CONGO’s vision is to be the primary support and platform for a civil society represented by a global community of informed, empowered and committed NGOs that fully participate with the UN in decision-making and programs leading to a better world, a world of economic and social justice.
Facilitate through various means the development of a dynamic and informed world wide NGO community able to influence policies and actions at all levels of the United Nations.
- Improve NGOs accessibility and presence at all levels of the United Nations
- Enhance the effective engagement of NGOs with the United Nations
- Strengthen the dialogue between the United Nations and Non-governmental organizations
- Engage NGOs to work together on issues of common interest
- Education / Capacity Development
- Work in partnership with UN civil society focal points
- Advocate on the Principles and Goals that NGOs and United Nations share
Being constantly aware of the changes that are taking place in the international arena including within the United Nations, CONGO is well placed to provide guidance and support to NGOs worldwide.
Its structure includes a wide range of Substantive NGO Committees, providing advocacy and input on an ongoing basis to ECOSOC and other UN bodies in the economic, social, cultural, educational, health and related fields, as well as in the areas of human rights, gender, sustainable development, peace and disarmament.
Working from its international secretariat offices in Geneva, New York and Vienna, CONGO is engaged in an ambitious outreach programme, providing more support for NGOs at regional and national levels to enhance their involvement with the United Nations, through new partnerships, regional consultations and co-sponsored events.
CoNGO is governed by its triennial General Assembly, made up of representatives of its member organizations. The General Assembly elects an individual as President and 20 member organizations to serve as CoNGO’s Board.
The Board oversees CoNGO’s work between sessions of the General Assembly. The President is responsible for leading and articulating CoNGO’s activities pursuant to the aims set out in the rules of the Conference.
The Board appoints from among its members (a) a First Vice-President who shall not have his/her office at the same UN centre as the President and who shall serve in a personal capacity, (b) a Vice-President who shall have his/her office in Vienna and who shall serve in a personal capacity, (c) up to two other members to serve as Vice-Presidents, and (d) two members to serve as Secretary and Treasurer respectively. The Board meets at least twice a year in Geneva or New York but may meet elsewhere. Other than the President, the First Vice-President and the Vienna-based Vice-President, all elected officers and members of the Board serve on behalf of organizations rather than in a personal capacity.
CoNGO’s activities are run from its three offices in Geneva, New York and Vienna.
CoNGO membership is open to all national, regional and international NGOs that are involved in the United Nations.
- NGOs with consultative status with ECOSOC are eligible to become Full Members, which includes the right to vote at the CoNGO General Assembly and stand for election
- NGOs not having ECOSOC status but having formal relations with any part of the UN system can become Associate Members
- CoNGO members are active in 43 CoNGO NGO committeesin New York, Geneva, Vienna and in Regional Committees in Africa, Asia and the Pacific
NGO – UN access
The first “Aim of CoNGO” in our Rules is “to ensure that NGOs in consultative status enjoy the fullest opportunities and all appropriate facilities for performing their consultative functions”. This can only be meaningful if access – physical access AND political access – is obtained and maintained. For 63 years it has been a commitment and an obligation for CoNGO to be alert and active in the domains of UN access.
CoNGO’s experience and outreach are not only in Geneva, New York and Vienna, but relate to the UN System worldwide, including UN Summits and the meetings of parties to UN Conventions.
CoNGO is therefore the reliable partner for seeking solutions with and through the entire UN System.
NGO substantive Committees, sub-committees and working groups
NGO Committees are an integral part of the CoNGO organizational structure. These committees exist through the efforts deployed throughout the years by CoNGO and its members.
CoNGO’s NGO Committees bring together NGOs that are part of the CoNGO constituency, CoNGO officers and members of the secretariat to discuss pertinent themes and issues before the UN and the international community.
|Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice||Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice|
|Disarmament||Disarmament, Peace and Security|
|Financing and Development|
|Freedom of Religion and Belief|
|Human Rights||Human Rights||Human Rights|
|Sub-committee Freedom of Religion and Belief|
|WG on Human Rights Education & Learning|
|International Decade for the World’s Indigenous Peoples|
|Mental Health||Mental Health|
|Narcotics and Substantive Abuse||Narcotic Drugs|
|Population and Development|
|Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns||Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns|
|Sustainable Development||Sustainable Development|
|Status of Women||Status of Women||Status of Women|
CoNGO collaborates closely with the Geneva NGO Forum for Health
NGO Regional Committees
- NGO Regional Committee in Asia and the Pacific
- NGO Regional Committee in Africa
Covering the entire geographic area of Africa, Asia and the Pacific these CoNGO Regional Committees aim to facilitate participation of regional and national NGOs and networks in United Nations and CoNGO activities globally and regionally, in particular those of the United Nations Economic Commissions and other UN bodies and agencies. The Regional Committees promote better cooperation among CoNGO members globally.
The five main objectives will be implemented by:
Enhanced DIALOGUE through:
- The organization of theme oriented activities such as the annual Civil Society Development Forum
- The facilitation and co-facilitation of thematic parallel events to major UN conferences and meetings
- The Substantive Committees, promoting and facilitating collective work related to programmes, policies and activities of the United Nations System
- Organizing briefing with key UN and other experts
OUTREACH and SERVICE to the NGO community in all regions of the world
TRAINING AND CAPACITY BUILDING for NGOs
GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS and INFORMATION SHARING, both on issues that are – or should be – on the United Nations agenda, and on practicalities for civil society organizations to work together on common concerns
MAINTAINING PRESENCE and input at major UN and NGO Conferences and Consultations
FOLLOWING UP the rapidly changing global trends and constantly
GENERATING NEW IDEAS to better service our constituency