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Migiro stresses civil society’s key role in supporting UN agenda

Migiro stresses civil society’s key role in supporting UN agenda

Engaging with civil society has become crucial to the work of the United Nations, helping the world body to promote its agenda on issues ranging from peace and security to human rights and humanitarian assistance, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said today.

In an address in New York to the annual meeting of the UN Civil Society Focal Points, Ms. Migiro said a closer relationship between UN agencies, funds and programmes and the world’s many civil society groups would produce benefits to key causes.

“Our civil society partners help advance this agenda in myriad ways: they bring expertise and information on current and emerging issues – be it climate change, poverty eradication or rural development,” she said. “This expertise often provides important new thinking and research on matters of global importance.”

Noting that UN Member States were increasingly aware of the role that civil society groups can play in tackling key global issues, Ms. Migiro said the “outstanding outreach capacity” of those groups had the potential to mobilize millions of people worldwide in support of the UN agenda.

This included the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the set of eight shared goals for fighting poverty and other social and economic ills that world leaders agreed to work towards by 2015.

“Credible civil society organizations possess legitimacy, embodying as they do the aspirations of the people of the world. The UN must always be guided by these aspirations if we are to truly reflect the first phrase of the Charter, ‘We The Peoples,’ and if we are to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”

Ms. Migiro told the focal points that they played an especially important role “in nurturing and deepening the partnerships between non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the institutions of global governance” and she thanked them for their efforts.

“You provide a channel through which the innovative ideas and dynamism of the NGO community can cross into and positively impact the work of the United Nations. And you are a vital resource for increasing the understanding of NGOs about the unique nature – and the sometimes bewildering intricacies – of the UN system.”