108 Waterbury Dr. Toronto, On M9R 3Y3 Canada Tel.: (416) 244-9265 Fax: (416) 915-7488 Dear Sir or Madam: Proposal to the NBD Cairo Workshop The Nile Basin Society, understanding the special needs of achieving a head start for the NGO involvement in the NBI and willing to play a positive role within the prevailing conditions have the following proposal for consideration by the participants of the Cairo Meeting and the organizations supporting the NBI and the NBI governments, proposes: Simply put, it is a “friendly take-over” of the Nile Basin Society as an already established and appropriate administrative, legal, communication and financial framework of NGOs/civil society involved in the NBI. The adoption of the Nile Basin Society as the administrative structure and name (name registered in Canada in both English & French) used to establish satellite regional/local offices in Nile Basin countries. This entails: 1. the adoption of its by-laws (http://www.nilebasin.com/home/admin/bylaws.html prepared in accordance with Canadian laws governing NGOs) 1 2. the adoption of its policies and aims (not carved in stone) . 3. the acquisition of all NBS domain names, server spaces and communications technologies. 4. Supporting the communication projects started by the NBS, including the Third World Water Forum proposed session “Role of NGOs and Media in the NBI” (with changes to organizers/partners/proposed sessions as fit). Advantages: 1. Reconciliation of perceived/real differences in policies/processes between NBS and the NBD and becoming a more powerful/enabling structure due to that ‘union’ which we always shared in vision and in supporting the vision of the NBI. 2. Taking over the Nile Basin Society would provide a head start to the NGO/Civil Society involvement in the NBI due to its activities that dates back to 1999. The NBS was registered in May 14, 2001 meaning that it can sooner get a consultative status with the UN. Recently, the NBS has acquired consultative status with the ITU. 3. Adoption of the policies/by -laws of the Nile Basin Society would ensure not only inclusiveness of the NBD process to inc lude also businesses and the Diaspora (who are an important resource) and International NGOs. The bylaws are based on those of a democratic society for NGOs and by “taking over” the NBS, with its head-office in Canada, any changes in the bylaws must first be approved by a General Meeting of the members then by Industry Canada according to the laws. This is an added guarantee that the “rules” cannot be easily changed or cannot be contradictory to Canadian laws. This also gives a “way out” from registering the administrative structure based on any one or more Nile Basin countries that 1 Aims, objectives, policies, and even bylaws can be changed in a General Meeting or by the Board according to the governing bylaws and subject to approval of Industry Canada if involving bylaws. l Page 2 may be restrictive to NGOs/civil society activities. We hope that it will also add some guarantees to “fair play”. Results of General Meetings and changes to the board according to the NBS bylaws must be submitted to Industry Canada, so it is a guarantee that such meetings should take place (currently conducted virtually through the Internet which is cost/effective, but not superior to physical meetings) 4. If adopted, then funding through CIDA and/or other Canadian International Development institutions, would be more “streamlined” if not increased. The fact that the budget/financial statement must be approved by the General Meeting of the members and then submitted to Revenue Canada (and can be audited by them) on annual basis is an explicit guarantee of transparency and adherence to recognized fiscal international standards. It also enhances accountability of the Board of Directors to the members and then to the fiscal standards. 5. By applying for charitable status with Revenue Canada, we can harness the ‘goodwill of the Canadian public and businesses to support projects of the NBD. 6. The NBD will also harness not only the existing technical structures/efforts - that took years to 2 establish, test and tweak - but also the extensive pool of technical volunteers (mostly UN and 3 Canadian volunteers) Memorandum of understanding: 1. The current board of the NBS and CEO will announce their resignation effective the date for an extra-ordinary G eneral Meeting of the membership. A call for nomination and election of new 4 Board of Directors and CEO and the appointment of a “Returning Officer” would be made with 5 enough time for interested parties to nominate themselves or others. 6 2. The current CEO will not nominate himself to the new board nor as CEO. 7 3. The current board members can re-nominate themselves. 4. The current members of the NBS can nominate themselves even if from outside the Nile Basin. 5. The NBD participants will apply for membership through our online registration database http://www.nilebasin.com/home/people/joinus.html and will invite members of their organizations/countries to apply, so as the membership/votes would be representative of the widest Nile Basin membership as much as possible. 6. A physical meeting would be held between current board, NBD and organizations involved to 8 finalize such an agreement. 7. Nabil El-Khodari would be adequately compensated for the expenses/efforts incurred in establishing the virtual/physical presence of NBS and for relinquishing ownership of domain names according to a fair market value that takes in consideration the established ranking and registration in top search engines and their current membership/visitors. 8. The new board will decide the content of the website(s) and the use of the servers. The current domain names nilebasin.com and nilebasin.net have the advantage of being closely related to the 2 One of NBS volunteers (a system administrator) has been selected as one of the 10 best global volunteers for the year 2002. 3 Through Charity Village. 4 The term used for the person who would be in charge of supervising the elections and ensuring that it is fairly, transparently and securely conducted. S/he must not be a nominee and must be an acceptable person famous for righteousness and knowledge of by-laws and Canadian laws affecting elections. S/he also responsible for receiving nominations and complaints about process. We propose someone from CIDA, may be Dr. Aly Shady if he accepts. 5 Rules for nomination can be setup by the current board according to the Cairo Meeting suggestions/recommendations. 6 For obvious reasons. It is hoped however that the NBD will hire him as technical officer/Canadian office administrator or consultant that take his instructions/directions from the newly elected board. However, this is totally up to the new board and does not represent a pre-condition. 7 Another alternative is to accept only the resignation of the CEO and add members to the current board. This means that the elections would be for a new CEO and new members. 8 It is not surprising that participants of the Cairo Meeting include 3 board members of the NBS, one is the Secretary General, in addition to possibly other NBS members. So the proposal can be further discussed. l Page 3 NBI domain name nilebasin.org. The domain name nile.ca serves to identify the Canadian identity of the organization and is easier to remember and should be used for e-mail addresses. 9. All agreements/contracts are only subject to Canadian laws. Final remarks: 9 We hope that all appreciate the magnitude of sole searching and well intentions (if not sacrifice) included in this proposal. It comes from a sincere desire to contribute positively to the NBD and to avoid conflicting paths that may be detrimental to the NBI process. By accepting this offer, in addition to its obvious merits, it will also become clear that the NBD is pursuing an inclusive democratic, effective and transparent structure, which was the only aim of the NBS regarding the NBD process. We would appreciate no second-guessing of hidden agendas, as there is none. Sincerely, Nabil El-Khodari webmaster@nilebasin. com Founder Nile Basin Society 9 As a gesture of well intention, Nabil will modify his presentation to the Managing Shared Waters conference, Hamilton, Ontario - to be held concurrent with the Cairo meeting - to focus around the current proposal and be highly positive in tone.
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