The dialogue, entitled “Enabling active participation in society” was opened by Laura Trevelyan, a BBC correspondent and moderator for the segment. In her opening comments, Trevelyan described active participation in society as “the basic freedom to associate, to protest, to have an independent voice” and also noted that “around the world that basic freedom is under threat”.


The panel attending the dialogue comprised of; Salil Shetty, Secretary-General of Amnesty International; Alaa Murabit, founder of Voice of Libyan Women, SDG Advocate; Christophe Deloire, Director-General, Reporters Without Borders; and Monika Bickert, Director of Public Policy, Facebook.

In addition to the panel, the dialogue was attended by discussants including; Milan Antonijevic, Director, Lawyers Committee for Human Rights; Maina Kiai, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association; and Michael Windfuhr, Deputy Director, German Institute for Human Rights. 

Milan Antonijevic, whose organization is a member of Human Rights House Belgrade, spoke of three ways that civil society is addressed by the government in Serbia, and other governments in the region. 

Later in the discussion Maina Kiai spoke of the change needed to be brought to the UN to enable space for civil society. 

The debate can be viewed in its entirety here. Please not that the segment “Enabling active participation in society” begins at approximately 1:40:00