U.S.-Russia Civil Society Summit

National Security Advisor General James L. Jones cites the Civil Society Summit as an example of President Obama engaging with citizens in his statement on International Human Rights Day.
December 10, 2009.

July 6-7, 2009
Moscow, Russia

Together with colleagues from the Eurasia Foundation and the New Eurasia Foundation, the CSIS Human Rights and Security Initiative convened a meeting of civil society leaders from the United States and Russia in Moscow to explore new approaches to a more robust U.S.-Russian civil society relationship.

The summit differed from previous gatherings in that the majority of participants are Americans working on challenges facing America and Russians working on those facing Russia.  Participants included practitioners and experts in six general areas:

  • Public Health

  • Community Development

  • Human Rights and Rule of Law

  • Youth and Education

  • Press and New Media

  • Environment

Participants discussed recommendations for how best to strengthen engagement around their respective issues and how to scale up efforts so that in the future this can move from an elite audience to the broader public.  At the summit’s conclusion, we shared our findings with President Obama.

For recommendations developed by each of the six working groups, see the summit’s Preliminary Report. 

For recommendations on what a new approach to civil society engagement would look like, see the report From Assistance to Engagement: A Model for a New Era in U.S.-Russian Civil Society Relations.

The U.S.-Russia Civil Society Summit has been made possible by financial support from the Eurasia Foundation, the New Eurasia Foundation and a grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.