By Shabbir Hussain
ISLAMABAD, June 17 (Diplomatic Star): Resident Representative of Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) Dr. Steffen Kudella on Friday called for collective efforts to establish a more sustainable and strong democratic culture in the country, besides creating awareness among the masses about its benefits of good governance and for social uplifts.
Addressing an event organized by the HSF Pakistan titled ‘Training of Trainers on Democratic Devolution and Good Governance’ Dr Steffen said that today the people of Pakistan are facing multiple problems which can not be tackled without effective democratic government and through its actions of good governance.
Dr Steffen said that the objective of the Training of Trainers is to strengthen democratic structures and good governance in Pakistan through an intensive training of relevant Pakistani multipliers.
The session, he said, will mainly support the capacity of young trainers and develop their political and democratic competencies. It will also familiarize them with respective HSF project objectives. In the future, the trainers will be engaged as multipliers in HSF’s projects Model Council of Common Interests (CCI) and Political Cadre Development Program among others, he added.
There is a famous saying of a social scientist Antione de St. Exupery: “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”
Dr. Steffen Kudella said that the quote of St. Exupery focuses at least two things as experience shows that local participation makes the solutions to even big problems more sustainable in the long term.
Dr Steffen further explains that the relationship between local public representatives and communities is based on accountability at the grassroots level.
It also focuses on public preferences for electoral politics, engaging the decision making process and ensuring public participation in local development and decision making processes.
Dr Steffen informed the participants that the German Hanns Seidel Foundation is glad to support such a significant democratic event. The Foundation works in the service of democracy, peace and development worldwide, besides supporting talented youth in their educational activities.
He said in Pakistan, our work includes:
• Good governance through constitutional understanding,
• Intraregional and interregional dialogue, and expertise in areas relevant to sustainable development.
• Moreover, HSF supports talented Pakistani and Afghan students at Pakistani schools with comprehensive scholarships.
Dr Steffen also informed the audience that the aimed of HSF is to build ships of democracy in Pakistan – not by telling people to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders to others, but by teaching them about the depth and beauty of the open sea. When they want to travel this sea, they become the best of all shipbuilders.
Speaking at the event as chief guest Senator Raza Rabbani said that ” I am glad that we are having numerous workshop participants from all over Pakistan who want to be trained as trainers.”
Senator Raza Rabbani said that today the people of Pakistan are facing problems like poverty, corruption, access to education and health facilities, unemployment, justice, lack of safe drinking water, poor sanitation, encroachments on public spaces and an urbanization crisis and solutions of all the problems are in a strong political government system which deliver from top to bottom.
The absence of local effective governments is a major factor in the country’s politics of deprivation in the context of fundamental rights, he remarked.
He said that the local democracy means giving people a say, at the local level, in the policies and decisions that affect their daily lives.
The best form of democracy, he said the representative democracy is the most practical form of democracy where citizens elect candidates and political parties to make decisions for the community.
The event was also addressed by the Zafar Ullah Khan, Jami Chandio, and Sonal Dhanani as some of HSF finest teachers in the field of Democratic Devolution and Good Governance.