versions, but it also has been translated into two Sri Lanka dialects and Lithuanian.
In 2010, WANGO unveiled the Compliance Manual, a tool to help NGOs access whether their policies and practices are currently in alignment with the Code of Ethics and Conduct for NGOs. The Compliance Manual is designed to be used as both a checklist and a catalyst for discussion for NGO staff to review, reflect, and discuss core principles, standards and ways of conducting services and activities. It also forms the basis for self-certification of the NGO.
There now is an effort to translate both the Code of Ethics and Conduct for NGOs and the Compliance Manual into Russian. The Soros Foundation-Kazakhstan (SFK), in the framework of its Public Finance Transparency program, is currently assisting a group of Kazakhstan’s NGOs in improving their governance standards. For such reasons, SFK is engaged, with WANGO's permission, in translating these two documents into Russian and supplementing them with an addendum containing recommendations on how these international standards could be best applied in the context of Kazakhstan.
Distinguished Senior Citizens Conference, December 3-6 (Istanbul, Turkey)
WANGO joined the International Federation for Ageing in supporting a major conference held by Turyak, an umbrella group for elders based. This 2nd International Distinguished Senior Citizens Conference took place December 3-6, 2010 in Istanbul. The conference provided a platform for leading senior citizens to offer solutions for diverse challenges (economic, ecological, etc.) confronting the world.
Fundraising Q + A
In December, WANGO unveiled a new feature on its website. Dr. Michael Gershowitz, an expert on grant writing, answers questions on fundraising and grantwriting to WANGO members and subscribers. Founder of Gershowitz Grant & Evaluation Services and a long-time WANGO friend, Prof. Gershowitz also directs the federal grants program for a major US university.