Wednesday, January 16, 2013

How do NGO's relate to the UN?

Conference of Non Governmental Organizations in consultative relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO) is an independent, international, non-profit membership association of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). It facilitates the participation of NGOs in United Nations debates and decision-making. CONGO is most active at the major UN centres of New York, Geneva and Vienna but its work stretches out to all regions of the world.

CONGO was founded in 1948. Since then it has relentlessly worked to ensure that NGO voices be heard throughout the international arena. CONGO’s role in mobilizing NGOs to form the first worldwide NGO forum on human rights in 1968, its role in conceiving forms of NGO participation in UN world conferences and its advocacy on behalf of NGOs at UN Headquarters highlight CONGO’s chief objectives: to ensure that NGOs be present when governments discuss issues of global concern at the United Nations and to facilitate NGO discussions on such issues.

CONGO does not take positions on substantive matters. However, CONGO does provide, through special and ad hoc NGO Committees, fora for discussion of substantive matters by its members with officials of the UN Secretariat and UN system agencies, UN delegations and other experts.

NGOs with full CONGO membership status include national, regional and international organizations in consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). CONGO associate membership is open to NGOs associated with the UN system but not holding that consultative status. Members represent a large range of vital interests, in areas such as human rights, gender, peace and disarmament, social justice, governance, environment and sustainable development. CONGO and its members collaborate with the larger community of NGOs through standing NGO committees, which follow issues that are of key substantive interest relative to their mandates and objectives.
The Conference of NGOs:
  • ASSISTS a wide variety of NGOs in consultative status to promote their common aim of supporting the UN Charter;
  • WORKS on behalf of NGOs in consultative status to develop that status further and enhance their relationship and cooperation with the UN and its various organs; and
  • PROVIDES a forum for NGOs with common interests to come together to study, plan, support and act on issues relating to the principles and programmes of the UN and its network of agencies.

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