WELCOME to the December 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


19 December: Registration for Rio+20 Open
Preregistration and accredtiation to the Conference on Sustainable Development, "Rio +20", is now open. The Conference, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 20 to 22 June 2012, will be preceeded by the third session of its Preparatory Committee 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 open. New groups interested to participate in the the Conference can request accreditation through an online questionnaire.




19 December: Annual Passes for 2012
Procedures for ECOSOC NGOs requesting annual UN grounds passes for the coming year are posted below, and were sent to all ECOSOC organizations in the database by email. The 2012 accreditation process will start on 19 December 2011. Kindly note that valid 2011 passes must be returned to the NGO Branch in order to receive a new one, and that office hours are Monday through Friday 9 am to 1 pm. Please read the information below carefully.




15 Dec: UN issues first report on LGBT rights
The first ever United Nations report on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people details how around the world people are killed or endure hate-motivated violence, torture, detention, criminalization and discrimination in jobs, health care and education because of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. The report, released today by the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva, outlines “a pattern of human rights violations ... that demands a response,” and says governments have too often overlooked violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.




15 Dec: Discussions begin on Rio+20 outcome
Delegates from United Nations Member States gathered in New York today to begin discussions on inputs, the structure and format of the outcome document to be finalized by world leaders at next year’s UN conference on sustainable development in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. The two-day Second Intersessional Meeting on UN Conference of Sustainable Development (Rio+20) marked a scaling up of the process to focus attention on global decisions that will help countries and communities move towards a green economy, while accelerating efforts to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development. “As we work on preparing the zero draft, we must remember that it is a negotiating draft and not a negotiated draft,” said Sha Zukang, the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Secretary-General of the Rio+20 Conference, at the opening of the meeting.




8 December: Panel Discussions Consider Systemic Reform, Innovative Aid Sources, Resilience of Foreign Investment

Holding a series of expert panel discussions as part of its Fifth High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development, the General Assembly today provided space for in-depth consideration by Government and civil society representatives of key issues such as reform of the international financial system, innovative sources of development aid, and the impact of the financial crises on foreign investment. Even though the three parallel round tables covered distinct aspects of the financing for development process, the participants broadly supported the aims of the 2002 Monterrey Consensus as the main framework for international development cooperation. Yet, the Monterrey outcome — and its follow-up Doha Declaration — was not without its trouble spots and nagging implementation gaps, many of which, the participants said, had been dramatically compounded by the meltdown two years ago of major financial institutions in the United States. The round tables were held as delegations in the Assembly Hall wrapped a two-day plenary on the status of the Monterrey Consensus.




5 December: Volunteers as powerful force for peace and development

Stressing that volunteerism contributes to the well-being of individuals, communities and society, a new United Nations report released today urges countries not to forget this largely untapped asset. The "State of the World’s Volunteerism Report" by UN Volunteers (UNV) presents for the first time empirical evidence of the importance and contribution of volunteerism on a global scale. It was released today on the occasion of International Volunteer Day, which is observed annually on 5 December and which this year also marks the 10th Anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers.




2 December: SG Calls for Inclusive Society and Development By, For, With Persons with Disabilities

“More and more countries are committing to protecting and promoting the rights of persons with disabilities. However, many challenges remain,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, observed on 2 December. “Persons with disabilities experience higher rates of poverty and deprivation and are twice as likely to lack health care. Employment rates of persons with disabilities in some countries are as low as one third of that of the overall population. In developing countries, the gap in primary school attendance rates between children with disabilities and others ranges from 10 per cent to 60 per cent,” he said.








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. Those with applications or quadrennial reports before the Committee can register here.

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1-10 February 2012: 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 2012: Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, 51st session, Geneva

The 51st session of the Committee will consider reports by Algeria, Brazil, Grenada, Jordan, Norway, Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe.

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27 Feb - 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.

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23-27 April 2012: 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".

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7-18 May 2012: 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.

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21-30 May 2012: 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.

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20-22 June 2012: 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.  IMPORTANT: NGOs and other major groups’ organisations that are NOT yet accredited to the United Nations and wish to participate in the conference will be offered a one time opportunity to become accredited to Rio+20. The General Assembly has agreed to open an accreditation process in line with established procedures for UN Conferences. More details will be made available as the inter-governmental process finalises its decision on arrangements for accreditation and participation in the preparatory process and in Rio+20.






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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.