Letter from the CoNGO President

Photo shows the commemorative panel at the City Hall of Vienna on December 10 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 30th anniversary of the pivotal UN World Conference on Human Rights. The event was organized by Austrian Federal and City of Vienna authorities, together with civil society groups, including CoNGO. (Photo by Liberato Bautista/CoNGO)

May the new year bring peace and good health to you, yours, your communities, and the planet.

The year 2023 that just passed was CoNGO’s 75th anniversary. It has been unlike any other year in our organizational life. We reached nearly 4,000 of you who participated in our four global commemorative celebrations in Vienna, Bangkok, New York, and Geneva, and the six global thematic webinars that explored various themes and topics. We ended our 75th anniversary commemoration in Geneva this past December by celebrating other 75th anniversaries—that of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, WHO, the ILO Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87), and CoNGO members World Council of Churches and the World Federation for Mental Health. We brought these events in four languages—English, French, Spanish and Arabic—a CoNGO commitment to linguistic diversity and language justice.

I’ll let you know more about the above events in future stories. For now, I invite your attention to the upcoming UN Civil Society Conference, which will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, on May 9 and 10, 2024. CoNGO is one of four NGO groups the UN, through the Department of Global Communications, is coordinating with to plan the conference. I hope you have read the UN’s earlier announcement about this toward the end of last year.

For now, please consider nominating yourself or someone you know who fits the requirements for the conference co-chairs and conference planning sub-committee chairs. The deadline for the nomination is Jan. 10.

I look forward to working with you and your organization this year.

Best regards,
Liberato Bautista
CoNGO President

January 4, 2024
New York City