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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-12-08

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Regional conference on NGOs opens
  • [02] Cyprus ranks high in freedom of national economy

  • 1040:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Regional conference on NGOs opens

    Nicosia, Dec 8 (CNA) -- A three-day regional conference on the development and empowerment of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) was opened here Monday by US Ambassador to Cyprus, Kenneth Brill.

    Participating are around 200 specialists in NGOs from Greece, the US and Turkey. Attending the conference are also representatives from the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.

    The foreign experts are expected to lead the workshop and provide ideas about the "nuts and bolts, practicalities and ideas about NGOs", said Dr. Judith Baroody, Public Affairs Officer of the US Embassy.

    Addressing the conference, Brill said it is encouraging that there are so many people working in so many ways to make lives better for the people in their communities.

    "That is why the US and other countries, strongly support the work and concepts of NGOs", Brill said.

    The goal of the conference, he said, "is to help NGOs become more effective, more dynamic and more sustainable".

    The ambassador noted NGOs were seen at the forefront of change for the better in society.

    "They (NGO) play an important role in policy, planning, development, implementation and monitoring of programmes that advance the progress of important causes, from the environment, to health care, women's rights, to the prevention of drug abuse", he added.

    Brill referred to the recently signed landmine treaty and the ongoing Kyoto conference on climate change, noting that in both these cases, NGOs have largely set the policy agenda.

    "It is governments and official bodies that are responding to them, and not the other way round", he said.

    Brill predicted that this pattern "will become more common place in the next century".

    "It is an extraordinarily healthy development, which will further advance civil society in the exercise of political rights by the free citizens of a free, democratic world", he added.

    The American ambassador expressed the hope that the groups represented at the conference will find ways of potential cooperation among them.

    The conference will examine the role and importance of NGOs in increasing the pace of democratic development.

    It will further focus on cooperation and networking among NGOs in the pursuit of common goals.

    CNA EC/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1050 CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Cyprus ranks high in freedom of national economy

    by George Yiannaki

    Nicosia, Dec 8 (CNA) -- Cyprus ranks 21st on a list of 42 European and North American countries according to the freedom of their national economies, a report by the American Heritage Foundation says.

    The Heritage Foundation, founded in 1973, is a research and educational institute, a think-tank, whose mission is to formulate and promote public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, and individual freedom.

    Governed by an independent Board of Trustees, the Foundation is a non- partisan institution, which relies on the private financial support of the general public for its income. More than 200.000 contributors make it the mosty broadly supported in the USA.

    The Heritage Foundation report on Economic Freedom rates the freedom of the 42 countries' national economies, with 1 being the best and 5 the worst, in trade, tax, monetary and banking policy, government intervention in the economy, capital flows and foreign investment, wage and price controls, regulation, and the size of the black market.

    Cyprus has a score of 2,60 the same as Portugal, while the US and Switzerland, both having a score of 1,90 are in first place, followed by the UK and Luxembourg (1,95), and Ireland (2,00).

    One member-state of the European Union (EU), Greece, has a less free economy, scoring 2,90, while another EU member-state, Portugal, was granted the same score as Cyprus.

    On the other hand, Cyprus ranks third among the six countries aspiring to EU membership within the framework of the EU first enlargement.

    Specifically, Cyprus presents a better score than Slovenia (3,10), Poland (2,95) and Hungary (2,90), but its economy is less free than Estonia (2,15) and the Czech Republic (2,20).

    Malta, with which the EU had also decided to begin accession talks, scored 2,85, leaving it behind Cyprus. (However, the tiny Mediterranean state has frozen its EU accession process).

    It has to be noted that with the exception of Japan and Australia, all of the western developed economies were included in the study.

    According to the Heritage Foundation, Bosnia-Herzegovina, which scored 4,80 and Belarus, which scored 4,05, have the least free economies.

    CNA GG/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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