The United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) is an inter-agency programme of the United Nations mandated to promote and develop constructive relations between the United Nations and civil society organizations.


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NGLS Publications

UN-Civil Society Engagement


New NGLS publication: “Reclaiming Multilateralism: For People, Rights and Sustainable Development”

The publication seeks to engage all stakeholders – whether government, multilateral, regional, and sub-national institutions, civil society and social movements – in an open debate on a “new multilateralism.” The study aims to identify principles and practices to be respected for establishing meaningful partnerships between the UN and non-State actors in the context of the discussion on development cooperation, the Millennium Development Goals and sustainable development more broadly. This will include exploring how the UN system can better foster the development of innovative multi-stakeholder global governance partnerships to support more coherent, effective, inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development strategies while taking into account the emergence of these new actors.

NGLS publication on the UN engagement with people’s movements

Civil society interaction with the United Nations system has increased significantly over the past 15 years. So far, the majority of these relations have been with non-governmental organizations of various kinds, including humanitarian and development NGOs, advocacy groups and faith-based organizations.

As Strengthening Dialogue: UN Experience with Small Farmer Organizations and Indigenous Peoples demonstrates, there is room to explore better interaction with some other sectors of civil society, especially small-scale farmers, rural women, indigenous peoples, slum dwellers and other constituencies who still have limited access to global decision-making forums. The UN needs the direct input of these people’s movements in order to ensure that the policies it adopts and the programmes it implements incorporate the insights and proposals of those they are intended to support. Engaging them is particularly relevant in a moment in which global challenges have emerged with force – climate change, energy, water, food – which cannot be addressed by Member State governments alone.

The United Nations Human Rights System: How to Make it Work for you (2008)

This handbook produced in collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) gives an introduction to the United Nations system’s work to promote and protect fundamental human rights and how civil society organizations and invididuals can get involved in this work.

International Development Cooperation Today: Emerging Trends and Debates (2008)

This publication gives a wide variety of development actors, in particular civil society actors, a better understanding of up-and-coming trends and debates in development cooperation. It also provides them with entry points to facilitate their engagement and advocacy work on international development cooperation within the UN system.

Bridging the Gap: Financing Gender Equality (2008)

This booklet, jointly produced by NGLS and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), gives a wide variety of actors, in particular government and civil society advocates for gender equality, a better understanding on the links between gender equality, public policy formation and development financing.

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