CoNGO Statements

Presidential Statement on 2020 Nobel Peace Prize to UN World Food Programme

Liberato C. Bautista, CoNGO President

12 October 2020

 

On behalf of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO), I congratulate the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on its receiving the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, in recognition both of its many years of action to alleviate hunger across the world and of its relief work during this time of pandemic.

The award to the WFP is a yes to food security and a no to “the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.” In their announcement of the award, the Norwegian Nobel Committee stated: “The link between hunger and armed conflict is a vicious circle: war and conflict can cause food insecurity and hunger, just as hunger and food insecurity can cause latent conflicts to flare up and trigger the use of violence. We will never achieve the goal of zero hunger unless we also put an end to war and armed conflict.”

Funded by the voluntary contributions of UN Member States and of civil society worldwide, the World Food Programme is a shining example of cooperation between government on the one hand and civil society on the other. Much of its work is dependent on partnership with non-governmental organizations of the kind that the Conference of NGOs is proud to represent.

At this time of crisis, when many governments are struggling to feed their people, and in which the incidence of poverty is rising because of economic disruption, CoNGO calls on UN Member States to support the global work of the World Food Programme, on nongovernmental organizations to work increasingly together to redouble their efforts to achieve the same goals, and on people of goodwill everywhere to play their part both in supporting the World Food Programme and in urging their governments to do the same.

CoNGO President Issues Statement Honoring United Nations Charter Day

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.”

New York City, 26 June 2020 (CoNGO InfoNews) — The president of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO), Liberato C. Bautista, today issued a statement honoring the United Nations Charter Day. The organization pleaded and demanded that governments “recognize that the civil society organizations in their countries and internationally are a powerful force working for the public good,  acting selflessly to promote and expand those same causes for which the United Nations was established.”

This statement from the CoNGO President follows two other statements by CoNGO. On October 12, 2019, it issued the “CoNGO Declaration on the Occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations”, emphasizing that “the 75th Anniversary…be an occasion for strengthening the United Nations, expanding its role to more effectively engage civil society everywhere.” It also urged “all governments to strengthen their commitment to the United Nations not only morally but also financially and materially.”

On May 12, 2020, it issued the statement “COVID-19 Recovery: Building Back Better.” In the statement, CoNGO called for “global cooperation and solidarity”, especially noting that “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.”

Together, the declaration and statement compose CoNGO’s contribution to global dialogue,  conversation, and stock taking around the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations this year.

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View a documentary here about the UN Charter’s past, present and future.

For more information about CoNGO and these statements, visit www.ngocongo.org.

Presidential Statement on United Nations Charter Day 2020

Liberato C. Bautista, CoNGO President

26 June 2020

 

On June 26, 1945 a new dawn arose. On that day the United Nations Charter was signed in San Francisco, creating a successor to the League of Nations, and declaring unambiguously that the new United Nations Organization’s goals were, inter alia,

  • to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war,
  • to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained,
  • to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good

The UN Charter, from the outset, established the world organization to be at the apex of solutions to the major global challenges that are necessary conditions for building a peaceful world, including international economic and social cooperation to ensure social and economic progress for all on the basis of equal rights and self-determination of peoples. For the first time human rights was made into a central objective of a world organization.

The United Nations Charter created the prime multilateral international institution that would be the linchpin for a complex but indispensable system of interdependencies. Governments and peoples had learnt that the alternative to multilateralism—unilateralism and rote nationalism—had led the world to the disasters of two World Wars.

As civil society celebrates the values enshrined in the UN Charter—signed by governments on behalf of”We, the peoples”—and celebrates the values enshrined in the UN Charter, we cannot but ask: Why have wars between, among, and within nations so frequently recurred? Why are inequalities and uneven development between rich and poor increasing both at the international and national level? Why can the international financial institutions continue to practice policies that are at odds with the UN, while the Charter calls for the coordination of all specialized agencies? Why is unaccountable power of transnational corporations expanding? Why have the legacies of centuries of slavery, colonialism and racism not been repaired? Why have treaties and international law been so frequently neglected or undermined? Why has disarmament become a forgotten topic when the resources squandered on arms could well add needed resources to sustainable development for all?

Civil society salutes the aims and purposes of the United Nations as defined in the Charter and will continue, as it has done untiringly for 75 years, to work for their achievement. We plead and we demand that the governments of UN member states do no less: that they live up to their commitments and promises, and that they take their Charter commitments seriously and unremittingly. As it has done for 72 of those years, since its founding in 1948, the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO) pleads and demands that governments recognize that the civil society organizations in their countries and internationally are a powerful force working for the public good, acting selflessly to promote and expand those same causes for which the United Nations was established.

Article 71 of the UN Charter opened the door to non-governmental organizations, and over the years there have been innumerable beneficial interactions between the UN and NGOs—in all their operational and terminological diversity. The establishment of formal consultative  status  for NGOs with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) was groundbreaking for the system of international relations. ECOSOC Resolution 1996/31  governs  the  establishment  of consultative status as well as that of accreditation of a broader group of civil society to United Nations conferences and consultations. It contains principles and modalities for regular NGO participation in designated United Nations bodies that has stood the test of time  and  enjoys  broad NGO support. It is in that context, and in furtherance of the UN Charter values, that CoNGO pleads and demands that governments take every opportunity to further incorporate into their deliberative and decision-making processes the competent voices of NGOs and all civil society. The encouragement and acceptance by governments of the input of the knowledge, competence, and experience of peoples and communities will in consequence enhance the output of governmental mechanisms, thus making treaties, conventions and other decisions more realistic and implementable. That would be wholly in line with the goals of the Charter.

It is time now to reaffirm the benefits, indeed the indispensability, of multilateralism. Renewed and reinvigorated multilateralism, especially in this year of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the UN, is fundamental to achieving two other of the UN Charter principles:

  • to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security
  • to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all

The UN Charter principles are key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, which encapsulate the fundamental purpose of having an effective and reliable United Nations Organization devoted to “the advancement of all peoples”, and to shaping a more just, participatory, peaceable and equitable world.

But for the United Nations System to be effective and reliable, it must be adequately resourced—in finance and personnel. CoNGO repeats its oft-expressed alarm over the negative effects of the continuous shrinking of the regular budget of the United Nations. Significantly more than in 1945,   a multitude of today’s world problems respect neither physical nor territorial boundaries. The unfinished agenda of decolonization and corollary issues related to self-determination cry out for attention

The United Nations System is more and more the world’s “plumber” not of last but of first resort, called into service to “stop the leaks” before a deluge (climate change, a pandemic, natural disasters, weapons of mass destruction, endemic poverty, global hunger, forced migration, gender violence and injustice, racism…) overwhelms our only planet. For this, we plead and demand that governments adopt this year a sufficiently increased UN regular budget, and over the long term a generous increase. And of course, that governments then pay their contributions fully and on time!

“Building Back Better” is not just a slogan for the post-COVID-19 recovery period (long as that may yet be), but a challenge to build better on the UN Charter. Even more urgent now is to build back beyond pandemic management and into addressing the roots of our global maladies by acting justly and peaceably, and ensuring that peoples and communities reap and enjoy equitably the benefits   of multilateral negotiations, foremost of which are agreements in the protection of human rights and ecological justice. And we must build back in such a way that neither war, nor poverty, nor systemic racism, are inevitable. The Charter is a tool and an opportunity. “We the peoples” plead and demand that governments work with us—in consultation, collaboration and cooperation—to save succeeding generations from the scourges of the twenty-first century.

New York City

For further information:
Liberato C. Bautista, 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.

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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 29 January 2021)

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. Appui Solidarité pour le Renforcement de l’Aide au Développement (ONG ASRAD-Mali)
    9. Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession
    10. Arab Society for Academic Freedom (ASAF)
    11. ARISE® Network
    12. Armenian Assembly of America
    13. AsapAfrique-JICS
    14. Asia South Pacific Association for Basic Adult Education (ASPBAE)
    15. Associated Country Women of the World
    16. Association Camerounaise pour la Prise en charge des Personnes Agées (ACAMAGE)
    17. Association for Farmers Rights Defense (AFRD Georgia)
    18. Association for Promotion Sustainable Development (India)
    19. Association Internationale des Charités (AIC)
    20. Association for Farmers’ Rights Defense (AFRD)
    21. Awaz Centre for Development Services (ACDS)
    22. Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC)
    23. BirdLife International
    24. Brazilian Harm Reduction and Human Rights Network (REDUC)
    25. Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network)
    26. Centro de Culturas indígenas del Perú (CHIRAPAQ)
    27. Centro de Información y Educación para la Prevención del Abuso de Drogas (CEDRO)
    28. CGFNS International,
    29. Colonie des Pionniers du Développement (CPD)
    30. Comité français des organisations non gouvernementales pour la liaison et l’information des Nations-Unies
    31. Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI)
    32. Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
    33. Congregation of the Mission
    34. Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership Institute
    35. Council General, International Confederation of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SSVP)
    36. CREDO-Action
    37. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority,
    38. Dianova International
    39. Diplomatic Society of Gabriel, The (DSSG)
    40. Dominicans for Justice and Peace
    41. Dominican Leadership Conference
    42. ECPAT-USA
    43. Election Network in the Arab Region (ENAR)
    44. Emmaus International
    45. Environment Liaison Centre International (ELCI)
    46. Environmental Protection & Conservation Organisation (EPCO)
    47. European Federation of Older Students at Universities (EFOSU)
    48. European Union of Women (EUW)
    49. European Youth Forum (EYF)
    50. For Alternative Approaches to Addiction, Think & Do Tank (FAAAT)
    51. Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas (FAWCO)
    52. Fondazione Proclade Internazionale-Onlus
    53. Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE)
    54. Fundación Mexicana para la Planeación Familiar, C. (MEXFAM)
    55. Fundación para Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer (FEIM)
    56. Global Distribution Advocates,
    57. Global Family NGO (New Delhi, India)
    58. Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD)
    59. Graduate Women International (GWI)
    60. Guild of Service
    61. Haiti Cholera Research Funding Foundation USA
    62. Institute for Research and Development “Utrip”, Slovenia (UTRIP)
    63. Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Loreto Generalate
    64. Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of the Social Solidarity Economy (RIPESS)
    65. International Alliance of Women (IAW)
    66. International Association for Counselling (IAC)
    67. International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP)
    68. International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL)
    69. International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG)
    70. International Association of Judges (IAJ)
    71. International Association for Media and Communication (IAMC)
    72. International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE)
    73. International Center for Environmental Education & Community Development (ICENECDEV)
    74. International Council of Psychologists (ICP)
    75. International Council of Jewish Women
    76. International Council of Women (ICW)
    77. International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW)
    78. International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC)
    79. International Federation on Ageing
    80. International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)
    81. International Federation for Home Economics (IFHE)
    82. International Federation of Business and Professional Women (IFBPW)
    83. International Federation on Ageing (IFA)
    84. International Inner Wheel (IIW)
    85. International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD)
    86. International Presentation Association (IPA)
    87. International Progress Organization
    88. International Public Relations Association (IPRA)
    89. International Real Estate Federation, The (FIABCI)
    90. International Servant-Leadership Exchange Association (ISEA)
    91. International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD)
    92. International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS)
    93. International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations (ISMUN)
    94. Juan Somavia, Presidente, Foro Permanente de Política Exterior (Chile) and Director General, ILO (1999-2012)
    95. Johan Galtung | Transcendence International
    96. Kolping International
    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)

Declaration of the Conference of Non-governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO) on the Occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations

Fill out this form to endorse the CoNGO Declaration on the 75th Anniversary of the UN

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 

The Conference of Non-governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO) is an independent, international association facilitating the participation of NGOs at the United Nations. Since 1948, CoNGO engages with the UN through more than thirty NGO Substantive Committees. CoNGO endorses the goals and values enshrined in the United Nations Charter, and advocates for multilateralism to resolve political, environmental, health and other challenges. We reaffirm the centrality of the United Nations to a more peaceful and more just world, where all people have access to education, health, judicial remedy, democratic participation, and economic advancement. On the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations, CoNGO salutes the achievements of the United Nations in the maintenance of peace and security, the promotion of human rights, and the advancement of sustainable development.

Agenda 2030 is a framework to eliminate poverty, reduce inequality, and protect the planet. Yet progress has fallen short of what is required. Achieving the World We Want and the World We Need calls for active partnerships among international bodies, governments, local authorities, corporations, and civil society. On the occasion of the 75th Anniversary, we must move from a climate of nationalism, conflict and injustice to a culture of multilateralism, peace, and security, for the good of all humankind.

CoNGO calls for the 75th Anniversary to be an occasion for strengthening the United Nations, expanding its role to more effectively engage civil society everywhere. It is an occasion to enter into a dialogue to achieve a structure of relationships that responds to the challenges of a changing world. On this 75th Anniversary, we urge all governments to strengthen their commitment to the United Nations not only morally but also financially and materially.

The United Nations must adapt to changing needs and realities, to increase its credibility and effectiveness, and ensure inclusive decision-making at all levels. Strengthening the United Nations will require the broad support and involvement of civil society and citizens everywhere, and flexibility in engaging with them and listening to their concerns.

As the United Nations celebrates its first 75 years, we have an opportunity to revisit the past, define the present, and shape a new future. Humanity cannot wait. Peace, justice and development depend on people-centred approaches to transforming our economy, society and environment. We must increase momentum to ensure that no one is left behind.

 

12 October 2019 | New York | Geneva | Vienna
For more information about this Declaration, email: Liberato C. Bautista, CoNGO President (president@ngocongo.org)
           

The First 75 Years of the United Nations 

  1. On the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations, the Conference of Non-governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO) salutes the achievements of the United Nations in the maintenance of peace and security, the promotion of human rights, and the advancement of sustainable The very existence of the United Nations is a demonstration of the marked progress humanity has made. The United Nations has helped to develop a rules-based international order through Conventions and Covenants that set standards for good governance, the rule of law, and the protection of human rights for all. It has overseen the challenging process of decolonization and reduced hostilities among its Member States. It has helped to bring reason and justice where before there was chaos and bloodshed.
  1. Among the legal instruments developed by the United Nations are international agreements aimed at the protection of the vulnerable and disadvantaged, combating racism, preservation of a livable planet, safety on the seas and in the air, universal education, the conservation of heritage and culture, economic well- being, gender equality, decent work, and disaster risk reduction. The United Nations has promoted the peaceful resolution of international disputes, helped prevent conflict in troubled regions, and brought relief to many victims of In the 1990s, United Nations world conferences and summits engaged global civil society in adopting declarations and programmes that require full and effective implementation. The Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030 provide a roadmap for positive action by governments, civil society organizations, local authorities, industries, schools and universities, and individual citizens the world over, to work together for the World We Want and the World We Need.
  1. Yet the work of the United Nations is The achievement of international order, peace, and human rights continues too frequently to be undermined by the promotion of narrow national interests, the pursuit of economic advantage, the waging of war, and the suppression of human rights of individuals and groups. The world is facing unprecedented challenges that are, in some cases, existential: climate change, disruptive technologies, more lethal weapons of mass destruction, the extreme polarization of wealth and related inequalities. Indeed, the year of the founding of the United Nations coincided with the introduction of the horrors of nuclear war. The current pace of addressing global problems is inadequate; greater urgency and stronger commitment are required to stave off the potentially disastrous impacts of these developments.
  1. Today, the Sustainable Development Goals have heightened awareness that the power of the United Nations is not enough: achieving Agenda 2030 calls for active engagement and a multiplicity of partnerships between and among international bodies, governments, local authorities, the private sector, and civil society in all its Such partnerships must abide by governance principles such as transparency and accountability in the promotion and protection of the human rights of citizens and peoples as rights holders.

Addressing Persistent and Emerging Global Challenges 

  1. Twenty years ago, the Millennium Forum Declaration, developed by 1,350 representatives of over a thousand non-governmental organizations from around the world, warned of the growth of racism, fascism, xenophobia, homophobia, hate crimes, and It noted a resurgence of patriarchy threatening to erode the gains made in the field of gender equality. It remarked on the persistence of child labour and the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators of human rights violations. It drew attention to an upsurge of violence, militarism and armed conflict, and the growth of authoritarian regimes.
  1. In 2020, these threats persist, compounded by the spread of populist dogma, retreat from international norms, treaties and agreements, and rejection of multilateralism in favour of agendas that are exclusivist and xenophobic. Around the world, people suffer from the impact of inequalities, loss of rights, and gender injustice, and are beset by conflict, militarization, terrorism, and environmental degradation. Over 70 million people have been displaced due to violent conflict, persecution, instability, climate change and natural All too often, economic, financial and political systems concentrate power and wealth in the hands of a few. The beauty and diversity of the world’s peoples, especially indigenous peoples, including their cultures and languages, are increasingly imperilled, and the biodiversity of the world’s flora and fauna are endangered by climate change and unsustainable industrial practices.
  1. The challenges facing humankind and the planet require urgent attention. The effects of climate change threaten food and water security and species diversity, and contribute to Gender equality has not been achieved anywhere in the world; sexism and sexist behaviour remains rooted in and reinforces gender stereotypes. Gender-based violence, sex trafficking, child marriage and female genital mutilation continue. Many children, especially girls, are not enrolled in schools; the effects of conflict and forced displacement are exceptionally acute in the first years of a child’s life, with negative consequences for entire societies. Health care is not universally available. Lack of access to social protection results in harsh consequences for the most marginalised and working poor, especially women in the informal sector. Corruption, illicit financial flows and tax evasion have subversive impacts on governments’ ability to mobilize resources. A decade after the global financial crisis, global debt levels have reached a record high. Worldwide, human rights are often downgraded or overturned. Freedom of the press is widely ignored, and journalists jailed or murdered. Even those who work for peace, such as interpreters and medical workers, are attacked and killed. Cyberspace has created a new venue for criminal activities on a massive scale.
  1. The promise set forth in the United Nations Charter to end the scourge of war remains largely unmet by its member governments; vastly more money now goes to military spending than to sustainable Militarization and the abandonment of arms limitations compound the need for disarmament, particularly nuclear disarmament. Even as memories of world war fade and those of colonial conflicts lose their force, the United Nations, civil society and governments must work harder, and work together, to outlaw armed conflict forever, lest future generations repeat the irreversible mistakes of their predecessors.
  1. On the occasion of the 75th Anniversary, we must move from the expansion of wars and a climate of conflict and injustice to a culture of peace and security, for the good of all humankind. It is time for humanitarian, development and peace actors to work cohesively to end global violence and achieve the ambitious goals of Agenda 2030 – peace and prosperity for people and planet. 

Renewing the Promise of the United Nations 

  1. The United Nations must engage Member States in action that goes beyond mere acquiescence, and increases their accountability to the populations they We need a newly reinvigorated multilateralism to boost action to address global issues such as climate change and forced migration, to accelerate progress on sustainable development, and to secure healthy, peaceful and prosperous lives for all people everywhere.
  1. The United Nations System should be strengthened and made more equitable to adapt to changing needs and The revolution in communications has the potential to democratize engagement at all levels. The United Nations must re-examine its communication with its various publics, speaking to them, and also listening to them, in languages they understand. Thus, it can become more credible and effective, ensuring responsive, inclusive, participatory decision-making at all levels.
  1. Among the fundamental requirements for a renewed United Nations is a sound financial basis for its The United Nations budget is less than that of some municipalities, local authorities, and multinational corporations. Member States must provide sufficient resources for programmes and activities they have mandated; they must pay their assessments on time, in full and without conditions. Much funding provided by governments involves earmarking, exclusions or refusal to fund certain activities. Some governments flout their treaty obligations by delaying annual payments. We rely on the United Nations to resolve world problems, yet governments change their priorities from year to year, and limit the ability of the organization to plan for the future. Financial constraints are compounded by limits to flexibility and failure to commit to long-term solutions.
  1. While sufficient funding is an essential component of a strengthened and revitalized United Nations, effective and transparent management practices are equally Secretariat and Agency heads must be given adequate authority and clear guidelines to address emerging crises, whether political, humanitarian, economic, environmental, military or judicial. Well-managed and well-funded Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding operations are particularly important. In this connection, the policies and decisions of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are often at odds with one another and with others within the United Nations system. Accordingly, a review of the international financial architecture is needed, aimed at advancing the efforts of developing countries to meet their fiscal, monetary, trade and development needs while maintaining democratic control of their economies.
  1. On the occasion of the 75th Anniversary, we urge all governments to strengthen their support for the United Nations, morally, financially and We call on all Member States to recognize the necessity of multilateral approaches to address global problems; to be accountable for turning rhetoric into action; to fulfil funding commitments and provide adequate resources to meet vital long-term needs. 

CoNGO and the United Nations 

  1. CoNGO is an independent, international membership association founded in 1948, the year of the Universal Declaration of Human As a non-governmental organization (NGO) in general consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council, our work relates to the entire United Nations System: the Secretariat, Agencies, Treaty Bodies, Regional Commissions, Institutes, Summits and World Conferences. CoNGO wholeheartedly endorses the goals and values enshrined in the United Nations Charter, and is a strong advocate for multilateralism to resolve global political, environmental, health and other threats. We encourage NGOs around the world to cooperate with the United Nations to promote and support its work and to draw civil society into an enduring partnership with the world body. Over 30 NGO Substantive Committees related to CoNGO in New York, Geneva, Vienna and worldwide demonstrate our commitment to supporting the mission of the United Nations.
  1. CoNGO has a membership of diverse NGOs working in consultation with the United Nations, in collaboration with each other, and in cooperation with other like-minded CoNGO recognizes its role in adding value to the efforts of our members to effectively contribute to the achievement of goals agreed upon by the United Nations and its Member States. We particularly support young people and youth organizations as active participants and partners in all United Nations processes.
  1. CoNGO has not shied away from positive criticism of the intergovernmental mechanism when it appears to have fallen short of the ideals of the We have identified obstacles and ways to overcome them, and have encouraged United Nations bodies and Member States to work more productively with NGOs. We have urged all civil society organizations to collaborate with governments in intergovernmental decision-making processes under the auspices of the United Nations.
  1. CoNGO is aware of shortcomings in the United Nations System that undermine its effectiveness, its governability, and its credibility. The formally-agreed intergovernmental decisions and instruments are strong statements of principle and intent, yet governments often fail to implement the agreements that they have adopted multilaterally. These intergovernmentally-endorsed texts constitute promises that governments make to their people: it is surely a government’s duty to fulfill its Acquiescence is not enough: it must be accompanied by commitment and action.
  1. On the occasion of the 75th Anniversary, CoNGO reaffirms the centrality of the United Nations for the achievement of a more peaceful and more just world, where all people have access to education, health, judicial remedy, democratic participation, and economic and social advancement. We reiterate our commitment to the goals, ethics, and vision that we share with the United Nations. CoNGO calls for this anniversary to be an occasion for strengthening the United Nations, expanding its role to more effectively engage civil society and people of goodwill everywhere.

The Role of Civil Society 

  1. The role of NGOs is described in Article 71 of the United Nations Charter, and the establishment of formal consultative status for NGOs with ECOSOC was groundbreaking for the system of international ECOSOC Resolution 1996/31 governs the establishment of consultative status as well as that of accreditation of a broader group of civil society to United Nations conferences. It contains principles and modalities for regular NGO participation in designated United Nations bodies that has stood the test of time and enjoys broad NGO support. CoNGO is concerned about the shrinking space for civil society. Freedom of assembly, opinion and expression are inherent rights of every human being, but an increasing number of countries restrict these rights, treating civil society as a threat, rather than as a partner working to achieve common goals. Some governments imprison civil society activists or use force to quell peaceful assemblies and demonstrations. They formally accept the recommendations of the United Nations while ignoring them in practice. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and relevant international conventions and covenants must be universally applied. The United Nations must ensure that NGOs have maximum access to United Nations bodies, to allow the fullest contributions of their competencies, expertise, energy and experience.
  1. Civil society itself is The near instantaneous mobilization of social movements made possible by social media is upending traditional forms of social action. The new structures of civil society often do not match the hierarchical structures of governance within the United Nations and in Member States. CoNGO undertakes to enhance networking, integrate the perspectives of diverse stakeholders, and create economies of scale to have greater impact on world problems. CoNGO is committed to working with the United Nations on how a better communication with its partners can be established so that “We the peoples” have our voices heard and acted upon. The rebuilding of United Nations information and outreach components is central in this respect.
  1. The High-Level Political Forums, the ECOSOC Youth Forum and other new mechanisms are already tapping into the energy generated by civil society At the same time, the process of recognition of NGOs by the Economic and Social Council has changed little since its earliest years, and continues to be highly politicized. These tensions have strained the United Nations‘ system of liaison with NGOs, including those associated with CoNGO. It is part of CoNGO’s mission to ensure civil society access to the United Nations and improve collaboration, to push for change and facilitate the achievement of the goals agreed upon by the United Nations and Member States.
  1. On the occasion of the 75th Anniversary, we call upon the United Nations and Member States to enter into a dialogue with civil society to create innovative partnerships that respond to the challenges of a changing world. The spirit of Agenda 2030 requires the robust participation of the peoples of the world so that the benefits of multilateralism are felt in their daily lives. Everyone must work in concert so that the United Nations we need for the world we want prospers in a rules-based international order. We call upon Member States to recognize the vast potential of civil society as an essential element of the international system, defining the present and shaping the future. We must dismantle the hurdles to physical and political access to United Nations processes, to achieve internationally agreed development goals and social justice agendas. 

Leaving No One Behind 

  1. As the United Nations and its Member States celebrate its first 75 years, it is therefore time to revisit the past, define the present, and shape a new Humanity cannot wait. The “Peoples” who gave voice to the United Nations Charter and who see the Member States as their representatives are demanding that the world body rise to its commitments and bring about transformative change. Peace, justice and development depend on holistic, human-rights based, people-centred and gender-sensitive approaches to the systems underpinning our economy, society and environment. We must increase momentum to transform the world and ensure that no one is left behind. 

 

ENDORSEMENTS OF THE CoNGO DECLARATION BY NGOs IN RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNITED NATIONS

(as of 15 June 2021)

(To add your NGO in the endorsement list, please email Liberato Bautista, CoNGO President, at president@ngocongo.org)

  1. Abraham’s Children Foundation (ACF)
  2. Ågrenska Foundation
  3. Åland Islands Peace Institute, The
  4. African Action on AIDS (AAA)
  5. African Cultural Promotions,
  6. American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
  7. Amman Center for Human Rights Studies (ACHRS)
  8. Appui Solidarité pour le Renforcement de l’Aide au Développement (ASRAD-Mali)
  9. Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and Legal Profession, The (ACIJLP)
  10. Arab Society for Academic Freedoms (ASAF)
  11. Asia South Pacific Association for Basic Adult Education (ASPBAE)
  12. Association for Farmers’ Rights Defense (AFRD)
  13. Association for Promotion of Sustainable Development (HISAR India)
  14. Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation
  15. CGFNS International,
  16. Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network | Réseau juridique canadien VIH/sida
  17. Centre for Convention on Democratic Integrity (CCDI)
  18. Confederation of Asia Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI)
  19. Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
  20. Dianova International
  21. Dominican Leadership Conference
  22. Election Network in the Arab Region (ENAR)
  23. Emmaus International
  24. Empower India
  25. Emonyo Yefwe International
  26. Environment Liaison Centre International (ELCI)
  27. Environmental Protection & Conservation Organisation (EPCO)
  28. Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU)
  29. Federation of American Women’s Club Overseas (FAWCO)
  30. Feminist Task Force
  31. Fondazione Proclade Internazionale—Onlus
  32. Fundacion para Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer (FEIM)
  33. Fundamental Human Rights & Rural Development Association (FHRRDA)
  34. Global Ageing Network (IAHSA)
  35. Global Distribution Advocates,
  36. Global Bioethics Initiative (GBI)
  37. Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD)
  38. Institute for Multicultural Counseling and Education Services (IMCES)
  39. International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP)
  40. International Association of Homes and Services for the Ageing (IAHSA)
  41. International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI)
  42. International Council of Women (ICW)
  43. International Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Center (IFSN)
  44. International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)
  45. International Federation on Aging (IFA)
  46. International Federation for Business and Professional Women (IFBPW)
  47. International Federation of Home Economics (IFHE)
  48. International Humanist and Ethical Union | Humanists International (IHEU)
  49. International Inner Wheel (IIW)
  50. International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA)
  51. International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD)
  52. International Peace Research Association (IPRA)
  53. International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW)
  54. International Planned Parenthood Federation, South Asia Region (IPPF South Asia)
  55. International Presentation Association
  56. International Progress Organization
  57. International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations (ISMUN)
  58. International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS)
  59. International Women’s Year Liaison Group, The (IWYLG) Japan
  60. Japan Asia Cultural Exchanges (JACE)
  61. Kolping International
  62. Leah Charity Foundation
  63. Loretto Community
  64. Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers
  65. Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic,
  66. Mauritius and Halley Movement
  67. Medical Mission Sisters (MMS)
  68. Mercy-USA for Aid and Development
  69. Miss Caricom International Foundation CIP,
  70. Mother’s Union (MU)
  71. New Future Foundation
  72. New Humanity
  73. Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC)
  74. Nurses Across the Borders Humanitarian Initiative (NABHI)
  75. Nonviolence International (NI)
  76. Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani (OSMTH)
  77. Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV)
  78. Pakistan Rural Initiatives for Emergency Preparedness, Response and Development (PREPARED)
  79. Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women’s Association (PPSEAWA)
  80. Pax Romana (ICMICA | IMCS)
  81. Peace Initiative Network
  82. Poverty Elimination and Community Education Foundation (PEACE)
  83. Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary
  84. Salesian Missions,
  85. Servas International
  86. Servicios Ecuménicos para la Reconciliación y Reconstrucción (SERR)
  87. Shine Africa Foundation (SAF-TESO)
  88. Shirley Ann Sullivan Educational Foundation (SASEF)
  89. Simply Help Foundation
  90. Sisters of Charity Federation
  91. Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur (SNDN)
  92. Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI)
  93. Society of Catholic Medical Missionaries (SCMM)
  94. Soka Gakkai International (SGI)
  95. Soroptimist International (SI)
  96. Tanzania Peace, Legal Aid And Justice Centre (PLAJC)
  97. Temple of Understanding (TOU)
  98. Trippinz Care, Inc.
  99. Trust for Youth Child Leadership (TYCL)
  100. Youth Foundation of Bangladesh (YFB)
  101. UNANIMA International
  102. Union of International Associations (UIA)
  103. United Methodist Church—General Board of Church and Society (UMC-GBCS)
  104. United Nations Association of the USA-Council of Organizations
  105. United Religions Initiative (URI)
  106. Universal Esperanto Association (UEA)
  107. Universal Peace and Violence Amelioration Centre
  108. Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund (VGIF)
  109. VIVAT International
  110. Women and Child Watch Initiatives (WCWI)
  111. Women’s Federation for World Peace International (WFWP)
  112. Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO)
  113. Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC)
  114. World Alliance of Young Men’s Christian Associations (World YMCA)
  115. World Council of Psychotherapy
  116. World Development Foundation
  117. World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women (WFMUCW)
  118. World Future Council
  119. World Human Rights Protection Commission (WHRPC)
  120. World Organization for Early Childhood Education (OMEP)
  121. World Student Christian Federation (WSCF)
  122. World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ)
  123. Wuni Zaligu Development Association (WUZDA Ghana)
  124. Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (YCAB)
  125. Youth Foundation of Bangladesh (YFB)
  126. Zonta International (ZI)