Sunday, April 11, 2010

Informal Interactive Hearings of the General Assembly with Civil Society - April 16 deadline


There are a few opportunities for civil society organizations to participate in the upcoming meeting of the General Assembly. We would like one or more of the few civil society representatives to come from the global safe drinking water and sanitation sector.  Please visit this website for more details.

Here is some of what you will find at that page:

Nomination Form for a Speaking Role at the Informal Interactive Hearings of the General Assembly with Non-governmental organizations, Civil society organizations and the Private sector, United Nations HQ, 14-15 June.


In order to provide input to the preparatory process for the 'MDG summit' (High-level Plenary Meeting) on 20-22 September 2010, the UN General Assembly, in resolution 64/184, has asked the President of its 64th session, H.E. Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki, to convene 'Informal Interactive Hearings of the General Assembly with Non-governmental organizations, Civil society organizations and the Private sector'.

The Hearings will take place from 14-15 June 2010 at UN Headquarters in New York.

The GA President has recently formed a Task Force of representatives of civil society and the private sector to advise him on the format and participation at the Hearings. The UN Secretary-General has also established a Trust Fund to support the participation of non-governmental and civil society representatives of developing countries in the Hearings and at the summit itself. All Member States in a position to do so have been asked to contribute generously to the Trust Fund.

Outcome of the Hearings

The aforementioned resolution encourages Member States to actively participate in the hearings at the ambassadorial level in order to facilitate interaction between the Member States and the representatives of non-governmental organizations, civil society and the private sector. Furthermore, the resolution "requests the President of the Assembly to prepare a summary of the hearings, to be issued as an Assembly document prior to the High-level Plenary Meeting." (Paragraph 16) The outcome of the hearings will thus constitute a formal input into the political process leading to the summit itself.

Format of the Hearings

The exact format and substance of the Hearings are yet to be determined, but the resolution states: "The themes for the hearings will be based on the comprehensive report of the Secretary-General." (Annex III, Paragraph 4) This report is now available [link]. It takes stock of the status of implementation of the MDGs; emerging issues and challenges such as climate change and the global financial, economic and food crises; lessons learnt to accelerate progress at national and international levels; and an action-oriented agenda for the summit.

Among the themes identified for roundtable discussions during the summit that might be reflected in the hearing discussion are issues related to poverty, hunger and gender equality; health and education; sustainable development; emerging issues and evolving approaches; the special needs of the most vulnerable; and widening and strengthening partnerships. (Annex II, Paragraph 5)

The resolution also states that the informal interactive hearings "shall consist of a brief opening plenary meeting followed by four sequential sessions of the hearings on the basis of two sessions a day, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Each session will consist of presentations by invited participants from non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, civil society organizations and the private sector and an exchange of views with Member States." (Annex III, Paragraph 1).

The Task Force is currently discussing the themes and format of the hearings in greater detail and will provide more information in the coming weeks. Please visit for updates.

Speaker Nomination Process

The below Nomination Form serves as a way for you to nominate potential speakers at the event by 16 April at the latest. The Task Force will review all applicants and - using selection criteria that include ensuring regional and gender balance - will make a recommendation to the GA President on who should speak at the event. The entire membership of the General Assembly will have an opportunity to review the list as well.

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