WELCOME to the February edition of DESA NGO News, a monthly service of the DESA NGO Branch of the United Nations, to keep you informed about news and upcoming UN events, and to be of service to your organization in ECOSOC consultative status. Visit us at csonet.org for latest updates. Version française | Versión en Español


30 Jan: 2012 Regular Session, Committee on NGOs
The 2012 regular session of the Committee on NGOs will review 190 new applications and 153 deferred applications from organizations seeking consultative status with ECOSOC. It will also review 375 quadrennial reports of organizations already in status. The Committee will be held from 30 January to 8 February 2012, and on 17 February 2012. See the information note posted below for detailed information on the Committee's agenda. http://csonet.org/content/documents/InfoNote2012RegSession.pdf

25 January: UN chief outlines five-year action plan to build ‘the future we want’
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today outlined a series of actions he believes the global community must take over the next five years to build “the future we want.” In a speech to the General Assembly last September Mr. Ban presented five imperatives – or generational opportunities – that must be addressed to ensure a better future for the world’s people. These are sustainable development; preventing and mitigating conflicts, human rights abuses and the impacts of natural disasters; building a safer and more secure world; supporting countries in transition; and working to engage the talents of women and young people.“Today I want to share with you an action agenda for the coming five years,” he told the Assembly as he returned to the rostrum to brief Member States on his vision for his second term.


17 January: Can a protracted economic slowdown be avoided?
The world economy is teetering on the brink of another major downturn. As in 2008, economic woes in the major developed economies are weakening economic prospects around the world. This and other findings were presented as DESA’s flagship report the World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2012 was launched today.


12 January: Zero Draft of Rio+20 Outcome Released
The zero draft of the Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) outcome document is now available online. Click on the link below. See the Rio+20 website for all information on the Conference: www.uncsd2012.org.

10 January: Slovakian official to lead ECOSOC
Slovak ambassador Miloš Koterec was elected today to serve as President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), one of the six principal organs of the UN and the main body tasked with coordinating work in those two fields worldwide. Addressing the Council in New York after his election, Mr.Koterec called for a new approach to development during times of economic uncertainty. “Making ECOSOC a truly meaningful organ that has the capacity to make a difference calls for new approach,” he said. “This is so especially now, during times of hardened economic uncertainty that ECOSOC’s role and relevance is ever-increasing.”


4 Jan: 740 ECOSOC NGOs need to submit reports in 2012 - Are You One of Them?
Every four years, NGOs with general or special consultative status must submit to the Committee on NGOs a brief report of their activities in support of the work of the United Nations. This is known as the "quadrennial report." In ECOSOC decision 2008/4, it was decided that failure to timely submit this quadrennial report will lead to suspension or withdrawal of status. 488 NGOs need to report on the years 2008-2011; and 272 NGOs need to report on the years 2007-2010. Failure to submit in time will lead to suspension or withdrawal of status. All 740 NGOs were notified through the email address on file with the NGO Branch. Every year, NGOs loose consultative status because we cannot reach them. Make sure your contact details are current.


3 Jan: Ban stresses ‘people power’ and partnerships at start of second term as UN chief
Ban Ki-moon has begun his second term as Secretary-General of the United Nations by pledging to harness “the strong power of partnerships” to respond to the planet’s biggest challenges, such as tackling climate change, combating poverty and empowering women and girls. In an interview with the UN News Centre and UN Radio to mark the start of his second term, Mr. Ban stressed the need for unity, particularly among Member States and their citizens. “Together, nothing is impossible,” he said, adding that “if we strengthen these partnerships among governments, business communities, civil organizations and philanthropists, then I think all these powerful partnerships can bring us towards the right direction.”


28 December: Civil Society Participation in the Commission for Social Development
A new report provides an overview of how civil society organizations (CSOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were involved in the work of the 49th Session of the Commission for Social Development, which was held in 2011 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. By highlighting how CSOs and NGOs can be involved in the substantive work of the Commission, the report intends to offer guidance to new NGOs on how to work with the United Nations on social development issues. The report comprises two main sections relating to the participation of NGOs in the Commission for Social Development. It contains annexes listing the members of the Bureau of the Commission, members of the NGO Committee for Social Development, its participants and UN-DESA online tools for NGOs.


21 December: Official list of ECOSOC NGOs, 2011-2012
An updated list of all 3,536 organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council has been published late last year. This important reference document determines eligibility for non-governmental organizations to attend meetings of the Council, its subsidiary bodies and a range of other intergovernmental bodies of the United Nations. Click on the link below for the document. The list will be valid until July 2012.


16 December: Registration and accreditation for Rio+20 now open
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, "Rio +20", will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 20 to 22 June 2012. The conference will be preceded by the third Preparatory Committee meeting of the Conference, from 13 to 15 June 2012. Pre-registration for participation in the preparatory meeting and in the Conference by relevant NGOs and other major groups is now open. NGOs that are not accredited for the Conference can seek accreditation online.



25-27 January: Discsussions on Rio+20 Zero Draft
Initial discussions on the Rio+20 zero draft of outcome are open for registration to accredited NGOs.


30 January – 8 February: 2012 Regular session, Committee on NGOs
The 2012 Regular Session of the Committee on NGOs will take place from 30 January to 8 February 2012. The session is expected to consider 190 new applications for status by NGOs as well as 153 more applications deferred from earlier sessions. It will also review 375 quadrennial reports of NGOs in general or special consultative status. The Committee is expected to meet again on 17 February 2012 to adopt its report of the session. The session's recommendations will be sent to the Economic and Social Council for its approval in July of 2012. A detailed information note on the expected agenda is below.


1-10 February: Commission for Social Development, 50th session
The Commission for Social Development (CSocD) has been in existence from the very inception of the United Nations, advising the Economic and Social Council and Governments on a wide range of social policy issues and on the social perspective of development. Functioning under a broad mandate, the Commission for Social Development, formerly the Social Commission, has met at various intervals and at different locations. The fiftieth session of the Commission for Social Development will be convened from 1 to 10 February 2012 in New York. The priority theme this year will be poverty eradication.


13 February - 2 March: CEDAW, 51st session, Geneva
The 51st session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) will consider reports by Algeria, Brazil, Grenada, Jordan, Norway, Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe.


27 February - 9 March 2012: Commission on the Status of Women, 56th session
The fifty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 27 February to 9 March 2012. Representatives from Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world will attend the session. The two-week session will include a high-level round table, interactive dialogues and panels, and parallel events. The 2012 session will focus on the following key areas. The priority theme will be the empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges. The review theme will be financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women. An emerging issues for discussion is to be determined inter-sessionally.


12-30 March, 104th Session, Human Rights Committee, New York
At its 104th session, to be held in New York, the Human Rights Committee will consider the following reports and country situations during the session: Cape Verde, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mozambique, Turkmenistan and Yemen. Country Report Task Forces will consider and adopt list of issues on reports submitted by Philippines, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Paraguay, Portugal, and Turkey. An information note for NGOs is available from this link. Accredited organizations can click here to pre-register for the event.


26-27 March: Third Intersessional Meeting of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development
Registration for this event is open. Accredited organizations can register through the link below.


23-27 April: Commission on Population and Development, 45th session
The Commission on Population and Development will hold its forty-fifth session from 23 to 27 April 2012 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The theme of the session is "Adolescents and Youth".


7-18 May: Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 11th session
The 11th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues will be held in New York from 7 to 18 May 2012.


21-30 May: 2012 Resumed Session, Committee on NGOs
The 2012 Resumed Session of the Committee on NGOs will take place from 21 to 30 May 2012. The session is expected to consider new applications for status by NGOs as well as applications deferred from earlier sessions. It will also review quadrennial reports of NGOs in general or special consultative status. The Committee is expected to meet again on 8 June 2012 to adopt its report of the session. The session's recommendations will be sent to the Economic and Social Council for its approval in July of 2012.


20-22 June: Rio+20 Conference
Organized to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Rio de Janeiro, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, the Conference will include Heads of State and Government to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and address new and emerging challenges is being organized in pursuance of General Assembly Resolution 64/236 (A/RES/64/236). IMPORTANT: Registration and accreditation for the Conference is now open. Visit the link below to start the process.






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At your service: in New York: Andrei Abramov, Joop Theunissen, Nahleen Ahmed, Diego Rumiany, Maria del R. Carreño, Maria Marchione-Novoa, Erdwine Antoine, Irma Perez, Carlos Gusukuma, Yeasin Arafat. In Geneva: Ricardo Espinosa, Adriana Fuentes, Nathalie Dérudet.