CoNGO Statements

NGO Access to and at the United Nations in the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic

NGOs reaffirm role at the UN, but worry about access restrictions especially in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic

New York, 30 November 2020 (CoNGO InfoNews) – More than a hundred NGOs related to the United Nations have joined CoNGO—the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations—in a statement reaffirming the importance of NGO access to and at the United Nations. More NGOs are expected to endorse the statement according to Liberato Bautista, CoNGO President, who welcomed the big number of endorsements in the first thirty-six hours since the call to sign on was sent to NGO leaders. (List of endorsements is found at the end of this story).

CoNGO issued the statement on the eve of two important meetings at the United Nations this week, the UN General Assembly Special Session in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on 3 to 4 December 2020 and a panel discussion on 4 December dealing with strengthening participation, protection and participation of civic space.

The statement asserted that “NGO access to and at the UN is a major channel through which NGOs assert their voice and exercise their agency throughout the UN System, contributing their expertise, commitment, energy,  and substantive input to policy-making processes. CoNGO has constantly striven to ensure and defend the free exchange of ideas among all parties at the United Nations, including in relation to UN Summits and Conventions.”

A November 18 consultation convened by CoNGO provided the latest assessment by nongovernmental organizations of the state of access experienced by their representatives, especially in UN Centres like New York, Geneva and Vienna. Many participants agreed that the “current coronavirus disease pandemic restrictions are a serious, though unavoidable, handicap to regular NGO contacts with UN officials and government delegates.”

An earlier dialogue, also convened by CoNGO, held 5 March 2020, between NGOs and the acting chief of the civil society branch of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Marc-André Dorel, and the chair of the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs, Mr. Mohamed Sallam provided the opportunities for NGOs to illustrate their determination to reinforce their “long-term engagement in promoting and enhancing NGO access to and participation in the United Nations System”.

The full statement may be viewed here.

NGOs related to the UN may endorse the Statement here.

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Organizational Endorsements as of 09 January 2020, 12:00 PM EST New York

  1. The Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO)

and the following NGOs in consultative status with the UN, plus others in associated and observer relations (*) and other arrangements (**), have joined together to endorse the Statement on NGO Access to and at the United Nations in  the Time of COVID-19 Pandemic:

  1. AFEW International
  2. African Action on Aids (AAA)
  3. Africa Network of People Who Use Drugs (AfricanPUD)**
  4. Agora of the Inhabitants of the Earth**
  5. Alcohol and Drug Foundation
  6. Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice*
  7. American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA)*
  8. American Psychological Association
  9. Amman Center for Human Rights Studies (ACHRS)
  10. Appui Solidaire pour le Renforcement de l’Aide au Developpement
  11. Arab Society for Academic Freedoms (ASAF)
  12. Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD)**
  13. Asociación Latinoamericana de Derechos Humanos (ALDHU)**
  14. Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE)
  15. Association for Farmers Rights Defense (AFRD)
  16. Association for Promotion of Sustainable Development
  17. Association Montessori Internationale*
  18. Basel Peace Office**
  19. Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation
  20. CGFNS International, Inc.
  21. CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
  22. CREDO-ACTION
  23. Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI)
  24. Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
  25. Centre for Social Research (CSR), India
  26. Childhood Education International (CEI)*
  27. Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI)
  28. Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
  29. Observatory of Crops and Cultivators Declared Illicit (OCCDI Global)**
  30. Congregation of the Mission
  31. DRCNet Foundation, Inc
  32. Dianova International
  33. Dominican Leadership Conference
  34. Drug Policy Australia
  35. Election Network in the Arab Region (ENAR)
  36. End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT-USA)
  37. Environment Liaison Centre International (ELCI)
  38. European Union of Women (EUW)
  39. Families of the Missing
  40. Fédération Internationale des Associations de Personnes Âgées (FIAPA)
  41. Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas (FAWCO)
  42. Feminist Task Force**
  43. Fondazione PROCLADE Internazionale-Onlus*
  44. Fondazione Villa Maraini**
  45. Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC)**
  46. Fundacion Latinoamerica Reforma (LAR)
  47. Fundacion para Estudio e Investigacion de la Mujer
  48. Fundamental Human Rights & Rural Development Association (FHRRDA)
  49. Global Distribution Advocates, Inc.
  50. Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD)
  51. Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime*
  52. Grupo de Mujeres de la Argentina – Foro de VIH Mujeres Familia
  53. Guild of Service, The
  54. Haiti Cholera Research Funding Foundation, Inc. USA
  55. Initiative for Peace and Innovation (IPI)**
  56. Institute for Research and Development “Utrip” (UTRIP)**
  57. Inter Press Service (IPS)
  58. Intercambios Asociación Civil
  59. International Alliance of Women (IAW)
  60. International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP)
  61. International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG)
  62. International Association of Judges (IAJ-UIM)
  63. International Centre for Environmental Education and Community Development (ICENECDEV)
  64. International Council of Nurses (ICN)
  65. International Council of Women (ICW-CIF)
  66. International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC)
  67. International Federation of Business and Professional Women (IFBPW)
  68. International Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers
  69. International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)
  70. International Federation of Women in Legal Careers (IFWLC)
  71. International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA)
  72. International Federation on Ageing (IFA)
  73. International Inner Wheel
  74. International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD)
  75. International Peace Research Association (IPRA)
  76. International Public Relations Association (IPRA)
  77. International Presentation Association (IPA)
  78. International Real Estate Federation, The (FIABCI)
  79. International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA)
  80. International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD)
  81. International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS)
  82. International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations (ISMUN)
  83. Koalisi Rakyat untuk Hak atas Air (KRuHA) (People’s Coalition for the Right to Water)*
  84. Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP)
  85. Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada
  86. Make Mothers Matter (MMM)
  87. Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic, Inc.
  88. Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA)
  89. Middle East & North Africa Harm Reduction Association (MENAHRA)**
  90. Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI)*
  91. Moms Stop the Harm**
  92. NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, Inc.
  93. Narconon Nigeria Initiative
  94. National Campaign for Sustainable Development, Nepal**
  95. New Future Foundation, Inc.
  96. New Humanity
  97. Nonviolence International
  98. Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF)
  99. Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women’s Association (PPSEAWA)
  100. Passionists International
  101. Peace, Education, Art, Communication (PEAC) Institute
  102. Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM)
  103. Planetary Association for Clean Energy, The
  104. Red Dot Foundation
  105. Salesian Missions Inc.
  106. Save Cambodia
  107. Servas International
  108. Seventh Day Adventist Church
  109. Sisters of Charity Federation
  110. Soka Gakkai International (SGI)
  111. Socialist International Women (SIW)
  112. Soroptimist International (SI)
  113. Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (OSMTH)
  114. Sri Swami Madhavananda World Peace Council (SSMWPC)
  115. TalentPlus Resources International (TRI)**
  116. Tanzania Peace, Legal Aid and Justice Center (PLAJC)**
  117. The Brazzaville Foundation for Peace and Conservation
  118. Tinker Institute on International Law and Organizations
  119. To Love Children Educational Foundation International
  120. Tribal Link Foundation, Inc.
  121. Tripla Difesa Onlus
  122. Trust for Youth Child Leadership (TYCL)
  123. UNANIMA International
  124. UNIDOS – Rede Nacional Sobre Droga & HIV**
  125. Union of International Associations (UIA)
  126. Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA)*
  127. United Methodist Church—General Board of Church and Society (UMC-GBCS)
  128. United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA)
  129. Universal Esperanto-Association (UEA)
  130. Universal Peace Federation (UPF)
  131. VIVAT International
  132. Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund (DBA Women First International Fund)
  133. WUZDA Ghana
  134. West Africa Drug Policy Network*
  135. Women for Peace and Gender Equality Initiative*
  136. World Development Foundation (WDF)
  137. World Organization for Early Childhood Education (OMEP)
  138. World Student Christian Federation (WSCF)
  139. Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa
  140. Yayasan Wadah Titian Harapan (Wadah Foundation)
  141. Young Global Leadership Foundation, Inc. (YGLF)
  142. Youth Foundation of Bangladesh
  143. Zenab for Women Development
  144. Zonta International

Photo courtesy of Globalt Fokus.

________________

The Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO) is an international NGO founded in 1948. It has general consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council. For more information about this story, the Statement, and CoNGO, contact Liberato C. Bautista, CoNGO President at president@ngocongo.org.

CoNGO Statement on COVID-19 Recovery: Building Back Better

 

12 May 2020

Seventy-five years ago, the world was in a deep crisis after the devastation of World War II.  Negotiations between governments began that resulted in the founding of the United Nations in 1945 and the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Common efforts to fight poverty and illiteracy, protect human rights, strengthen cooperation, and maintain peace have been steps towards a vision of the world “free from fear, free from want” imagined in the UN Charter.

In 2020, the international community honors the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations and the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action. We embarked on a Decade of Action for the Sustainable Development Goals to accelerate sustainable solutions to the world’s biggest challenges. However, we now live in a world struggling to address the coronavirus pandemic which has dramatically affected political, economic, and social life across the globe.

During a crisis, global cooperation and solidarity are urgently needed, but nationalism, racism, intolerance, xenophobia, and border closures have too often prevailed. Measures to fight the pandemic have led to restrictions of long-established civic rights and democratic structures. An effective global response will require building consensus and strengthening concerted action to mitigate the multiple challenges we all face.

The pandemic is casting a shadow on hopes for sustainable development, achievements in the status of women, and other human and environmental concerns. The impacts of the virus magnify existing inequalities and vulnerabilities, making us painfully aware of gaps in social protection systems. Before COVID-19, over one billion people were without access to basic human needs, and 700 million were living in extreme poverty, mostly women and children. In many countries, health and social protection systems are inadequate, revealed by the lack of provisions to protect and test medical staff and treat the infected. Older persons are particularly vulnerable to the disease and face increased discrimination.

The pandemic has led to significant restrictions on people’s freedom of movement and peaceful assembly; the misuse of emergency measures may further erode human rights. We have seen authoritarian forces seize the opportunity to expand their power, which has adverse impacts on civic space and the ability of communities and individuals to exercise their rights. The prospects of a long- term global recession raise serious concerns over how long and to what extent restrictions will be in force. After the public health crisis recedes, we must ensure that measures curtailing civil liberties are fully lifted to protect democratic institutions and citizen participation.

We representatives of international NGOs in consultative relationship with the UN fear that while attention is focused on the global health crisis, efforts to address the ongoing climate crisis, achieve sustainable development and gender equality, protect human rights and promote peace are being neglected.

We continue to work in partnerships to develop a global plan of action to address the multiple challenges we all face, while promoting human rights, democracy, climate action, gender equality, justice, peace and security, and sustainable development.

We are determined to emerge from this crisis and build a better world for all.

We call on the 193 UN Member States to renew their commitment to the UN and to turn this international crisis into an opportunity, using it as a starting point to rebuild economies that are inclusive, and based on sustainable production and consumption:

  • to accelerate climate action by rebuilding economies, transport, and industries in a carbon neutral manner;
  • to recognize and address the disproportionate impacts of the pandemic on women, children, older persons, and vulnerable and marginalized groups;
  • to change the militarized discourse of war and threat to one of care and solidarity, within countries as well as between Member States;
  • to provide universal access to and funding for health and social protections for all people;
  • to reallocate military spending and increase investments in meeting human needs to create a healthier and more peaceful planet and achieve Agenda 2030;
  • to support non-governmental community organizations, human rights defenders, and women’s groups, and include them in national and global recovery and reconstruction efforts;
  • to strengthen the UN System and provide the necessary funding to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and ensure inclusive societies and economies, a sustainable environment, and a more peaceful

Only if we continue to work in partnerships and promote human rights, democracy, rule of law, climate action, gender equality, sustainable development, peace and security, can we emerge from this crisis and build a better world for all.

____________________________________________________________

Related matter: UN General Assembly Special Session in Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disease Pandemic

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ENDORSEMENTS OF THE CoNGO STATEMENT ON COVID-19 BY NGOs IN RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNITED NATIONS (as of 1 December 2020)

Fill out this form to endorse the CoNGO Statement on COVID-19 Recovery: Building Back Better

    1. AFEW International
    2. African Action on Aids
    3. Agewell Foundation
    4. Agrenska Foundation
    5. Alliance Sud
    6. American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA)
    7. Amman Center for Human Rights Studies (ACHRS)
    8. Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession
    9. Arab Society for Academic Freedom (ASAF)
    10. ARISE® Network
    11. Armenian Assembly of America
    12. AsapAfrique-JICS
    13. Asia South Pacific Association for Basic Adult Education (ASPBAE)
    14. Associated Country Women of the World
    15. Association Camerounaise pour la Prise en charge des Personnes Agées (ACAMAGE)
    16. Association for Farmers Rights Defense (AFRD Georgia)
    17. Association for Promotion Sustainable Development (India)
    18. Association Internationale des Charités (AIC)
    19. Association for Farmers’ Rights Defense (AFRD)
    20. Awaz Centre for Development Services (ACDS)
    21. Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC)
    22. BirdLife International
    23. Brazilian Harm Reduction and Human Rights Network (REDUC)
    24. Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network)
    25. Centro de Culturas indígenas del Perú (CHIRAPAQ)
    26. Centro de Información y Educación para la Prevención del Abuso de Drogas (CEDRO)
    27. CGFNS International,
    28. Colonie des Pionniers du Développement (CPD)
    29. Comité français des organisations non gouvernementales pour la liaison et l’information des Nations-Unies
    30. Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI)
    31. Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
    32. Congregation of the Mission
    33. Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership Institute
    34. Council General, International Confederation of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SSVP)
    35. CREDO-Action
    36. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority,
    37. Dianova International
    38. Diplomatic Society of Gabriel, The (DSSG)
    39. Dominicans for Justice and Peace
    40. Dominican Leadership Conference
    41. ECPAT-USA
    42. Election Network in the Arab Region (ENAR)
    43. Emmaus International
    44. Environment Liaison Centre International (ELCI)
    45. Environmental Protection & Conservation Organisation (EPCO)
    46. European Federation of Older Students at Universities (EFOSU)
    47. European Union of Women (EUW)
    48. European Youth Forum (EYF)
    49. For Alternative Approaches to Addiction, Think & Do Tank (FAAAT)
    50. Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas (FAWCO)
    51. Fondazione Proclade Internazionale-Onlus
    52. Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE)
    53. Fundación Mexicana para la Planeación Familiar, C. (MEXFAM)
    54. Fundación para Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer (FEIM)
    55. Global Distribution Advocates,
    56. Global Family NGO (New Delhi, India)
    57. Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD)
    58. Graduate Women International (GWI)
    59. Guild of Service
    60. Haiti Cholera Research Funding Foundation USA
    61. Institute for Research and Development “Utrip”, Slovenia (UTRIP)
    62. Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Loreto Generalate
    63. Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of the Social Solidarity Economy (RIPESS)
    64. International Alliance of Women (IAW)
    65. International Association for Counselling (IAC)
    66. International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP)
    67. International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL)
    68. International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG)
    69. International Association of Judges (IAJ)
    70. International Association for Media and Communication (IAMC)
    71. International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE)
    72. International Center for Environmental Education & Community Development (ICENECDEV)
    73. International Council of Psychologists (ICP)
    74. International Council of Jewish Women
    75. International Council of Women (ICW)
    76. International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW)
    77. International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC)
    78. International Federation on Ageing
    79. International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)
    80. International Federation for Home Economics (IFHE)
    81. International Federation of Business and Professional Women (IFBPW)
    82. International Federation on Ageing (IFA)
    83. International Inner Wheel (IIW)
    84. International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD)
    85. International Presentation Association (IPA)
    86. International Progress Organization
    87. International Public Relations Association (IPRA)
    88. International Real Estate Federation, The (FIABCI)
    89. International Servant-Leadership Exchange Association (ISEA)
    90. International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD)
    91. International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS)
    92. International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations (ISMUN)
    93. Juan Somavia, Presidente, Foro Permanente de Política Exterior (Chile) and Director General, ILO (1999-2012)
    94. Johan Galtung | Transcendence International
    95. Kolping International
    96. L’Appui Solidarité pour le Renforcement de l’Aide au Développement
    97. Le Project Imagine
    98. League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS)
    99. Lucis Trust—World Goodwill
    100. Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers (CFMSA)
    101. Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic,
    102. Medical Women’s International Association
    103. Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate
    104. Murna Foundation
    105. New Humanity
    106. Non-Violence International (NI)
    107. Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani (OSMTH)
    108. Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women’s Association-International (PPSEAWA)
    109. Pax Christi International
    110. Pax Romana
    111. Peace Boat
    112. Poverty Elimination and Community Education (PEACE) Foundation
    113. Servas International
    114. Shine Africa Foundation-Teso
    115. Shirley Ann Sullivan Educational Foundation (SASEF)
    116. Sisters of Charity Federation
    117. Socialist International Women (SIW)
    118. Society of Catholic Medical Missionaries (Medical Mission Sisters)
    119. Society for International Development – Vienna Chapter (SID)
    120. Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI)
    121. Soka Gakkai International (SGI)
    122. Somali Help-Age Association
    123. Soroptimist International (SI)
    124. Sri Swami Madhavananda World Peace Council (SSMWPC)
    125. Sulabh International Social Service Organization
    126. Teresian Association
    127. Tinker Institute on International Law and Organizations (TIILO)
    128. Tripla Difesa Onlus Internazional
    129. Trust for Youth Child Leadership (TYCL)
    130. UNANIMA International
    131. Union of International Associations (UIA)
    132. Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA)
    133. United Methodist Church-General Board of Church and Society (UMC-GBCS)
    134. United Methodist Women (UMW)
    135. United Religions Initiative
    136. Universal Esperanto Association (UEA)
    137. Universal Peace Federation (UPF)
    138. Verein fuer Foerderung der Voelkerverstaendigung
    139. Villa Maraini Foundation
    140. Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund (Women First International Fund)
    141. VIVAT International
    142. Women for Water Partnership (WfWP)
    143. Women´s Federation for World Peace International (WFWPI)
    144. Women’s Ordination Conference
    145. World Federalist Movement – Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP)
    146. World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women (WFMUCW)
    147. World Organization for Early Childhood Education (OMEP)
    148. World Student Christian Federation (WSCF)
    149. World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ)
    150. Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (YCAB)
    151. Young Global Leadership Foundation (YGLF)
    152. Youth for a Better World | Montessori Model UN (MMUN)
    153. Zonta International (ZI)

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