Global Town Hall
Civil Society at UN75
Developing a Plan of Action for the Future
In observance of Human Rights Day
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
In recognition of UN75, this global town hall served to energize civil society to engage with, and recommit to, the United Nations in light of the adoption of the Declaration on the commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the UN and to ensure the success of the Decade of Action for the SDGs while addressing the impacts of the global pandemic.
To energize civil society to engage with, and recommit to, the United Nations in light of the adoption of the Declaration on the commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the UN and to ensure the success of the Decade of Action for the SDGs while addressing the impacts of the global pandemic.
The goals for this open gathering are (1) to acknowledge and build on the potential for Civil Society’s engagement with the UN and its Member States in light of UN75 and the current circumstances, (2) to galvanize multistakeholder engagement towards systematic action to follow through on the commitments made in the UN75 Political Declaration. This is vital as the call for a Secretary-General-led follow-on process and companion report, as articulated in the Political Declaration, will begin in earnest soon. We must engage. And we must do so in a way that demonstrates the kind of collective endeavour we as civil society ask of our governments.
Under the theme, “The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism – confronting COVID-19 through effective multilateral action”, the UN General Assembly marked the 75th anniversary of the UN through a High-level meeting on 21 September. The numerous crises we face, including COVID-19, demonstrate in the most powerful way that we are closely interconnected
and only as strong as our weakest link. Only by working together and in solidarity can we end the pandemic, reduce inequality, confront climate change, and effectively tackle their consequences. As reflected in the General Assembly omnibus resolution on COVID-19 passed on 11 September, this is not a task for Member States alone, but it requires all of us working together, finding our strengths, and contributing our share. It means recognizing the role of local, national and regional bodies in this endeavor. As such, an emphasis will be placed on hearing voices from diverse constituencies.
While online meetings provide greater access to many around the world, they can limit the depth of engagement.
Using the ‘fishbowl’ strategy for dynamic interaction, we aim to engage as many participants as possible in the dialogue.
Key Reference Documents
- UN75 Political Declaration (A/RES/75/1)
- UN75 People’s Declaration & Plan for Action
- Omnibus Resolution on COVID-19 (A/74/L.92)
- UN Guidance Note on Protection and Promotion of Civic Space
10:00 – 10:05 Welcome & Introduction to the Agenda
Master of Ceremonies: Ms. Jocelyn Jayasooria, Youth Leader with the UN2020 Initiative
10:05 – 10:20 Opening Reflections
Ambassador Jan Eliasson, Chair of the Governing Board, Stockholm International Peace
- Followed by a conversation with Ms. Jocelyn Jayasooria
10:20 – 11:20 Setting the Stage: The current context and the role of civil society
- Moderator: Ms. Chantal Line Carpentier, Chief, UNCTAD New York Office
- H.E. Ms. H. Elizabeth Thompson, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Barbados to the UN
- Mr. Na Sang-deok, Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the UN
- Mr. Craig Mokhiber, Director of the New York Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
- Ms. Rachel Pittman Executive Director, UNA-USA
- Ms. Tetet Nera-Lauron, Climate Activist from the Philippines, Advisor, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung
- Rotating Civil Society Respondents
11:20 – 11:30 Musical interlude
- Ms. Luna Abu-Yunis, 14 year-old, Arab Israeli Violinist & Climate Activist with Fridays for Future & Strike for Future from Israel
- Mr. Songa Bahati Manassé, 21 year-old, Spoken Word Artist, Poet-Activist, Social Entrepreneur from the Democratic Republic of.Congo and Uganda
11:30 – 12:30 The Path Ahead: The potential and opportunities for civil society engagement
- Moderator: Ms. Minh-Thu Pham, Co-Founder of New American Voices & former Executive Director of Global Policy at the United Nations Foundation
- H.E. Ms. Anna Karin Eneström, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN
- H.E. Mrs. Adela Raz, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the UN
- H.E. Mr. Ivan Šimonović, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Croatia to the UN
- Mr. Maher Nasser, Director of the Outreach Division, of the United Nations Department of Global Communications
- Ms. Wardarina, Co-Chair Asia-Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism
- Dr. Mabel Bianco, Founder of Foundation for Studies and Research on Women (FEIM) from Argentina
- Rotating Civil Society Respondents
12:30 – 12:55 Developing an Action Plan: Advancing Stakeholder Engagement (building on key documents: UN75 Political Declaration, UN75 People’s Declaration, UN Omnibus Resolution, UN Guidance Note on Protection and Promotion of Civic Space)
- Facilitator: Mr. Daniel Perell, UN Representative, Baha’i International Community
12:55 – 1:00 Thank you, brief summary, and farewell
MC: Ms. Jocelyn Jayasooria, Youth Leader with the UN2020 Initiative
Global Town Hall UN2020 Coordinating Team:
NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, Soroptimist International, Baha’i International Community, UN2020, Together First & World Federalist Movement-Canada