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Cablegate: Post Speaker Program - Nan Aron

VZCZCXRO9931
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHGP #0964 2750905
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 020905Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7280
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SINGAPORE 000964

SIPDIS

FOR EAP/PD, EAP/MTS AND IIP/S
E.O.12958:N/A
TAGS: PREL KPAO SN

SUBJECT: Post Speaker Program - Nan Aron

1. (U) SUMMARY. U.S. Speaker Nan Aron, President of the Alliance
for Justice, visited Singapore on August 24-26 to discuss
non-governmental organization (NGO) management and fundraising.
Aron met with university students interested in NGO work, law
students, activists and the staff of Malay-Muslim community
organizations. Aron shared expertise from her 30 years of
experience leading a national association of American public
interest and civil rights organizations, and spoke about the role of
public interest litigation in advocacy. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) Embassy Singapore organized this NGO outreach program as
part of Post's public diplomacy efforts to encourage liberalizing
trends, promote a positive image of U.S. society and support the
development of partner NGOs. Many of Singapore's NGOs rely on
government funding and they had expressed a need for increased
fundraising capacity to give them more autonomy and allow them to
expand their programs.

3. (U) The first two days of Aron's program focused on students.
At Singapore Management University, Aron participated in a panel
discussion with two former Fulbrighters about the role of lawyers
and litigation in shaping public policy. The audience, which
included students and practicing lawyers, discussed how the law
could play a larger role in promoting the public interest in
Singapore. Aron also met with undergraduates from the National
University of Singapore's University Scholars Program and law
students at the NYU@NUS Law School.

4. (U) Singapore's system does not encourage activism, but there
are a few organizations that advocate for local causes. Aron met
for lunch with five representatives from groups that focus on AIDS,
wildlife preservation, migrant workers and human rights. The group
discussed their common challenges and the environment for advocacy
in Singapore.

5. (U) Aron's final event was a talk on fundraising strategies to a
group of 50 staff members from Malay-Muslim community groups. Aron
focused on the role of board members, how to solicit wealthy donors
and how to draft an effective fundraising letter.

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