General Assembly, UN Foundation to hold forum on NGO access to UN

20 November 2006 –

Representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from across the world will gather at a forum in New York tomorrow being organized by the President of the General Assembly on their access to the United Nations.

“Non-governmental organizations have become significant players in global development assistance,” said a spokeswoman for Assembly President Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa, who is organizing the event along with the UN Foundation.

“By the late 1990’s, they were annually contributing $11-12 billion from their own resources for development,” noted spokeswoman Gail Bindley-Taylor Sainte.

She told reporters at UN Headquarters that tomorrow’s gathering “will address the views and concerns of Member States and NGOs on various issues relating to NGO access to the United Nations, in particular the General Assembly.”

“For any issue you can think of under the umbrella of the UN, you do find NGOs, and we are trying to increase representation of NGOs from the developing world,” said Shamina de Gonzaga, Special Advisor on NGO Relations in the Office of the General Assembly President.

She pointed out that these groups “are on the front line with the United Nations in a variety of areas.”

Currently, over 4,500 NGOs are accredited to the UN.

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