Press Releases

    Note to Correspondents

    Note No. 5744
    6 August 2002


    NEW YORK, 5 August (UN Headquarters) -- The fifty-fifth Annual Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), entitled "Rebuilding Societies Emerging from Conflict: A Shared Responsibility", will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 9 to 11 September 2002. Organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) in partnership with the NGO/DPI Executive Committee and its Planning Committee, this is the premier NGO event at the United Nations each year.

    In addition to five plenary panels and 30 NGO workshops, the Conference will feature keynote speeches by Vojislav Kostunica, President of Yugoslavia, Mary Robinson, in her last address to the NGO community as High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Lakhdar Brahimi, Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Afghanistan.

    Over 1,700 NGO representatives associated with DPI and the Economic and Social Council from about 90 countries around the world are expected to attend the Conference. They aim to explore the role of the international community in supporting societies emerging from conflict. Focusing on contemporary examples where there has been concerted United Nations involvement, they will examine the common experiences arising from these efforts, their successes and shortcomings, and the best practices that people have developed to live together peacefully.

    Topics to be addressed by the Conference's plenary panels include re-establishing the rule of law and good governance in post-conflict societies; restoring social services; economic recovery; psychosocial reconciliation; and the process of military demobilization.

    The Conference will bring together government, United Nations officials and NGO representatives who have first-hand field experience, and citizens who have lived through the violence or are in the forefront of civil society efforts at recovery and reconciliation. Speakers will include senior United Nations officials from the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations, Disarmament Affairs, and Political Affairs, from the Office of Legal Affairs, the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, and from United Nations agencies and programmes such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Volunteer Programme and the World Bank.

    A detailed Conference programme, as well as the NGO midday workshops schedule, are available on request. Media representatives can also receive relevant materials from the Conference, such as biographies of the speakers, texts of their presentations (when available), and United Nations press coverage. Interviews with speakers can also be arranged. For further information please contact Oleg Dzioubinski on (212) 963-1859, Jared Raynor on (212) 963-7709 or Margaret Melkonian (NGO representative) on (516) 505-8630.

    Media representatives are welcome to attend the Conference and will have access to speakers on request. UNTV will cover both the opening and closing sessions of the Conference. To obtain a live feed or tape, please call UNTV at (212) 963-7650. Updates are available at the United Nations Web site at:

    Media Accreditation: Interested journalists who are not accredited to the United Nations should submit a request as soon as possible to the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit (fax: 212-963-4642), accompanied by a letter of assignment on official letterhead of a media organization and signed by a publisher, assignment editor or bureau chief. The letter should specify the name of the journalist seeking accreditation. The status of the request may be checked by calling (212) 963-5934 or 963-7164. Once approved, a UN grounds pass can be obtained by presenting two forms of photo identification at the Pass and ID Office, located at the corner of 45th Street and First Avenue, New York. Pass office hours are: Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed between the hours of 12:45 p.m. and 2 p.m.), and Fridays 9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. For further information regarding United Nations accreditation only, please call (212) 963-6934, 6936 or 6937.

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