Following the 64th Annual UN Department of Public Information (UNDPI)/NGO meeting in Bonn last month, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon held a special meeting with NGO representatives at the United Nations in New York on 26 October.
WFUNA, like all civil society organizations, is currently developing its plans for the Rio +20 UN Sustainable Development conference to be held in June in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This conference will be critical to securing renewed political commitment for sustainable development.
The Secretary-General reaffirmed his commitment to supporting the work of non-profit organizations, and thanked them for furthering the success of the goals of the United Nations. Without the voice of civil society, Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General of the UNDPI, said, “There would be no concept of sustainable development.” Civil society and volunteerism have been critical to partnerships in the advancement of the Millennium Development Goals, especially in the areas of maternal and child health and of commodity-based approaches to issues such as clean water and health. Secretary-General Ban expressed his wish of achieving an equal tripartite structure in which the UN system, civil society, and the business community work together as partners to address global challenges. The UN Global Compact, he said, was a prime example of this collaboration coming to fruition, and the Secretary-General expressed his desire for the benefits of such work to forward his Sustainable Energy for All initiative. In addressing UN reform, the Secretary-General rephrased the traditional idiom, saying that the UN must do “better” with less, not just “more” with less. The session concluded with a short Q&A facilitated by Navid Hanif, of the Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination; Maher Nasser, Director of the Outreach Division, UNDPI; and Under-Secretary-General Akasaka, with question topics ranging from volunteerism, NGO collaboration, violence against women, and sustainable development.
Read Ban's statement here.