Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan. (FP)

Government would not be fulfilling its mandate of good governance without the inclusion of the Third sector.

Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan, alluded to this today as he addressed the start of the Second Capacity workshop for members of third sector organisations, carried via the Zoom platform.

Noting that it was his Ministry’s role to facilitate, develop and provide assistance to Third Sector organisations, Minister Jordan said: “Government recognises that it is not possible to govern without the full inclusion of all sectors of our society.” 

Recalling that one of Government’s first meetings was with the Social Partnership, he stressed that it signalled the intention to govern and manage the country in a collaborative way, working with partners, and was recognition that “you really cannot manage a country without engaging others in the country.”

The Labour Minister further shared that in recent deliberations with the International Labour Organisation, he had also emphasised and pushed the need for social dialogue to be extended to include the Third Sector/Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

Referring to the workshop’s theme of Good Governance, Mr. Jordan pointed out that Government had, from the onset, preached the need for “being transparent, being open and including partners” and this was now being shared with the Third Sector who are encouraged to believe and practise these same values and who by attending the workshop would make their organisations better and assist Government to reach segments of the society.

Minister Jordan also updated the Third Sector on where Government was with promised legislation, stating that the draft legislation was now with the Ministry of International Business and Industry, the entity responsible for charities and managing the Charities Act, and upon its return to the Ministry, would be finalised and sent to Cabinet.

Expressing gratitude to the UNDP and the Caribbean Policy Development Centre, he noted that they were instrumental in facilitating the workshops and getting the regulatory framework for the Third Sector legislation in place.

Meanwhile, National coordinator, Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP), David Bynoe, in supporting the workshop, said: “The GEF Small Grants Programme implemented by UNDP is present within 125 countries around the world and in each country, we place premium on developing the capacity of civil society. 

“Since the inception of SGP in 1992, capacity building among civil society organisations has remained a critical cross cutting element in SGP’s work, so much so that SGP sets aside at least 10 per cent of its grant making, to engage specifically in capacity building activities for our civil society partners.”

The Capacity Building workshop concludes tomorrow, Thursday, November 19.

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