About

CIVICUS at UN Headquarters

Civil society is recognised by the United Nations as an indispensable source of ideas, solutions and expertise when it comes to developing and delivering global policies and programs. UN headquarters provides a number of entry points for civil society to engage in intergovernmental decision-making processes related to Peace and Security; Sustainable Development; Human Rights; International Law; and Humanitarian Aid. CIVICUS helps representatives from civil society in a number of ways, including:

  • Make interventions on a range of thematic and country specific issues;
  • Deliver joint statements
  • Organise panel discussions and workshops;
  • Produce advocacy letters;
  • Conduct bilateral meetings with member states and representatives of UN bodies

For more information on our line of work at UN Headquarters, please contact jeffery.huffinesATcivicus.org 

General Assembly

CIVICUS at the UN General Assembly

Civil society has worked with the UN General Assembly since its inception. Representatives from civil society have participated in meetings of the General Assembly committees and other subsidiary bodies, as well as meetings of the GA itself. Over the years, the General Assembly´s system and procedures have evolved to provide opportunities for civil society leaders to address member states and provide input on the processes the General Assembly presides over. 

We are currently in the 71st session of the UN General Assembly. For more information, please see here. | For an overview of previous sessions, see here.

Sustainable Development Goals

CIVICUS and the Sustainable Development Goals

During the design of the universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), CIVICUS helped facilitate the engagement of civil society in the official deliberations. CIVICUS facilitated direct dialogue between stakeholders, governments and UN bodies on the details of the goals, targets and indicators. 

Now that the goals have been agreed, CIVICUS is now focusing on advancing civil society´s participation in the delivery of the global goals. A primary entry point for civil society is the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which is the pre-eminent body for sustainable development within the UN system and responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs. Civil society is able to engage in the following ways:

  • To attend all official meetings of the forum;
  • To have access to all official information and documents;
  • To intervene in official meetings;
  • To submit documents and present written and oral contributions;
  • To make recommendations;
  • To organize side events and round tables, in cooperation with Member States and the Secretariat

UN Major Groups

UN Major Groups

The UN Major Groups is an official mechanism to allow broad public participation in decision-making related to international sustainable development. There are currently nine stakeholder groups who are able to have a formal say in the design of sustainable development policies and programs, these constituencies include; Business and Industry; Trade Unions; Indigenous Peoples; Children and Youth; Women; Farmers; Local Government; Non-governmental Organisations; Science and Technology community.  These stakeholder groups each have coordinators whose role it is to reach out to their global constituency, prepare them for UN deliberations on sustainable development, and prepare position papers and inputs. CIVICUS has been an organising partner of the NGO Major Group and works across the Major Groups on areas of joint advocacy. 

Member States ultimately decide the modalities of participation of the Major Groups in the numerous concurrent processes on sustainable development. Thus, the engagement and participation of the Major Groups varies depending on the particular sustainable development topic and process being deliberated (I.e. The Sustainable Development Goals, The High Level Political Forum, The United Nations Environment Assembly, etc.) To learn more about the Major Groups and ways to get involved, please click on the constituency that aligns with your work:

Resources

Resources

High-Level Political Forum Report: Civil Society Engagement in Monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals
The HLPF provides the pre-eminent space for dialogue with the UN system on sustainable development. 2016 is the first year of implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and in this context 22 countries have volunteered to undertake national reviews to be presented at the HLPF. This paper aims to provide some initial reflections on the engagement with civil society in the countries under review and to set out some recommendations on how this engagement can be further strengthened.

User Guide for the High-Level Political Forum
This user guide will answer key questions about the engagement in the High Level Political Forum and its governance of the Sustainable Development Goals.The HLPF accords NGOs the most far reaching participatory privileges and rights in the history of the UN. But how can civil society most effectively engage with this process? How does the UN enable voices to be heard from the people who are most directly affected by these policies?

March 10, 2016

Event at CSW60: The Role of Women Human Rights Defenders and Feminist Organizations in Realizing…

When: 15 March 2016, 10:30AM-12PM  Where: Chapel of UN Church Center, New York City As the Sustainable Development Goals are a priority theme of the…
September 25, 2014

Response to the Proposal of the Open Working Group for Sustainable Development Goals

We write to you as members of the Civic Space Initiative, a global program jointly implemented by the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, ARTICLE…
August 25, 2014

SD2015 Newsletter

This e-newsletter will share with you the latest updates on our SD2015 projects and the most recent information on different post-2015 activities and processes.…
May 22, 2014

65th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference on "2015 and Beyond: Our Action Agenda"

Following the release of the reports of the Open Working Group and the Experts Committee on SD Financing this summer, we invite you to…
September 05, 2013

Expert Group meeting on Mainstreaming sustainable development in National Development Strategies

DEADLINE for NOMINATIONS 8 September: Expert Group meeting on Mainstreaming Sustainable Development in National Development Strategies UN DESA is inviting each Major Group to…
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SOUTH AFRICA

CIVICUS
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Johannesburg, 2092
Tel: +27 (0)11 833 5959
Fax: +27 (0)11 833 7997

SWITZERLAND

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CH-1202
Geneva
Tel: +41 (0)22 733 3435

UNITED STATES

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UNITED KINGDOM

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Tel: +44 (0)20 7733 9696