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Peter Willetts, Emeritus Professor of Global Politics

Primary Sources for The Voice of Which People?


From the web page http://www.infohabitat.org/csdngo/tr-steer.html, on the archival website “Information Habitat: Where Information Lives”. This used to have a section on NGOs and the UN. It was maintained by Robert Pollard, who ran an NGO of the same name, which was accorded ECOSOC Special Consultative Status in 1995. The original website no longer exists. An alternative website, http://habitat.igc.org, does not have any pages on the NGOs and the CSD.

CSD NGO Steering Committee - Terms of Reference

What follows is the agreed terms of reference for the CSD NGO Steering Committee. This body facilitates the involvement of NGOs and other Major Groups in the CSD.

NGO Steering Committee Structure

1. It has been the sense of the collective gathering at the CSD2 (1994) that it is important that we organize ourselves in such a manner that enables us to continue collective work between meetings of the Commission on Sustainable Development.

2. We have identified as follows a series of tasks and activities that should be conducted by such a Steering Committee.

3. To enhance the flow of information about the CSD process to regional, focal points and networks for NGOs, Indigenous Peoples and Major Groups and their constituents.

4. Steering Committee members will serve as focal points to ensure participation of issue and regional networks within the NGO community through their ability to disseminate information using communication tools such as mail, telephone, fax and E-Mail.

5. To help coordinate the transitional of positions generated by regional and national networks and major groups to the CSD during intersessional and CSD meetings.

6. To aim to assist efforts of regional networks to organize capacity building and consultative regional meetings.

7. To help monitor and disseminate reports from UN conferences, conventions and intersessional meetings and assure wide distribution of said information and outcomes.

8. To prepare for the subsequent meeting of the CSD, and to insure maximum preparation for and participation in said meetings.

9. The activity of this committee would in no sense be one of political nor policy representativeness for the NGO community. No such mandate would be delegated to the committee and political representatives or interventions will remain the domain of the entire NGO and Major Groups community.

10. Individual NGOs and groups, as always, will determine their own politics and policies, and will not be excluded from NGO participation, regardless of their activity with the Steering Committee.

11. The composition of the continuing Steering Committee of NGOs participating in the meetings of the CSD.

12. The Steering Committee shall consist of regional representatives and representatives of caucuses of major groups accredited and participating in the CSD meetings.

13. The following regions have been identified and approved:

Africa, Pacific Ocean, Caribbean, Latin America, Asia, Indian Ocean, North America, Western Europe , Eastern Europe, Australia and New Zealand and the Multi Region (Northern and Southern)

14. Should other regions want to be recognized they should come with a proposal to the CSD community. Focal points designated at CSD will consult with regional and national NGOs and networks to determine their participation at CSD, and the definition of 'regional' for the purposes of accessing the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee may re-determine the regions at each assembly with regard to number, size and representatives etc.

15. The Major Groups identified are those recognized in Agenda 21 and other sectoral groups as needed.

16. Each category shall by an electoral process identify a representative and one alternate, and a process for their replacement, to serve on the Steering Committee.

17. The Steering Committee shall serve for the period from one CSD meeting to the next CSD meeting. There will be a meeting at the beginning of each CSD to confirm the representatives during the first week when a new representative shall be elected.

18. On the last day of the Steering Committee at each CSD, a Northern Co-Chair and a Southern Co-Chair shall be provisionally selected by the constituted committee.

Approved: 26th May 1994, NGO Plenary Meeting CSD2

[NGOs at the CSD] [Information Habitat]

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