“NGOs Navigating the United Nations”
What was the main topic of this Briefing?
This season’s Communications Workshop focused on teaching our NGO Community how to more effectively navigate the vast United Nations system and how to use social media to assist in more effectively disseminating public information messages to their diverse target audiences. The morning discussion featured a diverse 3-member panel, each of whom shared their personal and professional experiences working within the United Nations system. It was followed by an interactive afternoon Workshop which focused on building inter-generational dialogue through the use of social media while at the same time expanding the connections and contacts between NGOs. Attendees were taught how to strategically develop an online and social media presence that could be specially tailored to the goals, needs and character of their organizations.
Key points raised by our panel and workshop included:
• The importance for NGOs of knowing and understanding how the United Nations system is structured and where to find information that could be useful to them through use of its many resources including the Dag Hammarskold Library, its main website, un.org, the DPI Resource Center, the weekly DPI/NGO Briefings.
• It is critical for NGOs to have a clear sense of what they wish to learn about before attempting to successfully explore the UN system..
• NGOs should develop strategic coalitions and partnerships with other NGOs and civil society organizations in the UN system in order to galvanize global and regional support for critical advocacy projects and programmes.
• Social media is a powerful tool that can be used to rally an audience around an NGO’s cause or a specific project. Understanding the needs of the audience being served, and knowing which social networking format would be most effective within a given community can go a long way to developing a successful and responsive online presence.
Who were the panellists?
• Lorraine Waitman, Chief of the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library.
• Emeka Xris Obiezu, Permanent Representative of Augustinians International to the United Nations and co-founder of the Canadian Augustinian Center of Social Justice.
• Ed Ryan representative of AARP’s Office of International Affairs at the United Nations in New York and an active member of the NGO Committee on Ageing.
• Joseph Ward III, a communications and social media strategist; director of Believe Out Loud, a trans-denominational movement and social marketing campaign that promotes Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) inclusion in the Christian church.
• C. Eduardo Vargas, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy and the Representative to the United Nations for Intersections International- an interfaith social justice NGO.
This Briefing was attended by 94 NGO representatives. A question and answer period followed the panel discussion. Please find below the statements and the PowerPoint presentation of our panellists.