The importance of working with and through Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) as an integral part of the United Nations information activities has been recognized since 1946. Today, more than 1,400 NGOs/CSOs with strong information programmes on issues of concern to the United Nations are associated with the Department of Global Communications (DGC) giving the United Nations valuable links to people around the world.
For more information, contact the NGO/CSO Liaison Service of UNIS Vienna or visit the DGC NGO/CSO Relations website.
Many NGOs/CSOs active in the field of economic and social development have consultative status with the Economic and Social Council. CONGO, the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council, serves as a representative voice of NGOs/CSOs in consultative status with ECOSOC. The Conference of NGOs assists a wide variety of NGOs/CSOs in consultative status to promote their common aim of supporting the UN Charter. It works on behalf of NGOs/CSOs in consultative status to develop that status further and enhance their relationship and cooperation with the UN and its various organs and provides a forum for NGOs/CSOs with common interests to come together to study, plan, support and act on issues relating to the principles and programmes of the UN and its network of agencies. Currently, approximately 3,500 NGOs have consultative status with the ECOSOC.
For more information, visit the CoNGO website.
CoNGO's NGO Committees bring together NGOs/CSOs, members of the CoNGO secretariat and government delegations to discuss pertinent themes and issues before the UN and the international community. CoNGO members and the larger NGO/CSO community work together through these committees to share information, to cooperate on substantive issues and to bring NGO/CSO expertise into the discussions of governments in UN fora. CoNGO's NGO Committees operate in Geneva, New York and Vienna.
The NGO/CSO Liaison Service of UNIS Vienna maintains a distribution list of approximately 500 NGO representatives, research institutes, political think tanks and initiatives of civil society. Information on issues relevant to the respective NGOs/CSOs is distributed to them on a regular basis and NGO/CSO representatives are invited to briefings and events.
The NGO/CSO Liaison Service of UNIS also cooperates with NGOs/CSOs in the organization of special United Nations observances, campaigns, and events on UN issues, such as peace, the environment, human rights and the implementation of the sustainable development goals and the 2030 Development Agenda.