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Peter Willetts, Emeritus Professor of Global Politics


Primary Sources for The Voice of Which People?

The following collection of documents and commentaries is intended to be a useful archive of some important primary materials. The main consideration has been to bring together the principal references given in Peter Willetts, “The Voice of Which People? Transnational Advocacy Networks and Governance Networks at the United Nations”, (London: City University Working Paper on Transnational Politics, January 2013). The author apologises that there is no systematic basis for what is included or omitted, other than to include everything that is not available elsewhere. All of the documents are copies from other websites, but in some cases the relevant website no longer exists. The text of the documents has not been amended, but usually some copy-editing of the lay-out has been done.

In any use of these materials, please acknowledge the source as being       www.staff.city.ac.uk/p.willetts/NGOS/VOICE.HTM

Participation Rights for NGOs at the UN and at Global Conferences

Article 71 of the UN Charter authorises the Economic and Social Council to grant consultative status to NGOs. During the 1970s, these arrangements were extended to global diplomatic conferences convened by the UN, for NGOs already accredited to ECOSOC. During the 1980s it became accepted that other NGOs could also apply for temporary accreditation for conferences. However, the participation rights for NGOs may be slightly different at each conference, depending upon the precise wording of the Rules of Procedure it adopts. Formal accreditation to a UN conference is required to enter the official conference centre, but NGO forums are open to anybody who wishes to attend. This is the basis on which NGOs were involved in events recounted in the “Voice” paper.

For the current and previous versions of the NGO Statute   click here.

For separate listing of NGOs accredited to ECOSOC, in each year since 1999   click here.

For discussion of “Consulative Status for NGOs at the United Nations“   click here.

For a wider study of “Non-Governmental Organizations in World Politics“   click here.

The Commission on Sustainable Development NGO Steering Committee

This NGO committee was created in May 1994 at the second session of the Commission on Sustainable Development. It ceased to operate after May 2001.

“CSD NGO Steering Committee - Terms of Reference”, 26 May 1994, from www.infohabitat.org/csdngo/tr-steer.html. This web page is no longer available from its original source.   click here.

“CSD NGO Steering Committee - Guidelines”, December 1999, from www.csdngo.org/csdngo/steer/ guidelines_12_99.htm as of 5 December 2000. This web page is no longer available from its original source.   click here.

Selected Documents and Reports on NGOs and the World Conference Against Racism

The World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (WCAR) took place in Durban from 31 August to 8 September 2001. A parallel NGO Forum took place from 28 August to 1 September 2001, amid great controversy. Many NGOs dissociated themselves from the NGO Declaration produced by the Forum.

The official “Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (updated 31 January 2002)”, originally from www.un.org/WCAR/coverage.htm   click here.

“A Primer on The UN World Conference Against Racism , NGO Parallel Conference”, produced by ISIS International-Manila in August 2001, as a guide for NGOs, available from the Hurights Osaka website, www.hurights.or.jp/wcar/E/doc/other/WCARPrimer.htm   click here.

WCAR NGO Forum Declaration and the Programme of Action, 3 September 2001   click here.

“NGO declaration divides delegates, 3 September 2001”, downloaded on 30 August 2002, from, News 24, a South African on-line news service. The web page, www.news24.com/News24/RacismConfrence/0,1113,2-1173_1074875,00.html, is no longer available for its original source. The download has been converted to a Word document.   click here.

“Joint Statement by Eastern and Central Europe NGO Caucus and other NGOs” as of 3 September 2001 endorsed by 51 NGOs from 20 countries, still available from European Roma Rights Center, www.errc.org/popup-article-view.php?article_id=242   click here.

Report from www.icare.to/wcar/ischchr6.html on a meeting between a group of NGOs and Mary Robinson, (UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Secretary-General of WCAR) on the 6 September 2001, containing explanations of her objections to the NGO Declaration.   click here.

Harris O. Schoenberg, “Demonization in Durban: The World Conference Against Racism”, American Jewish Yearbook, Vol. 102, 2002, pp. 85-111, available from www.ajcarchives.org/main.php?GroupingId=10138 (the complete Yearbook) or www.paulbogdanor.com/israel/durban.pdf (solely this chapter). This paper is important in detailing the tensions among NGOs and the intolerant behaviour of some participants.   click here.

Gay McDougall, “The World Conference Against Racism: Through a Wider Lens”, Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, Vol. 26, Issue 2, 2002, pp. 135-51, from ui04e.moit.tufts.edu/forum/ archives/pdfs/26-2pdfs/mcdougall.pdf   click here.

David Matas, “Civil Society Smashes Up. A Report on the NGO Forum against Racism, August 28 to September 1, 2001 and the World Conference Against Racism, August 31st to September 8th, 2001, Durban, South Africa”, September 2001, from www.hri.ca/racism/analyses/matas.htm   click here.

Selected Documents on NGOs and the World Summit on Sustainable Development

The World Summit on Sustainable Development took place in Johannesburg from 26 August to 4 September 2002. A Global Peoples Forum was held from 24 August to 3 September 2002, at the Nasrec Exhibition Centre. While this was comparable to a standard NGO forum at other UN conferences, it did not receive such comprehensive support, partly because of ideological disputes and partly because of competition from other events.

Report of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (UN document A/CONF.199/20), which contains the official record of the proceedings and the text of both the “ Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development” and the “Plan of Implementation”.   click here.

“A Call to Action and Struggle!”, from the South African Civil Society Secretariat website www.worldsummit.org.za/calltoaction.html, as of 7 June 2002, is no longer available from its original source. This page was first issued in 2001, when the CSS was still operating under the name of the Civil Society Indaba.   click here.

“Algiers Declaration” adopted at the Southern NGO Summit, organised by the Commission on Sustainable Development Southern NGO Caucus in Algiers, on 17 March 2002, available from www.southngocaucus.com/media/Html/ALGIERS_DECLARATION.htm.   click here.

The “Declaration for Bali”, issued by the Civil Society Forum, Braamfontein, 17-19 May 2002, from the South African Civil Society Secretariat website, www.worldsummit.org.za/balidecl.html, as of 8 August 2002. . This web page is no longer available from its original source.   click here.

A Sustainable World is Possible. Outcomes of the Global Peoples Forum at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, (Johannesburg: Civil Society Secretariat, undated, 140pp), contains a variety of NGO documents, including the “Global People's Forum, Civil Society Declaration” the “Programme of Action” statements from the Women's Caucus, African Civil Society Organisations, indigenous peoples and youth and trades unions, and the membership list for the International Steering Committee. This file came from the Commission on Sustainable Development Southern NGO Caucus website, www.southngocaucus.com/Media/EDocs/Sustainable_World_is_Possible.pdf   click here.

The “Global People's Forum, Civil Society Declaration” from the South African Civil Society Secretariat website www.worldsummit.org.za/policies/cs_decl.html, as of 5 October 2002. This source includes neither the GPF Programme of Action nor the other documents given in the previous long PDF file. The original source is no longer available.   click here.

“The Southern Caucus WSSD Evaluation”, by Esmeralda Brown, Southern Co-Chair, CSD NGO Steering Committee for the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, 22 October 2002. The original source is www.southngocaucus.com/goto/WSSD, which diverts to www.southngocaucus.com/default.asp.   click here.

Making Participation Work: Lessons from Civil Society Engagement in the World Summit for Social Development, World Resources Institute, 24 October 2003, (58 pp), available from http://pdf.wri.org/wssd_final_paper_wri.pdf   click here.





Copyright: Peter Willetts, 2013.

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Page maintained by Peter Willetts   [P dot Willetts at city dot ac dot uk]
Emeritus Professor of Global Politics, City University, London.

Created 24 January 2013