Role of NGOs in politics

Role of NGOs in politics

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By Nosheen Zehra

After the Westphalia 1948 it is states that play vital role in study of international relations which has been primarily concerned by struggles for power, wars and efforts to gain national interests. States not only focus on these factors but its main purpose is to serve the individuals by whom it has been constructed. However over the past three decades a variety of other non-state actors are involved in world issues and international and politics. Non-Governmental Organizations are on the top priority in these non-state actors which are decreasing the role of states in economic, political and security perspectives. NGOs have risen almost every region of the world which come together to promote common interests via international actions. They also provide human development assistance, work for basic human rights and to raise living standard. When we come to know the definition of NGOs we can define it variously but according to the World Bank, “NGOs are private organizations that pursue activities to relieve suffering, promote the interests of the poor, protect the environment, provide basic social services or undertake community development. Nongovernmental organizations play important growing roles in developed and developing countries. They shape policy by exerting pressure on governments and by furnishing technical expertise to policy makers. They foster citizen participation and civic education”

It is basically the responsibility of a state to provide civil rights and economic and social development to the citizens but we can see that various NGOs are working to assist the states in providing all these stuffs. United Nations itself is an NGO which is doing efforts to raise the human living standard, it also involves in security related issues, establishing peace and winding up wars, providing security and even in establishing good governance etc. Non-Governmental Organizations are the key development sectors, which play important role in advocating civil rights for the social and economic development. Few of the NGOs and civil societies are working for the areas of development, which includes community development, education, employment, ending corruption, empowering women, healthcare, good governance, etc., while others are working to support rights and freedom of the citizens such as security rights, legal rights, social rights, human rights, particularly women and children rights, tolerance, pluralism, promoting non-discrimination, justice and religious freedom.

The paradigm of security also had changed with the advancement of technology. Now individual security is not threatened by the enemy country but from the diseases, climate, environment and hunger too. Vital role of NGOs can be seen in these areas both on domestic and international level. As states focus on their economic growth industrial development and military power but always ignore the environmental areas. They ignore the pollution made by their industries, radiations caused by their nuclear programs and wars but it is international civil society who forms NGOs to save the earth from these dangers.

On one hand NGOs are glorified for their positive role in international politics but on the other hand because of their dual role they are disliked. Most commonly the NGOs work for their own certain interests and agendas. Some time to promote certain culture, ideology, governance system and certain way of living style. It is NGOs who globalized the capitalist system which always exploit the lower class. NGOs in contemporary politics are used by a state, a group or an individual as a tool in the name of human development, to pursue certain interests.

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