News
  • Webinar on Engaging Youth in the Implementation of Agenda 2030 (7 December 2016 - 11:00a.m. to 12:30p.m. EST)

    The NGO Branch, at the office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination in UN DESA, is pleased to invite interested NGOs to a briefing session on engaging Youth for the implementation of Agenda 2030.

    The session will provide information on the following:
    • Available platforms to engage Youth/Youth Led Organizations in the works of the UN
    • Upcoming major UN Youth events in 2017, including the ECOSOC Youth Forum on 30-31 January 2017
    • Step by step instructions on how to apply for ECOSOC Consultative Status
    • The main components of the application package
    After the presentation, the floor will be open to answer questions from participants. Such questions may be raised either by chat or by requesting the floor using the “Raise my Hand” option.

    In order to attend to the webinar kindly click here and fill out the registration form; a confirmation e-mail will follow in a few days with the instructions on how to log into the event.

  • Join Facebook chat: How can climate change resilience bring opportunities to reduce inequalities?

    As the Paris Agreement on climate change is about to enter into force on 4 November 2016, don't miss the opportunity to discuss climate change resilience and how this can help reduce inequalities in the world, in a Facebook chat on 3 November from 10 am to 11 am EDT.

    UN DESA’s Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, Lenni Montiel, and the team of authors behind the World Economic and Social Survey 2016: “Climate Change Resilience – An opportunity for reducing inequalities” in UN DESA’s Development Policy and Analysis Division, will be on UN DESA’s Facebook page to discuss the findings of this survey and answer your questions.

    According to the survey, evidence is increasing that climate change is taking the largest toll on poor and vulnerable people, and these impacts are largely caused by inequalities that increase the risks from climate hazards.

    “Building resilience to climate change provides an opportunity to pay extra attention and allocate additional resources to reduce inequalities once and for all,” Mr. Montiel said ahead of the event. “Making communities resilient to climate change will therefore make sure we achieve all of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.”

    - Find out how governments can play a vital role in reducing the risks of climate change to vulnerable populations;
    - Deepen your understanding about the links between climate and development;
    - Learn what type of policies would address root causes of inequalities and build climate change resilience.

    When: Thursday, 3 November 2016, 10 - 11 am EDT
    How: Post questions here http://bit.ly/WESSchat ahead of or during the event


    Learn more about this event - http://bit.ly/WESSchat; access the World Economic and Social Survey 2016: “Climate Change Resilience – An opportunity for reducing inequalities” - wess.un.org; and watch Lenni Montiel inviting you to join this discussion - http://bit.ly/2e4cumf!

  • President of the seventy-first session of the United Nations General Assembly

    On 13 June 2016, the United Nations General Assembly elected Ambassador Peter Thomson of Fiji to serve as President of its seventy-first session, which runs from September 2016 to September 2017. Ambassador Thomson took office in New York as Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in February 2010, serving concurrently as Fiji’s Ambassador to Cuba until assumption of his duties as President of the UN General Assembly’s seventy-first session. Ambassador Thomson held office as Vice-President of the UN General Assembly in 2011-2012. He was elected as President of the Assembly of the International Seabed Authority’s 2011-2012 session and then as President of the Council of the Authority’s 2015-2016 session. For the duration of 2013, he chaired the United Nations’ largest negotiating bloc, the Group of 77 and China. From January 2014 to January 2015, he served as President of the Executive Board of UN Development Programme/UN Population Fund/UN Office for Programme Support (UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS).

    For more information about the incoming President of the General Assembly and the themes and priorities of the 71st session, please see the press kit at: http://www.un.org/en/ga/71/presskit

  • ECOSOC Coordination and Management Meeting - Summary of discussions

    On 25 July, the Council adopted by consensus almost all the draft decisions contained in the report of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations at its May session (E/2016/32 (Part II)). They included granting consultative status to 188 NGOs and closing the consideration of the request for consultative status made by 39 NGOs who had failed to respond to queries by the Committee.

    However, the Council overwhelmingly voted in favour of two draft decisions tabled by the United States and Australia to grant status to two NGOs, citing the highly reputable work and credibility of both organizations and reversing the recommendations of the Committee.

    The first draft (US) was on the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). It received 40 votes in favour, with 5 votes against and 6 abstentions. The second draft (Australia) was on Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (YCSRR). It received 26 votes in favour, 7 votes against, and 13 abstentions.

    In taking the floor after the adoption of these decisions, several member states expressed alarm at the increasing trend of limiting civil society participation in the United Nations system by a Committee that was established to promote civil society engagement. Several member states stated that the tactics used by several members of the Committee included blocking or delaying the applications of NGOs, particularly those working on human rights and LGBT issues, and deferring applications for several years in some cases.

    In addition, the Council took note of the quadrennial reports of 335 NGOs; suspended the consultative status for 1 year of 158 organizations with outstanding quadrennial reports; reinstated the consultative status of 81 organizations that had submitted their outstanding quadrennial reports; and withdrew the consultative status of 85 organizations with continued outstanding quadrennial reports.

  • Join DESA ASG Thomas Gass in Twitterchat on SDGs!

    Join Twitterchat on 8 July at 8:30am EDT with Thomas Gass, UN DESA's Assistant Secretary- General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, on the theme “Achieving the SDGs and ensuring that no one is left behind”.

    With the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we have the basis of a new social contract between the governments of the world and their peoples. It is a solemn promise – to leave no one behind.

    Around the globe, nations have started to embrace these new goals. The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) is supporting efforts both at UN Headquarters and through initiatives on the ground. Together with the UN family and other committed partners, we are making sure that everyone knows what these goals stand for and the possibilities they bring.

    At the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development on 11-20 July, we will be sharing our progress and ideas on how to make the SDGs happen.

    Ahead of this event, share questions or comments in a chat with Thomas Gass (@ThomasGass) on Twitter on Friday, 8 July at 8:30 am EDT using #SDGsChat.

  • 2016 Resumed Session of the Committee on NGOs

    The 2016 Resumed Session of the Committee on NGOs took place from 23 May to 1 June (and will adopt its report on 10 June), reviewing a total of 464 applications (including 245 applications that had been deferred from previous sessions), 7 reclassifications and 426 quadrennial reports.

    A total of 188 applications were recommended for consultative status with ECOSOC. The Committee closed, without prejudice, the consideration of 39 applications that had failed to respond to queries over the last two consecutive sessions. Pending receipt of answers to questions posed by the members, the Committee deferred a total of 235 applications to its next session.

    The Committee also held two votes to recommend status to two deferred applications, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Inc. (CPJ) and the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (YCSRR). Both votes were lost. The first by 6 votes in favour of granting consultative status and 10 against, with 3 abstentions. The second by 5 votes in favour and 6 against. The Committee also dealt with the issue of organizations that had failed to submit their quadrennial report in due time, as stated in ECOSOC resolution 2008/4. Out of the organizations that were previously suspended of their consultative status for one year, due to their failure to submit a quadrennial report, 81 organizations had submitted a report within the year they were suspended and will be re-instated by ECOSOC in July 2016. The rest, 85 organizations, will have their consultative status withdrawn, as stated in the resolution 2008/4. These organizations may re-apply after three years. Furthermore, 158 organizations will have their consultative status suspended for one year – starting in July 2016 - due to non submission of their quadrennial report. This resumed session attracted unprecedented attention from observer states, the NGO community and the media.

    The report of the Committee (E/2016/32 (part II)), which contains the above recommendations and which was adopted by consensus on 10 June 2016 , is expected to be taken up by ECOSOC at its next Coordination and Management Meeting, between 25-27 July 2016.

  • Register to attend Habitat III - PrepCom3, 25 - 27 July 2016 in Surabaya, Indonesia, as well as apply for side events, parallel events and exhibitions

    Habitat III is the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, taking place in Quito, Ecuador, 17–20 October 2016.

    In Resolution 66/207 and in line with the bi-decennial cycle (1976, 1996 and 2016), the United Nations General Assembly decided to convene the Habitat III Conference to reinvigorate the global commitment to sustainable urbanization, to focus on the implementation of a New Urban Agenda, building on the Habitat Agenda of Istanbul in 1996. Member States of the General Assembly, decided that the objectives of the Conference are to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable urban development, assess accomplishments to date, address poverty, and identify and address new and emerging challenges.

    The United Nations General Assembly, in Resolution 67/216, decided to establish a preparatory committee to carry out the preparations for the conference. The Preparatory Committee (PrepCom), following the same resolution, will have had three meetings (PrepCom1, PrepCom2, and PrepCom3) before the opening of the conference.

    The third session of the Preparatory Committee of the third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) - PrepCom3 - will be held in Surabaya, Indonesia, from Monday, 25 July to Wednesday, 27 July 2016.

    Register to attend PrepCom3 by 15 July 2016.
    Open call for side events at PrepCom3: apply by 15 June 2016.
    Open call to participate at the exhibition at PrepCom3: apply by 15 June 2016.

  • 2016 ECOSOC High-Level Segment - Open Call for Oral and Written Statements (28 March - 15 April 2016)

    The Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs is pleased to announce an open call for oral and written statements for the 2016 ECOSOC High-Level Segment (HLS) for NGOs in ECOSOC consultative status. The open call will be held from 28 March to 22 April 2016.

    The theme for the 2016 session of the Economic and Social Council is "Implementing the post-2015 development agenda: moving from commitments to results".

    The HLS will be held from 18 to 22 July 2016 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This is a unique opportunity for organizations in consultative status with ECOSOC - and for civil society at large - to be heard at ECOSOC deliberations, as well as to contribute to issues of critical concern to the global development agenda. It will also provide a platform to address specifically, steps toward implementation, follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to track progress at all levels and ensure that no one is left behind.

    The HLS will include the three-day ministerial meeting of the high-level political forum on sustainable development (HLPF), convened under the auspices of the Council; the high-level policy dialogue with international financial and trade institutions; the biennial Development Cooperation Forum; and the thematic discussion on "Infrastructure for sustainable development for all". The theme of the 2016 HLPF, "Ensuring that no one is left behind", will provide an opportunity to focus on the goals and policy choices that will benefit the poorest and most vulnerable among us.

  • 2016 ECOSOC e-Discussion: Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - 29 February to 25 March 2016

    Stakeholders, experts, practitioners and policy-makers from all over the world are invited to engage in a global dialogue on specific aspects of the 2016 ECOSOC theme of "Implementing the post-2015 development agenda: moving from commitments to results". The 2016 e-Discussion will provide the Economic and Social Council with suggestions and recommendations on how to best address implementation challenges of the new Agenda, with a special focus on the national level.

    The discussion consists of three concurrently running thematic windows, each led by an expert moderator. The thematic windows address:
    1. Scope and implications of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Moderator: Ms. Diana Alarcón, Chief, Development Strategy and Policy Unit, DPAD, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA);
    2. National implementation. Moderator: Mr. Pedro Conceição, Director, Strategic Policy, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP; and
    3. Follow-up and review. Moderator: Mr. Neil Pierre, Chief, Policy Coordination Branch, OESC/DESA.

    You are cordially invited join the 2016 ECOSOC e-Discussion, coordinated and organized by UN DESA and UNDP, at: https://www.unteamworks.org/ECOSOC-2016.

  • Call for NGO input toward Secretary-General's report on inclusion and accessibility for persons with disabilities at the United Nations

    The General Assembly in its resolution 70/170 dated 10 February 2016: “Towards the full realization of an inclusive and accessible United Nations for persons with disabilities” requested the Secretary-General to submit to the Assembly at its 71st session, a comprehensive report on the status of accessibility at the United Nations, with a view to realizing an inclusive and accessible environment for persons with disabilities. In this connection, civil society organizations are kindly requested to provide to the Secretariat the following information: (a) the status and application of existing regulations relating to accessibility of facilities and services for persons with disabilities, including reasonable accommodation and universal design within your organization; (b) areas that need improvement to ensure full accessibility for persons with disabilities; (c) best practices and views on the provision of accessibility, following universal design and reasonable accommodation; and (d) recommendations on how to better coordinate, facilitate and monitor practical accessibility measures in order to provide reasonable accommodation, in a cost-effective manner, to meet the needs of persons with disabilities for their participation at the United Nations, including in meetings, conferences and services, as well as the United Nations workplace. The information should include, but not be limited to, accessibility domains of physical facilities and services, information and documentation, meetings and services, information and communications technologies, and human resources. Please send your input of no more than 800 words, in the form of an editable electronic document (Microsoft Word) by 15 March 2016, via e-mail to: doultonf@un.org.

  • Regular session of the Committee on NGOs concludes with the adoption of its report on 16 February 2016

    The 2016 regular session of the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs ended on 16 February with the adoption of its report, the recommendations of which will be acted upon by ECOSOC at its Coordination and Management Meeting in early April.

    Of the 475 applications that were submitted at the regular session, 206 applications were recommended for consultative status with ECOSOC and 245 were deferred to the 2016 resumed session in May. Twenty-three applications were closed without prejudice as the NGOs did not respond to questions from the Committee after 3 reminders sent to them by the NGO Branch. A vote was taken to close the application from the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (KKKF). Another vote was taken to not hear from the representative of KKKF at the daily Q & A session.

    Of the 451 quadrennial reports from NGOs at the regular session, 361 reports were taken note of and 90 reports were deferred to the resumed session in May.

  • 15th session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration Open Call for Oral and Written Statements (Deadline: 31 March 2016)

    The Division for Public Administration and Development Management of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs is pleased to announce an open call for written statements for the 15th session of CEPA for NGOs in ECOSOC consultative status.

    The main item of discussion for CEPA this year is "Moving from commitments to results: transforming public institutions to facilitate inclusive policy formulation and integration in the implementation and monitoring of the sustainable development goals" with sub-items:
    1. Ensuring prioritization and decision-making that is fair, responsive, inclusive, participatory and accountable at all levels;
    2. Improving engagement and communication between Governments and stakeholders, including through access to information, open government and electronic and mobile solutions;
    3. Ensuring effective and innovative implementation, monitoring and impact evaluation of the policies identified in support of the sustainable development goals;
    4. Strengthening the confidence of citizens in the effectiveness, validity and integrity of public administration through enhanced, targeted efforts to use good governance to prevent, expose and deal with corruption;
    5. Developing transformative leadership and enhancing relevant competencies of public servants.

    The 15th session will be held on 18-22 April at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The submission of written statements on these issues is open through CSO-Net at http://bit.ly/CEPA2016. Statements sent by e-mail cannot be accepted.

  • Committee on NGOs opens its 2016 Regular Session on 25 January

    At the start of the meeting, the Committee adopted its agenda (document E/C.2/2016/1) and programme of work. It re-elected by acclamation Jorge Dotta (Uruguay), on behalf of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States as its Chair; and Elif Çaliskan (Turkey), on behalf of the Western European and other States Group, Farid Jabrayilov (Azerbaijan), on behalf of the Eastern European States Group, and Hacen Eleyatt (Mauritania), on behalf of the African States Group, as Vice-Chairs. It postponed the election of its remaining Vice-Chair from the Asian Group. The Committee also decided that Mr. Jabrayilov (Azerbaijan) would continue to serve as Rapporteur.

    At the Opening session of the Committee, Navid Hanif, Director of the Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, UN DESA, said that with the adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement, the focus of the sustainable development goals has turned to their implementation, which is also aligned with the 2016 theme of the Economic and Social Council, "Implementing the post-2015 development agenda: moving from commitments to results." Over the years, non-governmental organizations have increasingly become a part of the process through their participation in consultations, high-level meetings, thematic debates or briefings. An increase in the applications and reports this year was a direct reflection of the level of interest that the organizations were showing in the work of the United Nations.

    In 2016, the Committee will consider 275 new applications, in addition to 200 applications deferred from previous sessions, 404 quadrennial reports of NGOs in general and special consultative status and 47 quadrennial reports deferred from earlier sessions. These numbers indicate a sharp growth in the workload over past years. Alberto Padova, Acting Chief of the NGO Branch of the Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, expressed his team's continuing support to the Committee toward the successful implementation of its mandate.

  • 54th Commission for Social Development: Rethinking and Strengthening Social Development in the Contemporary World

    The 54th session of the Commission for Social Development (CsocD54) will take place from 3 to 12 February 2016 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This session will conclude the Commission's 2015-2016 review and policy cycle under the priority theme, "Rethinking and Strengthening Social Development in the Contemporary World." The Commission, at the juncture of transitioning into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, will focus its discussion on the critical role of social policy and development in achieving people-centered, inclusive, just, and socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable development for all.

    Deliberations during the Commission will be executed through high-level panel discussions as well as general discussions amongst the Members of the Commission and other stakeholders. Scheduled side-events will also take place to enhance and enrich discussions of the priority theme.

    Civil Society Forum
    As a protocol, the Civil Society Forum will take place prior to the Commission on 1 and 2 February 2016. The Forum will support participants in refining their understanding of the relationship between CsocD54 and Agenda 2030, and formulating concrete recommendations for the Commission. The Forum will also seek to strengthen collaboration between the Civil Society and Member States through effective open dialogue, focusing on such issues as inequalities and poverty, human rights, accountability and means for implementing sustainable policies for realizing Agenda 2030.

    For more info on the CSocD54, please visit: http://bit.ly/undesadspd-csocd54

  • UN DESA Voice: Putting people at the heart of content

    As the year of realizing global commitments for a better world kicked off on 1 January, UN DESA introduced its revamped newsletter UN DESA Voice, aimed at closely covering international efforts to achieve the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, along with the regular work of the UN within the field of economic, social and sustainable development.

    "We look forward to keep our readers up to date on the new sustainable development goals as they are implemented all around the world," said Guenther Gross, Chief of the Communication Section in UN DESA’s Strategic Planning and Communications Service; the team that issues the online monthly newsletter.

    As the online newsletter of UN DESA turned 20 last year, the editorial team decided it was time to gain insights into the needs and wishes of its 125,000 online subscribers. Thanks to the feedback shared by some 1,000 responders, many of whom represent members of civil society organizations, several updates have been made to modernize the newsletter and to fulfil the needs of the readers.

    The February issue of UN DESA Voice will share stories on youth and the sustainable development goals, on the Commission for Social Development, on SDGs implementation, migration data, trade statistics, indigenous languages and more. Take a look and subscribe!

  • Pre-registration for the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW60) closing soon

    Online pre-registration for the sixtieth session of the Commission on the Status of Women will close on 27 January 2016 at 6 pm EST; no extensions will be granted. Online pre-registration via United Nations CSO Net is mandatory for all participants. Pre-registrations by e-mail will not be accepted.

    Organizations are advised not to wait until the last few days in case of technical difficulties. Lost passwords or forgotten usernames, connectivity problems or any other logistical challenges will not warrant an extension.

    For more information on CSW60 registration, including a video tutorial on how to pre-register, please visit the CSW60 website at http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/ngo-participation/registration

  • COP21: 'Monumental triumph' in Paris as world adopts new climate change agreement, says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

    Following the adoption of the new Paris Agreement on climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said government representatives made history. “The Paris Agreement is a monumental triumph for people and our planet,” said Mr. Ban, immediately following its adoption. “It sets the stage for progress in ending poverty, strengthening peace and ensuring a life of dignity and opportunity for all.”

    For the first time today, 195 Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – pledged to curb emissions, strengthen resilience and joined to take common climate action. This followed two weeks of tireless negotiations at the United Nations climate change conference (COP21). The Paris Agreement and the outcomes of COP21 cover all the crucial areas identified as essential for a landmark conclusion: mitigation – reducing emissions fast enough to achieve the temperature goal; a transparency system and global stock-take – accounting for climate action; adaptation – strengthening ability of countries to deal with climate impacts; loss and damage – strengthening ability to recover from climate impacts; and support – including finance, for nations to build clean, resilient futures.

  • Pre-registration for CSW60 is open

    Pre-registration for the sixtieth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW60), to be held from 14 to 24 March 2016 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, is open through 27 January 2016. NGOs that are accredited to and in good standing with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) may designate representatives to attend the annual sessions of CSW. To pre-register your representative(s), please go to http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/ngo-participation/registration

    Online pre-registration is mandatory for all participants and must be completed by 27 January 2016. We are not able to accept registrations by e-mail.

  • CSO Consultations with the Second Committee

    The NGO Branch of the Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination (OESC) of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) organized informal consultations with NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC on the agenda and work of the Second Committee on 22 October 2015 in New York. The consultation, chaired by Amb. Logar (Slovenia) was the first of its kind, and attracted a large number of NGOs and over 40 Member States in an interactive dialogue moderated by Ms. Barbara Adams, Chair of the Global Policy Forum.

    The remarks delivered by the NGO representatives were followed by numerous interventions from other NGOs that were present at the event, as well as Member States. Both parties raised critical questions about the future programme of work of the Second Committee, making pertinent observations and suggestions about how to align the agenda of the Second Committee to the new Development Agenda 2030 and better integrate the agendas of the 2nd and 3rd Committee and ECOSOC.

    The remarks and suggestions raised by the NGOs will serve as a contribution to the deliberations of Member States on this topic in the Second Committee. Several Member States also suggested that these consultations could serve as a model to be replicated in other Committees and that the engagement with other stakeholders should continue to strengthen the positive experience generated from such an inclusive process.

  • Submission of written statements for CSW60 now open through CSO-Net

    The submission of written statements for the sixtieth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW60) is now open through CSO-Net. Please find the link to the online submission and related guidelines on the CSW NGO participation website at http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/ngo-participation/written-and-oral-statements
    The deadline for submission is 16 October 2015. Statements sent by e-mail cannot be accepted.

    For more information on NGO participation in CSW60, visit: http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/ngo-participation
    For more information on CSW60, visit: http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw60-2016

  • Historic New Sustainable Development Agenda Unanimously Adopted by 193 UN Members

    On 25 September, a bold new global agenda to end poverty by 2030 and pursue a sustainable future was unanimously adopted by the 193 Member States of the United Nations at the start of a three-day Summit on Sustainable Development. The historic adoption of the new Sustainable Development Agenda, with 17 global goals at its core, was met with a thunderous standing ovation from delegations that included many of the more than 150 world leaders who addressed the Summit over the course of three days.

    Ushering in a new era of national action and international cooperation, the new agenda commits every country to take an array of actions that would not only address the root causes of poverty, but would also increase economic growth and prosperity and meet people’s health, education and social needs, while protecting the environment.

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, "The true test of commitment to Agenda 2030 will be implementation. We need action from everyone, everywhere. Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals are our guide. They are a to-do list for people and planet, and a blueprint for success." The new Sustainable Development Goals build on the goal-setting agendas of United Nations conferences and the widely successful Millennium Development Goals that have improved the lives of millions of people. The new agenda recognizes that the world is facing immense challenges, ranging from widespread poverty, rising inequalities and enormous disparities of opportunity, wealth and power to environmental degradation and the risks posed by climate change.

    The official adoption came shortly after Pope Francis addressed the General Assembly stating, "The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the World Summit, which opens today, is an important sign of hope." General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft called the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development "ambitious" in confronting the injustices of poverty, marginalization and discrimination. "We recognize the need to reduce inequalities and to protect our common home by changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production. And, we identify the overwhelming need to address the politics of division, corruption and irresponsibility that fuel conflict and hold back development."

    The opening ceremony of the Summit also included remarks by a representative of civil society, Salil Shetty, Secretary-General of Amnesty International, who noted that while there is a gap between the "world we live in and the world we want," the Sustainable Development Goals "represent people’s aspirations and can, and must, be reached."

  • Questionnaire on the future organization and methods of work of the Commission on Population and Development

    Pursuant to the forty-eighth session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) in 2015, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) decided that the Commission shall review the functioning of its methods of work during its forty-ninth session in 2016. The purpose of the review is to enhance the impact of the work of the Commission and its contribution to ECOSOC.

    The Secretariat is inviting NGOs to provide responses to five questions on the future organization and methods of work of the Commission. Please note that this invitation is limited to NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC that have attended an annual session of the Commission on Population and Development at least once in the last five years (2010 or later). Responses will serve as input to a broader discussion of the Commission’s methods of work, including the Secretariat’s note on this topic, and will thus inform the deliberations of the forty-ninth session. Individual responses will be treated as confidential, and any direct citation of responses will be without attribution.

    Please submit only one set of responses per NGO by the deadline of 30 October 2015. Joint submissions on behalf of groups of NGOs are encouraged and will receive greater weight in the evaluation of responses. A joint statement should be submitted only once, by one member of the group, with a clear indication of the NGOs that have endorsed the statement.

  • Special Accreditation and Registration for the Sustainable Development Summit on 25-17 September is now closed

    In accordance with General Assembly decision A/69/L.43 regarding the organization of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit, the United Nations Secretariat had invited representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) to indicate their interest in participating in the plenary meetings and interactive dialogues of the Summit. There was a call for applications for special accreditation to the Summit, followed by a general registration process for accredited NGOs.

    General registration closed on 24 August and all applications are currently under review. As a first step in the review process, the Selection Committee of civil society representatives convened for the Sustainable Development Summit will recommend a short-list of the NGO and CSO applicants, considering space allocation for the Summit plenary and interactive dialogues, ensuring regional and gender balance, diversity of constituencies and age, and experience working on the post-2015 development agenda, with expertise in sustainable development issues. The short-list will then be sent to the President of the General Assembly (PGA) who will ensure that the above balance, diversity and expertise criteria are met in the final list to be presented to Member States. The PGA will then submit the list of representatives from NGOs and CSOs to Member States for their consideration on a non-objection basis. The decisions on organizations' applications for special accreditation and individual registrations to the Summit should be communicated by the end of the first week of September.

  • Consensus Reached on New Sustainable Development Agenda to Be Adopted by World Leaders in September

    On 2 August, the 193 Member States of the United Nations reached agreement today on the outcome document that will constitute the new post-2015 sustainable development agenda that will be adopted this September by world leaders at the Sustainable Development Summit in New York.

    Concluding a negotiating process that has spanned more than two years and has featured the unprecedented participation of civil society, countries agreed to an ambitious agenda that features 17 new sustainable development goals that aim to end poverty, promote prosperity and people’s well-being while protecting the environment by 2030.

    The September Summit, where the new agenda will be adopted, “will chart a new era of sustainable development in which poverty will be eradicated, prosperity shared and the core drivers of climate change tackled”, said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, adding that the United Nations System stands ready to support the implementation of the new agenda, which builds on the successful outcome of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, and which, he said, will also contribute to achieve a meaningful agreement in the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris in December.

    More than 150 world leaders are expected to attend the Sustainable Development Summit at the United Nations Headquarters in New York between 25 to 27 September to formally adopt the outcome document of the new agenda. The new sustainable development goals, and the broader sustainability agenda build on the success of the Millennium Development Goals, but also go much further, addressing the root causes of poverty and the universal need for development that works for all people. The preamble of the 29-page text, “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, states that “We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet.” It also states that “We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind.”

  • Apply to Register for the 25-27 September UN Summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda

    In accordance with General Assembly resolution 69/244 of 29 December 2014, the United Nations Summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda will be held from 25 to 27 September 2015, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and convened as a high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly.

    In accordance with GA decision A/69/L.43 regarding the organization of the Summit, the United Nations Secretariat invites representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) with the following forms of UN accreditation status to indicate their interest in participating in the plenary meetings and interactive dialogues of the UN Summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda:

        1. consultative status with ECOSOC
        2. on the CSD roster
        3. accredited to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg 2002)
        4. accredited to the UN Conference on Environment and Development (Rio 1992)
        5. participated in a previous UN Summit
        6. Special accreditation to the 25-27 September 2015 UN Summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda. NOTE: Some NGOs and CSOs obtained this special accreditation in May 2015 in advance of the 26-27 May UNGA hearings on the post-2015 agenda. If your organization applied for special accreditation to the post-2015 Summit during the July-August 2015 special accreditation application period, please proceed with applying to register for the Summit while awaiting decision on the special accreditation. You will receive the decisions on both the special accreditation and registration applications together.)

    Organizations that do not fall under any of the above categories will not be considered.

    For more information on the review process and to access the application form, please visit: http://csonet.org/index.php?menu=172
    The application deadline is 24 August 2015, 5:00PM New York time.

  • Special Accreditation for non-ECOSOC accredited NGOs now open for the United Nations Summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda

    In accordance with General Assembly resolution 69/244 of 29 December 2014, the United Nations Summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda will be held from 25 to 27 September 2015, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and convened as a high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly. More information can be found here: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/summit

    General registration to attend the Summit is not yet open. In the interim, the United Nations offers the opportunity for organizations that are not already accredited to the UN through one of the three categories below to apply for Special Accreditation to the Post-2015 Summit. PLEASE NOTE: Confirmation of special accreditation does not mean that you will be able to attend the Summit. More information on the opportunity to attend the Summit will be available soon.

    If your Organization falls under any of the following three categories, then you do not need to apply for special accreditation:

    • Organizations with consultative status with the Economic and Social Council;
    • Organizations on the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) Roster; and
    • Organizations accredited to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD).

    Otherwise, please visit the following page for further instructions on applying for Special Accreditation: http://bit.ly/1QOvwxI
    Please note that the deadline for completing the questionnaire for accreditation is 5:00 PM EST on Friday, 7 August 2015.

  • ECOSOC reviews NGO Committee recommendations at its July Coordination and Management Session

    On 20 July, during its July 2015 Coordination and Management session, the Economic and Social Council adopted eight decisions recommended by the NGO Committee (contained in its 2015 Resumed Session report E/2015/32 (Part II)). Among them, it decided to grant consultative status to 160 organizations. In addition, it decide to grant special consultative status to the organization Freedom Now by a recorded vote of 29 in favour to 9 against with 11 abstentions. Freedom Now is a US-based non-partisan NGO that works to free individual prisoners of conscience through legal, political, and public relations advocacy efforts. Freedom Now had originally submitted its application for consultative status with ECOSOC in 2010. The vote overturned the recommendation made by the NGO Committee - also by vote - at its 2015 Resumed Session. The last time the Council overturned a recommendation of the Committee was in 2012.

    Additionally, the Council voted down a draft decision tabled not to grant the organization Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) special consultative status by a vote of 13 in favour to 16 against with 18 abstentions. This followed a recommendation by vote by the Committee to grant status to PRC.

    At the session, the representative of the European Union and that of Mexico, speaking also on behalf of Chile and Uruguay, expressed strong concerns about the recent politicization of the work of the Committee, in which some of its members used procedural ways to block certain organizations from being granted consultative status.

  • Preparatory Process for the General Assembly’s overall review of the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)

    The President of the General Assembly will convene an informal interactive WSIS stakeholder consultation with all relevant stakeholders on 2 July 2015, in the ECOSOC Chamber, United Nations Headquarters. The General Assembly, in its resolution 68/302 on the modalities for the overall review of the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society, decided that the review will be concluded by a two-day high-level meeting of the Assembly, to be preceded by an intergovernmental preparatory process that also takes into account inputs from all relevant stakeholders of the World Summit on the Information Society. The General Assembly also decided that during the preparatory process for the high-level meeting, the President of the Assembly will organize informal interactive consultations with all relevant stakeholders of the World Summit on the Information Society, in order to collect their inputs for the intergovernmental negotiation process.

    The Informal Stakeholder Consultation will be preceded by the first preparatory meeting of the WSIS review process, which will take place on Wednesday, 1 July, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., in Conference Room 2 at the United Nations Secretariat, New York. This meeting aims to provide a venue for Member States to share their expectations and preliminary inputs on the elements to be addressed by the review. Statements delivered at the 1 July meeting and written submissions will serve as the basis for the non-paper version of the WSIS review outcome document that will be further developed, leading up to the High-Level Meeting on 15-16 December 2015. During this meeting, Member States will also have the opportunity to interact with representatives of the various stakeholder communities, who have been invited to speak at the start of the morning and afternoon sessions.

  • High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, at its opening session, focuses on its role in reviewing the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda

    The HLPF began its 2015 annual session on Friday, 26 June, with an opening by Martin Sajdik, President of ECOSOC, followed by remarks by Rudolf Hundstorfer, Federal Minister for Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection of Austria and Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs. The opening remarks were followed by statements from representatives of Major Groups and other stakeholders.

    In his opening remarks, Rudolf Hundstorfer emphasized that for the new development agenda to be successful, an effective follow-up and review mechanism was necessary. The Forum, established by a decision in the outcome document of the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, would play a decisive role to that end, he said, proposing that great importance be given to developing suitable indicators, as well as providing reliable data and statistics. The social dimension, namely the eradication of poverty and promotion of decent work for all, was as important as economic and environmental policies in connection with sustainable development and would play a key role in the upcoming follow-up and review process.

    Thomas Gass, delivering a statement on behalf of Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said that the post-2015 development agenda was the work of all Governments and also owned by important parts of civil society. Rio+20 had called for a reform that injected sustainable development into the General Assembly, strengthening the Economic and Social Council and creating a United Nations Environment Assembly. The establishment of the Forum was at the heart of that reform. Following those remarks, representatives from Major Groups and Other Stakeholders, including those on local authorities, older persons, and children and youth, stressed the importance of their needs incorporated into the mechanism of follow-up and review for sustainable development.

  • NGO Committee adopts the report of its 2015 Resumed session

    On 12 June, at the concluding meeting of the 2015 Resumed session of the Committee on NGOs, the Committee adopted its report, recommending 160 organizations for consultative status and deferring 200 applications until the 2016 Regular session. In addition, the Committee’s final report (E/2015/32, Part II - ADVANCE UNEDITED) recommended that the Council reclassify the status of four organizations and reinstate the consultative status of 24. (See report for a full list of Committee decisions).

    Also by the report, the Committee proposed that the Council set the dates for the 2016 Regular session from 25 January to 3 February, and 16 February, and the 2016 Resumed session from 23 May to 1 June, and 10 June, also adopting the provisional agenda for the 2016 session.

  • 2015 Resumed session of the Committee on NGOs

    The 2015 Resumed Session of the Committee on NGOs took place from 26 May to 3 June (and will end the session on 12 June with the adoption of its report), reviewing a total of 388 applications (including 176 applications that had been deferred from previous sessions), 7 reclassifications and 215 quadrennial reports.

    A total of 160 applications were recommended for consultative status with ECOSOC. The Committee closed, without prejudice, the consideration of 27 applications. Pending receipt of answers to questions posed by the members, the Committee deferred a total of 200 applications to its next session.

    The Committee took note of a total of 168 quadrennial reports submitted by NGOs in Special and General consultative status. Pending clarifications, the Committee deferred a total of 47 reports to its next session due to objections and questions by delegations. The Committee also dealt with the issue of organizations that had failed to submit their quadrennial report in due time, as stated in ECOSOC resolution 2008/4. Out of the organizations that were previously suspended of their consultative status for one year, due to their failure to submit a quadrennial report, 24 organizations had submitted a report within the year they were suspended and will be re-instated by ECOSOC in July 2015. The rest, 85 organizations, will have their consultative status withdrawn, as stated in the resolution 2008/4. These organizations may re-apply after three years. Furthermore, 165 organizations will have their consultative status suspended for one year – starting in July 2015 - due to non submission of their quadrennial report.

    The report of the Committee (E/2015/32 (part II)), which contains the above recommendations, is expected to be taken up by ECOSOC at its next Coordination and Management Meeting, between 20-22 July 2015.

  • Zero draft of the outcome document for the UN Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda issued

    The zero draft of the outcome document for the UN Summit in September 2015, which will adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda, has been published.

    The title of the zero draft is "Transforming our World by 2030 – a New Agenda for Global Action." It contains an opening Declaration, the Sustainable Development Goals and targets, Means of Implementation and the Global Partnership, and Follow-up and Review. The document also includes three annexes. Annex 1 proposes revisions to 21 of the 169 targets. Annex 2 is the "Food for thought paper on a possible Technology Facilitation Mechanism," previously circulated on 18 May, annexed as a basis for continued discussion on this topic. Annex 3, for reference, is the "Introduction of the Open Working Group Proposal for Sustainable development goals and targets."

  • 2015 Annual Partnerships Forum: “The role of Partnerships in achieving the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Making it Happen” took place on 28 May

    The 2015 Partnerships Forum brought together a wide range of stakeholders: from government, the UN system, business, foundations, civil society, and academia, all of whom have a vested interest in shaping an effective, game-changing Post-2015 development agenda.

    This year’s Forum took place under the overall framework of the Council’s 2015 annual theme of “Managing the transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals: What it will take”. It focused on two main areas: Firstly, on ways in which multi-stakeholder partnerships can promote human resources for health, including world class medical and nursing schools, and modern medical care, including drug and vaccine treatments, to settings of poverty. Secondly, it brought fresh ideas and new thinking on ways in which multi-stakeholder partnerships can support the implementation of the Post-2015 development agenda, including through lessons-learned from MDG partnerships, opportunities for catalysing new initiatives, and measuring results.

    The all-day event featured two interactive multi-stakeholder dialogues. The morning session focused on “Partnerships in support of strengthening health systems: Building resilience to pandemics” and the afternoon session on “Partnerships for the Post-2015 Era: Reality check”. The afternoon session also included a short segment devoted to launching of initiatives in support of the Post-2015 development agenda. Side events, organized by Member States and other stakeholders were organized during the lunchtime period and provided additional opportunities for stakeholder engagement.

  • The General Assembly convened informal interactive hearings with representatives of non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, major groups and the private sector on the post-2015 development agenda

    On 26 - 27 May, representatives of non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, major groups and the private sector came together to discuss the post-2015 development agenda in informal hearings held under the auspices of the General Assembly.The interactive hearings were aimed at fostering active participation and ensuring regional and gender balance, diversity of expertise, sectors and age among speakers to contribute to the formulation of the new development agenda.

    The interactive hearings comprised an opening segment, four interactive roundtables and a closing segment. The outcome is a President’s Summary to be circulated to Member States and stakeholders. It will be made available prior to the Summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda, scheduled for September 25-27, 2015 in New York.

  • Registration deadline extended for the informal interactive hearings of the General Assembly in preparation for the United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda

    UPDATE: The deadline for completing the questionnaire for non-accredited organizations is extended to 5:00 p.m. EST on 13 May 2015.

    Registration IS NOW OPEN for the informal interactive hearings of the General Assembly with non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, major groups and the private sector in preparation for the United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda.

    Please note that there are two registration pages – one for accredited NGOs and one for non-accredited NGOs.

    Organizations with any of the following accreditation need to simply register, by clicking here:
         • Organizations with consultative status with ECOSOC;
         • Organizations on the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) Roster; and
         • Organizations accredited to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD).

    Organizations that do not have one of these forms of accreditation need to apply for special accreditation, which involves two steps:
         • Completing a questionnaire by 5:00 p.m. EST on 13 May 2015 (click here); and
         • Completing the registration (click here).

    Please note that the deadline to register has been extended until 5:00 p.m. EST on 19 May 2015. Registration is limited to 6 representatives per organization. For further information please see the FAQ.

  • Civil society hearing on the longer-term positioning of the United Nations development system

    The Economic and Social Council, pursuant to its resolution 2014/14 will convene a civil society hearing, with the participation of the representatives of NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC, on the topic of “Longer-term positioning of the United Nations development system”.

    The hearing will be held on Tuesday, 28 April 2015, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., in Conference Room 3, at the United Nations Headquarters. Registration is not required for this civil society hearing. All NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC are welcome to participate provided that they have a valid UN Grounds Pass. For information about requesting grounds passes please click here.

    The hearing will provide representatives of civil society an opportunity to contribute to the ongoing ECOSOC dialogue on the longer-term positioning of the United Nations development system, taking into account the post-2015 development agenda, including the interlinkages between the alignment of functions, funding practices, governance structures, capacity and impact of the United Nations development system, partnership approaches and organizational arrangements.

    The programme will be made available shortly on ECOSOC QCPR website. For additional information on the ongoing ECOSOC Dialogue on the longer-term positioning of the United Nations development system, please click here.

  • Economic and Social Council civil society hearing on the longer-term positioning of the United Nations development system – CALL FOR WRITTEN STATEMENTS

    The Economic and Social Council, in its resolution 2014/14 of 14 July 2014, decided to convene a transparent and inclusive dialogue involving Member States and all relevant stakeholders on the longer-term positioning of the United Nations development system, taking into account the post-2015 development agenda, including the interlinkages between the alignment of functions, funding practices, governance structures, capacity and impact of the United Nations development system, partnership approaches and organizational arrangements.

    Pursuant to ECOSOC resolution 2014/14, the Economic and Social Council, under the guidance of H. E. Ms. María Emma Mejía Vélez (Colombia), Vice-President of the Council, is convening a civil society hearing on the longer-term positioning of the United Nations development system on Tuesday, 28 April 2015, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., at the United Nations Headquarters.

    The Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination is pleased to announce an open call for written statements for the civil society hearing for NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC. The deadline for written statements is 5:00 p.m. EST on 23 April 2015.

  • 2015 ECOSOC High-Level Segment - Open Call for Oral and Written Statements (9 April - 27 April 2015)

    The Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs is pleased to announce an open call for oral and written statements for the 2015 ECOSOC High-Level Segment (HLS) for NGOs in ECOSOC consultative status. The open call will be held from 9 April 2015 to 27 April 2015.

    The theme for the 2015 session of the Economic and Social Council is “Managing the transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the sustainable development goals: what it will take”.

    The HLS will be held from 6 July to 10 July 2015 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This is a unique opportunity for organizations in consultative status with ECOSOC - and for civil society at large - to be heard at ECOSOC deliberations, as well as to contribute to issues of critical concern to the global development agenda. It will also provide a platform to specifically address the transition to an ambitious, integrated, coherent, universal post-2015 development agenda through analysis and elaboration in terms of goals, policy choices, institutional adjustments and the assignment of roles and responsibilities among all partners.

    The HLS will include the three-day ministerial meeting of the high-level political forum on sustainable development (HLPF), convened under the auspices of the Council, and the annual ministerial review. The theme of the 2015 HLPF “Strengthening integration, implementation and review - the HLPF after 2015” will provide an opportunity to advance the reflection on the elaboration of the overall framework to review and monitor progress on the post-2015 development agenda with the HLPF at its core.

  • Redesigned multilingual UN portal launched - www.un.org

    The new-look website has been completely redesigned and restructured resulting in a more intuitive, visually arresting and dynamic user experience that reflects a forward-looking United Nations in its 70th year. The website contains a wealth of information about the Organization, almost all of which is fully accessible for persons with disabilities.

    The audience-driven taxonomy helps specific audiences such as delegates, journalists, the business community, the civil society, academia, students, job seekers and visitors to easily find links to relevant information with their own dedicated pages of resources. New sections such as ‘In Focus’, ‘In the Spotlight’ and ‘The UN System at Work’ promote the multifaceted work of the UN around the world and also enable the highlighting of prominent themes, events and personalities.

  • Commission on the Status of Women concludes Fifty-ninth Session

    The Commission on the Status of Women adopted a political declaration that strongly reaffirmed the landmark 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, including by strengthening the involvement of civil society in the Commission’s work and by setting the tangible expiry date for gender inequality, with ministers’ pledges to take a number of concrete steps. Those included strengthening the implementation of laws, policies and strategies, increasing support for institutional mechanisms, addressing discriminatory norms and stereotypes and significantly raising investments for gender equality to close resource gaps.

    The Commission took action on four draft resolutions, sending two texts — on working methods and on Palestinian women — to the Economic and Social Council. Among those texts, it approved, without a vote, a draft resolution on the future organization and methods of work of the Commission on the Status of Women (document E/CN.6/2015/L.5), by which, among other things, ECOSOCl would decide that the Commission’s annual session would include a ministerial segment to reaffirm and strengthen political commitment for the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, as well as their human rights. The Commission also approved a resolution on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women (document E/CN.6/2015/L.2), by a recorded vote of 27 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 13 abstentions.

  • Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction is a resounding success

    On 18 March 2015, representatives from 187 UN member States adopted the < a href="http://www.wcdrr.org/preparatory/post2015">Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction: 2015 - 2030, a far reaching new framework for disaster risk reduction with seven targets and four priorities for action and the first major agreement of the Post-2015 development agenda.

    Margareta Wahlström, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, said: “The adoption of this new framework for disaster risk reduction opens a major new chapter in sustainable development as it outlines clear targets and priorities for action which will lead to a substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health.

    “Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction over the next 15 years will require strong commitment and political leadership and will be vital to the achievement of future agreements on sustainable development goals and climate later this year. As the UN Secretary-General said here on the opening day, sustainability starts in Sendai.”

    Over 6,500 delegates, including over 25 Heads of State, Vice Presidents, and Heads of Government, attended the intergovernmental and multi-stakeholder events and over 40,000 attended the public forum. In addition, 42 intergovernmental organizations, 236 non-government organizations, 38 UN entities; and over 300 private sector representatives were in attendance.

  • 14th session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration Open Call for Oral and Written Statements (Deadline: 31 March 2015)

    The Division for Public Administration and Development Management of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs is pleased to announce an open call for written statements for the 14th session of CEPA for NGOs in ECOSOC consultative status. The main item of discussion for CEPA this year is "Building trust in government in pursuit of the sustainable development goals, what will it take?" with sub-items: (1) Redefining relationships and responsibilities to support participatory governance and responsive public service delivery, including through e-solutions; (2) Strengthening innovation, prioritisation, informed decision-making and integration of policy development processes for enhanced impact; and (3) Promoting accountable institutions, ethical leadership and integrity to enhance confidence in efforts to deliver sustainable development. The 14th session will be held on 20-24 April at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The submission of written statements on these issues is open through CSO-Net at http://bit.ly/1GrlUDd. Statements sent by e-mail cannot be accepted.

  • Informal briefings for non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council

    There will be three consecutive informal briefings for non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council on Monday, 16 March 2015, at 3:00 p.m., in the Economic and Social Council Chamber.
     
    The first will be a briefing by the Vice-President of the Council, Her Excellency María Emma Mejía Vélez (Colombia), on the Council’s ongoing dialogue on longer-term positioning of the United Nations development system, taking into account the post-2015 development agenda, including the interlinkages between the alignment of functions, funding practices, governance structures, capacity and impact of the United Nations development system, partnership approaches and organizational arrangements. The Vice-President will outline her vision for the ECOSOC dialogue and present its roadmap.
     
    The second will be a briefing by the Vice-President of the Council, His Excellency Vladimir Drobnjak (Croatia), on the preparations for the Integration Segment to be held from Monday, 30 March, to Wednesday, 1 April 2015. The Integration Segment will consider the theme “Achieving sustainable development through employment creation and decent work for all”. The Segment aims to bring together Heads of States and Governments, ministers, the United Nations system, the tripartite constituents of the International Labour Organization, civil society and the private sector to focus on how the creation of good quality jobs could be a tool for promoting the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, and to identify policy choices and possible trade-offs that could arise from an integrated approach.
     
    The third will be a briefing by the Vice-President of the Council, His Excellency Mohamed Khaled Khiari (Tunisia), on the preparations for the Humanitarian Affairs Segment to be held from Wednesday, 17 June, to Friday, 19 June 2015, at United Nations Office in Geneva. Member States, UN agencies, humanitarian and development partners, civil society, the private sector and affected communities will discuss emerging and pressing humanitarian issues during two High-Level panel discussions, a Transition event, side-events and a humanitarian fair.
     
    For additional information relating to the ECOSOC dialogue on the longer-term positioning of the UN development system please click here, and for the Integration Segment please click here.

  • UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality issues Call for Proposals

    Innovative civil society initiatives seeking to spur women’s economic and/or political empowerment are invited to apply for funding. Interested applicants are encouraged to read the Call for Proposals and start preparing for the online application process that will open from 9 March to 5 April 2015. For more information please visit www.unwomen.org/FGE.

    To know more about the Fund and the new Call you can participate in two events in New York:

    1. Panel on "Civil Society at the Forefront of the Post-2015 Agenda" and official launching of the Call (17 March 2015 2015, 11.30am at the UN Secretariat, DHL auditorium - UN accreditation required for entrance)

    2. Questions & Answers Session for Civil Society Organizations on how to apply to the Call for Proposals (18 March 2015, 2.30pm at the Church Center, 2nd Floor, 777 1st Avenue)

  • Committee on NGOs concludes its 2015 Regular Session on 13 February

    The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today concluded its regular session with the adoption of its report, in which it recommended that the Economic and Social Council grant consultative status to 124 of the 330 applicants it considered during its session.

    By the report, adopted without a vote, the Committee also recommended that the Economic and Social Council defer 176 applications for further consideration when it resumed its session, slated to be held in May, and close 29 applications after the non-governmental organizations in question had failed to respond to queries over two consecutive sessions. It also took note of one non-governmental organization that had withdrawn its application.

    Among its other recommendations was that the Council grant two of the five requests for reclassification of consultative status, while taking note of five requests for a name change and also of 172 of the 210 quadrennial reports before it. It further took note of the requests from two non-governmental organizations to withdraw their consultative status.

  • Committee on NGOs opens its 2015 Regular Session on 26 January

    At the start of the meeting, the Committee adopted its agenda and programme of work (document E/C.2/2015/1). It elected by acclamation Jorge Dotta (Uruguay), on behalf of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States as its Chair; and Farid Jabrayilov (Azerbaijan), on behalf of the Group of Eastern European States, and Forouzandeh Vadiati (Iran), on behalf of the Group of Asia-Pacific States, as Vice-Chairs.

    Navid Hanif, Director of the Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, said non-governmental organizations are increasingly sought out for their expertise and knowledge in shaping and implementing three major agreements: the post-2015 development agenda based on the sustainable development goals, a global agreement expected at the upcoming third International Conference on Financing for Development; and an agreement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December on measures to address climate change’s existential threat.

    This session plans to consider a total of 177 new applications and 153 applications deferred from previous sessions, as well as 175 new quadrennial reports and 35 quadrennial reports deferred from previous sessions.

  • Revised guidelines for requesting a change of name for an NGO in ECOSOC consultative status

    The guidelines for requesting a change of name are now available on the NGO Branch website: http://csonet.org/index.php?menu=170

  • Revised guidelines for obtaining UN Grounds Passes

    The guidelines for obtaining UN Grounds Passes have been revised to provide greater clarity. The full revised version is available on the NGO Branch website: http://csonet.org/index.php?menu=86

  • Audio versions of 'Working with ECOSOC' guide now available

    "Working with ECOSOC" is an informational booklet that briefs Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) on the benefits of establishing a consultative relationship with ECOSOC, as well as to provide instructions on how to obtain this status within the framework provided by ECOSOC Resolution 1996/31.

    Apart from PDFs in English, French, Portuguese, Korean and Japanese, it is now available as an audio guide (MP3s) in English and French. In a friendly language and modern tone, the booklet intends to show the multi-dimensional benefits of working with ECOSOC and how NGOs can maximize their contribution to the United Nations.

  • "Working with ECOSOC - an NGO Guide to Consultative Status" booklet now available in French

    "Working with ECOSOC" is an informational booklet that briefs Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) on the benefits of establishing a consultative relationship with ECOSOC, as well as to provide instructions on how to obtain this status within the framework provided by ECOSOC Resolution 1996/31.

    Apart from English and now in French, it is also available in Portuguese, Korean and Japanese. Other language versions are under development.

    The booklet consists of 44 pages and provides basic information about the way in which NGOs can interact with the United Nations in general and with ECOSOC in particular. It describes the different formal and informal mechanisms that civil society can utilize in order to work with the different ECOSOC Commissions (i.e. attendance to meetings, submission of statements, side-events, oral interventions, etc.) as well as the obligations that NGOs assume by entering in this consultative relationship.

    In a friendly language and modern tone, the booklet intends to show the multi-dimensional benefits of working with ECOSOC and how NGOs can maximize their contribution to the United Nations.

  • Pre-registration for CSW59 is open

    Official pre-registration for the fifty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women, to be held from 9 to 20 March 2015 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, is open through 27 January 2015. NGOs that are accredited to and in good standing with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) may designate representatives to attend the annual sessions of the CSW. To pre-register your representative(s), please go to http://bit.ly/113e3tc

    All participants must be pre-registered by 27 January 2015. For more information on participation in CSW59 please visit http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/ngo-participation

  • Deadline approaching for CSW59 written statements

    Please note that the deadline for submission of written statements for the fifty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59) is COB 24 October 2014. The submission of written statements is open through CSO-Net at http://esango.un.org/irene/?page=viewStatements&nr=24923&type=8&section=8. Statements sent by e-mail cannot be accepted.

  • General Assembly Elects 18 Members of Economic and Social Council, Confirms 13 States Nominated to Programme and Coordination Committee

    On October 29, the General Assembly elected 18 members of the Economic and Social Council to serve three-year terms beginning 1 January 2015.  Those newly elected were Argentina, Austria (re-election), Brazil, Burkina Faso (re-election), Estonia, France (re-election), Germany (re-election), Ghana, Greece (re-election), Honduras, India (re-election), Japan (re-election), Mauritania, Pakistan, Portugal (re-election), Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

  • The Global Forum on Youth Policies: world's youth call for a seat at the policy table

    The Global Forum on Youth Policies took place in Baku between 28 and 30 October. Bringing together an estimated 700 youth policy experts – from governments and parliaments, youth networks and movement, research and development communities, the gathering helped amplify voices passionate about developing and implementing national policies tailored to the specific needs, aspirations and demands of today's young people.

  • UN expert urges Member States to consider justice as pillar of development

    In presenting her latest report to the General Assembly, Gabriela Knaul, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, cautioned delegates over the current development framework established by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), stating that it was "too limited conceptually to fully account for the human experience of development." She urged Member States to adopt a human-rights based approach to development, suggesting that they insert "explicit references" to human rights standards and standards related to access to justice in the post-2015 sustainable development goals and targets. 

  • World Conference on Indigenous Peoples concludes with high expectations for sweeping change

    The action-oriented provisions of the Outcome Document of the first World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, held on 22-23 September, are expected to lead to sweeping changes for current and future generations. 

  • Historic Climate Summit brings together world leaders and reinvigorates hope for a binding agreement in 2015 

    A record number of Heads of State and Government, together with leaders from business and civil society, came together at the Climate Summit held on 23 September, sharing plans to avert catastrophic climate change as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon looked to push forward concrete commitments ahead of the 2015 deadline for a binding global agreement on the issue. 

  • Twenty year review of the ICPD Programme of Action calls for greater global efforts

    On September 22-23, the twenty year review of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo) found that despite remarkable strides in women’s rights and empowerment worldwide in the last two decades, greater global efforts were needed to ensure full gender equality, human dignity, sustainable growth and the future of the planet. Participants agreed that population concerns must be at the core of the post-2015 development agenda and cited the need for universal access to basic services such as health care and education. Several speakers voiced strong support for sexual and reproductive rights, and representatives from developing countries appealed for reliable financial and technical aid to implement their respective sustainable development agendas.

  • Registration deadline extended for the High-level meeting of the General Assembly on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

    Registration for accredited NGOs for the High-level meeting of the GA on the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the CRC (http://www.unicef.org/crc/index_73962.html), which will take place on 20 November 2014 in New York, has been extended until 12 September.

    Registration is open to civil society organizations with ECOSOC status or those that are in a collaborative relationship with UNICEF. Kindly note that due to space constraints, a maximum of 3 representatives of each organization is permitted. Please register here: http://bit.ly/1vojfjN

  • Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States

    Governments, businesses and civil society organizations are preparing to galvanize action through new and innovative partnerships at the Third Conference on Small Island Developing States (http://www.sids2014.org), which will be held in Apia, Samoa, from 1-4 September. The conference will be an opportunity to highlight the significant vulnerabilities that islands face while also bringing to the spotlight the ways in which this group of countries is making progress addressing global issues such as climate change, access to sustainable energy and environmental degradation.

    The Conference will also seek to be a platform to establish new, genuine and durable partnerships between small island developing states and the rest of the world on various issues including sustainable economic development, oceans, food security and waste management, sustainable tourism, disaster risk reduction, and health and non-communicable diseases, youth and women.

  • Open Ended Working Group on Ageing

    The Fifth Session of the Open Ended Working Group on Ageing (30 July – 1 August) will include four panel discussions which pay attention to the Human Rights and Care of Older Persons; Violence and Abuse against Older Persons (with a focus on older women and financial abuse); the Planning for End of Life Care: Legal and Financial issues; as well as Recent Developments and how to strengthen the rights of older persons through enhanced implementation
    of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. The newly Human Rights Council appointed Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of All Human Rights by Older persons, Ms. Rosita Kornfeld-Matte will address the working group for the first time, and the Special Advisor of the Secretary General on Post-2015 Development will address the Working Group on the theme “Older Persons and the Post-2015 Agenda”. (Live webcast, follow on Twitter using #OEWG5)

  • UN General Assembly’s Open Working Group proposes sustainable development goals

    The UN General Assembly’s Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals forwarded to the Assembly its proposal for a set of Goals that consider economic, social and environmental dimensions to improve people’s lives and protect the planet for future generations at the conclusion
    of the Group’s thirteenth and final session at UN Headquarters on Saturday, 19 July 2014. The proposal contains 17 goals with 169 targets covering a broad range of sustainable development issues, including ending poverty and hunger, improving health and education, making cities more sustainable, combating climate change, and protecting oceans and forests. The Group’s proposal on goals will be considered by the in the upcoming General Assembly as part of the broader post-2015 development agenda that world leaders are expected to adopt at a Summit in September 2015.

  • ECOSOC concludes 2014 Substantive Session

    The 2014 substantive session of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) included a High-level Segment, as well as the second meeting of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), held for the first time under the auspices of ECOSOC. The HLPF meeting - taking place on 30 June-9 July - included a three-day ministerial segment and concluded with the adoption of a negotiated ministerial declaration. The ECOSOC High-level Segment took place on 7-11 July, and concluded two weeks in which ministers and other senior Government officials considered key items that would make the post-2015 development agenda a success, highlighting partnerships and moving sustainable development to the forefront.

    Following the ECOSOC substantive session, during its Coordination and Management Segment, on 14 July, ECOSOC adopted the report of the Committee on NGOs at its May Session (E/2014/32 (Part II)).

  • Registration open for World Conference on Indigenous Peoples

    Registration is now open (http://esango.un.org/irene/?page=viewContent&nr=24343&type=8§ion=8) for the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly, to be known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, which will take place on 22 September and on the afternoon of 23 September 2014 at UN Headquarters in New York according to resolutions A/RES/65/198 and A/RES/66/296.

    Registration is open for: Organizations and institutions of indigenous peoples; non-governmental organizations in consultative status with ECOSOC; relevant non-governmental and civil society organizations, academic institutions, national human rights institutions and the private sector.

    The World Conference shall result in a concise, action-oriented outcome document, taking account of the views of both Member States and indigenous peoples.

    The conference Outcome Document should contribute to the realization of the rights of indigenous peoples, pursue the objectives of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and promote the achievement of all internationally agreed development goals.

  • Conclusion of the 2014 Resumed session of the Committee on NGOs

    The 2014 Resumed Session of the Committee on NGOs took place from 19 to 28 May and 6 June (to adopt its report), reviewing a total of 343 applications (including 192 applications that had been deferred from previous sessions), 3 reclassifications and 164 quadrennial reports.

    A total of 158 applications were recommended for consultative status with ECOSOC. The Committee closed, without prejudice, the consideration of 29 applications. Pending receipt of answers to questions posed by the members, the Committee deferred a total of 158 applications to its next session.

    The Committee took note of a total of 129 quadrennial reports submitted by NGOs in Special and General consultative status. Pending clarifications, the Committee deferred a total of 35 reports to its next session due to objections and questions by delegations. The Committee also dealt with the issue of organizations that had failed to submit their quadrennial report in due time, as stated in ECOSOC resolution 2008/4. Out of the 153 organizations that were previously suspended of their consultative status for one year, due to their failure to submit a quadrennial report, 21 organizations had submitted a report within the year they were suspended and will be re-instated by ECOSOC in July 2014 and three submitted their reports late and will be considered in 2015 but will still remain on the active list of NGOs in status. The rest, 129 organizations, will have their consultative status withdrawn, as stated in the resolution 2008/4. These organizations may re-apply after three years. Furthermore, 106 organizations will have their consultative status suspended for one year – starting in July 2014 - due to non submission of their quadrennial report.

    The report of the Committee (E/2014/32 (part II), which contains the above recommendations, is expected to be taken up by ECOSOC at its next Coordination and Management Meeting, on 15 July 2014.

  • Committee on NGOs holds Informals ahead of Resumed Session

    The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations held an informal meeting on 28 April at United Nations Headquarters to review 151 new applications from NGOs seeking consultative status to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). NGO submitting applications are working on a range of issues: rural development, microfinance, gender equality, protecting the environment and children’s rights. The Committee is vetting NGO applications and recommending general, special or roster status on the basis of the applicant’s mandate, governance and financial structure.

    Once accredited, NGOs can attend ECOSOC meetings, as well as receive different levels of benefits. Members of the NGO Committee for the period 2011-2014 are: Belgium, Bulgaria, Burundi, China, Cuba, India, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Peru, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sudan, Turkey, the United States of America, and Venezuela. The Committee on NGOs' resumed session for 2014 is scheduled for 19-28 May in New York. The Committee will meet again on 6 June to adopt its report of the session.

  • 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women concludes

    UN Women welcomed the outcome of the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women on 22 March. The conclusions of the two-week meeting represent a milestone towards a transformative global development agenda that puts the empowerment of women and girls at its centre. Member States also stressed that while the Millennium Development Goals have advanced progress in many areas, they remain unfinished business as long as gender inequality persists.

  • UN Commission on Status of Women opens annual session

    The Commission on the Status of Women opened its 2014 Session on 10 March at UN Headquarters in New York with a focus on development,education and reproductive rights.
    More than 6,000 registered representatives of the 193 Member States, UN and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will discuss the challenges and achievements in the implementation of the eight anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) ahead of the 2015 deadline.

    More than 135 events organized by UN agencies will be held at Headquarters, alongside the official meetings of the Commission. According to UN Women, an additional 300 parallel events will be hosted by the NGO community close to the UN premises.

    The Commission will conclude on 21 March. A final discussion document will contribute to shaping a future development agenda, with some participants asking for a stand-alone goal on women’s empowerment in the post-2015 development agenda.

  • Equality for women means progress for all, UN marks International Women's Day

    To mark International Women's Day on 8 March, the United Nations family highlighted a simple truth: achieving equality for women and girls is not only a matter of fairness and fundamental human rights, but because progress in so many other areas depends on it.

    In his message for the Day, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underscored that empowered women lift up society as a whole. Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth; peace agreements that include women are more durable; and parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support.

    In this spirit, a new campaign was launched at Headquarters by UN Women on the theme HeForShe. It invites men and boys to stand up and voice their support for women's rights all over the world.

  • 9th Session of Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals concludes

    The Ninth Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals was held at UN Headquarters from 3-5 March 2014. The Executive Summary of Major Group Inputs is available here.

  • Rethinking Urbanization in the 21st Century

    How countries plan, build and manage their cities today will determine the outcome of global efforts to achieve a sustainable future, a panel of United Nations and civil society experts said on 4 March, calling on the international community to examine how the impacts of rapid urbanization can be better managed.

    The City We Need, a document outlining the vision of a city for the 21st century, was launched at a press conference at United Nations Headquarters. Produced by the World Urban Campaign and UN-Habitat, the document aims to draw attention to the links between urbanization and major global development challenges such as climate change and grinding poverty.

  • ECOSOC adjourns operational activities for development segment

    A post-2015 agenda focused on sustainable development and poverty eradication required the United Nations to refine the ways it supported countries’ priority development needs, Member States said on 26 February at United Nations Headquarters as ECOSOC concluded the main part of its operational segment for the 2014 session.

    The three-day segment started a “forward-looking” dialogue on adapting the United Nations system to important changes taking place in the broader development landscape. In the general discussion, delegates weighed in on how the entire United Nations development system could improve results on the ground. Many encouraged specialized agencies to more effectively exploit their comparative advantage in norm- and standard-setting, while others looked at how “issue-based” alliances within the United Nations could serve as future business models.

  • Deepening Arab region integration could raise development, UN reports

    Inclusive economic integration in the Arab region could create six million new jobs by 2020 and increase regional gross domestic product by three per cent, the United Nations reported on 25 February.

    The report Arab Integration: A 21st Century Development Imperative launched by the Economic and Social Commission of Western Asia (ESCWA), utilizes studies and economic models to compare potential growth if regional countries integrated. It also identifies strategies for promoting free trade in services, free movement in capital and workers, and the development of regional production chains.

  • UN kicks off International Year to raise profile of small island developing countries

    International Year of Small Island Developing States was launched on 24 February at the United Nations Headquarters to draw attention to increasing environmental degradation, and social and economic marginalization in 51 highly vulnerable small island developing States (SIDS).

    This group of States share similar sustainable development challenges, including small but growing populations, limited resources, remoteness, susceptibility to natural disasters, vulnerability to external shocks, excessive dependence on international trade, and fragile environments.

    International Year also will draw attention to the Third International Conference on SIDS, which will be held in Apia, Samoa in September, which has the theme “sustainable development of small island States through genuine and durable partnerships."



  • Valuing natural resources critical to Africa's 'green economy' growth

    The next wave of investment and innovation in Africa will be driven by the need for new energy resources, wealth generation and job creation, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, Achim Steiner said to a high-level African ministerial conference on green economy in Oran, Algeria on 22 February.

    In a green economy, growth in income and employment is driven by public and private investment that reduces carbon emissions and pollution, enhances energy and resource efficiency, and prevents the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

    The UN-backed Green Climate Fund also agreed on guidelines that will shape its work and activities. The Fund is intended to act as a central tool to finance climate change action, both adaptation and mitigation, in developing countries.

  • Tackling water, sanitation and energy key to sustainable future

    Addressing the water, sanitation and sustainable energy crises are essential for the achievement of development goals. As General Assembly President John Ashe opened the Thematic Debate on this issue on 18 February, he urged Member States to adopt integrated policies and innovative strategies to tackle these challenges.

    He cited that 783 million people live without clean water; 2.5 billion have no adequate sanitation; and 1.4 billion people are without access to electricity. The two-day gathering was the first in the series of debates and high-level events Mr. Ashe will host this year to provide a platform for Member States and other stakeholders to set the stage for the post-2015 development agenda.

  • New UN report highlights experiences, challenges faced by young migrants worldwide

    The latest World Youth Report launched 14 February by the United Nations spotlights the significant impact of young migrants on origin, transit and destination countries and communities, as well as the challenges they face, as told in their own voices.

    Published by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the report explains how the impacts of youth migration are mixed. When young people migrate, they tend to improve both their own financial situation and the economic circumstances of their families through the income they earn and the remittances they send home, while destination countries benefit from greater economic efficiency. However, countries of origin can suffer from human capital flight, or brain drain, notably of health and education professionals.

  • Ignoring equality, rights and women’s health risks derailing development, says UN officials

    Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Mr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) launched the International Conference on Population and Development Global Review Report at a news conference on 12 February at United Nations Headquarters.

    The International Conference on Population and Development (IPCD), held in Cairo in 1994, was a milestone in population and development, and women’s rights. The ICPD-20 year review highlights inequalities in access to vital services, as well as challenges related to population growth, changing age structures, rapid urbanization and migration.

  • UN Commission on Social Development opens with focus on growing inequality

    The 2014 session of the Commission for Social Development opened on 11 February against a backdrop of a weak global economic recovery, harsh fiscal austerity measures, and continued unemployment.

    “Our attention should be given first and foremost to the issue of inequality, which in many case, is a major cause for social turbulence worldwide,” said Mr. Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, at the opening session.

    It was also mentioned that the 2014 ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review will focus on addressing on-going and emerging challenges in meeting the Millennium Development Goals and in defining the sustainable development gains in the future.

    The Commission will run at UN Headquarters in New York through 21 February.

  • Eighth session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals concludes

    The Eighth session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals concluded its week-long meeting on 8 February.

    Its focus was:
    1. Oceans and seas, forests, biodiversity

    2. Promoting equality, including social equity, gender equality and women's empowerment

    3. Conflict prevention, post-conflict peacebuilding and the promotion of durable peace, rule of law and governance

    A summary of the session and a progress report are available here.

  • NEW: Report of 2014 regular session of the Committee on NGOs

    The 2014 regular session of the Committee on NGOs was held from 21 to 30 January 2014 and adopted its report on 7 February 2014. The Committee considered 439 applications for consultative status. It recommended 225 for consultative status, deferred 192 for further consideration at its resumed session and closed consideration of 22 applications. NEW: Report of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations on its 2014 regular session

    An information note on the session is also available.

    Meetings coverage: 21 Jan | 22 Jan | 23 Jan | 24 Jan | 27 Jan | 28 Jan | 29 Jan | 30 Jan

  • General Assembly President launches initiative for post-2015 development agenda

    General Assembly President John Ashe launched a major effort on 6 February to harness the support of civil society organizations to help formulate a new development agenda with the potential to eradicate poverty in the decades to come.

    "The task of addressing the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals and transitioning toward a universal post-2015 development agenda is so fundamentally important and far-reaching that it requires the efforts of all stakeholders in government, business and society," Mr. Ashe said during an interactive briefing of global civil society representatives at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

    Civil society representatives gave input on the three high-level events and three thematic debates the General Assembly President will host this year as a contribution to the post-2015 development agenda

  • Weak global economy strangling job employment creation

    The United Nations' labor agency reported on 20 January that the number of unemployed people around the world rose above 200 million last year as job opportunities failed to grow at the same pace as the global workforce. Global unemployment rose by 5 million people in 2013, and if the trend continues, will rise by a further 13 million people by 2018, the International Labour Organization (ILO) stated in its annual outlook, 'Global Employment Trends 2014.'

    The bulk of the employment gap is in the East Asia and South Asia regions, which represent nearly half of the additional jobseekers, followed by Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe. Recommendations for supporting a growing global workface included job-friendly macroeconomic policies and a greater attention to labour market and social policies.

  • ECOSOC NGOs - 2014 UN Grounds Passes

    Grounds passes for 2014 can be requested following the established procedure below.

    Like this year, you will not be required to visit the DESA NGO Branch for issuance of UN Grounds Passes.

    • Please pre-register your request online at http://csonet.org/?menu=86. Once approved you will receive an email with a request to print a security form (SSS.160). When registering online, make sure that you request the duration of your new pass to be from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014.


    • As before, you will also need a letter, on the official letterhead of the organization, from your Chief Executive / President designating a maximum of five representatives for annual passes plus two for the CEO and Chief Executive. This is a mandatory requirement. See sample letter here.

    • After you have pre-registered online, you can apply for the pass, in person, at the UN Pass and ID office, at the corner of 45th Street and 1st Avenue, between 9 am and 4 pm, Monday through Friday.You must bring the letter and a printed copy of the security form.

    Annual passes for the year 2014 will be issued from 2 January 2014 onwards.

    • Registrations submitted online before 4 pm (New York time) will be endorsed the next business day by the UN Pass & ID office.

    • Procedures for Geneva and Vienna are also unchanged.

  • Healthy and sustainable food systems are crucial to fight hunger and malnutrition

    Strong and resilient food systems are the most cost-efficient and sustainable way to prevent all forms of malnutrition. The United Nations called on 17 January for agricultural research and development to become more focused on nutrition, as well as local biodiversity and diversified farming systems.

    According to a news release from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), today’s common approach to food production is not sustainable as food production has tripled since 1945 and average food availability per person has risen by 40 per cent. The news release called for agricultural research and development to become more nutrition enhancing, with a stronger focus on nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and animal-source foods, as well as local biodiversity and diversified farming systems.

  • Senior UN officials urge ‘Group of 77’ nations to work collectively on anti-poverty goals

    At a ceremony at the United Nations Headquarters on 8 January where Fiji handed over the chairmanship of the ‘Group of 77 and China’ to Bolivia, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and General Assembly President John Ashe urged the bloc of developing countries to work collectively towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the 2015 deadline. Mr. Ashe noted the importance of the forum’s members working together with the available tools to eradicate poverty, improve social and economic well-being and lay the foundations for a sustainable future. The Group, established in 1964 by 77 States, now includes more than 130 countries, some two-thirds of the UN membership, and over 60 per cent of the world’s population.

  • UN calls for respect of migrants’ rights on International Day

    To mark International Migrants Day on 18 December, the United Nations called on people and Governments to reject xenophobia and embrace migration as an enabler for equitable, inclusive and sustainable social and economic development. In his message to commemorate the Day, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said there are 232 million international migrants bringing benefits to countries of destination and origin through their labour and remittances. However, too many migrants live and work in the worst conditions with the least access to basic services and fundamental rights, making them disproportionately vulnerable to extortion, violence, discrimination and marginalization.

  • Committee on NGOs holds Informal Sessions

    The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations held informal meetings on 10-11 December at United Headquarters to review 220 new applications from NGOs seeking consultative status to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). 115 applications were received from NGOs in developing countries. NGO submitting applications are working on a range of issues: rural development, microfinance, gender equality, protecting the environment and children’s rights.

    The Committee is vetting NGO applications and recommending general, special or roster status on the basis of the applicant’s mandate, governance and financial structure. Once accredited, NGOs can attend ECOSOC meetings, as well as receive different levels of benefits. Members of the NGO Committee for the period 2011-2014 are: Belgium, Bulgaria, Burundi, China, Cuba, India, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Peru, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sudan, Turkey, United States of America, and Venezuela. The Committee on NGO’s regular session for 2014 is scheduled for 21-30 January in New York.

  • UN report states world must produce 70 per cent more food by 2050

    The world will need 70 per cent more food to feed a global population of 9.6 billion in 2050, and must achieve this through improvements in the way people produce and consume, according to a preliminary report released on 3 December by the United Nations, the World Bank and its partners. The report, entitled “World Resources Report: Creating a Sustainable Food Future,” finds that boosting crop and livestock productivity on existing agricultural land is critical to saving forests and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It also recommends reducing food loss and waste, reducing excessive demand for animal products and following other “climate-smart” guidelines.

  • New roadmap for UNIDO stresses inclusive and sustainable industrial development

    The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) adopted on 2 December a new roadmap. It charts the agency’s priorities and emphasizes the need to ensure inclusive and sustainable industrial development, as the basis for sustained economic growth. The new Lima Declaration, which was adopted during UNIDO's General Conference stated that the Vienna-based agency should focus on the three thematic priorities: productive capacity-building, trade capacity-building, and sustainable production and industrial resource efficiency.

  • Accessibility Centre at United Nations Headquarters is Open

    Members of the NGO community were invited to the inauguration ceremony of the Accessibility Centre on Wednesday, 4 December 2013 at 3:30p.m., as the Organization observed International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December).

    The Accessibility Centre will enable greater participation of persons with disabilities in the intergovernmental processes at the United Nations in response to the mandate of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the recent Human Rights Council Decision (A/HRC/DEC/19/119). The Centre is an achievement in creating an inclusive and accessible United Nations for all.

    For more information and an agenda click here.

  • Public-private partners at UN pledge funding for sustainable energy for all

    The United Nations and the World Bank announced on 27 November a concerted effort by governments, international agencies, civil society and the private sector to contribute to the 'Sustainable Energy for All' initiative. Launched two years ago, the initiative seeks to achieve three goals by 2030: universal access to modern energy, doubling energy efficiency and the share of renewable energy, and improved energy efficiency.

    Achievements already attained include Brazil’s ‘Light for All’ programme that has reached 15 million people, Norway’s commitment of $330 million in 2014 for global renewable energy and efficiency, and Bank of America’s Green Bond that has raised $500 million for its environmental business commitment. OPEC’s (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) also announced a $1 billion fund for energy access.

  • UN launches International Year to highlight role of family farms in reducing hunger

    The United Nations launched the International Year of Family Farming 2014 on 22 November to highlight the potential family farmers have to reduce hunger, preserve natural resources and promote sustainable development.

    According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), there are an estimated 500 million family farms that rely primarily on family members for labour and management across the world. In many developing countries, family farms represent up to 80 per cent of all farm holdings.

  • UN links private, public partnerships to create climate change solutions

    A United Nations-business forum is trying for the first time to unite the public sector with private ventures to allow businesses and investors to set concrete actions and share solutions. The Caring for Climate Business Forum was held in Warsaw on 19 November alongside the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 19). Among the businesses participating in the forum were Ikea, which vowed to use 100 per cent renewable energy by 2020, and Dow, which created a framework to mitigate the footprint for large scale events and help produce the first carbon neutral Olympic Games.

  • Pre-registration for CSW58 is open

    Official pre-registration for the 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, to be held from 10 to 21 March 2014 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, is open through 27 January 2014 .

    The priority theme will be: "Challenges and Achievements in the Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for Women and Girls." The review theme will be: "Access and Participation of Women and Girls to Education, Training, Science and Technology, including for the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work

    To pre-register your representative(s), please click here.



  • Insecurity obstructs social, economic development in Latin America

    Latin America remains the most unequal and most insecure region in the world, the United Nations reported on 12 November, calling for inclusive economic growth and enhanced security and justice institutions as the most efficient ways to reduce insecurity. According to the 2013-2014 Regional Human Development Report (HDR), the region experienced both economic growth and increased crime rates over the past decade.

    The report focused on six threats that negatively impact the region: street crime; violence and crime committed by and against youth; gender-based violence; corruption; violence committed by state actors and organized crime.

  • Linking jobs, poverty reduction, sustainable development vital for post-2015 agenda

    With technological, demographic and financial factors impacting labour, two United Nations bodies met on 8 November to examine the future of employment and the need to ensure the post-2015 development agenda provides decent work for all.

    The Second Committee (economic and financial matters) held a special joint meeting "The future of employment: The world of work in 2030," with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at United Nations Headquarters. The meeting featured presentations from the United Nations, Government and civil society experts covering such issues as identifying polices that adjust to the new realities of evolving labour markets, address the risk of growing inequalities among countries, and making sure the post-2015 development agenda reflects these trends and allows for appropriate follow-up.

  • UN South-South forum wraps up with over $450 million pledged for greener development

    More than $450 million was pledged between investors, green businesses, Governments and other parties at the United Nations-organized Global South-South Development Expo in Nairobi on 1 November, where hundreds of participants spent this week exchanging ideas, solutions and technologies developed in the global South.

    Among the agreements made this week at the headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), were projects ranging from building organic fertilizer factories and clean energy projects in Kenya to solar power plants in Uganda to green businesses for women in Egypt. The Expo is the world's biggest stage for development solutions created in the South for the South.

  • UN entities say post-2015 development agenda must address inequity in access to clean water, sanitation

    In a joint statement, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, urged member states on 30 October to ensure that the post-2015 development agenda addresses inequalities that prevent millions of people from getting access to basic services.

    The statement emphasizes that future goals, targets and indicators should include a focus on the most marginalized and disadvantaged groups and individuals, where success can be measured in relation to the progress made in closing gaps on access to sanitation, water and hygiene, and other sectors such as access to education and immunization.

  • UN Day spotlights Organization’s contributions for better world

    Marking the 68th birthday of the United Nations, the annual celebration offers a chance to recognize the invaluable contributions of the Organization to peace and common progress. United Nations Day observed on 24 October is the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that this year again, the world witnessed the UN coming together on armed conflict, human rights, the environment and many other issues. "As the world grapples with deadly conflicts and other incidents of violence, environmental degradation, inequality and persistent challenges in meeting development goals," he said, "our United Nations provides a unique forum for its Member States to deliberate on matters that most concern the world’s people and to work towards common solutions.”

  • UN rights body adopts landmark text on women and conflict

    The Geneva-based Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) has provided authoritative guidance to countries that have ratified the women’s rights convention on measures they need to take to ensure women’s rights are protected before, during and after conflict. General Recommendation No. 30, adopted on 18 October, states that parties should exercise due diligence in ensuring that non-State actors, such as armed groups and private security contractors, be held accountable for crimes against women. Member States that have ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women are obliged to uphold women’s rights when they are involved in fighting, and when they are providing peacekeeping troops or donor assistance for conflict prevention, humanitarian aid or post-conflict reconstruction, according to the document.

  • On Day for Eradication of Poverty, UN urges more support for marginalized people

    The United Nations marked the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on 17 October with senior officials urging greater support for people struggling to escape poverty and build better lives. The theme for 2013 is “Working together towards a world without discrimination: Building on the experience and knowledge of people in extreme poverty.” This year's commemoration recognizes that people living in poverty are also critical partners for tackling the world's development challenges.

    The UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty, Ms. Magdalena Sepúlveda, called on States to tackle the deep-rooted causes of gender inequality and women's greater vulnerability to poverty. She urged governments to ensure that unpaid care is better supported and more equitably shared between women and men. “When women undertake a disproportional amount of unpaid care, they have very little time to [access] their rights to education and decent work on an equal basis with men. This entrenches women's poverty and social exclusion,” she said.

  • Second Committee begins General Debate as UN officials urge shift in focus to emerging issues

    The Second Committee opened its first general debate on 9 October with Chair Abdou Salam Diallo (Senegal) stating that the Committee (Economic and Financial) must break new ground and forge the connection between globalization and sustainable development. He called for focus on countries in special situations, notably those least developed, in conflict situations, and experiencing the effects of climate change.

    Throughout the day, delegates took stock of the year’s progress made towards accelerating achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Committee Chair Diallo discussed the body’s working methods and proposed six side events on the following topics: equality of opportunity and education policy; inequality, growth and the global economic outlook; biodiversity; Small Island Developing States and sustainable development; sustainable development challenges and accelerating achievement of the MDGs; and the future of employment.

    When the floor opened for discussion, several delegations proposed improvements to the Committee’s working methods, including a reduced number of resolutions which would allow more effective distribution of workload.

  • Social Development Efforts are at a Critical Juncture as Third Committee begins its sessions

    Inequality plaguing social development was a recurring theme among UN officials as the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) began its substantive work on 7 October. While many individuals and social groups had benefited from poverty reduction and social integration, others remained far behind noted Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs in his opening remarks.

    In many countries and regions, he said, inequality was compromising the health, nutrition and education of large segments of society. It also limited job prospects and participation in social, political and economic life; and undermined economic growth and environmental sustainability. Other topics included the needs of other vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, persons with disabilities, and the role of family in social development.

    The Third Commitee is chaired by Mr. Stephan Tafrov of Bulgaria.

  • Harvard Professor Presents Keynote Address at Second Committee

    Raj Chetty, Professor of Economics at Harvard University, will present the keynote address "Equality of Opportunity and Education Policy: New Evidence from Big Data," at the opening of the Second Committee of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday 9 October.

    Awarded in 2013 the John Bates Clark medal by the American Economic Association, Professor Chetty was named by the New York Times and The Economist as one of the top economists in the world. He specializes in public finance economics and has authored influential papers on public policy matters. His work has been featured in American Economic Review and Quarterly Journal of Economics. The event will take place in Conference Room 2 of the Conference Building at 3pm.

  • Make "Migration Work for All" stressed at High-Level Meeting

    The High-level Dialogue on Migration and Development concluded on 4 October in New York with a commitment to implement measures that will protect the rights of millions of migrants as well as recognize their contributions to society. During the two-day Dialogue, Secretary-General presented his report on International Migration and Development, which makes recommendations such protecting the human rights of migrants who are frequently the subject of abuse and exploitation, lowering the cost of migration, and changing public perception of migrants.

    The report also stressed the need to integrate migration in the development agenda, improve data collection on migrants and enhance partnerships so governments, the private sector and civil society can share knowledge on mobility of migrants.

  • Civil society to shape new global development agenda

    In his first press conference since the General Debate finished Tuesday, General Assembly President John Ashe said the General Assembly is embarking on a new partnership between Member States and civil society. Mr Ashe highlighted the role of non-governmental organizations and other partners in shaping a new global development agenda while talking to journalists in New York on 3 October. He had chosen the theme for this year’s General Assembly, “The Post-2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage,” which would begin the period after the 2015 deadline of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

    Before the General Debate, Mr. Ashe and UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson met with regional civil society networks on 22 September, who presented their recommendations for a post-2015 agenda.

  • Advancing Regional Recommendations on Post-2015 event brings together one thousand representatives of civil society

    Over 1,000 representatives from civil society, governments and the United Nations gathered on 22 September at UN Headquarters in New York for a dialogue on regional issues and policy recommendations for the next global development agenda. The meeting “Advancing Regional Recommendations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda,” was organized by the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service in partnership with the Post-2015 Development Planning Team of the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG). It launched the report of the UN-NGLS regional civil society consultations carried out from May through August 2013. The event convened the largest single gathering of civil society in the post-2015 process to date.

  • UN chief urges renewed efforts to get rid of nuclear threat

    Senior United Nations officials called on Member States to take renewed steps to rid the world of nuclear weapons during the first High-level Meeting on nuclear disarmament ever held by the General Assembly on 26 September. “[Nuclear disarmament] would strengthen international peace and security. It would free up vast and much-needed resources for social and economic development. It would advance the rule of law. It would spare the environment and help keep nuclear materials from terrorist or extremist groups. And it would remove a layer of fear that clouds all of human existence, ” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the meeting.

    He appealed to nuclear-weapon States to intensify their efforts to cooperate with the international community and move towards disarmament and urged countries that have not yet done so to accede to the UN-backed Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as well as the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

  • At Special Event on MDGs, world leaders agree to scale up efforts against poverty

    World leaders meeting at United Nations Headquarters on 25 September agreed to take bolder action against extreme poverty, hunger and disease. During the Special Event on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), countries adopted an outcome document which acknowledges the progress made since the eight global targets were set in 2000, while also committing to do more to tackle many remaining challenges and accelerate progress.

    The President of the General Assembly, John W. Ashe, who convened the event, stressed that fulfilling existing commitments must be a priority for Member States, as the new development agenda will build on the MDGs. Countries also agreed to hold a high-level summit in September 2015 to adopt a new set of goals for sustainable development: providing economic transformation and opportunity to lift people out of poverty, advancing social justice and protecting the environment.

    The European Union and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) also announced they would step up efforts to reduce hunger in six countries before 2015 through agricultural development activities worth nearly €60 million.

  • World leaders inaugurate new forum to boost sustainable development

    World leaders at the United Nations inaugurated a High-level Political Forum on 24 September that aims to boost global efforts and increase development for all the world’s peoples in a manner that is sustainable for future generations. The Forum replaces the UN’s Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), which concluded its work on 20 September. To further strengthen the Forum, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said at the inaugural launch that he will create a Scientific Advisory Board to be established by UNESCO.

    The Forum will bring heads of State and Government together every four years under the General Assembly to address the challenges of sustainable development. It will meet annually at the ministerial level, under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Starting in 2016, the Forum also will review implementation of sustainable development by all countries and the UN system, for accountability and a focus on action on the ground.

  • Call for renewed commitment to multilateralism at opening of General Assembly Debate

    As world leaders gathered on 24 September for the opening of the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, John W. Ashe, President of the General Assembly, appealed to them to renew their commitment to work together to eradicate poverty and foster economic and social prosperity for people across the world through a new development agenda. “Effective multilateralism takes dogged determination and a commitment to negotiate and work cooperatively, especially if the quest is to evolve towards a shared consensus that is both broad and lasting,” said Mr. Ashe.

    The theme for this year’s session is ‘The Post-2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage.' Beginning Tuesday and continuing through 1 October, the General Debate will provide an opportunity to identify the parameters of the post-2015 sustainability agenda, which will succeed the Millennium Development Goals. So far, 84 heads of State, 41 heads of Government, 11 Deputy Prime Ministers and 65 Foreign Ministers are scheduled to address the Assembly on sustainable development, poverty eradication, climate change, human rights, and peace and security issues.

  • New development agenda must be disability-inclusive

    Reaffirming the international community’s resolve in advancing the rights of persons with disabilities, the High-level Meeting on Disability and Development on 23 September adopted an agreed outcome stressing the need to ensure accessibility for and inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of development and offering them consideration in the post-2015 UN development agenda. The outcome document underlined urgent action by all relevant stakeholders towards adoption and implementation of disability-inclusive national development strategies with disability-targeted actions, backed by international cooperation and support. There are more than 1 billion people living with some form of disability. 80% are of working age and the majority live in developing countries.

  • Commission on Sustainable Development holds final session

    The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) concluded on 20 September two decades worth of work and charted the course for the incoming High-level Political Forum to increase efforts to tackle global economic, social and environmental challenges. The CSD was formed after the 1992 Rio Summit and helped to generate action on a range of issues that led to international agreements or treaties on energy, oceans, sustainable consumption and production, and others. In June, the General Assembly established the High-level Political Forum, which will be launched on 23 September at the high-level General Assembly debate in New York.

  • MDG Gap Task Force Report 2013: The Challenge We Face

    The MDG Gap Task Force released on 19 September its annual report for 2013, "The Global Partnership for Development: The Challenge We Face." For the first time since 1997, official development assistance fell for a second year in a row; more developing countries are in need of debt restructuring; and essential medicines are still not affordable and insufficiently available in many countries. The report makes recommendations for market access, debt sustainability, and new technologies among other sectors.

    The MDG Gap Task Force was created by the Secretary-General in May 2007 to improve monitoring of global commitments for MDG 8, the Global Partnership for Development. The Task Force consists of more than 30 United Nations entities and other international agencies. The report is published annually in September and available in the six official UN languages.

  • Importance of the individual in ‘culture of peace’ stressed at high-level forum

    At a high-level forum to discuss the implementation of the UN Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace at the United Nations Headquarters on 6 September, Deputy-Secretary-General Jan Eliasson asked for religious leaders and public officials to set an example by rejecting violence and promoting dialogue. He also stressed that a culture of peace should have meaning for those suffering extreme poverty and exclusion, especially as the UN completes its 1,000 days of action towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and establishes a post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

  • UN chief stresses at G-20 more support for education, a post-2015 development agenda and tackling climate change

    Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasized on 4 September the need for more global cooperation, particularly in accelerating progress in education, poverty eradication and sustainable development, as leaders of the Group of 20 met in St. Petersburg, Russia to discuss pressing global issues. He stressed for countries to continue focusing on achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Mr Ban also noted the need to take action on climate change by increasing commitments to low-carbon energy systems and green industries.

  • Key report outlines vision for achieving MDGs, sets future sustainable development agenda

    Ahead of an upcoming special General Assembly event next month on efforts by Member States to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to define a new development agenda, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released a report on 21 August, A Life of Dignity for All , containing updates on the Goals and a vision for the work ahead.

    As 2015 approaches, the United Nations, Governments, civil society representatives and others have been engaged in an extensive process to meet a range of growing international challenges. The report calls for a broader set of targets which reflects new global realities. Sustainable development – providing economic transformation and opportunity to lift people out of poverty, advancing social justice and protecting the environment – is seen as being at the heart of the next step, supported by accountability and shared responsibilities. Contributing to the report were the views of more than a million people who were asked about their main concerns through a series of worldwide consultations in an effort unprecedented for the UN.

  • On International Youth Day, UN officials highlight potential of young migrants

    On International Youth Day, 12 August, United Nations officials highlighted the contributions, as well as plight of young migrants, who often face hard conditions away from their homes. “The remittances [young migrants] send to support families in their home countries are a major contributor to economies worldwide,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message for the Day. “When they return home, young migrants often enhance development by applying skills and ideas acquired abroad. And, in many cases, women are empowered through migration as they gain financial and social independence.”

    Of the annual total of some 214 million international migrants, young people constitute more than 10 per cent, however, little is known about their struggles. They are often accused by communities and politicians of taking jobs from local people, exposing them to further risk of racism or discrimination. Young women migrants also face the risk of sexual exploitation and abuse. In other cases, young people left behind by migrating parents face psychological and social challenges and greater vulnerability. By addressing these vulnerabilities the full potential of youth migration be realized.

  • UN stresses honouring treaties between States and indigenous groups

    Marking the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on 9 August, United Nations officials urged governments to honour the treaties and agreements established with their indigenous groups. The theme of this year’s World Indigenous Day aims to highlight the importance of honouring arrangements between States, their citizens and indigenous peoples that were designed to recognize indigenous peoples’ rights to their lands and establish a framework for living in proximity and entering into economic relationships.

    In his remarks, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted it was important to involve indigenous groups in discussion regarding the post-2015 development agenda, ensuring their culture, identity and perspective are taken into account when defining priorities. With more than 5,000 distinct indigenous groups in some 90 countries, indigenous people make up more than 5 per cent of the world’s population, representing 370 million people.

  • UN partners with African nations to increase women and girls’ access to reproductive health services

    The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) announced it will support programmes in eight African countries over the next three years to boost access to reproductive health services for millions of adolescent girls. The announcement came 2 August at the International Conference on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in Johannesburg, South Africa.

    UNFPA will partner with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, and Tanzania over the next three years to deliver a comprehensive set of sexual and reproductive health services for young people to reach disadvantaged and marginalized girls and young women – the ones at highest risk of poor sexual and reproductive health, violence and exploitation. According to UNFPA, pregnancy and childbirth-related complications are a leading cause of death of girls, aged 15 to 19, in developing countries. An estimated 7.3 million girls under age 18 give birth each year, a great percentage of which occurs in Africa.

  • UNICEF launches initiative to shine spotlight on 'invisible' violence against children

    The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched on 31 July a new initiative urging the international community to speak out more forcefully on violence against children, which leaves millions of girls and boys physically and emotionally scarred every year. The End Violence Against Children initiative builds on growing popular outrage that erupted following horrific attacks against children, such as the October 2012 shooting of then 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan, the fatal shooting of 26 pupils and teachers in Newtown, in the United States in December, and gang rapes of girls in India and in South Africa this year.

    A special website and a social media campaign will outline ways for children, parents and communities to take action – such as getting involved, getting informed, organizing events and public discussion forums, supporting child victims of violence and working with global and local UNICEF partners.

  • On World Hepatitis Day, a call for prevention, fair access to treatment

    Marking World Hepatitis Day on 28 July, the head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) called for stronger prevention efforts to stop the spread of this major global health risk. UNODC and its UN partners promote an integrated response to preventing hepatitis and providing treatment and care. This includes comprehensive packages of interventions for injecting drug users and prisoners to stop the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases such as hepatitis B and C. Coinciding with this year's marking of the Day, the Word Health Organization also released its first-ever country hepatitis survey. Covering 126 countries, the Report stated that only one-third of the world's countries have national strategies for viral hepatitis. WHO has urged Governments to scale up measures to prevent the spread of this disease.

  • ‘Free & Equal’ campaign launched to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights

    OHCHR launched its first global public education campaign to raise awareness and respect for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality. ‘Free & Equal,’ is a year-long effort by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and partners launched 26 July in Cape Town, South Africa, focusing on the need for legal reforms and public education to counter homophobia and transphobia. More than 76 countries criminalize consensual same-sex relationships, according to a 2011 OHCHR report on violence and discrimination against LGBT people. Penalties range from jail sentences to execution.

  • Reaching out to civil society: United Nations Development Business

    United Nations Development Business (DB) is a subscription based online database that provides access to timely announcements on project opportunities and contract awards in 180 countries. It is the official vehicle for the dissemination of procurement information from the United Nations system, the World Bank, the African Development Bank and other regional development banks as well as national governments and non-governmental organizations. The publication is a one-stop portal for transnational corporations, consultants and other development experts interested in doing business in developing countries and economies in transition.

    Recognising that Civil Society is a critical player in the campaign to combatting global ills, Development Business is seeking to expand its outreach to NGOs with expertise in international development.

    NGOs will receive a 20% discount when subscribing as well as a 50% reduced fee for advertising tenders on www.devbusiness.com.

  • General Assembly designates 19 November as World Toilet Day

    In an effort to make sanitation a global development priority, the General Assembly designated 19 November as World Toilet Day. The GA urged Member States and relevant stakeholders to encourage behavioral change and implement policies to increase access to sanitation among the poor, promote hygiene, provide basic sanitation services and sewerage, as well as waste-water treatment. The resolution also recognized the role civil society play in raising awareness of this issue. Almost 2,000 children die every day from preventable diarrhoeal diseases, and poor sanitation and water supply result in economic losses estimated at $260 billion annually in developing countries.

  • ECOSOC grants consultative status to 320 NGOs

    On 18 July, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) adopted nine decisions recommended to it by the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in which it decided to grant consultative status to 320 non-governmental organizations; to suspend for one year the consultative status of 154 NGOs; to withdrew consultative status from 159 NGOs; to reinstate consultative status to 43 NGOs; and to close the consideration of the request for consultative status of 60 NGOs. See press release here.

    The 320 organizations were recommened by the Committee at its 2013 regular session (159 organizations recommended) and at its 2013 resumed session (161 organizations recommended).

  • United Nations pays tribute to Nelson Mandela's contributions to public service

    The United Nations marked Nelson Mandela International Day on 18 July, celebrating the South African leader's 95th birthday and honouring his dedication to public service and social justice and reconciliation. At United Nations Headquarters in New York, the General Assembly held a special meeting to mark the Day. Speakers included former United States President Bill Clinton, Reverend Jesse Jackson, singer, actor and social activist Harry Belafonte, and Andrew Mlangeni, a close friend of Mr. Mandela who was imprisoned with him. To commemorate the Day, the UN joined the call “Take Action, Inspire Change” by the Nelson Mandela Foundation to volunteer 67 minutes in helping others through community service. The "67-minutes" campaign is based on people devoting one minute of their time for every year that Mr. Mandela devoted to public service, as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically-elected President of post-apartheid South Africa. 

  • Disability Convention to Focus on Expanding Social Protection

    Improving living standards and employment opportunities for persons with disabilities was the focus of attention when the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) convened in New York from 17 to 19 July. The 132 States parties to the Convention looked at ways to build “disability-inclusive” development by improving social protection for everyone and reducing poverty. Civil society organizations, which played a major role in support of the Convention’s adoption, participated in the Conference. They held a civil society forum on 16 July to take stock of the process of including persons with disabilities in all aspects of a post-2015 development agenda. The United Nations states that about 80 per cent of the more than 1 billion people with disabilities around the world are of working age, and face physical, social, economic and cultural challenges in gaining access to education, skills development and employment. The meeting took place two months before the UN General Assembly convenes a High-level Meeting on Disability and Development on 23 September.

  • Dialogue stressed during General Assembly hearings on migration

    With the Second General Assembly High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development scheduled for October, an informal interactive hearing on 15 July offered representatives of civil society, the private sector and non-governmental organizations a chance to exchange recommendations for the outcome of the main event with Member States. In his opening remarks, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson stressed the importance of partnerships. “The role of civil society is fundamental. Labour unions and employers’ organizations play a critical role in immigration reform. Advocacy groups ensure that the voices of migrants are heard and are heeded. Diaspora organizations are showing us the diversity of many contributions which migrants can make to societies,” he said. NGO speakers pointed out the impact of remittances from diaspora groups on the communities they had left behind and a call on the private sector to implement migrants’ rights at the workplace. Additional priorities ahead of the High-Level Dialogue include developing a framework for managing migration from countries and regions affected by crisis and violence.

  • Deputy UN chief stresses power of technology to protect women and girls from violence

    Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson highlighted the power of technology to empower women and girls, especially to protect them from violence, and create a safer world for all vulnerable groups at the event, “Harnessing the Power of Technology to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls” at United Nations Headquarters on 15 July. He also highlighted the Secretary-General's global campaign ‘UNiTE to End Violence against Women,’ which is successfully mobilizing governments, civil society and other partners. The United Nations General Trust Fund is an essential part of this effort. Grants from the trust fund have helped 24 million girls and women around the world. The Secretary-General has set an ambitious goal for the Trust Fund: to award $100 million in grants annually by 2015. This work against violence and for security is also essential to achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

  • At UN, Malala Yousafzai rallies youth to stand up for universal education

    Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban last October for attending school, addressed hundreds of young people at the United Nations Youth Assembly on 12 July, urging them to use education as a weapon against extremism. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared the day, also Ms. Yousafzai's 16th birthday, as 'Malala Day' in honour of her heroic stand to ensure education for all. The meeting, which featured 1,000 youth leaders, also was addressed by former United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in his capacity as UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Vuk Jeremiæ, President of the General Assembly, and Ahmad Alhendawi, the Special Envoy on Youth. The Assembly also highlighted UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report, which launched a policy paper highlighting that the number of children out of school worldwide has fallen from 60 million in 2008 to 57 million in 2011. However, 28 million children out of school live in the world's conflict zones, and more than half of those are girls.

  • General Assembly Establishes High-Level Political Forum to Replace CSD

    On 9 July, the General Assembly adopted a resolution by consensus on the first outlining the format and organizational aspects of a High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development to replace the Commission on Sustainable Development, as mandated by the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) last year.

    The Assembly recommended that the Economic and Social Council abolish the Commission upon the conclusion of its twentieth session whose timing, agenda and duration was postponed from May, pending progress on the format and organizational modalities of the Forum. The Assembly decided that the meetings of the Forum would be held, under its auspices, every four years at the level of Heads of State and Government for two days at the beginning of the Assembly session, resulting in a “concise negotiated political declaration” to be submitted to the Assembly for its consideration. The Forum would convene annually for eight days, under the Economic and Social Council’s auspices, with a thematic focus reflecting the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development, in line with the thematic focus of the activities of the Council and consistent with the post-2015 development agenda.

    View the text of the agreed resolution here:
    http://csonet.org/content/documents/A67L72.pdf

    View the webcast of the GA debate here (from minute 50:00):
    http://webtv.un.org/watch/91st-plenary-meeting-general-assembly/2536424168001/

  • ECOSOC concludes High-Level Segment general debate in Geneva

    The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) this morning concluded its High-level Segment general debate on the theme of the Annual Ministerial Review: science, technology and innovation, and the potential of culture, for promoting sustainable development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Speakers said that science, technology, innovation and culture were key drivers of sustainable development, economic growth and meeting the Millennium Development Goals as their deadline approached. However, concerns were expressed that factors such as the lack of technology transfer from the developed to the developing countries, the economic crisis, and competing policy priorities in the post-2015 development agenda were acting as brakes on the integration of science, technology and innovation in policies aimed at tackling the world’s problems. Many said that science, technology and innovation could help engineer new models of production and consumption to build a more equitable world.

  • NGLS hosts online civil society consultations on four post-2015 reports

    UN-NGLS would like to encourage you to participate in the civil society consultation on four post-2015 reports submitted to the UN Secretary-General, which is being conducted in Arabic, English, French, and Spanish. The deadline for submissions to the consultation is 12 July 2013. A guidance note for the consultation is available from the link below, which includes a compilation of the goals and targets proposed in the reports by the Post-2015 High-level Panel, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), and the UN Global Compact, as well as a listing of the thematic sessions that will be conducted by the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals between November 2013 and February 2014.

  • UN officials highlight role of entrepreneurs in addressing development issues

    United Nations senior officials highlighted the role of entrepreneurs in addressing development issues at the Thematic Debate on Entrepreneurship for Development on 26 June at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. “[Entrepreneurs] must be encouraged to stand at the frontline of socio-economic change, in the service of sustainable development,” said Mr. Vuk Jeremiæ, the President of the General Assembly, whose office facilitated the Thematic Debate. Entrepreneurs also will be able to contribute to the post-2015 development agenda, Mr. Jeremiæ said, through public-private partnerships that focus on improving the lives of the world's most disadvantaged people. In his remarks, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon added the importance of supporting young entrepreneurs, many of whom are currently facing an economic crisis in their countries. “Entrepreneurship is about innovating, breaking down barriers, taking risks and showing that new business models can tackle longstanding problems.”

  • Co-facilitators of 25 September Special Event on the MDGs hold informal dialogue with NGOs

    On 18 June, the Permanent Representatives of South Africa and Ireland, appointed as co-facilitators of the 2013 Special Event of the President of the General Assembly on the MDGs, held an informal dialogue with civil society leaders on the scope, modalities, and nature and outcome of the event, to take place in New York on 25 September 2013.

    The interventions of non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations, the private sector and private philanthropic foundations focused on the following issues:

    1. MDG progress and achievements to date;
    2. Ways to accelerate MDG achievement;
    3. The overall message of the Event, including in terms of the progress made to date and steps to be taken to accelerate MDG implementation as well as how it might touch on the overall post-2015 agenda?

    The dialogue which took place in the temporary General Assembly Hall, North Lawn Building, was attended by some 200 representatives. The interventions made will be considered by the co-facilitators in furthering their work towards the 25 September special event.

  • General Assembly elects John William Ashe of Antigua and Barbuda as President of sixty-eighth session

    The General Assembly today elected by acclamation John William Ashe, the Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations, as President of its sixty-eighth session. Following his election, the incoming President said that no undertaking, since the Organization’s founding 68 years ago, had been more fundamental than addressing the relationship “between us human beings and this planet we inhabit”. In eighteen months, the post-2015 development agenda, one of the United Nations’ most ambitious projects, would be launched. If “we are to rise to the task”, he said, the General Assembly must to be equally as bold, ambitious and collaborative. “Failure is not an option,” he stated. Highlighting the goals of overcoming poverty and ensuring sustainable development, he emphasized that renewed partnerships were paramount in integrating economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainability. The post-2015 development agenda must represent the “evolution in the thinking of the international community”. Announcing the sixty-eighth session’s theme, “Post-2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage!” Mr. Ashe called on Member States to “forge ahead with dogged determination”. Three high-level events on the agenda would be held to discuss contributions of women, youth, and civil society; human rights and the rule of law; and South-South and Triangular Cooperation. In addition, three thematic debates would take place on the role of partnerships; ensuring stable and peaceful societies; and water, sanitation and sustainable energy in the development agenda. “We cannot afford to be indifferent and immune to the changing world around us” and “stand idly while millions struggle or merely settle for surviving where there are opportunities for all to thrive”, he said.

  • Committee on NGOs adopts draft report for consideration by ECOSOC

    The Committee on NGOs adopted its draft report for consideration by the Economic and Social Council on 7 June. See link below for the advance unedited version of the report.

  • NGO Committee, for Third Time in History, Recommends Special Consultative Status to Gay Organization

    For the third time in its history, and the second time in its current session, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations recommended special consultative status to a gay civil society group, as it continued to put under scrutiny the dozens of applications before it — approving special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council for four organizations and deferring action on 48 applications. The Committee approved the Austrian organization, Homosexuelle Initiative Wien for special consultation status following a vote of 9 in favour to 6 against, with 2 abstentions. However, during ensuing discussions, the representative of Venezuela stressed that her country’s position on procedural methods had not changed, particularly with “forcing people” to take positions. As well, Sudan’s representative stated that the Committee had again “totally diverted from standing practices”. A more “give and take” approach was needed in order to achieve consensus. Rushing to action when it came to certain non-governmental organizations (NGOs) was setting a precedent. Still, the representative of the United States said that it was a “monumental achievement” to approve consultative status for an organization that had been deferred since 2007. Bulgaria’s delegate also pointed out that the decision illustrated the Committee moving away from past “discriminatory practices”. Rather, such approval, which had been a rare event, was now demonstrating the establishment of a new pattern with regard to civil society groups in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

    Story continues here. | Français

  • Committee on NGOs, by Historic Vote, Approves Openly Lesbian Medical Organization for Special Consultative Status

    In a historic vote today, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations recommended special consultative status to a Lesbian medical organization, as it continued to put under scrutiny the dozens of applications before it — approving special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council for 16 organizations and deferring action on 38 applications. During impassioned exchanges about the national-based Australian Lesbian Medical Association, which advances both lesbian health professionals’ visibility and lesbian health in general, the representative of Bulgaria said that the organization had faced postponement for seven consecutive sessions and had answered 54 questions posed to it over the years. The Committee was “systematically deterring” its application. It was time, she stated, to “take a decision”.

    The Committee then approved recommendation by vote — 9 in favour to 6 against, with 2 abstentions — of special consultative status to the Australian Lesbian Medical Association. Following the vote, several Members expressed enthusiastic support for the decision, with the United States’ delegate saying she was “thrilled” to be “witnessing history”. The representative of Belgium, who also voted in favour, underscored that the Association, as one of the oldest on the list of deferred organizations, was a “victim of unfair treatment and discrimination” by the Committee. As well, Israel’s representative said today’s vote sent a positive message to all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender organizations that had previously been prevented from receiving consultative status. However, the representative of Sudan, who had voted against, said that “what we just saw” went against Committee methods. It led to a division among Members and could negatively impact future deliberations. Echoing that sentiment, Venezuela’s representative, although she had voted in favour of granting status, said that her position on procedural methods had not change, specifically the right of Members to pose questions to any organizations being consider by the Committee. Decisions must not be “forced”, she said, emphasizing that time criteria could not justify a decision.

    The 19-member Committee recommends that the Council grant general, special or roster status, in accordance with such criteria as the applicant’s mandate, governance and financial regime. Organizations enjoying general and special status can attend the Council’s meetings and circulate statements, while those with general status can, in addition, address meetings and propose agenda items. Roster-status non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can only attend meetings.

    Story continues here. | Français

  • General Assembly reviews efforts to combat human trafficking

    Policy-makers put human trafficking on center stage today at a High Level Meeting of the General Assembly chaired by the President of the GA Vuk Jeremiæ and in the presence of the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The event was attended by 85 states, UNODC Goodwill Ambassador to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Mira Sorvino, as well as representatives from civil society. Ten years after the entry into force of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, and three years after the adoption of the Global Plan of Action to combat human trafficking, Member States gathered in New York to review progress and to map out a strategy for the future. Human trafficking is a crime that stretches across the globe with millions of victims, although much of it remains hidden. "We are dealing with a crime of the 21st Century: adaptive, cynical, sophisticated; existing in developed and developing countries alike" said UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov at the opening of the high level meeting.

  • Final Report of High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

    The final report of the High Level Panel was submitted to the UN Secretary General on 30 May and was made publicly available through the Panel’s website on 31 May 2013. An outreach event with stakeholders was held 31 May in New York, and was followed by regional and national launch events held across the globe. Further details are posted to the HLP website.

  • UN convenes meeting on role of technology and innovation for sustainable development

    Senior United Nations officials, policymakers, civil society representatives and other stakeholders gathered today at UN Headquarters in New York for a special Economic and Social Council forum on mobilizing science, technology and innovation for sustainable development. “Science, technology and innovation hold great potential as tools and enable to integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development,” said the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Wu Hongbo. “They can be used to promote health, increase productivity, improve the efficiency of resource use, and reduce negative human impacts on the environment. They will be critical to tackling some of the major sustainable development challenges of this century. These include providing food security to a growing population, eradicating poverty and tackling climate change.” Attended by policymakers, key stakeholders and UN system representatives, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Integration Meeting seeks to follow-up on the commitments made by world leaders at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June last year.

  • Call for nominations - 2013 United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights

    The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights invites all civil society organizations to nominate an individual or organization for the 2013 United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights. The prize will be awarded at an event at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 10 December 2013, as part of the annual commemoration of the Human Rights Day. The United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights has been awarded in 1973, 1978, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003 and in 2008. The prize is honorary in nature and is awarded approximately every five years to individuals and organizations in recognition of outstanding achievement in the field of human rights. A special committee has been entrusted by the General Assembly with the selection of laureates from nominations sought from Member States, specialized agencies and nongovernmental organizations in consultative status, and from other appropriate sources. The Prize is an opportunity not only to give public recognition to the achievements of the awardees themselves, but also to send a clear message to human rights defenders the world over that the international community is grateful for, and supports, their tireless efforts to promote all human rights for all.

  • Stronger joint action of UN, international financial institutions urged at development forum

    22 April 2013 – Poverty reduction, trade growth and job creation require greater coordination between the United Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions, the head of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) today urged at the opening of a special high-level meeting on sustainable development and the post-2015 development agenda.

    Given the current high unemployment, geopolitical tensions and the possibility of a climate shock, there was a need for “more forceful and concerted policy actions at both national and international levels to mitigate major risks and ensure a stronger and sustained economic recovery,” ECOSOC President, Néstor Osorio said.

    The meeting in New York, under the theme of ‘Coherence, coordination and cooperation in the context of financing for sustainable development and the post-2015 development agenda’, brought ECOSOC together with the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

  • UN forum endorses measures to improve sustainable forest management

    20 April 2013 – The United Nations Forum on Forests concluded its tenth session in Istanbul in the early hours of Saturday after agreeing on a series of measures to improve the sustainable management of forests, and deciding to consider setting up a voluntary global fund to support this endeavour. The Forum, which met for the first time away from UN Headquarters in New York, adopted two resolutions as it wrapped up its two-week session, one on forests and economic development ­– the main theme of the session – and the other on financing.

    Recognizing the vital role of forests to lives and livelihoods, the 197 member countries of the Forum called on national governments to take a range of actions to improve sustainable forest management, from substantive data collection to addressing the causes of deforestation and forests degradation.

  • General Assembly, in special debate, aims to boost interaction between UN and G20

    On 15 April, the United Nations General Assembly held a thematic debate with the Group of 20 major economies, or G20, to strengthen interaction between the two bodies and to improve global economic governance. “Since the outbreak of the world economic, financial and debt crisis, the ongoing discussions about how to improve global economic governance have grown in significance, drawing increased public attention across the planet,” General Assembly President Vuk Jeremic said in his opening address to the thematic debate, ‘UN and Global Economic Governance.’ The one-day debate takes place just ahead of the spring meetings of finance ministers and central bank governors set for 18-19 April in Washington DC. The debate also takes place during the 1,000 day countdown to the 2015 deadline for the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the shaping of the post-2015 agenda.

  • "Do One Thing to support Cultural Diversity and Inclusion"

    The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) in partnership with UNESCO and various other partners from corporations to civil society is launching the world campaign “Do One Thing for Diversity and Inclusion”, aimed at engaging people around the world to Do One Thing to support Cultural Diversity and Inclusion.

    Following the adoption in 2001 of the Universal Declaration on Cultural Divers...ity the UN General Assembly declared May 21 as the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. This Day raises awareness on the richness of world cultures and the opportunities that cultural diversity can bring to societies. Learn more at http://www.unaoc.org/do-one-thing-for-diversity-and-inclusion/ or on the Facebook page below.

  • Young creative minds raise awareness of critical forest-related issues

    They are gifted storytellers who are using stunning visual imagery and powerful narratives to raise awareness of the challenges affecting forests and those who dwell within them, as well as to spur action to protect this vital resource. They are international award winners. And, they are all under the age of 30. They are recipients of awards handed out this week in Istanbul during the tenth session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF10).

  • MDG Momentum - 1,000 Days of Action

    On 5 April, the UN and partners worldwide will observe the 1,000-day mark to the 2015 target date for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs are the most successful global anti-poverty push in history. Governments, international organizations and civil society groups around the world have helped to cut in half the world’s extreme poverty rate. More girls are in school. Fewer children are dying. The world continues to fight killer diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS. There are 1,000 days to accelerate action on issues such as hunger, access to education, improved sanitation, maternal health and gender equality. Get involved and help build more #MDGmomentum!

  • Innovate Your Future - Empower Youth to Sustain the Planet

    They are the world’s youth - more than one billion people - almost 20 percent of the entire population. Poised to change the world and secure their future, young people are coming together to meet the demands for clean energy to protect the environment. In some countries, young people have succeeded in bringing about political change using social media. They also continue to embrace science to improve access to clean water and safe food.

    Show the world you agree by sharing your voice before decision-makers and world leaders get together for the annual meeting of the United Nations Economic and Social Council in Geneva this July. Contribute a tweet or a Facebook post before 30 June for release on 1 July. Together we can inspire the world to use science, technology, culture and innovation to improve lives.

  • Official report, Committee on NGOs 2013 regular session

    The report of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations on its 2013 regular session in January was released today. The Committee recommended to grant status to 159 organization and took note of 277 quadrennial reports.

  • CSW57 adopts global plan to end gender-based violence

    Top United Nations officials today welcomed an agreement by more than 130 Member States on the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls, and urged governments to translate the outcome of the 'historic' gathering into concrete actions to protect and promote women's human rights and fundamental freedoms. “Violence against women is a heinous human rights violation, global menace, a public health threat and a moral outrage,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement. Thousands of representatives of governments, inter-governmental organizations, civil society, the private sector and UN partners collaborated on the outcome document of the two-week 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York. The 17-page 'Agreed Conclusions' of the Commission condemns pervasive violence against women and girls, and calls for increased attention and accelerated action for prevention and response.

  • Contribute to the GA meeting on Disability and Development, 23 September

    DESA in collaboration with UNICEF is currently conducting online moderated consultations from 8 to 28 March to gather views from a broad range of stakeholders on how to include disability in the post-2015 development framework, in order to contribute to the ongoing work in preparation for the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on disability and development to be held on 23 September 2013. Responses are invited for Arabic, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, French and Chinese languages.

  • Fourth meeting, HLP on Post-2015 Development Agenda, Bali, Indonesia

    The fourth meeting of the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda will be held in Bali, Indonesia across 25-27 March 2013 and will include a full day of outreach events – Stakeholder Outreach Day - organized on 25 March. The purpose of the Stakeholder Outreach Day is to enable substantive interactions of the Panel with civil society, the private sector, academic institutions, youth, parliamentarians and other elected representatives as well as global and regional governance institutions relevant to the dialogue on the post 2015 global development agenda. The deadline for applications was 6 March 2013.

  • First meeting of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals Concludes its first Meeting

    One of the main outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, was the agreement by Member States to launch a process to develop a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs). Rio+20 did not elaborate specific goals but stated that the SDGs should be limited in number, aspirational and easy to communicate. The goals should address in a balanced way all three dimensions of sustainable development and be coherent with and integrated into the UN development agenda beyond 2015. A 30-member Open Working Group (OWG) of the General Assembly is tasked with preparing a proposal on the SDGs. The Open Working Group was established on 22 January 2013. The Member States have decided to use an innovative, constituency-based system of representation that is new to limited membership bodies of the General Assembly. This means that most of the seats in the OWG are shared by several countries. It started its work in a two-day meeting on 14 and 15 March. Updates are on the link below.

  • International Women's Day 2013: All women and girls have a fundamental human right to live free of violence

    Worldwide today, up to 50% of sexual assaults are committed against girls under the age of 16. Globally, 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not yet considered a crime. Up to 70% of women in the world report having experienced physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime. Over 60 million girls worldwide are child brides, married before the age of 18. In the face of such unacceptable figures, the international community is strongly committed to change the plight of women. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day, “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women” seeks to strengthen international community’s commitment to put an end to violence against women. Acclaimed singers and musicians, women and men, have come together to spread a message of unity and solidarity: We are "One Woman", a song that was launched on 8 March.

  • Open to Civil Society Leaders: United Nations Summer Academy, 10-15 June 2013

    The UN Summer Academy offers executive education, learning and knowledge exchange to those working for the United Nations and those who actively engage with the UN System in their daily lives such as diplomats and civil society representatives.

    The UN Summer Academy combines academic rigour with cutting edge thinking and builds on a renowned faculty. You are invited to visit the UN Summer Academy website at www.summeracademy.org where you will find more information about the programme.

  • United Nations Innovation Award: Call for Stories on People's Empowerment

    The Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) seeks to find and bring to scale the most incredible stories on people’s empowerment around the globe. Stories like yours! You can nominate yourself, or another person you admire who empowered you and therefore your unique and special story. We truly believe that the major social challenges of our time can be solved only with the full participation of people at all levels of society. This innovation award represents DSPD’s commitment to the promotion of people’s empowerment and social development globally. It is administered by DSPD as part of its mission to promote more equitable growth, seeks to identify innovative approaches for poverty eradication, social integration, full employment and decent work for all. The deadline for submitting your stories is 14 May 2013.

    To submit your story, please visit the link below.

  • Google+ Hangout on Sustainable Development

    As part of the ongoing follow-up of Rio+20, UNDESA hosted a Google+ Hangout on 12 February, featuring key experts from the UN system and civil society on Rio+20 and sustainable development. Panellists for the first “Sustainable Development in Action” Google+ Hangout included Nikhil Seth, Director of the UN’s Division for Sustainable Development and Head of the Rio+20 Secretariat; Elizabeth Thompson, Executive Coordinator for the Rio+20 conference; Kimo Goree, Vice-President of the International Institute for Sustainable Development Reporting Services (IISD); and Jacob Scherr, Director of global strategy and advocacy for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC.) You can review the Hangout from the link below.

  • Make sure to submit your quadrennial report in time

    Many organizations in consultative status with ECOSOC have received a notification by email to remind them of their obligation to submit a brief report of activities to the Committee every four years. If you have not received such a notification, it is advisable to review the lists of organizations that have a report due or overdue. Not submitting the report in time has lead to suspensions and withdrawals of status. You can of course also check your own's organiztion's status directly in our database.

    2007-2010 report overdue:
    A total of 202 organizations are currently suspended for one year, and are at risk of having their status withdrawn in May 2013 if the report is not received on time. They can be found from page 15 of the official report of the Committee on NGOs.
    Click here

    2008-2011 report due:
    Around 200 organizations in this list are at risk of being suspended for one year in May 2013.
    Click here

    2009-2012 report due:
    Around 500 organizations are required to submit a report as soon as possible. This could be your organization! Click below to make sure.
    Click here

    PRINT A ONE-PAGE PDF GUIDE ON HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR REPORT HERE.

  • Committee on NGOs recommends 159 organizations

    At its 2013 regular session, which closed on 8 February, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations had before it 355 applications for consultative status, including 130 applications deferred from earlier sessions. Of the non governmental organizations submitting those applications, the Committee recommended 159 for consultative status, deferred 180 for further consideration at its regular session in 2013.

    Click here to see an advance unedited copy of the report adopted on 8 February.

  • Join the e-discussion on building the future we want

    You are invited to participate in an open online discussion on “Building the future we want with science, technology and innovation (STI) and culture” from 18 February – 19 March, jointly organized by UNDESA, UNDP and UNESCO. The e-discussion brings together experts from within and outside of the UN system to formulate critical policy messages to the ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review, being held in July 2013 in Geneva. We invite you to bring new thoughts and ideas to the policy debate, drawing on your experiences, in order to brainstorm on challenges and untapped opportunities in the use of STI and culture for sustainable development solutions.

  • Consultation Report to the High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

    At the request of the Secretariat for the High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (#Post2015HLP), the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS) facilitated a civil society consultation through 11 January 2013 to inform the Panel’s meeting in Monrovia, Liberia taking place from 30 January to 2 February.
    The consultation synthesis report is available from the link below.

  • UN Member States Begin Negotiations on High-Level Political Forum

    One critical outcome of the Rio+20 Conference was the decision to establish a universal intergovernmental high-level political forum. The forum is to follow up on the implementation of sustainable development. It is to build on the strengths, experiences, resources and inclusive participation modalities of the Commission on Sustainable Development, and subsequently replace the Commission. It is to avoid overlap with existing structures, bodies and entities.

  • High-level Panel on Post-2015 meets Civil Society in Monrovia, Liberia

    The third meeting of the 27-member High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda opened 30 January, in Monrovia, Liberia. During the three-day meeting, co-chaired by the Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia and the UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Panel members will discuss national growth, economic transformation, and development. On the first day of the meeting, High-level Panel members met with sixty civil society representatives from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and the Arab regions. Although the details of what a new post-2015 development framework should look like, how it should be implemented and by whom it should be shaped are still unclear and under debate, Ask Africa Now – the African CSO Secretariat for post-2015 – underscores that a bold new approach is emerging that begins with the recognition of the tremendous work that civil society organizations are carrying out worldwide in terms of empowering and uniting citizens towards social justice and governmental accountability.

  • Working group on the global partnership for development beyond 2015: Thematic Think Pieces

    The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have served as a shared framework for global action and cooperation on development since 2000. As the world approaches 2015, the overall target date for achieving the MDGs, thinking has begun on how to advance the global development agenda beyond 2015. To support this effort, the UN Secretary-General has taken several initiatives. He has established the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda, launched a High-level Panel of Eminent Persons and appointed his own Special Advisor on Post-2015 Development Planning. These processes are complemented by a set of eleven global thematic consultations and national consultations in over 60 countries facilitated by the United Nations Development Group.
    In September 2012 the UN System Task Team established a new working group on the global partnership for development beyond 2015. A set of think pieces, which were prepared by members of the working group, focus on lessons learnt from MDG8 and a series of specific themes relevant to renewing global partnerships in the post-2015 development agenda. These think pieces will be synthesized in a report to be published in March 2013. A number of thematic think pieces was recently published and is available from the link below.

  • Committee on NGOs opens: Number of applications double those of 2012

    Opening its regular session for 2013, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today recommended 37 organizations for special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, and deferred action on the status of 11 others. The 19-member Committee vets applications submitted by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), recommending general, special or roster status on the basis of such criteria as the applicant’s mandate and governance.

  • 9 January: The UN Post-2015 Development Agenda - Where to start

    What is the “post-2015 UN development agenda”? What will become of the MDGs? What is the link to ‘SDGs’ and to the followup to the Rio+20 Conference? Who is involved in the consultations on the post2015 development agenda? What is the High-Level Panel? How will the voices of the poorest and most vulnerable people be included? What happens next in the post-2015 process? Interest by civil society and other stakeholders is growing in these questions. Answers to these questions are posted in a brief FAQ sheet.
    Download the FAQ sheet here (PDF)..

    The following sites will help you to connect to the debate.
  • post2015hlp.org: Official website of the Panel
  • worldwewant2015.org: Joint United Nations and civil society platform facilitating national, thematic and online consultations in the months ahead, with links to many civil society initiatives.
  • un.org/millenniumgoals: Select "Beyond 2015" to get an overview, timeline, resources and think pieces related to the post-2015 process.
  • endpoverty2015.org: United Nations Millennium Campaign website.
  • UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda: Overview of the process so far.
  • Realizing the Future We Want for All: Report by the UN System Task Team to the Secretary-General, published June 2012.
  • Sustainable Development Goals: Website of DESA's Division for Sustainable Development, with latest news and initiatives on the SDGs.
  • UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network: Mobilizing scientific and technical expertise for local, national, and global problem solving.
  • MY World: Vote for the changes that would make the most difference to your world.

  • 9 January: Third HLP meet in Monrovia to focus on “National Building Blocks for Sustained Prosperity”

    Following the meetings held in New York and London, the High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda will convene again in Monrovia, Liberia for substantive interactions hosted by HLP Co-Chair, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. The meeting will be held between 30 Jan to 1 Feb 2013 and will include a dialogue with civil society and other stakeholders. Discussions will be organized around the broad theme of “National Building Blocks for Sustained Prosperity,” with a particular focus on economic transformation.

    Topics under discussion include (i) Enablers and barriers to economic transformation (ii) Equitable and sustainable outcomes (iii) Role of the Private Sector (iv) Governance and Institution building, with a particular focus on conflict affected and fragile States. An emphasis on African Perspectives and Positions is also proposed.

    Please track askafricanow.org and worldwewant2015.org/post2015hlp for further updates.

  • 9 January: MY World: A people's survey the next set of global poverty goals

    The United Nations and partners have teamed up to put in place MY World, an innovative global survey to encourage people’s participation in the process of defining the next set of global goals to end poverty. MY World is an options survey that asks individuals which six of sixteen possible issues they think would make the most difference to their lives. The sixteen issues cover the existing MDGs, plus issues of sustainability, security, governance and transparency.

    People can access MY World at http://www.myworld2015.org and vote for their priorities for the next development agenda. The survey will be also available through mobile technologies such as SMS and IVR (toll-free phone numbers) and paper ballots in late January 2013 to ensure maximum outreach, particularly to draw communities without Internet access into the global debate.

  • 17 December: Round Table Discussion on a New Inclusive Multilateralism

    The multiple challenges in today’s world, such as the consequences of climate change, patterns of unsustainable development and consumption, and rising inequality within and among nations, require new forms of multilateralism. A forward-looking and effective multilateralism will require governments and multilateral institutions, the United Nations system in particular, to engage in an open debate, drawing on the perspectives and participation of all stakeholders and partners.

    The ongoing debate on new multi-stakeholder partnerships and new forms of multilateralism is therefore of critical importance to the United Nations, which is contributing to the growing practice and discourse on the subject. The United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are pleased to invite you to a roundtable discussion on 17 December to discuss how these and other developments can help to shape a new inclusive multilateralism. The discussion will take place from 1:00-3:00pm in United Nations NLB Conference Room 4.

  • 14 December: Online Application for Bonn Post-2015 Conference, 20-23 March 2013, open

    An event "Advancing the Post-2015 Sustainabe Development Agenda Reconfirming Rights – Recognising Limits – Redefining Goals" will be held from 20 to 23 March 2013 in Bonn, Germany. This global event will bring together about 250 civil society activists and representatives from key stakeholders in order to draw together civil society inputs into the Sustainable Development and Post-2015 discussions. Funding for a limited number of participants, mainly from developing countries, is available.

  • 14 December: Information Note, Committee on NGOs, 2013 regular session

    The 2013 regular session of the Committee on NGOs, to be held from 21 to 30 January, will review 225 new applicatons for consultative status, 130 applications deferred from previous sessions, 4 requests for reclassifications deferred from previous sessions, 278 quadrennial reports, 22 quadrennial reports deferred from previous sessions, 4 requests for change of name, 1 deferred request for change of name, and one request by an organization seeking withdrawal of status.

    An information note on the names of the organizations with these requests is available from the link below.

  • 10 December: Download the United Nations Calendar of Observances App on your mobile device

    A new free iOS app features official United Nations observances and links to related videos and further information. It also illustrates how the UN makes a difference in tackling global challenges. The UN Calendar can store UN observances in the native calendar of your iOS device, or it can be used independently.

  • 2014 UN grounds passes for NGOs in ECOSOC consultative status

    2014 UN grounds passes for NGOs in ECOSOC consultative status

    Grounds passes for 2014 can be requested following the procedure described below.

    • Like this year you will not be required to visit the DESA NGO Branch for issuance of UN Grounds Passes.

    • Instead, you will be required to pre-register your request online at http://csonet.org/?menu=86.
    • As before, you will need a letter from your organization (on the organization’s letterhead) in order to obtain a pass. This is a mandatory requirement.

    • As before, after you have pre-registered online, you can apply for the pass, with all the necessary documentation, in person, at the UN Pass and ID office, situated at the corner of 45th Street and 1st Avenue, between 9 am and 4 pm, Monday through Friday.
    Annual passes for the year 2014 will be issued from 2 January 2014 onwards.

    • Registrations submitted online before 4 pm (New York time) will be endorsed the next business day by the UN Pass & ID office.

    • Procedures for Geneva and Vienna are unchanged.

  • 28 November: Report of the London consultations of the High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

    At the request of the Secretariat of the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS) conducted an online consultation to gather inputs for consideration by Panelists and the Secretariat from 26 October through 7 November 2012, in two phases. The consultation, undertaken through the virtual platform www.worldwewant2015.org/Post2015HLP, enabled civil society to respond to four framing questions related to the focus of the High-level Panel’s meeting on individual and household level poverty, which took place from 31 October to 2 November 2012 in London. Specifically, the consultation sought feedback to questions relating to the two main themes f human development, and jobs and livelihoods.

    Read the full report from the link below.

    See also the NGLS website for related news.

  • 27 November: Keeping the Momentum: Review the results of the Facebook live chat on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

    With three years left to the target date of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015, it is time to accelerate preparations for a global development agenda beyond 2015 that can build on the progress of the MDGs and meet the new challenges facing our world.

    Civil society and NGO networks were asked to join an interactive live chat today on the way forward for the global development agenda beyond 2015. The live chat was an opportunity for those following or interested in the post-2015 process to engage with members of the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda. Topics included: What is the ‘post-2015 development agenda’? Who is involved in the discussions on the post-2015 development agenda? How will the voices of the poorest and most vulnerable people be included? How is civil society participating and what happens next in the post-2015 process?

    The following representatives answered questions from the online community: Rob Vos, UN DESA, Director Development Policy and Analysis Division, David O’Connor, UN DESA, Division of Sustainable Development, Diana Alarcon, UN DESA Development Policy and Analysis Division, Paul Ladd, UNDP, Bureau of Development Policy, Jose Dallo, UNDP, Bureau of Development Policy (tbc), and Friedrich Soltau, UN DESA, Division of Sustainable Development.

    Read the discussion here. You can see the questions to UN representatives and their answers on Facebook – http://bit.ly/beyond2015CHAT – or on Twitter using #beyond2015 . Background information is here.

  • 26 November: Dialogue between the President of the 67th session of the General Assembly and civil society

    H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremiæ, President of the 67th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, met with representatives of NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC and associated with DPI on Monday, 26 November. The meeting focused on the issues before the 67th session of the General Assembly. A brief statement on these issues by the President was followed by a substantive exchange with the NGO representatives.

    In his introductory remarks, the President underlined the need to further engage with civil society to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. He also addressed the many initiatives towards the building of an agreed post-2015 development agenda, and welcomed the participation of civil society in these discussions. The President also presented a brief overview of the ongoing General Assembly negotiations in follow-up to the Rio+20 conference, including the delays in the forming of an open-ended working group on sustainable development goals, as has been called for in the Rio+20 outcome document. He expressed confidence that the group would be able to start its work in early 2013.

    On the matter of global economic governance, the President stated that this matter was a priority for him. He expressed his intention to strengthen the footprint of the General Assembly in economic and social areas, and stated that this could be best done by engaging the G-20. He intended to launch a consultative framework between the General Assembly and the G-20 with the participation of the IMF and World Bank as appropriate.

    Finally, the President presented a preliminary list of six thematic debates that will be held in the resumed part of the 67th session, as follows:
    1. A thematic debate on enhanced cooperation between the G-20 and the United Nations;
    2. A thematic debate on climate change and green energy, in cooperation with the Earth Institute, led by Professor Jeffrey Sachs;
    3. A thematic debate on social inequality, to be organized in cooperation with the Organization of American States;
    4. A thematic debate on development as a tool of peaceful resolution of disputes, with a focus on Africa, in cooperation with the African Union;
    5. A thematic debate on culture and development, to be organized in cooperation with Unesco;
    6. A thematic debate on the role of international criminal justice in reconciliation.
    In all of these events, the President would welcome contributions from civil society and participation by non-governmental organizations.

    During a frank and open question-and-answer session, the President answered a number of queries by representatives of NGOs on the above topics. NGO representatives praised the President for the open spirit in which he addressed them and answered each of the questions in a focused and clear way.

    Under the guidance of the Office of the President, the meeting had been organized by the OESC NGO Branch in collaboration with UN-NGLS and DPI NGO Relations.

  • 2 November: Video - Panel on Post-2015 Agenda as its second meeting in London

    The second meeting of the High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda was held from 31 October to 2 November in London. You can watch much of the proceedings from an archived webcast on the link below.

  • 2 November: Initial civil society report presented to Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda in London

    At the occassion of the second meeting of the High-Level Panel on a Post-2015 Development Agenda, fromo 31 October to 2 November in London, a two-page briefing note was presented on 30 October to the Panel by representatives of civil society. A longer summary of substantive contributions will be produced by the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS), and will be provided to the Panel and published online by mid-November.

  • 25 October: "Working with ECOSOC" NGO Guide to Consultative Status now available in Portuguese, Korean and Japanese

    "Working with ECOSOC" is an informational booklet that briefs Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) on the benefits of establishing a consultative relationship with ECOSOC, as well as to provide instructions on how to obtain this status within the framework provided by ECOSOC Resolution 1996/31.

    Apart from English, it is now available in Portuguese, Korean and Japanese. Other language versions are under development.

    The booklet consists of 44 pages and provides basic information about the way in which NGOs can interact with the United Nations in general and with ECOSOC in particular. It describes the different formal and informal mechanisms that civil society can utilize in order to work with the different ECOSOC Commissions (i.e. attendance to meetings, submission of statements, side-events, oral interventions, etc.) as well as the obligations that NGOs assume by entering in this consultative relationship.

    In a friendly language and modern tone, the booklet intends to show the multi-dimensional benefits of working with ECOSOC and how NGOs can maximize their contribution to the United Nations.

  • 19-26 October: Global online consultation: High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the post-2015 development agenda

    The High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the post-2015 development agenda will hold its first substantive meeting in London from 31 October to 2 November 2012, and will focus on the issue of household poverty.

    As part of the Panel's efforts to reach out to civil society and other stakeholders, a global online consultation will be held from 19-26 October around the same framing questions the Panel will address, namely on:

    1. Human development; and:
    2. Jobs and livelihoods.

    Interested organizations and networks are invited to participate in the consultation from the link below. Participants are strongly encouraged to send their contributions well in advance of the 26 October deadline.

    Click the link below to participate.

  • 17 October: Redesigned version of the LDC Support Measures Portal

    Today the Secretariat of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) launched the new Support Measures Portal for Least Developed Countries, available at www.un.org/ldcportal. The Portal was announced during the introduction of the Secretary General Report on the implementation of the Programme of Action for LDCs for the Decade 2011-2020 and through electronic media.

    The Portal aims to assist LDCs in confronting their special development challenges and in progressing towards graduation from the category. The new interactive platform compiles and catalogues in one central platform, information about LDC-specific international support measures provided by development partners. As the single source of information, the Portal allows for a better understanding of what LDC-specific support measures are, who the main “suppliers” of the measures are, and where to access these resources.

    Download a flyer here.

  • 10 October: Inequalities and the Post-2015 Development Agenda

    Income inequalities between and within countries have worsened in recent decades. Gender inequalities are narrowing at a snail’s pace. Citizenship and location continue to determine life chances, despite the increasing integration of economies. Policy instruments to promote equality of outcome have largely been neglected in the name of approaches to claim to create equality of opportunity. This has failed to stem the tide of inequality. Current social discontent and distrust of government highlight the urgency of addressing inequality head-on: it should be high on the post-2015 development agenda, both as a goal in itself and reflected in targets for other goals.

  • 8 October: Second Committee opens: "Inclusive economic structure depends on effective, centralized state"

    An effective centralized State was needed to ensure the existence of an inclusive economic structure, delegates in the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) heard today as they opened the first general debate of the sixty-seventh General Assembly session.

    Delivering a keynote address to the Committee, James Robinson, David Florence Professor of Government at Harvard University, told delegates how his book, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty, emphasized the relationship between politics and economic institutions, and how his comparative history of economic development provided an historical perspective on the driving forces of inequality within and among nations. While long-run economic growth was driven by new ways of producing things, including innovation and technical growth, society also needed to be organized in such a way as to harness the talents, energy and skills of its people, he said. “Societies that fail, fail to use these attributes,” he added.

    He said that argument formed the central thesis of his book, noting the impact of historical events in shaping the way in which polities in the Americas had developed. Citing the United States, he said it enjoyed inclusive economic institutions that harnessed the talents and skills of its citizens. While many parts of Africa had enjoyed very democratic institutions before colonization, he continued, they had not experienced economic growth because political power had been broadly distributed rather than centralized. In Colombia, where Mr. Robinson said he had lived for many years, the major development problem arose from the central State’s trouble in wielding effective political power.

    Also militating against economic growth was discrimination against women, other races or ethnic groups and young people, he continued. Any discriminatory policy was detrimental to economic prospects because of the large scale unemployment that such policies caused, he said, pointing to Apartheid South Africa, where certain jobs had been strictly allocated and reserved for the white minority amid massive and growing inequality among the black majority.

    Opening the Committee’s general debate, Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said the world economy was “teetering on the cliff” and the Committee would play a central role in tackling the world economy’s “glaring weaknesses”, including poor job growth, the fragile financial sector, unsustainable public debt, social inequality and ecosystems in peril. Beyond those crises, he stressed the importance of setting a sustainable development path, noting that three ongoing processes were reshaping United Nations development efforts.

    Full press release is available here.

  • 8 October: Third Committee opens: “Of all remaining development challenges, none are more daunting than rising inequality”

    As the target date for the Millennium Development Goals approaches, no challenge was more daunting than the continuing rise in inequality and its impact on vulnerable groups, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Wu Hongbo told the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) today as it opened its annual session with a debate on social development.

    “We must tackle rising inequalities and address the impact on vulnerable groups,” Mr. Wu said. Ahead of the Goals’ 2015 target, he said there had been significant achievements: the proportion of persons living in extreme poverty continues to fall; the population without access to safe drinking water had been halved; the prevalence of diseases had been reduced and access to health care improved; child mortality had been reduced; and more girls had been ensured the same opportunity as boys to attend school.

    The significance of those achievements should not be underestimated, he said, adding “A child who is able to read is a future leader; a mother in good health is an entrepreneur-in-waiting.” But, even while acknowledging the accomplishments, the multi-faceted challenges ahead must be recognized, and ‘none is more daunting’ than rising inequality, he said. Since 1990, 62 out of 116 countries with available data have shown increased income inequality, slowing progress in poverty reduction and jeopardizing prospects for sustained growth. “The global jobs crisis has hit youth the hardest. Young women and men represent nearly 40 per cent of the 200 million jobless people worldwide. They are nearly three times more likely than adults to be jobless,” he said.

    Full press release is available here.

  • 26 September: Rio+20 Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform

    Sustainable Development Portal
    Rio+20, one of the largest conferences ever convened by the United Nations, ushers in a new era for implementing sustainable development. The Conference was a rare opportunity for the world to focus on sustainability issues - to examine ideas, forge partnerships and solutions. There were several outcomes to the Rio+20 Conference.

    The political outcome, The Future We Want, agreed to by all 193 countries, charts the way forward for international cooperation on sustainable development. In addition, governments, businesses and other civil society partners registered more than 700 commitments to concrete actions that will deliver results on the ground to address specific needs, such as sustainable energy and transport.

    In the follow-up to Rio+20, a new website has been launched; the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform (SDKP), available at http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org.

    The platform contains information pertaining to the past nineteen years of normative and analytical work of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), a wealth of content from the preparatory process of Rio+20, and is the go to place for the Rio+20 follow-up.

  • 24 September: Dialogue on Post-2015 the High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

    Post-2015 consultationIn conjunction with the September launch of The World We Want 2015, a Civil Society Dialogue on the Post-2015 Development Agenda featuring high level panelists working on the Post-2015 UN processes was held 24 September. More than 200 civil society participants were in attendance, and the event featured lively discussion between the panelists, the members of the High Level Panel, and interventions from those present as well as those engaging in the dialogue online. The discussion was moderated by Rosa Lizarde, Global Coordinator of the Feminist Task Force of the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP).

  • 12 September: Seeking to advance rights of people with disabilities, UN treaty review starts

    Hundreds of advocates and experts on disability, as well as Government delegates, have gathered at UN Headquarters for the start of the Fifth Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which will have a special focus on women and children.“It is our responsibility as members of the international community and citizens of our own countries to bring about changes to more than one billion persons with disabilities worldwide,” the UN Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Wu Hongbo, said in a news release.

  • 6 September: Report on Accelerating progress towards the MDGs

    A report by the Secretary-General on "Accelerating progress towards the MDGs" is now available. The report will be considered by the General Assembly this fall, under agenda item 114 on Follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit. Particularly relevant is section V, which includes an update on the post-2015 process.
    The report can be downloaded here.

  • 10 September: The 21st session of the Human Rights Council opens in Geneva

    The Human Rights Council opened its 21st session today in Geneva, with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commending the actions of the Council on Libya and Syria and stressing that “we must use all our tools to shine the light of human rights everywhere. We need to do more to ensure that the output of this Council and other United Nations human rights mechanisms shapes policy making across the United Nations,” he said. “I remain strongly committed to mainstreaming human rights throughout the Organization.” In his speech, the Secretary-General reminded States of the responsibility to protect those who “courageously advocate and risk their lives to defend human rights and the values of the Charter,” and commended the progress made by the Council in various thematic areas and stressed the need to fight for the rights of women, including “their reproductive rights and their political, social and economic empowerment.”

  • 31 July: Members of High-level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda announced

    Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the members of a High-level Panel to advise on the global development agenda beyond 2015, the target date for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Three co-chairs were appointed: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia; President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia; and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom. “I have asked my High-level Panel to prepare a bold yet practical development vision to present to Member States next year,” said the UN chief. “I look forward to the Panel’s recommendations on a global post-2015 agenda with shared responsibilities for all countries and with the fight against poverty and sustainable development at its core.”

    The full list of Panel members is available on the link below.

  • 29 July: Secretary-General disappointed over lack of agreement on conventional arms trade treaty

    Describing it as a “setback,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed his disappointment over the failure by United Nations Member States to reach agreement on a treaty that would regulate the conventional arms trade. “I am disappointed that the Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) concluded its four-week-long session without agreement on a treaty text that would have set common standards to regulate the international trade in conventional arms,” Mr. Ban said. “The Conference's inability to conclude its work on this much-awaited ATT, despite years of effort of Member States and civil society from many countries, is a setback,” he added. Ending on Friday without agreement, the four-week long Conference brought together the UN's 193 Member States to negotiate what is seen as the most important initiative ever regarding conventional arms regulation within the United Nations. According to media reports, some countries had indicated they needed more time to consider the issues.

  • 27 July: As ECOSOC annual substantive session ends, UN officials hail achievements

    The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) today wrapped up four weeks of high-level engagement and dialogue, review and deliberation, and decision-making on issues such as unemployment, women’s empowerment and information technology. “Indeed, there is much to commend all-around,” the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Sha Zukang, said as he addressed the closing session.

  • 23 July: ECOSOC Endorses Reports of Committee on NGOs

    Today the Economic and Social Council adopting the recommendations, granting consultative status to 286 NGOs and taking note of 525 quadrennial reports of organizations already in status. These recommendations were contained in two reports of the Committee on NGOs. Apart from endorsing the reports, the Council also endorsed two additional draft decisions.

    First, the Quadrennial report of the non-governmental organization Suzanne Mubarak Women’s International Peace Movement (document E/2012/L.14) would have the Council decide to request the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations to resume consideration of that group’s 2007-2010 quadrennial report at its regular 2013 session. The Council also would request the Committee to defer — until its regular 2013 session — consideration of the request for that group to change its name to “End Human Trafficking Now”. The decision was adopted without a vote.

    A second decision on the application of the non-governmental organization Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (document E/2012/L.15) would have the Council decide not to grant special consultative status to that non-governmental organization. This decision was adopted after a vote. See link below for details.

  • 10 July: Concluding High-level Segment, ECOSOC Adopts Ministerial Declaration on Tackling Jobs Crisis

    Committing to a “powerful road map on jobs” through the adoption of a far-reaching Declaration, Government representatives in the Economic and Social Council capped the body’s 2012 high-Level segment, and, opening its next phase — on coordination — held a dialogue with the heads of its regional commissions. Adopting a Ministerial Declaration by consensus — though with several delegations expressing serious reservations — Council members concluded the week-long high-level segment, which had focused on the theme “promoting productive capacity, employment and decent work to eradicate poverty”. The segment had been set to conclude yesterday but was extended to allow more time for negotiations on the outcome. By the terms of the text, they committed to work together to promote the inclusive and equitable economic growth that was needed to reach the Millennium Development Goal targets.

    ECOSOC Home Page | Ministerial Declaration text

  • 6 July: Realizing the future we want for all post-2015

    The first report by the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda was submitted to the Secretary-General in June 2012 and published on the UN system “Beyond 2015” website on 2 July. The report, Realizing the Future we Want for All, is to serve as a reference for the broader consultations on the post-2015 UN development agenda to take place, as well as to inform the work of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Post-2015. The Report contains key recommendations and suggestions of the UN System Task Team on a new vision for development to generate transformative change, the possible contours of such an agenda and options for moving forward in the consultation process. It arrives at these recommendations through analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the MDG framework and assessing the lessons learned for the post-2015 UN development agenda, as well as by outlining emerging and existing pressing global challenges that have to be taken into account.

    Full Report | Key Recommendations | Summary

  • 2 July: Three MDGs met, global partnership key for reaching the goals by 2015

    With three important targets on poverty, slums and water having been met, a new United Nations report stresses the need for a true global partnership to achieve the remaining Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the 2015 deadline. The 2012 MDG Report offers “the most comprehensive picture yet” on global progress towards the Goals, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said as he launched the report at the high-level segment of the annual session of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The Millennium Development Goals Report 2012 was launched in New York by the Secretary-General on 2 July 2012. The report presents the yearly assessment of global progress towards the MDGs, highlighting several milestones – three important MDG targets have been met well ahead of the target date of 2015. The report says that meeting the remaining targets, while challenging, remain possible - but only if Governments do not waiver from their commitments made over a decade ago. The report, presented today at the opening of the Ecnomic and Social Council's 2012 substantive session, is based on a master set of data compiled by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on MDG indicators led by the Statistics Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The report is available in all UN languages, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish, from the link below.

  • 1 July: New Deputy Secretary-General takes office

    On 2 March 2012, Mr Jan Eliasson (Sweden) was appointed Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He took office as Deputy Secretary-General on 1 July 2012.

  • 22 June: Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development Adopts "The Future We Want"

    On 22 June, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, held at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, came to a close and adopted the outcome document entitled "The Future We Want." Nearly 11,000 major group representatives attended the event, with many more taking part in numerous side events. Full details on the event, including the outcome document, are found on the link below.

  • 21 May: Cte on NGOs Opens, Recommending 35 organizations

    The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today recommended 35 entities for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, and postponed consideration of 10 applications, as it resumed its 2012 session. General, special and roster status is granted in accordance with such criteria as the applicants’ mandate, governance and financial regime. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) enjoying general and special status can attend meetings of the United Nations Economic and Social Council and circulate statements, while those with general status can, in addition, address meetings and propose agenda items. Roster-status NGOs can only attend meetings. Organizations with general and special status must also submit a report every four years.

  • 15 May: Over 500 On-Site Side Events at Rio+20 Announced

    More than 500 on-site side events organized by Governments, Major Groups, Organizations from the UN system and other International Organizations will take place in RioCentro during Prepcom III (13-15 June), the Sustainable Development Dialogue Days (16-19 June) and the Summit (20-22 June). Please see below the preliminary programme of side events in RioCentro.

  • 7 May: Work remains to realize rights of indigenous peoples

    Five years after the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted, a great deal remains to be done to realize the objectives contained in that landmark document, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said today. “We continue to hear stories of struggles and exploitation of indigenous peoples around the world. It is time for those stories to change,” Ms. Migiro said at the opening of the 11th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, at UN Headquarters in New York on 7 May. Almost 2,000 indigenous participants from all regions of the world are taking part in the two-week session, engaging with members of the Forum, Member States and UN agencies on advancing the rights and well-being of indigenous peoples, who number some 370 million worldwide. “Let us instead move towards the day when indigenous peoples are heard, listened to and empowered,” said Ms Migiro.

  • 4 May: UN forum looks at the problem of youth unemployment (audio)

    One of the key markers in a young person's life is getting their first "real" job. But many young people around the world say this is becoming more and more difficult. They shared their views and experiences at the UN on Friday during a forum addressing the challenges of youth in finding decent employment. The event was organized by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and its outcome will be shared at the upcoming Rio+20 conference in Brazil. Listen to a UN radio feature by clicking below.

  • 30 April: First Annual International Jazz Day Concert at UN General Assembly

    Click the link below to see a unique concert held in the UN General Assembly Hall on 30 April, celebrating the UN INternational Jazz Day. Featuring UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angelique Kidjo, Wynton Marsalis, Hugh Masekela, Shankar Mahadevan, and many special performers and celebrity hosts. (UNESCO, in partnership with the United States Mission to the United Nations and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz).

  • 27 April: ‘Back in Our Capitals, We Have to Walk the Talk,’ Says Population Commission Chairman

    While members agreed, despite reservations, to give full attention to meeting reproductive health service, information, education needs of young people, the Population Commission concluded its 45th session on Friday. During the session, many youth delegates had spoken candidly about their experiences and expectations throughout the week-long session, said Population Commission Chairman late Friday following adoption of a key draft resolution, reminding members that “what really matters is what happens outside this room, when we are back in our capitals,” where, “we have to walk the talk, to move from paper to people.”The consensus adoption of the 10-page Chairman’s text on adolescents and youth came after protracted consultations. Hasan Kleib of Indonesia had pressed the 47-member Commission to “make a last effort to bridge differences”. Unless delegations had a “violent” reaction to the text, “let it go”, he had said; “the perfect is the enemy of good.” His text was not completely satisfactory to all, however, he had said it was balanced and he had reminded delegates that what was at stake were the pressing needs of the millions of youths and adolescents worldwide. “Consensus is the basis for our work,” Vice-Chair Pio Wennubst of Switzerland had said, similarly urging the text’s adoption. Having served as facilitator for its passage, he stressed that it was critical that the needs of adolescents and youth be answered “now”, and not “in 10 years”.

  • 25 April: Information Note on the 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 will 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. This session's recommendations will be sent to the Economic and Social Council for its approval in July 2012. Download a detailed information note here.

  • 25 April: Restrictions on NGOs worldwide undermining human rights, says UN senior official

    Recent moves in a number of countries to limit the freedom of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are seriously undermining human rights, a United Nations senior official said today, urging governments to revise proposed laws that would restrict their capacity to operate independently and effectively. “Civil society – including NGOs, trade unions, human rights defenders, academics, journalists, bloggers and others – plays an absolutely crucial role in ensuring that human rights are protected in individual states,” said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay. “A dynamic and autonomous civil society, able to operate freely, is one of the fundamental checks and balances necessary for building a healthy society, and one of the key bridges between governments and their people. It is therefore crucial that NGOs are able to function properly in countries in transition, as well as in established democracies,” she added.

  • 23 April: Rio+20 Negotiations to Energize Sustainable Development Agenda

    Representatives from Governments and civil society will start a new round of negotiations that will shape the outcome of “Rio+20”, a major global conference that will have a significant impact on how the world will address key challenges affecting economic growth, social well-being and environmental protection in the years ahead. The two-week session for Rio+20 — formally the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development — begins in New York on Monday, 23 April, and will continue through 4 May. In a statement addressed to the Conference ahead of the upcoming round of talks, leaders from across the United Nations system called on Rio+20 to “provide the road map to the future we want — a future with peace, dynamic economic and social development, universal social well-being, and a healthy and equitable environment for present and future generations where women and men, boys and girls, equally contribute to and benefit from development.”

  • 23 April: "This Is Your United Nations," SG Tells Youth Representatives at Population Commission Opening

    Acknowledging the unusually large attendance at the forty-fifth session of the Commission on Population and Development, which opened today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the turnout told only part of the story; the real message was the energy of the session and the presence of so many young people. “Welcome,” he said to the youth delegations. “This is your United Nations”. Recalling the events in Tunisia last year, he said “youth are more than a demographic force; they are a force for progress.” With “eyes wide open”, today’s young people were connected and engaged in the events around them, he said. However, no matter where he travelled in the world, he said, young people always asked him the same two questions: “Why isn’t the UN doing more to help the suffering?” and “What can I do to help the world?”

  • 26 April: 64th UN DPI/NGO Conference Bonn Declaration on Rio+20 Presented to the General Assembly

    The Bonn Declaration, the final document from the 64th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference that took place in Bonn, Germany, last September 2011, was issued as a General Assembly official document under the symbol A/66/750 on 20 March. The document serves an important input to the ongoing negotiations on the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development taking place in Rio do Janeiro, in June.

  • 20 April: Programmes for ECOSOC substantive session in July announced

    The 2012 Annual Ministerial Review of ECOSOC, to be held at United Nations Headquarters in New York, will focus on the theme “Promoting productive capacity, employment and decent work to eradicate poverty in the context of inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth at all levels for achieving the MDGs”. Decent work and promoting productive capacity are central to poverty eradication, the achievement of the MDGs and equitable, inclusive and sustainable development. The global economic and financial crisis exacerbated pre-existing challenges to the achievement of full employment and decent work in both developing and developed countries. Therefore, the 2012 AMR provides an important opportunity for ECOSOC to put a spotlight on economic growth models that promote job creation, are sustainable, inclusive and equitable and can be tailored to the particular needs of countries, while promoting also social protection and rights at work. Nine countries - Algeria, Brazil, Ecuador, Kenya, Mauritius, Qatar, Russia, Senegal and Ukraine - will make National Voluntary Presentations (NVPs) during the 2012 AMR session. Programmes of the four segments of the ECOSOC substantive session are posted here:

    High-Level Segment
    Coordination Segment
    Operational Activities Segment
    General Segment

  • 23 March: 2012 ECOSOC High Level Segment Open Call for Oral and Written Statements (Deadline: 6 April 2012)

    The NGO Branch of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs is pleased to announce an open call for oral and written statements for the 2012 ECOSOC High Level Segment (HLS) for NGOs in ECOSOC consultative status. The HLS will include sessions on the Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) and the Development Cooperation Forum (DCF). The theme for the AMR segment this year will focus on "Promoting productive capacity, employment and decent work to eradicate poverty in the context of inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth at all levels for achieving the MDGs". The HLS will be held on 2 - 9 July 2012 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This is a unique opportunity for organizations in consultative status with ECOSOC to be heard at ECOSOC deliberations, as well as to contribute to issues of critical concern to the global development agenda. It will also provide a platform to specifically address the issue of employment and decent work this year, which is a crucial cross-cutting theme for the achievement of the MDGs.

  • 15 March: Head of UN Gender Entity Expresses ‘Deep Regret’ as CSW Concludes without Adopting Agreed Conclusions

    Expressing “deep regret” that the Commission on the Status of Women had failed to adopt the agreed conclusions that traditionally mark the conclusion of its annual sessions, the head of UN-Women today urged delegations to move past that setback and press ahead with efforts to ensure that rural women — the focus of the current session - would be fully empowered to reach their potential. “I sincerely hope that this does not mean Member States are not ready to do what still needs to be done,” said Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for General Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women). She added that, irrespective of its disappointing conclusion, the Commission’s fifty-sixth session had “witnessed passionate and dynamic discussions” on the empowerment of rural women and strengthening their role in achieving sustainable development for all. The session, which opened at Headquarters on 27 February, was scheduled to have concluded on 9 March, but protracted negotiations on the agreed conclusions forced the Commission to extend its work by one week. Delegations were unable to overcome “a disappointing inability to reach consensus”, in Ms. Bachelet’s words, and the session closed without a final document.

  • 13 March: Severe Austerity, Weak Policies, Job Shortages Hurting Global Recovery, Experts Caution ECOSOC

    Severe austerity measures, weak policies and a dearth of jobs were constraining efforts to reduce poverty and to trigger real recovery from economic crisis and sustainable “green” growth, the Economic and Social Council heard today as it concluded its special high-level meeting with international financial and trade institutions.

  • 2 March: Ban appoints veteran Swedish diplomat as new UN Deputy Secretary-General

    Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Jan Eliasson of Sweden, a veteran in the fields of diplomacy and foreign relations, as the new Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. Mr. Eliasson, who will take over from Asha-Rose Migiro of Tanzania on 1 July, is no stranger to the UN, having served as the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Darfur, President of the 60th session of the General Assembly and first Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. He is currently a member of the Secretary-General’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Advocate Group.

  • 27 February: Commission on the Status of Women Opens to Address Unleashing Rural Women’s Potential

    Unleashing the potential of rural women — a quarter of the world’s population — was critical to ending global poverty and hunger, high-level speakers said today as the Commission on the Status of Women opened its fifty-sixth annual session. “Empowering women is not just good for women, it is good for all of us,” Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), told the first meeting of the two-week session, which concludes on 16 March. Focusing in particular on the issue of women’s participation in public life, she said it was crucial to women’s social and economic advancement. That would also require the enactment and enforcement of laws, including trade and economic policies, that had gender equality as a priority aim, she said, noting that such wide-ranging reforms were under way in some countries, although progress remained slow and uneven.

  • 27 February: ECOSOC Forum: Employing Youth for a Better Future

    Governments, corporations and policy-makers must do more to realize the potential of young people worldwide, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said today, calling for action to overcome the structures and problems that are keeping youth unemployment rates high around the worldwide. In an address in New York to a partnership event organized by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Ms. Migiro said the lack of decent jobs for young people had become a “key source of social and political upheaval” around the world recently. “From Brooklyn to Cairo, Barcelona to Belfast, Tunis to Tripoli, too many young people are jobless and disaffected,” she said. “Some are poor, some are school drop-outs, some are highly educated but with no immediate prospects.

  • 27 February: Human Rights Council opens with calls to uphold freedoms worldwide

    As the current session of the main United Nations human rights body began today, senior officials stressed that the Organization’s work in this area is as vital as ever, particularly at a time when men and women worldwide are rising up to demand basic freedoms and a life of dignity. Addressing the opening of the latest session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said the public demand for the enjoyment of human rights has been most striking in the Arab region, where tens of thousands of women, men and young people have taken to the streets to voice their claims.

  • 17 February: Committee on NGOs Adopts Final Report, Recommending 157 Organizations

    The 2012 regular session of the Committee on NGOs completed its main work on 8 February, recommending 157 organizations for consultative status and taking note of 375 quadrennial reports of organizations already in status. On 17 February it adopted its draft report. Click here to download the final report.

  • 14 February: Commission for Social Development approves seven draft resolutions

    Concluding its fiftieth session today, the Commission for Social Development recommended seven draft resolutions for adoption by the Economic and Social Council, covering topics that ranged from the mainstreaming of disability into the international development agenda, to the priority theme for the next session. The Commission’s approval of the drafts capped two weeks of negotiations as well as plenary panel discussions and lively general debates that focused on unemployment, social protection floor initiatives and ways to shrink the widening gap between the rich and poor. Ministerial-level officials from around the world described national efforts as the Commission considered the most effective and efficient means to lift millions of people out of poverty.

  • 7 February: Pespectives on the current economic and financial situation

    The global economy faces acute uncertainties and volatility, which present serious concerns to all United Nations Member States. In order to better understand the structural or systemic challenges of the current global economic and financial order, and explore adequate policy responses, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will convene a special session to brief Member States on the current economic and financial situation. On 7 February, distinguished economists provided their views and perspectives on the present situation and future prospects. Speakers will include Professor Peter Diamond, Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and 2010 Nobel Economics Laureate; and Professor Carmen Reinhart, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics. See a summary of the discussion below.

  • 8 Feb – 14 March: Join the ECOSOC E-Discussion on Jobs, Decent Work and Inclusive Growth

    In preparation for the 2012 Substantive Session of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), you are invited to participate in an e-Discussion on “Jobs, Decent Work and Inclusive Growth” from 8 February to 14 March 2012. A joint initiative of DESA, ILO and UNDP, the e-discussion presents a unique opportunity to make your voice heard, and to formulate critical policy messages that will feed directly into the ECOSOC’s Annual Ministerial Review in New York in July 2012. Join the e-discussion, and share this invitation to colleagues who may be interested in participating. If you are not already a member of UNDG’s MDG-Net, UNDP Poverty Reduction Network, Gender or Human Development Report Networks and would like to participate, please register by sending a request to support.amr@unteamworks.org. For any further questions, please contact Mr. Gregory Barrett at barrettg@un.org or +1 917 367 2048.

  • 30 January: Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing

    The High-level Panel on Global Sustainability, established by the Secretary-General in August 2010 to formulate a new blueprint for sustainable development and low-carbon prosperity, presented its final report, "Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing", on 30 January. It contains 56 recommendations to put sustainable development into practice and to mainstream it into economic policy as quickly as possible.

  • 25 January: UN chief outlines five-year action plan to build ‘the future we want’

    25 January 2012 – 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?

    17 January - 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.See list.
    • 272 NGOs need to report on the years 2007-2010.See list.

    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. Click here to login and update your profile.


    FAQs: When and How to Submit Your Report.
    Login here to submit your report.

  • 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, 2011-12

    An updated list of all 3,536 organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council has been published today. This important reference document determines eligibility for non-governmental organizations to apply in 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 vailid until July 2012. See the Basic Facts section to learn more.

  • 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.

    Visit www.uncsd2012.org/registration to learn more and start the process.

    See you in Rio!

  • 15 December: 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. Click here to download the report.

  • 14 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 December: 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) marks 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. Priority issues emphasized in the submissions for the draft include sustainable energy for all, water and oceans, according to Mr. Sha.

  • 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. (See Press Releases 11186,
    11189 and
    11190.)

  • 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 Dec: 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. More than an estimated 15 per cent of the world’s population experience some form of disability and are often subjected to stigma and discrimination, according to the World Report on Disability, recently issued by the World Health Organization and the World Bank. Experience shows that when persons with disabilities are included in the process of development, their entire community benefits, as their involvement creates opportunities for everyone — with or without a disability. Including persons with disabilities and their communities in developmental efforts is important to advance development at all levels.

  • 22 Nov: The Future We Want

    What do you dream of for you, your family and your community? What would life look like if you could design it? We all have dreams and aspirations and ideas to make the world better. There is enormous power in the sharing of those ideas. The Future We Want is a global conversation to build the future through a positive vision for tomorrow.

  • 22 Nov: Decision on Modalities for Civil Society Participation in Rio+20 Adopted

    The Second Committee today adopted a draft decision on arrangements for accreditation and participation in the preparatory process and in the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development of relevant non‑governmental organizations and other major groups (document A/C.2/66/L.53). Subsequently the Secretariat will prepare online registration and accreditation procedures that will be open to NGOs and major groups in the coming weeks.

  • 21 Nov: DPI/NGO 2011 Annual Review process

    Every year, all DPI-associated NGOs (see list here) need to submit an annual report in order to maintain their DPI association status. The annual report also serves to submit the names of their organization's representatives to the United Nations. To start the DPI annual review process, click on the link below.

    NOTE: The annual reporting requirement applies ONLY to NGOs associated with DPI. NGOs with general or special consultative status with ECOSOC need to submit a report once every four years (quadrennial report).

    NGOs with both DPI and ECOSOC status need to ascertain they fulfill both obligations.

  • 18 Nov: Third Committee Approves Text Stressing Critical Importance of Women’s Political Participation

    Stressing the critical importance of women’s political participation in all contexts, including in times of peace, conflict and in all stages of political transition, the General Assembly would call upon all States to eliminate laws, regulations and practices that prevent or restrict women’s participation in the political process by a draft text approved by the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) today without a vote. The draft text would also have the Assembly call on States to accelerate the achievement of equality between men and women and, in all situations, including in situations of political transition, to promote and protect women's human rights.

  • 10 Nov: Most Countries Far Short of ODA Target Figure 10 Years after Monterrey Consensus

    More than 10 years after the Monterrey Consensus was adopted, most countries remained well short of allocating 0.7 per cent of their gross national product (GNP) to official development assistance (ODA), and sharp reductions planned in response to the global economic and financial crisis made for a bleak forecast of future growth in foreign aid, the President of the Economic and Social Council told the Second Committee at a panel discussion today.

  • 10 Nov: Now Open: Registration for the 2nd Intersessional Meeting of UNCSD, 15-16 December

    Major groups registration for the Second Intersessional Meeting of UNCSD (known as Rio+20) is now open. The Second Intersessional Meeting will be held at UN Headquarters in New York on 15 and 16 December 2011. Pre-registration through the CSO Net online event registration system is required for all delegates from major groups. Please be reminded that you that your parent organization is responsible for making the necessary arrangements for your travel and accommodation, in the usual way. You are likewise responsible for ensuring that you meet the necessary visa requirements for entry into the United States. Delegates requiring a visa are advised to apply as early as possible to ensure adequate time for processing and travel.

  • 8 Nov: SG urges greater use of new technologies to tackle global crises: Global Pulse

    Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for greater use of the latest real-time data tools and new technologies to facilitate development and anticipate crises before their impacts become sources of human suffering.
    “Too often, by the time we have hard evidence of what is happening at the household level, the harm has already been done,” said Mr. Ban during a briefing for the General Assembly on the Global Pulse initiative, which focuses on harnessing real-time data and new technologies for agile global development. See unglobalpulse.org for more.

  • 31 Oct: UN launches Year of Cooperatives with spotlight on development

    The United Nations today launched the International Year of Cooperatives with the General Assembly President underlining their role as catalysts of socially-inclusive development and capacity to empower communities through jobs and income generation.
    “Cooperatives contribute to food security, rural development, and other social services,” said Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, opening the Assembly’s plenary meeting to launch 2012 as the International Year.

  • 31 Oct: As world passes 7 billion milestone, UN urges action to meet key challenges

    Top United Nations officials today marked the global population reaching 7 billion with a call to action to world leaders to meet the challenges that a growing population poses, from ensuring adequate food and clean water to guaranteeing equal access to security and justice. “Today, we welcome baby 7 billion. In doing so we must recognize our moral and pragmatic obligation to do the right thing for him, or for her,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at a press event at UN Headquarters to mark the milestone.

  • 27 Oct: DESA NGO News - October 2011

    Read the October edition of DESA NGO News, with recent developments and upcoming events.

    English | Français | Español | Subscribe



  • 26 Oct: Secretary-General meets representatives of NGOs (Video)

    Today Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with representatives of NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC or associated with DPI in a special briefing, which will focus on his vision and priorities for the second term. The Secretary-General made a brief opening statement, which was followed by a question-and-answer period. Accompanying the Secretary-General were Mr Navid Hanif, Acting Director, Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and Mr Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. The event was webcast and can be retrieved from the link below.

  • 25 Oct: @Rio+20 ... Messages of the World

    In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 4-6, 2012 - 20 years after the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development - people from all over the world will gather and discuss how to best manage our common future in a sustainable and lasting way. What message would you like to echo to the world? Write your own message, or agree on any of the already published messages below. It's easy - just click on the message and follow the instructions. Remember - the strength are in the numbers! The biggest messages are the most agreed upon. Maybe your idea will catch on?

  • 21 Oct: Delay in Implementing LDC Programme Risks Exacerbating Lives of World’s Poorest People

    While hailing last May’s adoption of the Istanbul Programme of Action as a feat for the world’s poorest countries, many delegates in the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) warned today that further delaying its practical implementation would lead to a further deterioration in the lives of hundreds of millions of people. As the Committee continued its general discussion on groups of countries in special situations, representatives from least developed and landlocked developing countries, as well as small island developing States, also stressed the vital importance of fair trade, greater investment in infrastructure, and increased aid flows.

  • 21 Oct: Migrant Rights Are Human Rights, Says United Nations Expert in Third Committee

    Although xenophobic discourse had elevated the anti-immigration agenda in countries around the world, migration remained a common human endeavour and migrants’ rights were human rights, a top United Nations expert on those rights told the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) today. “Migration is how we cope with environmental threats, with political oppression, but also with our desire to create a meaningful future for ourselves and our children,” the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, François Crépeau, said, as the Committee wrapped up its first week devoted to the promotion and protection of human rights and also heard presentations from experts on the rights to adequate housing, freedom of expression, and the independence of judges.

  • 11 Oct: World must welcome 7 billionth citizen with sustainable future, says SG

    Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon kept up his drum beat for sustainable development today, warning a high-level public-private forum in Denmark that the world must do much more than sing “Happy Birthday” when its 7 billionth citizen is born later this month. “We have to give this child – and its whole generation – a sustainable future,” he told the 3G Global Green Forum, bringing together leaders from government, business, finance and civil society to accelerate ‘bottom up’ country- and business-led progress on climate change and other environmental challenges.

  • 6 Oct: DESA releases new brochure on consultative status

    The DESA NGO Branch launched a new brochure "Working with ECOSOC - an NGOs Guide to Consultative Status" today. The brochure, available for free download, provides essential information on how to obtain consultative status, UN grounds passes, events participation, as well detailed information on the application process. Download a PDF version on the link below.

  • 3 Oct: UN official urges integration of social concerns into economic recovery policies

    A senior official today urged countries to pursue economic policies that take social considerations into account to ensure that the poor, youth, persons with disability and the elderly do not continue to bear the brunt of fiscal austerity measures and unemployment in the uncertain global economy. “Successful policies are those that do not overlook the fact that economic policies have social implications,” said Sha Zukang, the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Secretary-General of next year’s UN Conference on Socials Development (Rio+20) to be held in Brazil.“Successful policies are those that promote economic and social development together with human rights protection, more [and] better jobs, social cohesion and less inequality,” Mr. Sha said in an address to the annual opening of the Third Committee of the General Assembly, which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural affairs.

  • 27 Sept: General Assembly opens: Review all statements and backstage buzz

    The General Debate of the General Assembly closed on 27 September. Take a peek of the events going on at UN Headquarters last week and meet real people, backstage. Visit the "Backstage Buzz" page at http://www.un.org/apps/news/html/ga2011.shtml

    You can also read the text of all the statements at the General Debate, and search by country or topic, at gadebate.un.org.

    Alternatively, if you want to view video any of the statements made during the General Assembly's general debate, or see the side events to the opening of the General Assembly, you can visit the archived video at http://un.org/webcast.

    The Second and Third Committees of the General Assembly are scheduled to start their work on Monday, 3 October. Annual NGO passes will provide access to the UN grounds from that date onwards. More information on the Second and Third Committee is available here.

  • 22 Sept: UN calls to ‘stem the tide’ of racism and intolerance

    Ten years after a global conference in Durban, South Africa, sought to uproot all forms of racism, much progress has been made, yet intolerance has actually increased in many parts of the world, top United Nations officials warned today. “The resurgence and persistence of such inhumane attitudes and detrimental practices indicate that we have not done enough to stem the tide,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a high-level General Assembly meeting held to mark the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the so-called Durban Declaration, the outcome document of the 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

  • 21 Sept: World’s best forest policies crowned

    Rwanda’s National Forest Policy was proclaimed the winner of the 2011 Future Policy Award. The Gambia’s Community Forest Policy and the US Lacey Act with its amendment of 2008 received the Silver Awards. The three winning policies which most effectively contribute to the conservation and sustainable development of forests for the benefit of current and future generations were announced today at UN Headquarters in New York.

  • 19 Sept: UN summit discusses ways to curb death toll from non-communicable diseases

    The United Nations heard calls today for an all-out attack on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer and diabetes with a summit meeting devoted to curbing the factors, like tobacco and alcohol use, behind the often preventable scourge that causes 63 per cent of all deaths.

    The two-day high-level General Assembly meeting, attended by more than 30 heads of State and Government and at least 100 other senior ministers and experts, is discussing a draft declaration calling for a multi-pronged campaign by governments, industry and civil society to set up by 2013 the plans needed to curb the risk factors behind the four groups of NCDs – cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes.

  • 16 Sept: MDGs - Time to Deliver

    If the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are to be achieved, a serious shortfall in funding must be addressed. This is the stark revelation of the UN’s MDG Gap Task Force report, released today in New York. Introducing the report, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underlined the importance of the report’s findings, saying “we cannot afford to leave the poor even further behind.”

  • 15 Sept: An Overview of NGO Participation in the ECOSOC High-Level Segment, July 2011

    The Economic and Social Council encourages participation from NGOs to submit statements during its meetings. The 2011 High Level Segment of the Council, held from 4 to 7 July in Geneva, included a session on the theme of “Implementing the internationally agreed goals and commitments in regard to education.” In order to solicit statements from NGOs on this theme, 55 NGOs were recommended to speak, representing an increase of 25% from last year’s session. Additionally, 136 NGOs submitted written statements that were distributed among all participants of the Council as part of the official ECOSOC documentation, an increase of over 50% compared to 2010. A page with a full listing of all written and oral statements has been made available at the link below.

  • 12 Sept: ILO/WHO Initiative on Social Protection Floor

    Knowing that more than 1.4 billion people still struggle to live on less than $1.25 a day (World Bank), it is obvious that much more must be done to eradicate the scourge of extreme poverty.

    The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) coordinate the Social Protection Floor Initiative (SPF-I) as a joint UN effort to build a global coalition committed to supporting countries in building national social protection floors for their citizens.

    The NGO Commitee for Social Development is engaged in an online campaign in support of this initiave. Please visit the link below. More information at ngosocdev.net

  • 7 Sept: Ensuring rights of persons with disabilities benefits all of society

    Persons with disabilities must enjoy full human rights and fundamental freedoms and enabling them to do so benefits society as a whole, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said today at the opening of a United Nations forum that is seeking to improve their lives. “You and I and millions of others know, that when we respect the inherent dignity of persons with disabilities, we enrich our human family,” she stated in her remarks to the fourth session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

  • 5 Sept: UN-NGO forum urges linking sustainable development with public engagement

    The annual joint conference of the United Nations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) concluded today in Bonn, Germany, with calls for civil society to encourage people to realize that their local concerns were connected to the larger global issues. Delegates to the three-day 64th annual conference of the UN and NGOs, organized by the Department of Public Information (DPI), in partnership with the DPI/NGO Executive Committee, Germany and the UN Volunteers (UNV) programme, stressed the need to “connect the dots” between civil society groups dealing with various issues for greater impact on global problems. The theme of this year's conference was “Sustainable Societies Responsive Citizens” and was an opportunity for NGOs and civil society to interact as they prepare for next year's UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil.

  • 9 August: UN urges greater appreciation of indigenous culture and creativity

    Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged the world to recognize the right of indigenous peoples to control their intellectual property, saying they needed help to protect, develop and receive fair compensation for their cultural heritage and traditional knowledge. “Indigenous peoples face many challenges in maintaining their identity, traditions and customs, and their cultural contributions are at times exploited and commercialized, with little or no recognition,” Mr. Ban said in a message to mark the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples.

  • 1 August: Download the latest issue of DESA NGO News

    The most current issue of DESA NGO News, dated 27 July 2011, has been released and is being sent to its email subscibers. You can download the issue in English,Français or Español.

    You can subscribe through the link below.

  • 25 July: ECOSOC Approves 260 NGOs, including ILGA, IFES, Syrian Center, for Status

    25 July - The Economic and Social Council today decided in favour of accreditation of consultative status to the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, and the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression. In the case of ILGA, the decision was reached after a vote, with 30 member States voting in favour and 13 States against granting status.

    In other action, the Council today came to the following decisions.
  • It granted new consultative status to 260 organizations, of which: 111 were recommended by the Committee on NGOs at its 2011 regular session; another 146 by the Committee at its 2011 resumed session; and 3 additional NGOs accredited by Council without a recommendation by the Committee, namely the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), the International Foundation for Electoral SystemS, and the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression.
  • The Council decided to defer consideration of the application of the organization "Movement Against Atrocities and Repression" before the conclusion of the substantive session this week.
  • It took note of the Committee's decision to close the consideration of 52 applications for status (23 at its regular sesion plus 32 at its resumed session).
  • It approved requests for 8 reclassifications of status, and took note of 14 name changes of NGOs.
  • The Council took note of 366 quadrennial reports by NGOs in consultative status (212 considered at the Committee's 2011 regular session, and 154 at its 2011 resumed session).
  • In accordance with the provisions of ECOSOC decision 2008/4, the Council suspended 103 organizations for a period of one year; reinstated the status of 16 organizations; and withdrew consultative status of 61 organizations.

    Action was taken upon the recommendation of the following two reports of the Committee: 2011 regular session report and the 2011 resumed session report.

    For a more detailed account see the day's meeting coverage, see this link: http://bit.ly/otnzq0

  • 25 July: High-Level Meeting of General Assembly on Youth Urges Action on Young People’s Unemployment

    At a General Assembly special session on youth, member States voiced support for participation of the ‘dot-com generation’ in peace and development efforts. Senior Government officials today called on Member States, with the support of the United Nations, to take action to enable young people to overcome widespread unemployment and other problems and to ensure that they participated integrally in global efforts for peace and sustainable development. Through the outcome document of the High-level Meeting on Youth: Dialogue and Mutual Understanding, adopted by consensus, the Assembly enumerated some 17 areas of action by Member States, pledging “to fulfil our commitments to promote youth development, dialogue and mutual understanding, paying due attention to the relevant internationally agreed development goals”.

  • 18 July: Spend 67 Minutes on Nelson Mandela International Day for your community!

    This year on 18 July - Nelson Mandela’s 93rd birthday - the UN is joining a call by the Nelson Mandela Foundation to devote 67 minutes of our time to helping others, as a way to mark Nelson Mandela International Day. For 67 years Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity – as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa. Take action! Make your commitment to 67 minutes of service on Mandela Day.

  • 14 July: UN welcomes South Sudan as 193rd Member State

    The General Assembly today admitted the Republic of South Sudan as the 193rd member of the United Nations, welcoming the newly independent country to the community of nations. South Sudan’s independence from the rest of Sudan is the result of the January 2011 referendum held under the terms of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the decades-long civil war between the North and the South.

  • 12 July: Security Council calls for parties that attack schools and hospitals to be held accountable

    The Security Council today, recognizing schools and hospitals as safe havens for children, called for all parties to conflict that attack such facilities to be held accountable and that they be added to the list published annually by the United Nations of those who commit grave violations against children. The list, contained in the Secretary-General’s
    annual report on children and armed conflict
    , already names those parties which commit violations such as the recruitment of child soldiers, killing or maiming of children, and rape or other forms of sexual violence against children.

  • 11 July: We're at Nearly 7 Billion - It's World Population Day

    As the world population approaches seven billion, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed that ending global poverty and inequality is the key to unleashing the great human potential for prosperity and peaceful coexistence, while protecting the planet and safeguarding the natural resources that sustain humanity. “Later this year, a seven-billionth baby will be born into our world of complexity and contradiction,” Mr. Ban said in a message to mark World Population Day, observed annually on 11 July.
    See video.

  • 11 July: CEDAW 49 Opens: Widespread Impunity and Weak Institutions Heighten Marginalization of Women

    With the changing political landscape in the Middle East, North Africa and beyond as a backdrop, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women had a vital role to play in redressing entrenched ills, including harmful traditional practices, sexual violence, persistent discrimination and a lack of access to education and employment, top United Nations human rights official Ivan Šimonoviæ said today as he opened the treaty body’s forty-ninth session. Mr. Šimonoviæ, Assistant Secretary-General in the New York Office of the Geneva-based United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said he had personally witnessed the realities faced by women in post-conflict situations during recent visits to Afghanistan, Iraq and Côte d’Ivoire, where inadequate governance, weak institutions and widespread impunity had weakened the rule of law and heightened the marginalization of women.

  • 7 July: UN Reports Progress Towards Poverty Alleviation

    Some of the world’s poorest countries have made impressive gains in the fight against poverty, but the least developed countries still lag in efforts to improve living standards, the United Nations said today in a report by DESA, showing significant overall progress towards achieving the global targets against extreme poverty.
    Read the 2011 MDGs Report. | See a related video.

  • 6 July: Programme of ECOSOC Coordination Segment, Geneva

    The programme of the ECOSOC Coordination Segment, starting 11 July in Geneva, has been posted here.

  • 5 July: Fragile economic growth calls for change in development [VIDEO]

    Executive Heads of international financial and trade organizations informed participants attending the ECOSOC 2011 high-level Segment on "Education for All" on its second day, on the current economy and the overall state of the world economy and its implications on development factors; including education, and employment for the achievement of the United Nations development agenda, noting that the economy is recovering, currently growing a rate of 3.3 percent and projected at 3.6 for 2012, but remains fragile.

  • 4 July: 67 million children deprived of education - ECOSOC [VIDEO]

    67 million school-aged children are deprived of education, mainly due to financial or social hardship, in many cases stemming from poverty or armed conflict. But in Geneva on Monday, some of the more fortunate kids from around the world, were given an opportunity to directly call on top UN officials and World leaders to address their concerns on education and their future. See one of the links to find out more.

    UN Webcast | ECOSOC Home Page | UNESCO Twitter | See video on Facebook

  • 4 July: Deputy Secretary-General Opens ECOSOC High-Level Segment

    While warning that ‘getting kids into school is only half the battle’ the Deputy Secretary-General addressed the ECOSOC High-Level Segment, focusing on education, on 4 July.

  • 30 June: Advance Summary of NCD Hearings Released

    The Office of the President of the General Assembly has released an advance unedited version of the summary of the informal interactive hearing with representatives of nongovernmental organizations, civil society organizations, academia and the private sector, to provide an input to preparatory process of the 2011 High-level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases of 22 September. The hearings were held on 16 June.

  • 30 June: UNU Seeks Qualified Candidates for its Rector

    The United Nations University is seeking qualified candidates to fill the postion of Rector of the university. Established in 1973, UNU is an academic arm of the UN system and contributes directly to the advancement of knowledge that is relevant to the work of the organization. Applications must be received by 15 July 2011. See link below for more information.

  • 29 June - 1 July: Civil Society Development Forum 2011 - Geneva Component

    29 June - 1 July Civil Society Development Forum (CSDF) 2011 - Geneva Component
    “Civil Society’s Essential Role in Achieving Education for all” will be the theme of the CSDF 2011 Geneva Component, that will take place on 29 – 30 June and the morning of 1 July in the Ecumenical Centre, 150 route de Ferney, Geneva. The CSDF will, as each year, focus on the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) that is the priority of ECOSOC’s Annual Ministerial Review. In 2011 the theme of the ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review is “Implementing the internationally–agreed goals and commitments in regard to education”. As in previous years, the CSDF 2011 Geneva Component will be held before the ECOSOC High Level Ministerial Review sessions with the aim to monitor important developments and promote action.

  • 28 June: Questionnaire Posted for Participation in Durban+10

    On 22 September this year, the United Nations General Assembly will hold a one-day high-level meeting in New York to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action. NGOs who are interested to participate in this event are invited to answer a questionnaire. Deadline to complete the deadline is 15 July.

  • 25 June: DESA NGO News, June 2011

    The 25 June edition of DESA NGO News has been released in three languages. Click below.

    English (PDF) | Français | Español | Subscribe

  • 24 June: Global demand increasing for synthetic drugs, UN report finds

    23 June – While global markets for cocaine, heroin and cannabis declined or remained stable, the production and abuse of prescription opioid drugs and new synthetic drugs rose, the United Nations annual drug report said today.
    “The gains we have witnessed in the traditional drugs markets are being offset by a fashion for synthetic ‘designer drugs’ mimicking illegal substances,” said Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) which produced the World Drug Report 2011.

  • 23 June: Making Trade and Finance Work for the People and the Planet

    UNCTAD's third Public Symposium provided a venue for multi-stakeholder dialogue on topics likely to dominate the global political agenda in 2011 and 2012

  • 22 June: Social investments deserve priority in economic recovery schemes

    22 June 2011 – A new United Nations report finds that many governments did not pay enough attention to the social implications of the recent global financial crisis and urges that social investments be given priority in recovery programmes. The Report on the World Social Situation 2011: The Global Social Crisis, published today by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), explores the ongoing adverse social consequences of the 2008-2009 financial and economic crisis – the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

  • 16 June: Effective partnerships vital for tackling diseases, UN officials stress

    16 June 2011 – Top United Nations officials today stressed the need for governments, the private sector and civil society to work together and more effectively to address cancers, diabetes and other non-communicable diseases, which account for nearly two thirds of global deaths each year. “No one actor is able to harness the resources necessary or address the complex range of factors that are driving the progression of these diseases,” Joseph Deiss, President of the General Assembly, said in his opening remarks to the informal civil society hearing held at UN Headquarters.

  • 16 June: Committee on NGOs adopts report to ECOSOC for action

    Having finished its work on 24 May, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today concluded its 2011 resumed session, adopting by consensus its report, which contained seven draft decisions on matters that called for action by the Economic and Social Council. Click here for the advance unedited version of the report adopted on 16 June.

  • 15 June: New Communications Procedure of CSW

    The Communications Procedure of the Commission on the Status of Women is a unique tool for individuals and organizations to use in order to raise awareness about injustice and discriminatory practices against women in any country in the world. Claims to the Commission on the Status of Women for consideration at its next session (27 February to 9 March 2012) must be submitted by 1 August 2011.

  • 14 June: Think Big in Launching Final Push to Meet MDGs, Says GA President

    New York, 14 June - Citing many examples of real progress around the world that testified to the soundness of the “people-first” approach embodied in the Millennium Development Goals, senior United Nations officials today said that, with the 2015 deadline for achieving those ambitious targets rapidly approaching, stakeholders must not be afraid to “think big” in shaping the final push, even as they planned strategies to alleviate the suffering of millions “who will need our attention come 2016 and beyond”. “We must advance the United Nations development agenda in a way that will be inclusive and appropriate for all stakeholders,” said General Assembly President Joseph Deiss ( Switzerland), as he opened the 192-member body’s development dialogue. The day-long meeting also featured an address from United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro and was framed by two informal panel discussions, respectively on “MDG implementation and accountability: women’s and children’s health as an engine for progress” and “Advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015”.

  • 13 June: Getting it right as a new nation is born

    On 9 July, South Sudan becomes the world’s youngest state following one of Africa’s longest and deadliest civil wars. As such it faces many challenges – 90% of the population live below internationally defined income standards; 92% of women cannot read or write; one out of every seven children dies before their fifth birthday; and few children complete primary school. As the South becomes independent, both the North and South will face a number of socio-economic challenges which require the early mobilization of the international community to ensure the development of two viable states and to consolidate the peace attained, despite recent military clashes along the border. On 13 June, the Economic and Social Council and the Peacebuilding Commission convened an informal joint event “Promoting Durable Peace and Sustainable Development in Sudan and South Sudan“ to highlight the importance of development to peace; the need for effective international support to Sudan and South Sudan and the importance of regional cooperation.

  • 10 June: HIV/AIDS Summit adopts ambitious targets to defeat epidemic

    10 June 2011 –Countries meeting at a United Nations summit in New York today adopted ambitious new targets to defeat AIDS, with the aim of ridding the world of a disease that has claimed more than 30 million lives since it was first reported three decades ago. The High-level Meeting on AIDS brought together 3,000 participants, including 30 heads of State and government, along with senior officials, representatives of international organizations, civil society and people living with HIV, to chart a path for the future of the AIDS response. Click here to view the agreed outcome document of the event.

  • 2 June: Greening World’s Economies Debated

    United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro this morning made a strong call for creating a global green economy characterized by abundant jobs, sustainable livelihoods, dynamic economic growth and clean energy. Kicking off a day-long informal General Assembly thematic debate on “Green economy: a pathway to sustainable development”, Ms. Migiro said the green economy also must address the menaces caused by climate change, notably food and energy insecurity and deforestation. The debate, which aimed to guide next year’s United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, known as “Rio+20”, featured a morning panel discussion on the characteristics of the green economy and its potential for achieving sustainable development, and an afternoon discussion on approaches to create such an economy.

  • 24 May: 2011 Resumed Session of NGO Committee Concludes its Work

    The Committee concluded its work on 24 May 2011, and reccomended 144 applications for consultative status with ECOSOC. These reccomendations will be reviewed by the Council at its annual session taking place in Geneva, at or around 25 July. An official report of the Committee is currently being negotiated and will be posted here soon. Click here for an overview of the Committee's recommendations.

  • 13 May: New Action Programme Vows to Halve Number of LDCs by 2020

    Slashing by half the list of 48 States with the most extreme poverty and vulnerability to crises is the goal of a new 10-year action plan agreed by the world’s Governments at the conclusion this evening in Istanbul, Turkey, of the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries. Countries at the Conference, which opened on 9 May, reviewed progress in implementing the foundational Brussels Programme of Action, launched by Governments in 2001 in response to the profound challenges facing a stricken population of some 880 million. The Brussels plan introduced good governance principles, among others, into the relationship between the least developed countries and their development partners and was widely seen as a results-oriented comprehensive poverty reduction strategy for the decade.

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