ORT IC presentation at the United Nations


17 October 2005 ORT International Cooperations work with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro has been presented to an international conference at the UNs New York headquarters. ORT ICs work in the Balkan republic was chosen from among thousands of projects by organisations around the world to be presented at a midday workshop as part of the UN Department of Public Informations annual NGO conference, which this year focused on the rule of law. ORT ICs Montenegro Advocacy Programme (MAP), which is funded by USAID, has empowered local NGOs to identify public policy concerns that resonate with a broad cross section of civil society and has helped them to mobilise expertise and resources to tackle these issues effectively. MAP Project Director Claire ORiordons 30-minute presentation highlighted MAPs achievements in the training, technical assistance and grants given to local NGOs that undertake watchdog roles including the drafting of legislation, lobbying parliament to pass new laws and, finally, working to ensure the implementation of laws. MAP Project Director Claire ORiordon and Grants Manager Marija Vukovic at the United Nations. One such success, said ORT ICs Washington-based Director Celeste Angus, was the HIV/AIDS organisation that had worked with the health authorities to shorten the waiting time for supplying retroviral drugs to AIDS patients from three months to five days. Another success is the NGO that convinced the government to abide by provisions in the social and child legislation to provide disabled access to schools and government buildings. We got the best response of the five groups giving presentations, said Ms Angus. The room was packed and everyone was very interested in our programme because it is very concrete in terms of results. The other organisations presenting were: Peoples Decade for Human Rights Education, Observatory for Cultural and Audiovisual Communication, World Council for Psychotherapy, and the Jan Mangal Public Charitable Trust. In 1992, Montenegro and Serbia formed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Since then there have been regional conflicts and the arrest of President Slobodan Milosevic for crimes against humanity. The State Union of Serbia and Montenegro was proclaimed in 2003. Since 1960, ORT IC has provided non-sectarian humanitarian support to disadvantaged people in 92 countries throughout the developing world, benefiting some two million people.