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Have your voice heard at the UN: achieving the SDGs together

Are you part of a non-governmental, non-profit public or voluntary organization, in existence for at least two years, with an established headquarters, appropriate mechanisms of accountability as well as democratic and transparent decision-making processes?

If so, your organization can apply for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) by 1 June 2016, giving your organization an opportunity to take part in UN deliberations. ECOSOC consultative status, governed by resolution 1996/31, allows non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to participate in a number of events, attend official meetings, make verbal statements, as well as meet official government delegations and other NGO representatives. It is critical for them to have their voices heard at the United Nations.

Consultative status is granted by ECOSOC upon recommendation of the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs, which is composed by Member States. Currently, 4,189 NGOs enjoy this status and can access to not only ECOSOC, but also to its many subsidiary bodies, to the various human rights mechanisms of the United Nations, ad-hoc processes on small arms, as well as special events organized by the President of the General Assembly.

While the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is the principal organ that coordinates the economic, social and related work of the 14 United Nations specialized agencies, eight functional commissions and five regional commissions, it has also been the main entry point into the UN system for NGOs.  Social networking at ECOSOC events allows organizations to expand their contacts and knowledge base to explore possible partnerships and joint ventures with various stakeholders and build political support for their priorities.

The NGO Branch of the Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, in UN DESA, promotes the inclusion and contribution of the almost 4,200 NGOs in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, as well as the many other organizations active in the development field.

Civil society and non-governmental organizations play a vital role in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Thus, it is critical for the United Nations to strengthen cooperation with NGOs, in order to implement the 2030 Agenda.

The upcoming deadline for new applications is 1 June 2016. Apply here!

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