Support grows for a Civil Society Champion at the UN

By Together First on 6th April, 2021
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Fifty states and over 200 NGOs have endorsed the Unmute Civil Society coalition’s call for inclusive and meaningful civil society participation at the United Nations.

The coalition, convened by Costa Rica and Denmark together with civil society organisations, including Together First partner Civicus, set out five recommendations for strengthening civil society participation in their call to action. The call builds on the momentum generated through the UN75 process by Together First and others, and sets out critically needed action in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Together First is delighted to have endorsed the call to action, which includes the recommendation that a Special Envoy for Civil Society be appointed at the UN to support inclusive, meaningful and consistent civil society participation across the UN.

Last year our campaign launched a ‘to do list’ for world leaders - 10 recommendations for tangible change that, if followed, will ensure we truly build back better from the Covid-19 pandemic, and ensure our global system is safer and fairer for all. A key recommendation calls for the UN to appoint a senior focal point for civil society. 

As we set out in our subsequent report on the case for a UN civil society champion, Together First firmly believes that civil society is an invaluable partner in helping the UN to be fit for the challenges of the mid 21st century. The meaningful engagement of CSOs is indispensable if we are to build a safer, fairer, and more sustainable future.

Together First is proud to have joined a growing list of organisations endorsing this important action. The Unmute civil society recommendations will be presented to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for his consideration, alongside more detailed reflections from webinars on each UN process.

It is clear this is an idea whose time has come. Together First is delighted to support a further initiative convened by CIVICUS, Democracy International and Democracy Without Borders and planned for next month: a joint civil society statement on inclusive global governance which will build on UNmute through its support of a UN Civil Society Envoy, among other things (watch this space).

  • Read the full set of recommendations published by the Permanent Mission of Denmark, the Permanent Mission of Costa Rica, UN Foundation, CIVICUS, Action for Sustainable Development, Global Focus, Action Aid International and Forus
  • Endorse the list here
  • Watch the Unmute Civil Society webinar on Opening the (Digital) Doors for Civil Society at the UN

Photo: CSW63 Townhall Meeting of United Nations and Civil Society. Credit: UN Photo