21st May 2016
CEPS HOLD ITS SECOND AGM SINCE INCEPTION
CEPS held its second Annual General Meeting on Saturday 21st of May 2016 at the ICCS. Thirty seven member organisations attended the AGM. The welcome was made by CEPS Secretary, Mrs. Marie Nella Azemia who presented the AGM agenda, which members unanimously adopted.
This was followed by the review and adoption of last CEPS AGM which was held in November 2014. The same process was conducted for the minutes meeting of the CEPS Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) that was held in November 2015.
The Chairperson of CEPS, Mr. Jules Hoareau then presented a report on behalf of the CEPS Board. He noted that 2014 was a very busy year for the platform. Despite the fact that it faced numerous challenges, CEPS actively engaged in various spheres and there has been a great deal of networking and collaborations at both national and international level.
He noted that at policy level, CEPS has taken the lead on many issues at platform level and through the membership. Mr Hoareau went on to say that the platform has been very vocal when it comes to environmental, social, economic and political. He specifically mentioned civil society’s engagement in the national budget process, consultation and inputs in the district council legislation, the proposed financial regulations in partnership with FIU, the Cap Ternay project lead by the CEPS Environmental & Natural Resources commission in collaboration with the different environment organisations in the country.
Mr Hoareau also touched on CEPS representations on numerous national committees and boards. He pointed out that the contribution of CEPS on such decision making bodies is vital, as it ensures that the interest of the citizens are taken into consideration at such level. He added that some of the challenges in that respect are the lack of feedback and reporting from some members representing CEPS at this level.
He also touched on the fact that CEPS has welcomed countless international organizations and met with numerous of representatives through meetings and dialogues. These have included the EU, IMF.
The most important international recognition last year was when CEPS took the chairmanship of SADC-CNGO during the organization’s General Assembly held in South Africa.
The chairperson also mentioned that during the 2014, CEPS has established important collaboration with its Mauritian counterpart ‘Macoss’ whereby an MoU was signed as part of the setting up of this regional block for the civil society in the Indian Ocean.
To further add to CEPS’ engagement regionally, Mr Hoareau informed the AGM that in the area of capacity building, CEPS has initiated talks with the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) for potential assistance for its members.
In conclusion, the CEPS Chairperson saluted all those working in the civil society sector. “To all volunteers and our CEPS’ members, I say thank you for your dedication and commitment. Over the past months you have done an excellent work in ‘touching hearts and shaping lives ‘of our fellow brothers and sisters.”
The Chairman’s report was followed by the presentation and adoption of Secretariat Report. The Project & Events Manager touched on the activities held in 2014, which included CEPS participation in ‘Zil Pros An Mouvman’, National Day Expo, Commemoration of the Value of Determination, Constitutional Day discussion under the theme ‘Citizens as Guardian of the Constitution’, Forum with presidential candidates during the December elections and various other forums where CEPS member organisations were represented. Members also learnt of the series of induction sessions held in 2014, undertaken by the CEPS Secretariat. The sessions gave newly elected commissioners the opportunity to understand the roles of a commission within a civil society platform.
The Membership and Communication Department informed the AGM that in 2014 the online membership form was launched for the benefit of members. The first newsletter was published in November of 2014. A second edition was published in November 2015 and that from 2016 onwards, the newsletter will be published quarterly. The CEPS Members page and the Directory of NGOs has been re designed but is yet to be launched as information are still being uploaded to them respectively. Members were also informed that the CEPS Facebook page is very active with posts and videos being uploaded on a daily basis. The C&MD staff hopes that the page becomes a point of interest for the Board members, accredited and non-accredited members, CEPS secretariat, public & media relations, the Seychellois Community, Seychelles Government, Donor, and Corporate Stakeholders. There have been 15 new members joining the platform in 2015. Altogether CEPS has a total 54 members. The AGM was also informed that in 2015, 5 CSO’s applied for Charity Status. The decrease in the amount, from 14 in 2014, is due to the interest caused by the introduction of the CSR Tax and the awareness raised on the fact that businesses can donate to associations.
During the AGM, three elections were held to fill in the positions on three of CEPS’ Committees.
Mrs. Rose-Mary Elisabeth of Woman in ‘Action & Solidarity Organisation’ was elected as commissioner of Socio-Economic Commission. Lucianne Sophola from Association for Rights Information and Democracy was elected as a member on the Credential Committee, following the stepping down of Mrs. Veronique Letourdie. A new committee was for the CEPS Projects Fund Committee was also elected and the newly elected members are Mrs. Hilda Chetty, Mrs. Sonia Mancienne, Mr. Mervin Fanny, Mrs Eline Moses & Mrs. Anne Jacques.
Two motions were tabled at the AGM. The first came from the Credentials Committee and the Board, requesting that the General Assembly approve the review of the procedure for selecting members for the composition of Commissions, re clustering of the commissions and other requirements and provisions relating to the commissions. The second motion tabled was as per Section 10 of the Constitution on Financial provisions, 10.1 of CEPS which states that the financial year of the Board shall be the period of 12 months commencing from 1st January and ending 31st December in each year. The Board requests the general assembly approve that the AGM be convened latest before the end of March of the following year. Both motions were approve unanimously approved