RCAP Meeting and CoNGO 75th Anniversary Celebration in Bangkok, May 19 and 20, 2023

Go to this Zoom link to watch the May 19 proceedings of the

CoNGO RCAP Meeting and 75th-Anniversary Commemoration



Invitation to RCAP Bangkok, May 19 and 20, 2023

  1.  The CoNGO RCAP initiative took off in 2017 and has been productive for NGOs/CSOs in the Asia-Pacific Region, facilitating access to the United Nations deliberations on the Sustainable Development Goals, and encouraging intra-regional learning and cooperation processes.
  • This memorandum outlines the situation and planning for RCAP work in 2023 when we will meet in person for the first time after the pandemic that has so long disrupted lives and activities around the world.
  1. You certainly know that UN. ESCAP has scheduled its 2023 Plenary Session  (ESCAP 79) for May 15-19. We are delighted that our generous Bangkok host of many years, Siam University, kindly agrees to again host RCAP 2023 on May 19 and 20. (May 19, the last day of ESCAP, is normally a rather formal set of sessions to approve the conclusions reached  during the preceding week.) As 2023 is CoNGO’s 75th Anniversary, we will also hold a commemorative event for that within the framework of RCAP.
  1. Each year the work of RCAP provides input to the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF)  –  which in 2023 is meeting at the UN.HQ in New York from July 10 to 19.   Information:  hlpf-un-org/ 2023/programme. In addition, an SDG Summit will be held at the UN.HQ in September 2023, to assess progress at approximately the halfway stage of 2015-2030. (
    RCAP can have input to that too.
  1.  This year’s HLPF theme is “Accelerating the recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels”. The 2023 HLPF will review the following SDGs: SDG 6 (Clean water and sanitation), SDG 7 (Affordable and clean energy), SDG 9  (Industry, innovation, infrastructure),  SDG 11 (Sustainable cities and communities), SDG 17  (Partnerships for the SDGs). The Voluntary National Reviews scheduled for HLPF 2023 include the following countries from the RCAP region: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Fiji, Maldives,  Mongolia, Singapore, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam.

Sustainable Development Goal 6 - WikipediaSustainable Development Goal 7 - WikipediaSustainable Development Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureFile:Sustainable Development Goal 11.png - Wikimedia CommonsCommunications materials - United Nations Sustainable Development

  1. Based on past experience, we will again focus RCAP’s content on the key action words of the HLPF theme in 2023, namely “FULL IMPLEMENTATION  OF  THE  2030  AGENDA  FOR  SUSTAINABLE  DEVELOPMENT”.
  • The IMPLEMENTATION of the SDGs is so frequently lacking, and it is in the implementation area that NGOs and CSOs are often setting an example to governments, local authorities, and other stakeholders. So we are hereby inviting all NGOs/CSOs on the RCAP mailing list to send CoNGO a document (text, PPT, chart, etc) via our registration survey describing their specific projects and achievements in implementing one or more of the SDGs that are up for review this year. We want to have examples of grass-roots implementation that involves communities and makes a measurable difference in people’s lives.
  1. As in past years, we shall then use the project reports as the basis for a composite synthesis for submission to the 2023 HLPF.
  1. Under the updated RCAP Terms of Reference, the Steering Committee will be elected at the 2023 RCAP Session. I invite you to consider proposing a candidate.

We look forward to your responses on your Implementation of the SDGs!

Please fill out this registration survey
Your organization’s  SDG implementation documents should be sent to ( by May 3, 2023. 

CoNGO First Vice President

N.B. As a reminder, the following are some relevant international events in the months until the HLPF:

  • Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development, 27-30 March (ESCAP, Bangkok)
  • UN Commission on Population and Development (CPopD16), 16th Session, April 10-14,  New York
  • 17th World Congress on Public Health, May 2-6, Rome   (World Federation of Public Health Associations)
  • International  Labour Conference  (ILC 111),  June 5-16  (Geneva)

Annexe:   RCAP  2023  Logistical Information  and  Provisional  Schedule


RCAP Logistical Information and Provisional Schedule
RCAP Terms of Reference








For any questions, please email

First Global Commemorative Celebration of the 75th Anniversary of CoNGO

First Global Commemorative Celebration of the

75th Anniversary of CoNGO

(Conference of Non-Governmental  Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations)

APRIL 28, 2023 | 14:00 – 16:45 CET

Venue: Vienna International Centre |  Conference Room 1 | Wagramer Str. 5, 1220 Wien



Those with a UN Vienna grounds pass: Register Here

Those with no UN Vienna grounds pass: Register Here

Zoom Link to the Live Stream Register Here 

Program Invitation


Time Agenda item Name Title
13.57 Music Didier Louis  Bagpiper
14.00 Opening Welcome Martina Gredler  CoNGO Second Vice President
14.02 Opening Video Address H. E. Ghada Fathi Waly Director-General, United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV)
14.07 Video Message H. E. Peter Launsky-


Secretary General, Foreign Ministry of Austria
14.13 Messages Permanent Missions to the United Nations and Other International Organizations at Vienna
14.15 Message Shams Asadi  Human Rights Commissioner | Head, Human Rights Office, City of Vienna
14.19 Music: Jacques Castérède (1926-2014) Flûtes en Vacances Flutists: Katarina Göbel, Ágnes Tóth, & Chiara Zoccola 2. Satz Flûtes Joyeuses
14.24 Presidential Address  Liberato C. Bautista CoNGO President
14.34 Greetings Gillian Sorensen (Co-Chair of CoNGO 75th Anniversary Commemoration) Former UN Assistant Secretary-General for External Relations
14.37 Greetings Patrick Rea (Co-Chair of CoNGO 75th Anniversary Commemoration) International Grand Master Emeritus, OSMTH
14.39 In Memoriam Ilona Graenitz, Marlene Parenzan, and Maria Jonas Former CoNGO Leaders in Vienna
14.42 Music:  Jacques Castérède (1926-2014) Flûtes en Vacances Flutists: Katarina Göbel, Ágnes Tóth, & Chiara Zoccola 1. Satz Flûtes Pastorales  
14.47 Keynote Introduction Martina Gredler  CoNGO Second Vice President
14.50 Keynote 1: Re-Imagining and Re-Narrativizing Multilateralism: Why NGOs and Civil Society Truly Matter Nikhil Seth, UN Assistant Secretary-General, Executive Director  UN Institute for Training and Research
15.05 Keynote 2: Gender Justice and Multilateralism: Achievements and Unfinished Agendas Helga Konrad Former Austrian Federal Minister of Women’s Affairs
15.20 Keynote 3: The Multilateral Human Rights Regime: Civil Society and NGOs in the Development and Promotion of Human Rights Manfred Nowak Secretary General, Global Campus of Human Rights in Venice
15.35 Music 

Jacques Castérède (1926-2014) Flûtes en Vacances 

Flutists: Katarina Göbel, Ágnes Tóth, & Chiara Zoccola 4. Satz Flûtes Légères 
15.40 Greetings and Invitation to the Vin d’honneur Omar Al-Rawi Member of Vienna City Council and Provincial Parliament
15.44 Closing Remarks Martina Gredler  CoNGO Second Vice President

A Vin d’honneur follows the program at the Coffee Corner, Building C opposite Conference Room 1, thanks to the hospitality of the City of Vienna and Regina Wialla-Zimm (International Relations Officer, Chief Executive Office for International Relations, City of Vienna)


CoNGO: 75 Years and Beyond (1948-2023)

“Defining the Present, Shaping the Future, Making the Change Now”

In its 75th year since its founding, CoNGO (Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the
United Nations) continues the legacy of advocacy for the voice and agency of civil society to be presenced at multilateral meetings at
the United Nations systemwide. Since its founding in 1948, CoNGO has been a significant interface between NGOs, now the broader
civil society, and the United Nations System. CoNGO has consistently promoted, defended, and boosted civil society access—both physical and political—to deliberative and decision-making processes throughout the United Nations System. CoNGO has encouraged and facilitated competent NGO inputs across the whole spectrum of local to planetary issues that constitute the daily and yearly agenda of the United Nations.

CoNGO has often spoken out in defense of the values that the UN and civil society share and has addressed governments with the plea—indeed the demand—that the financial underpinning of the UN is substantially reinforced to enable the Organization to adequately respond to the needs of the planet and its people. The 50+ entities, agencies, commissions, institutes, and other bodies comprising the United Nations System are coping with world, regional, and local aspirations and crises. Civil Society’s engagement with the United Nations is critical to the fulfillment of its mandate and its work, and CoNGO is a persistent and informed advocate of that cause. The depth and breadth of CoNGO’s knowledge of the United Nations System and NGO access to the system are unique.

CoNGO marks its 75th anniversary in 2023, with a look back, of course, but substantially with an eye to the future. The anniversary theme is “Shaping the Present, Shaping the Future, Making the Change, Now.” CoNGO will make the Anniversary a significant milestone on the road of cooperation and interaction between Civil Society—international, national, and grassroots—and the United Nations System. By motivating and galvanizing the entire CoNGO constituency and the United Nations System, CoNGO will build bridges to the future of multilateralism, cutting through the fogs of populism and short-termism. Together, the United Nations and Civil Society can—and must—work to enable future generations to enjoy healthy lives and sustainable livelihoods in greater peace, social justice, democracy, and the rule of law.

The CoNGO 75th Anniversary Committee and the CoNGO Board are undertaking ambitious but realistic goals—all forming part of the vision and direction that the presidency of Liberato Bautista has set to do. They constitute the backdrop to the following activities and events, which will be organized during the 75th Anniversary year and followed through for consolidation in 2024 and 2025: A) Four Anniversary Commemorative celebrations at UN Centres in Vienna (April), Bangkok (May), New York (October), and Geneva (December). Where possible, the events will include lectures and, where appropriate, cultural and hospitality events. B) Production of an anniversary book recounting the 75 years of CoNGO’s interactions among its members and with the UN System. The booklet will honor the giants of CoNGO’s past and present leaders and open a perspective into CoNGO’s future work. This shall include profiles of CoNGO presidents and vice presidents, the NGO substantive committees, and pages about CoNGO member organizations that may want to be featured. C) Six global thematic webinars will follow up on the themes that emerged from a CoNGO Civil Society Summit held in October 2021 with over 1,000 participants in person and online. The six thematic clusters are:

1. Social justice: Migration justice, racial justice, and health justice (March)
2. Pursuing Global Justice: Agenda 2030, sustainable development, and humanitarian action (May)
3. Gender Justice, youth, and intergenerational solidarity (June)
4. Peace and threats to the security of people and the planet (August)
5. UN-NGO relations: enhancing multilateralism, protecting NGO access, civil space and democratic discourse (October)
6. Human dignity and human rights (December)

To achieve CoNGO’s purposes for the 75th Anniversary, CoNGO has the structural benefit of a diverse and multidisciplinary membership of more than 600 organizations, solid and committed global officers and board members, 37 substantive NGO Committees, 37 Substantive Committees worldwide, and high-level 75th Anniversary Committee that provides advice and guidance. Through the involvement of international and national civil society organizations, all of the activities of CoNGO’s forward-looking 75th Anniversary Year will contribute to the achievement of the UN Agenda 2030, the advancement of the UN Secretary General’s “Our Common Agenda,” and the success of the UN 2024 Summit of the Future, including its follow up.

SPONSORSHIP: This program and other events scheduled throughout 2023 in celebration of CoNGO’s 75th anniversary are made possible through the generous contribution of The Mulchand and Parpati Thadhani Foundation, the STUF United Fund, and individual donors.


Keynote Speakers

Please be at the VIC gate no later than 13:30 to go through security and arrive in time for the opening of the event at 14:00.

Event Flyer

First Global Thematic Webinar: Social Justice–Racial Justice, Migration Justice, and Health Justice (A CoNGO 75th Anniversary Event)





Thursday | March 2, 2023 | | 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM EST, 15h30 to 18h CET

Time Zone Calculator



The Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO) invites you to the first of six global thematic webinars marking its 75th anniversary in 2023 under the overall theme “Defining the present, shaping the future, and making the change, now.” This first webinar in a series of six starts with a focus on Social Justice: migration justice, racial justice, and health justice.


Social justice—or the astonishing lack of it for many people and communities worldwide—is one of the fundamental issues of our time. No country, city, or place has achieved the common human expectation of social justice for all its inhabitants.  Social justice can be characterized as including full respect for the human rights of all persons; equality of treatment and opportunity; non-discrimination on any prohibited grounds (including color, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, etc.); universal health care; decent work; minimum basic income; decent living conditions; social protection; access to justice for all; peace and human security for all; and a safe and healthy environment.

The UN General Assembly resolution establishing the World Day for Social Justice stated: “The General Assembly recognizes that social development and social justice are indispensable for the achievement and maintenance of peace and security within and among nations and that, in turn, social development and social justice cannot be attained in the absence of peace and security or the absence of respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

The international system embodied by the United Nations and regional community organizations has elaborated binding conventions and other instruments that set out minimum standards and obligations to realize those standards regarding the abovementioned concerns. International supervisory and review mechanisms have been established to support the national implementation of these standards.

Many civil society organizations advocate for and support achieving social justice at local, national, regional, and global levels—with some level of activity in nearly all countries.

The 8 October 2021 Civil Society Summit on Substantive Issues “Shaping the Future: The UN We Need for the World We Want,” organized by CoNGO, highlighted social justice among the significant global critical concerns of all humanity: Human dignity and human rights; Sustainable development and humanitarian action; Peace and threats to the security of people and the planet; Social justice, including migration, racism, and health; Gender justice, youth, and intergenerational solidarity. That summit further emphasized the importance of UN-NGO relations—enhancing multilateralism, ensuring access, and protecting civic space and discourse….

However, contemporary knowledge and evidence indicate that contrary to universal aspirations and normative standards, levels and extent of injustice, violations of human rights, discrimination, and violence on the grounds of color, perceived race, ethnicity, nationality, and national origin, as well as gender, age, etc.; exclusion; indecent working conditions even forced labour; lack of extension of social protection; absence of access to justice; etc. are manifest to greater or less extent in every country.

The Civil Society Summit on Substantive Issues brought together over 1,000 participants worldwide to contribute experience and competences, share doubts about our current world, and collectively articulate aspirations and proposals for the world we want and must achieve. The Civil Society Summit was rich in outlining concepts and actions needed to shape the future.

As a direct outcome, the CoNGO General Assembly resolved to use the outcome of the Summit—the Synthesis Report—as a substantive basis for CoNGO’s programmatic direction, especially highlighting it in 2023, CoNGO’s 75th anniversary year. It agreed to convene a series of six high-level global thematic webinars over the course of 2023 to highlight and engage the global constituency on the critical themes articulated at the Summit and to elaborate on the agenda, responses, and actions necessary to shape a future of human rights, social justice, non-discrimination, peace, sustainable development, human and environmental security, and gender justice and inter-generational solidarity for all.


The CoNGO Board, meeting in March 2022, agreed to turn the six thematic clusters of the Summit into the six thematic clusters of its programmatic directions for the leadership term 2021-2025.  The subsequent board meeting mandated the coalition to organize global thematic webinars addressing those clusters.

The inaugural webinar focuses on Social Justice, with subthemes on Migration Justice, Racial Justice, and Health Justice. This thematic webinar proceeds along the lines articulated by the UN General Assembly on the World Day of Social Justice and the CoNGO Civil Society Summit iterated above. The webinar will identify what areas of change and action are needed, what should be undertaken now, and by whom.

The Synthesis Report from the 2021 Summit graphically referred to these sub-themes: “Slavery, colonialism, racism, militarism, xenophobia, homophobia, ageism, patriarchy, misogyny… are historic injustices that must be combated, and their intersecting complicities {must} be exposed. We must multiply our efforts at eliminating structural and systemic racism…” and discrimination.

The treatment of migrants and refugees in many situations worldwide represents egregious violations and denial of human rights and rights at work, belying the growing dependence of economies and societies worldwide on the international mobility of people –skills, and labour—for sustainable development and well-being. “We heard migrants assert their voice and agency, saying, ‘For a long time, others spoke on our behalf. Now we speak for ourselves.’ Indeed, migrants and refugees must be at the table when their human rights, needs, and concerns are at stake…

The COVID-19 pandemic and our responses have exacerbated the vast gulfs in achieving the human right to the highest attainable physical and mental health standard for all.  Three years on, the pandemic has yet to be resolved, let alone the preparedness of nations and communities to meet future pandemics. “The COVID-19 situation further illustrates the interests of the few taking precedence over the needs of the many. A cardinal principle should be prioritizing people and the planet over profit.”


 9:30 AM: Welcome Remarks

 Dr. Liberato Bautista (President of CoNGO)

 Ms. Gillian Sorensen (Co-Chair, CoNGO 75th Anniversary Committee, and Former UN Assistant Secretary-General for External Relations)

 Brig. Gen. Patrick Rea (Co-Chair, CoNGO 75th Anniversary Committee, and International Grandmaster Emeritus of OSMTH)


9:50 AM: Keynote Speeches

Ms. Helga Konrad (former Federal Minister for Women’s Affairs of the Republic of Austria and a leading expert on human trafficking)

Ms. Anna Biondi (Deputy Director, Bureau for Workers’ Activities, International Labour Organization – ILO)

10:12 AM: Q & A (Questions must be posted on Zoom Q&A and directed to a specific speaker. Questions that will not be answered will be emailed to the speaker).


10:17 AM: Migration Justice (Rapporteur: Ms. Cecilie Kern, Mercy International Association)

 Ms. Eni Lestari (President, International Migrants Alliance, and Indonesian domestic worker in Hong Kong )

 Mr. Patrick Taran (President, Global Migration Policy Associates)

10:36 AM: Q & A (Questions must be posted on Zoom Q&A and directed to a specific speaker. Questions that will not be answered will be emailed to the speaker).


10:41AM Racial Justice (Rapporteur: Ms. Dorothy Davis, Congressional Black Caucus Institute)

Ms. Catherine S. Namakula (Chair, United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent)

Dr. Edna Maria Santos Roland (Chair, United Nations Group of Independent Eminent Experts on the Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Plan of Action)

11:00 AM: Q & A (Questions must be posted on Zoom Q&A and directed to a specific speaker. Questions that will not be answered will be emailed to the speaker). 


11:06 AM: Health Justice (Rapporteur: Dr. Gill Adynski, International Council of Nurses)

 Prof. Dr. Marianne Legato (Founder, Gender-specific Medicine, Professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons)

 Dr. Pamela Cipriano (President, International Council of Nurses)

11:25 AM: Q & A (Questions must be posted on Zoom Q&A and directed to a specific speaker. Questions that will not be answered will be emailed to the speaker).

11:31 AM: Special feature: Celebration of Dr. Franklin Shaffer, Former CEO of CGFNS International and CoNGO Board Secretary

11:30    Dr. Liberato Bautista (CoNGO President)

11:33   Dr. Holly Shaw (International Council of Nurses, Chair of NGO Committee on Mental Health, and NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy)

11:38   Mukul Bakhshi, Esq. (Chief of Strategy and Government Affairs CGFNS International, Inc.)

11:44   Response: Dr. Franklin Shaffer

11:50 AM Report by Webinar Lead Rapporteur

Mr. Cyril Ritchie (CoNGO First Vice President)

11:57 PM Closing Remarks

Dr. Liberato Bautista (President of CoNGO)

 Webinar Co-sponsors

Congressional Black Caucus Institute, General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, Global Migration Policy Associates, International Council of Nurses, NGO Committee on Migration, National Council of Negro Women, Pan Pacific South East Asia Women’s Association, STUF United Fund, Thadhani Foundation


   Social Justice

  1. ILO: A Global Coalition for Social Justice.–en/index.htm?msdynttrid=0BYLeiS-wduhwzUlSNJ-9-d0cWAB4UJQxkz4Es1KHAY
  2. UN World Day for Social Justice: 2023 Theme: Overcoming Barriers and Unleashing Opportunities for Social Justice.
  3. Co-building an Ecosocial World. Liberato C. Bautista.


  1. Migration, Human Rights & Sustainable Economies: A Century 21 Agenda. Patrick A. Taran, in Revista Tecnológica – Espol, 34(1), Guayaquil, Ecuador 2022.
  2. COVID-19, Migrants, Refugees, Mobile Workers: Global Assessment and Action Agenda. Patrick A Taran & Olga Kadysheva (2022). Revista Tecnológica – Espol, 34(1), Guayaquil
  3. Talking and Doing Points: Churches Witnessing With Migrants.

Racism and Racial Discrimination

  1. Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance: Ecological Crisis, Climate Justice and Racial Justice. E. Tendayi Achiume. UN document A/77/549.
  2. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent to the Human Rights Council: The Human rights situation of people of African descent remains an urgent concern.
  3. Migrant workers and discrimination: realities, threats, and remedies. August Gachter (2022) in Revista Tecnológica – Espol, 34(1), Guayaquil, Ecuador.
  4. International Standards Against Racism and All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Health Justice

11. WHO: Closing the gap in a generation: health equity through action on the social determinants of health. 

  1. Civil society organizations calling for vaccine access and equity for all.
  2. The Social Determinants of Health.

CoNGO Resources

  1. CoNGO Civil Society Summit on Substantive Issues.
  2. Synthesis Report of the CoNGO Civil Society Summit on Substantive Issues.
  3. CoNGO Declaration on the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations.