Thabane opens NGO week

CELINAH MATSIE

MASERU – The Prime Minister of Lesotho Motsoahae Thomas Thabane yesterday officially opened the 20th Non-Governmental Organisation [NGO] week and the 30th Lesotho Council of Non-Governmental Organisation Annual General meeting at Manthabiseng Convention Centre.

In his remarks, Thabane said the coalition government highly values and appreciates the work that is done by the civil society.

He said he has been part of the NGO week since assuming the position of the Prime Minister and ever since he has developed a great interest in their work.

“The theme of the 20th NGO week, namely: “Our Natural Resources Democratic Space and Human Rights –Not Negotiable, could not have been more appropriate in our local context.”

“This theme comes under discussion at a time when Lesotho is undergoing comprehensive national reforms which, among others, will address issues relating to the use of our natural resources for the benefit of Basotho, good governance and observance of human rights,” Thabane said.

Thabane stated further that Basotho, through the recently concluded National Dialogue, reiterated the fact that the natural resources, respect for democracy and human rights are not negotiable, hence forming the basics for the development and peace for a stable democracy and security.

Thabane applauded the choice of the theme which he said he hopes will add value to the ongoing reforms process.

“Civil society under the leadership of the Lesotho Council of Non-governmental Organisation [LCN] has contributed immensely to the reforms process. It is my hope that you will walk with us on this journey of ensuring that we have strong and effective parliament, depolarised, an an efficient and independent judiciary and the security sector that is truly under civilian control. These are our citizen’s aspirations and they are not negotiable.

“Among the challenges we face is the issue of climate change,” Thabane said. “Today we are experiencing the effects of global warming that severely affect our food productivity. It is important for all of us that we understand that this is reality. We must join hands together with civil society in finding ways of minimising the negative effects of climate change.”

Thabane stated that as the government they commit to any proposal that would help them to mitigate the problem. He pleaded with the delegates to go back to their respective constituencies towards preserving natural resources that include wetlands that must be protected.

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