The year 2020 will mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. This anniversary provides a much-needed opportunity to reflect on the direction of the UN and ensure it is built to address the global challenges of the 21st Century.
Current plans for the commemoration of the anniversary do not properly include the participation of civil society. Concerns about the transparency and inclusiveness of the UN meetings and events to mark the anniversary (starting June 2020) have been expressed to the UN missions of Singapore and Iceland, who are responsible for facilitating this programme of meetings. See below for joint letter to the Permanent Representatives of Singapore and Iceland, which your organisation can also sign, by emailing jeffery.huffinesATcivicus.org with the name of your organisation the end of May.
Learn more about the the opportunities to strengthen the UN by visiting UN2020.
Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations
Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United Nations
REF. COMMEMORATION OF THE UN’S 75TH ANNIVERSARY IN 2020
We write to you in your capacity as co-facilitators on preparations for the UN’s 75 anniversary to express our deep concern that nascent plans for the commemorative plenary are not suitably inclusive of civil society.
The anniversary presents a vital opportunity to consider how the Organization must adapt to cope with the global threats facing humanity. As the President of the General Assembly said recently: “it is a chance to make the UN more effective, more transparent, more accountable and more relevant to ‘we the peoples.’”
We are, therefore, concerned that the zero draft resolution for the commemoration might not envision a meaningful enough role for civil society. It appears that civil society is not part of the intergovernmental preparatory work, from consultations on outcomes that may be adopted – and even from the commemorative event itself. This would represent a missed opportunity to ensure the inclusion of a diversity of voices in the plenary outcomes, especially those of the most marginalized, through civil society participation.
Global civil society has been a committed and determined ally of the UN since its inception in 1945 – when delegations worked together with NGO representatives on the text of the Charter. Today, that partnership is even more important – as civil society supports delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals, and plays a key role in policy formulation, innovation and communication of progress to the broader public.
Encouraged by your stated “deep commitment to an open, transparent and inclusive process” – that reinforces the President of the General Assembly’s emphasis on “making the UN relevant to all people” – we call on you to champion the voices of “we the peoples”, and to ensure that meaningful participation from civil society is included at every step of the way towards the 75th anniversary of the UN.
In this vein, we ask that you consider engaging civil society in the process you are leading, for example, through an informal hearing with civil society, by inviting civil society representatives to present at the next suitable meeting, or by organizing a civil society briefing.
We thank you for your efforts to date, and we look forward to working with you to ensure that the 75th anniversary is a meaningful event with lasting impact.
Association of World Citizens
Afrihealth Optonet Association, Nigeria
All Win Network Foundation
Association 3 Hérissons
Association for Farmers Rights Defense (AFRD)
Association For Promotion Sustainable Development, India
Association pour l'Integration et le Developpement Durable (AIDB), Burundi
Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation
Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly
Centre for Human Rights - Nis
Centre for Human Rights and Climate Change Research
Centre for Socio-Eco-Nomic Development (CSEND)
Child Rights Information Network
Citizens for Global Solutions
CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
Commons Cluster of the UN NGO Major Group
Council of Organizations of the UNA-USA
Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), India
Democracy Without Borders
Development Goals Global Watch (DGGW) Inc.
Dr Uzo Adirieje Foundation' (DUZAFOUND), Nigeria
Echoes of Women in Africa Initiative (ECOWA) Nigeria
Elizka Relief Foundation
Elmoustkbal for Media, Policy and Strategic Studies, Egypt.
EPE (Ethical-Possibility-Enhancement) Movement
Federation of Environmental and Ecological Diversity for Agricultural Revampment and Human Rights
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung New York Office
Green Hope Foundation
Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi Public Trust (ITA) / Centre for Education and Consciousness
International Federation of Business and Professional Women (IFBPW)
Institute for Planetary Synthesis
Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Loreto Generalate
International Alliance of Women (IAW)
International Network for Corporate Social Responsibility
International Presentation Association
Justice for All/BurmaTask Force
Kenana Association for Sustainable Development and Women Empowerment, Egypt
Kikandwa Environmental Association (KEA), Uganda
KULU - Women and Development, Denmark
Lanka Fundamental Rights Organization, Sri Lanka
Mahila Dakshata Samiti, India
National Campaign For Sustainable Development, Nepal
National Coalition of Civil Society Organizations of Liberia (NSACCSOL)
National Society of Conservationists - Friends of the Earth, Hungary
Network of Rural Women Producers Trinidad and Tobago (NRWPTT)
Nigeria Network of NGOs
Noble Delta Women for Peace and Development
One World Trust
Radanar Ayar Association, Myanmar
Radha Paudel Foundation, Nepal
Reaccion Climática- Bolivia
RIPESS Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of Social Solidarity Economy
Rural Area Development Programme (RADP), Nepal
Servicios Ecuménicos para Reconciliación y Reconstrucción
Shirley Ann Sullivan Educational Foundation
Sisters of Charity Federation
Society for Conservation & Sustainability of Energy & Environment in Nigeria (SOCSEEN)
Society for International Development (SID)
Soroptimist International Great Britain & Ireland (SIGBI)
Tamkeen Association for Rights of People with Disabilities, Egypt
The Stimson Center (Just Security 2020 Program)
Theatre of Transformation Academy
U-Solve School of Empathic Leadership & Entrepreneurship (SELE)
United Nations Association – Suriname
United Nations Association – UK
Women Environmental Programme (WEP)
Women for Water Partnership
Workable World Trust
World Citizens Association of Australia
World Democratic Governance project Association - WDGpa
World Federalist Movement – Institute for Global Policy
- President of the General Assembly statement, 8 April 2019
- Co-facilitators joint letter, 29 April 2019