The new Board of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO) held its first meeting in the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the organization
By Saionara König-Reis – The Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO) is a platform for “a civil society represented by a global community of informed, empowered and committed NGOs that fully participate with the UN in decision-making”. With nearly 500 member NGOs, CoNGO is organized around nearly 30 thematic groups (Substantive Committees) to advocate for a world of economic and social justice and for NGOs access at the UN Centers in New York, Geneva, Vienna and other locations.
From 1st to 3rd of October, the recently elected Board of Directors of CoNGO (2018-2021), of which Dianova International is Vice-President-at-Large, met in New York to strategize on the organization’s course of action for the next years. The meeting was also an opportunity for exchange between the Board members and the leadership of the Substantive Committees, as well as with a guest humanitarian practitioner from Syria – all of which enormously helped bring the discussions to a more concrete and practical level.
Among the steps taken to enhance CoNGO’s ability to best represent, help coordinate, and advocate for NGOs at the UN, there was the consolidation of working groups to focus on resource mobilization, membership development and on the relationship with the Substantive Committees. Board members were also introduced to the sketch of the organization’s new website, to be launched in the coming weeks, and which will serve as source of information to the public and the converging point for all of CoNGO’s Substantive Committees activities.
The 70th Anniversary of CoNGO and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
CoNGO was inaugurated in the same year of the approval of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This year, both CoNGO and the UDHR celebrate their 70th anniversary, bringing CoNGO to approve a Resolution to renew its commitments and to call for member states’ compliance with this pillar human rights document and with the broader set of international human rights instruments.
In addition, in celebration of the two anniversaries, CoNGO hosted a concert with Pianist Anna Petrova and Violist Molly Caar, dedicated to the human dignity and human rights of migrants and refugees. This moving concert, held in the evening of October 3rd, was inspired by the musician’s understanding of a very important advocacy document translating civil society’s vision for the UN Global Compact on Migration: Now and How: Ten Acts for the Global Compact.