Montreal, Canada - August 31, 2004

August 2004 - Vol. 12

RCPL August 2004 Newsletter includes the following items:

1.
RCPL gathers Canadian and Lebanese experts in a brainstorming workshop 
2.
Canadian embassy in Beirut improves the treatment of potential applicants
3. RCPL promotes the advancement of women and children rights in Lebanon through a $1000 scholarship


1. RCPL gathers Canadian and Lebanese experts in a brainstorming workshop

On september 18, RCPL will gather leading experts on the Canadian and Lebanese political systems in a workshop entitled "Learning from Canada's diversity to help Lebanon build a system that capitalizes on its diversity". Given the common pluralistic natures of both these countries, the experts will attempt to extract learnings from the Canadian system, and assess their applicability to Lebanon. This is the first step in a project that is funded by the Canadian Centre for Foreign Policy Development of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.


2. Canadian embassy in Beirut improves the treatment of potential applicants

RCPL received numerous complaints from Lebanese citizens who alleged to be obliged to wait for very long hours before being able to meet an officer in the Candian embassy in Beirut. These long hours of waiting meant long lines outside the embassy parameters along the highwayand exposure to traffic, rain and fumes. Complaints included mistreatment from the embassy security guards. RCPL compiled the complaints and addressed it to the Canadian government in Ottawa, and requested an inquiry. On July 13, the Canadian government responded that a new automated system has been developed, thus significantly reducing the waiting lines. RCPL is satisfied with the prompt response of the Canadian government to address the issue at stake, considering that Canadian embassies are an image of Canada abroad.


3. RCPL promotes the advancement of women and children rights in Lebanon through a $1000 scholarship

RCPL has the pleasure to announce that Mrs. Elinor Bray-Collins has been selected to receive RCPL's new scholarship of 1000$. This scholarship is partly financed by the International Development Research Center-Canada.
Mrs Elinor Bray-Collins is a second year PhD student at the University of Toronto in the Department of Political science. She is supervised by Dr. Paul Kingston.
Her project seeks to fully understand the politics of gender in Lebanon and the obstacles to achieving formal gender equality for Lebanese women.

Aspects of the women's NGOs which will be explored include:
1. the work, organizational structure, and membership of the NGOs,
2. their networks and collaborative efforts, and
3. the relationships of the NGOs to the Lebanese state and to grassroots constituencies.

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