Cablegate: April 12 Meeting of Embassy's Institutions Of
UNCLAS CAIRO 002853
FOR NEA, NEA/ELA, NEA/PI
USAID FOR ANE (GOLD) AND DCHA/DG (KAUFMAN)
TUNIS FOR MULREAN
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM KDEM KMPI PGOV PREL EG
SUBJECT: APRIL 12 MEETING OF EMBASSY'S INSTITUTIONS OF
DEMOCRACY WORKING GROUP (IDWG)
Sensitive but unclassified. Please protect accordingly.
1. (SBU) Summary: On April 12, the Charge chaired a
regular meeting of post's IDWG, which was attended by
American and LES staff from the Public Affairs Section
(including information and cultural affairs staff, as well as
the grants specialist), the combined Economic-Political
Section (ECPO), and USAID (including USAID Deputy Director
and D&G staff). The IDWG, which meets every other Tuesday is
the body that post has used for the past five years to
coordinate USG democracy and governance assistance in Egypt.
Post plans to provide Washington with summaries of IDWG
meetings as we develop our 2005 elections initiatives and
related programs. Topics discussed in the April 12 meeting
included next steps in post's D&G strategy and related
issues. End summary.
2. (SBU) ECPO opened the meeting with a discussion of next
steps on D&G programming. ECPO noted that the formation in
Washington of an "Egypt Elections Working Group" offered
opportunities for coordination and consultation on this and
related D&G issues. Among the other issues discussed
regarding D&G next steps were the programming opportunities
now available to the IDWG as a result of the release of
$900,000 in 632(a) funds (which have been transferred from
USAID to the Embassy). IDWG participants also discussed the
possible media reaction to the planned announcement next
month of additional Ambassador's Self Help Fund grants.
USAID offered to use an upcoming meeting with Egyptian civil
society organizations who are seeking D&G funding under the
USAID Annual Program Statement mechanism to assess the degree
to which post needs to disseminate additional information
about the processes and procedures of USG direct funding for
D&G work in Egypt.
3. (SBU) USAID briefed the IDWG on a recent donors meeting
that USAID had hosted to discuss capacity building for
Egyptian NGOs. The NGO Service Center, a USAID project that
is concluding this year as it transitions to independent
status as the Egyptian NGO Support Center, presented the
donors with a candid assessment of the challenges under
Egyptian law of strengthening civil society.
4. (SBU) ECPO advised the IDWG that MEPI (Tunis) regional
coordinator Peter Mulrean plans to visit Egypt during the
week of May 8 for the purpose of discussing additional MEPI
support to D&G activities. ECPO also alerted the IDWG to the
May 1 deadline for receipt of concept paper proposals from
Egyptian civil society groups for funds under the MEPI small
5. (SBU) Finally, ECPO briefed the IDWG on our initial
assessment (reported septel) of the first Annual Report of
Egypt's National Council for Human Rights. IDWG participants
agreed that the report may suggest additional programming
opportunities and that it would likely provide a useful
critique of existing GOE practices.
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