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WHY A CIVIL SOCIETY SUMMIT ON SUBSTANTVE ISSUES?

On the occasion of United Nations Day 2021, CoNGO, the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Status with the United Nations, invites you to participate in a virtual Civil Society Summit on Substantive Issues on Monday, 25 October 2021.

The Summit on Substantive Issues will focus on 1) identifying the issues and concerns we as NGOs are addressing and must address today, and 2) examining whether our responses to these issues and concerns are adequate and relevant—both in the present context and for the future. These foci are predicated on a self-understanding of the roles of NGOs, civil society groups and social movements, and an assumed understanding of how such roles interface with the goals of the United Nations.

We are looking for your best thinking, and your organization’s best thinking, on our collective priorities.

The Summit is partly a venue to engage the report of UN Secretary General António Guterres to the UN General Assembly, Our Common Agenda, and partly an effort to determine CoNGO’s strategic direction for the period beyond 2021, as it reaches its 75th anniversary in 2023.

If we are to contribute to shaping the future, what should that future be, and how can we prepare ourselves and our communities? What agenda can we hold in common? What values must we engender and what actions must we take if we, with others, are to build the world we want? What must we understand about today if we are to contribute to building tomorrow? What actions must we take to address today’s problems in ways that respond to current needs and anticipate future expectations? Above all, how can we mobilize our various publics to address the challenges of today and tomorrow?

As for the UN, what would it take for the world organization to be fully effective, efficient and relevant for the world and the future we want? What innovations are required for multilateral action, and how can we build the trust that multilateral action requires? What must we assert as roles and offer as contributions —as NGOs, CSOs and social movements—in shaping that future we envision?

What can you do? What can CoNGO do? Above all, what can the UN do, with our help?

As a preliminary event leading to the 27th CoNGO General Assembly, this summit invites civil society representatives around the world to join CoNGO member organizations and members of its NGO Committees in shaping the strategic directions of CoNGO as it moves into its 28th term (2021-2025). A synthesis of the product of the thematic panels will be submitted for consideration by CoNGO when it meets for its 27th General Assembly.

Registration is free. Click here to register.

I will be on a panel starting from 12:20 p.m. EST to discuss “Peace and Threats to Security of People and the Planet“. I will be attending COP26 with the World Council of Churches. On this panel, I will address the threat of Climate Crisis to the security of people and the planet.

You can read some of my books which deal with climate change.

Pictures from the online zoom event.