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Townhall with Civil Society Organizations


Background & Objectives

In his vision statement “Presidency of Hope: Delivering for People, for the Planet and for Prosperity”, the President of the General Assembly (PGA), in addition to laying out his “Five Rays of Hope”, highlighted that he will work on building trust and cohesion with Member States, the Secretariat, United Nations major groups and international organizations.

The PGA has further asserted that a more effective and responsive United Nations will require engagement with an array of relevant stakeholders, including civil society, businesses, philanthropic organizations, academia, the scientific community, and other partners on the key issues under discussion in the General Assembly.

Building on this strong support for the meaningful involvement of civil society with issues on the agenda of the General Assembly, the PGA will convene a meeting with civil society representatives to discuss his priorities for the 76th session, as well as issues related to the challenges of and recovery from COVID-19 and how these issues are reflected in the work of the General Assembly.


The Town Hall Meeting will be held in person on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., in the General Assembly Hall, United Nations Headquarters in New York. The meeting will be webcast live on UN WebTV. The event will consist of an opening statement by the President of the General Assembly, followed by five short keynote statements from civil society representatives that will address the “Five Rays of Hope” of PGA76. The floor will then be opened for interventions and questions from civil society representatives.


Civil society representatives are invited to attend the meeting in the GA Hall in person.

Due to pandemic-related restrictions at UN Headquarters, all in-person participants are required to register here no later than 9 November. Entry to the GA Hall will be by Special Event tickets distributed at the Visitors’ Entrance (46th Street and First Avenue) immediately prior to the event on 17 November 2021. Attendance will be limited to the first 400 people to register. By registering to attend in-person, all participants attest to being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Keynote statements on the “Five Rays of Hope” may be delivered in person or by pre-recorded video. To register an interest in delivering a keynote statement, please fill in the online form here no later than 9 November. Civil society representatives will be selected taking into account geographical and gender balance, as well as thematic diversity.

To ensure a wider participation from all geographical regions, civil society representatives will also have the opportunity to submit pre-recorded questions. Due to time constraints, remarks will be limited to 2 minutes. Please register your interest in submitting a pre-recorded question here no later than 9 November.


  • Introductory remarks by moderator, Mr. Maher Nasser, Director, Outreach Division, Department of Global Communications both arrive at the General Assembly Hall. Mr. Nasser
  • Opening statement by the President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid
  • Remarks by keynote speakers from Civil Society Organizations:
      • FIRST RAY – RECOVERING FROM COVID-19 – Mr. Mandeep Tiwana (South Africa), CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
      • SECOND RAY – REBUILDING SUSTAINABLY – Ms. Neo Monwela (Botswana), Volunteers Network for Global Change Association & Botswana Green Crescent
      • THIRD RAY – RESPONDING TO THE NEEDS OF THE PLANET- Ms. Kehkashan Maushum Basu (Canada), Green Hope Foundation,
      • FOURTH RAY – RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF ALL –Ms. Mabel Bianco (Argentina), Fundación para Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer (FEIM), Major Groups and Other Stakeholders Coordinating Mechanism
      • FIFTH RAY- REVITALIZAING THE UNITED NATIONS –Mr. Radzhiv Valiev (Russian Federation), Sail of Hope.
  • Discussions and questions
  • Closing statement by the President of the General Assembly


Event Category:


Office of the President of the General Assembly