Regional Participation of Civil Society in the work of ECOSOC

This series, developed independently by a group of graduate interns experienced in the field, tackles a concrete region in an effort to analyze the level of participation and contribution to the work of ECOSOC and provides potential paths to strengthening this relationship.

map Latin-American and Caribbean - Facing Challenges for Greater Participation at ECOSOC
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This paper aims to provide recommendations to encourage outreach in the region by analyzing some of the causes for low number of Latin American and Caribbean NGOs with consultative status, and weak involvement of Latin American and Caribbean civil society organizations within the Council and its functional commissions.

This research has been divided into three parts. First, an overview of the current situation of the LAC NGOs with status in the Council will be presented; a quantitative and qualitative analysis on the participation will show general trends of the region. Second, three factors influencing participation will be developed: recent events in the region that are affecting NGOs participation at the national, regional and international level; challenges in NGOs operational capacity factors, and weak evidence of the interface between ECOSOC and NGOs of the region. Finally, recommendations for an outreach programme for the region will be proposed.

map Sub-Saharan Africa NGOs' Participation in ECOSOC: Challenges and Potential Solutions
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Sub-Saharan African NGOs, like their peers from around the world, can contribute to the agenda of the ECOSOC through their many activities conducted at the grassroots level. Such participation, however, falls short of its potential. In an attempt to understand the causes of the relatively weak participation of sub-Saharan African NGOs in United Nations activities, the current research will focus on the periods before and after NGOs gain consultative status.

The primary aims of this paper is: 1) to assess the sub-Saharan African NGOs participation by looking at the Integrated Civil Society Organizations (iCSO) databases, 2) to identify potential challenges to a greater and more qualitative involvement of sub-Saharan African civil society, and 3) to finally make recommendations for a greater and more qualitative participation of NGOs in the sub-Saharan African region.

The research suggests that sub-Saharan African NGOs do not participate fully for numerous and various reasons. It appears that there is no real interest in many cases to gain consultative status because organizations are ignorant of the opportunities that could eventually follow. By stressing more effective information flow, ECOSOC could eventually boost the participation across the region by holding information fairs during conferences and other civil society meetings.

map Middle Eastern and North Africa NGOs' Participation in the United Nations Economic and Social Counci: Current Situation, Challenges and Solutions
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The global economic and financial crisis which started at the end of 2008 shows once more the fragility of the world economic system. This situation is worrisome for governments and international institutions. In fact, it may cancel, among others things, the important efforts made by the countries towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The economic performance of a nation determines, in the long run, the standard of living and the social conditions of its population. The efficacy of economic and social development policies requires the merging of governments, the private sector and incontestably the civil society. In this view, the United Nations considers Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) as an essential partner in the resolution of the multiple problems faced by the world today. This paper aims to identify actions and recommendations required to improve the participation of Developing countries’ NGOs to the United Nations activities. The objective is to strengthen both the participation of NGOs which hold consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and also to attract new NGOs in the program. We will focus specially on the Middle-Eastern and North African (MENA1) countries (Arab World). The paper is organized in three parts. Part I describes the situation of NGOs with consultative status in the MENA region and their participation in United Nations activities. The participation is defined at two levels: firstly the participation of NGOs at ECOSOC2 meetings and conferences and secondly the submission of written statements to the United Nations. In Part II, we use data and information available to hypothesize and subsequently analyze the main factors affecting NGO participation in the MENA region. Part III formalizes concrete recommendations which respond to the purpose of the paper.

Commonwealth of Independent States NGOs' Participation in ECOSOC: Current Situation, Challenges and Solutions
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This research paper reviews the involvement and participation of the CIS region NGOs with the ECOSOC. It consists of three parts. The first part describes the current situation of CIS NGOs with status in the Council: their participation at the ECOSOC meetings and submission of the written statements. The second part will analyze the main factors which are influencing the participation of the NGOs of CIS countries. The third part presents the recommendations for the outreach program.

map East and South-East Asian NGOs: Challenges for greater participation in ECOSOC
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There is no topic dealt in any part of the UN system that does not cover the expertise or the advocacy concerns of the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Even though the number of organizations accredited with consultative status has increased rapidly since 1996, the regional participation has remained asymmetrical between developed and developing nations. Furthermore, there were gaps even amongst the developing nations. Thus, NGO participation is lacking in the regions such as Oceania, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia when compared to other areas such as Europe and North America. In order to improve the disproportionate representation among the different regions, it is crucial to examine the challenges and obstacles that the NGOs from these areas face. After several reports made as part of these series on the regions of Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Commonwealth of Independent States and Middle Eastern and North Africa, this paper will discuss the issues that NGOs from East and South-East Asia face and the solutions that can be implemented in the area. We will take the countries as given by the United Nations Statistics Division and will remove Japan as it is a developed country. As Resolution 1996/31 encourages "greater participation of non-governmental organizations from developing countries in international conferences convened by the United Nations", "in order to help achieve a just, balanced, effective and genuine involvement of non-governmental organizations from all regions and areas of the world", this paper will therefore focus on the developing countries of East and South-East Asia. In the first part, we will use extensively the data from the DESA NGO Branch to measure the participation of NGOs from the region. It is important to bear in mind that there may be some inconsistencies, especially for the meeting attendance data, as the registration in the online system is made on a voluntary basis. We will have nevertheless sufficient data to reach our conclusions.