Strengthening Civil Society Engagement With the United Nations

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At a time of global uncertainty, the UN is stretched to the breaking point. More and more people are losing faith in institutions and political leadership, and nationalistic trends are presenting a grave challenge to the rules-based international system from which all benefit. Public support for the UN is vital if a multilateral order is to be sustained, let alone deliver ambitious agendas on development and climate. The UN must do all it can to protect, expand and in some cases, stem the shrinkage of civil society space both inside and outside the UN. Determined work on this front will help the UN earn legitimacy with the ‘peoples of the United Nations’ and strengthen public understanding and support for the Organisation. For these reasons, civil society advocates from around the world are urging newly appointed UN Secretary-General António Guterres to be a champion for civil society and to take concrete steps to build a more inclusive UN. The United Nations Association – UK, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung New York Office, CIVICUS and Avaaz, four of the founding members of the 1 for 7 Billion campaign, have collected a range of proposals from its global network of civil society organizations. Challenging Mr Guterres to pursue his pledge to make cooperation with civil society “a key element in solving global problems”, the series of articles offers solutions for a fairer, more inclusive UN across a range of processes and programmes. At the heart of this publication is a common message for António Guterres to build a more inclusive UN.


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