UN’s Approach to Protecting and Promoting Civic Space

13 Jan - 24 Jan 2020
Go back to UN’s Approach to Protecting and Promoting Civic Space

Welcome to the Online Consultation

Monday 13 January at 9:00 GMT to Friday 24 January at 18:00 GMT
 

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From 13 Jan - 24 Jan 2020, please contribute to the development of the UN coherent and systematic approach to protecting and promoting civic space. The feedback and recommendations received during the consultations will feed into the development of the UN’s overall approach and strategy on the protection and promotion of civic space.

The target audience for this consultation are civil society actors at international, regional, national and local levels working on issues related to development, peace and security, human rights and humanitarian action.

Participants are not required to be part of discussion during the entire consultation. They may wish to contribute their inputs on any consultation questions at any day and time (during 13-24 January 2020).


Important information:


Receive a notification from this consultation:

  1. Select "Sign up" from the top right of the page and create an account (or "Log in" if you already have an account)
  2. Return to this page (http://globaldevhub.org/civicspace) and select the yellow "Join" button that will appear in the banner image

 

Please Respond Below to the Following Questions
 

Q1. Partnership/participation:

  1. What are entry points for you to engage with the UN? What are the challenges you face in engaging with the UN (e.g. unclear about entry points/contacts, opaque and complex procedures, etc.)? Have you ever contested decisions that restricted your participation in the UN?
  2. How do you receive information about UN processes? Have you experienced any difficulties in accessing information about the UN’s policies and processes? What measures do you suggest to improve access to information and quality of information?
  3. With a view to “leaving no one behind”, what can the UN do to reach out to diverse civil society actors or groups (e.g. women, youth, persons with disabilities, ethnic and religious minorities, indigenous peoples, LGBT individuals) in your country/region/area of work? Can you provide good examples of the UN reaching out to specific groups?
  4. Do you have any comments about civil society participation in intergovernmental forums (e.g. Security Council, ECOSOC, Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, various commissions etc.)? Do specific groups (e.g. women, youth, migrants, minorities, indigenous peoples, LGBT groups etc.) face greater obstacles than others in accessing UN inter-governmental fora? How could the UN support efforts towards more diversity?

Q2. Protection of civil society actors:

  1. What role do you expect the UN to play in situations when civil society actors are at risk (e.g. of intimidation, threats and attacks off-line and on-line)? Can you provide examples of the UN taking such measures?
  2. How could the UN strengthen its protection role, including in cases of intimidation and/or reprisals against people who cooperate or seek to cooperate with the UN?

Q3. Promotion of and advocacy for civic space:

  1. What role should the UN and its senior leadership play vis-a-vis State authorities in terms of ensuring safe civil society participation in national policy discussions and decision-making processes? How can the UN support diverse participation in these processes (e.g. of women, youth, persons with disabilities, ethnic and religious minorities, indigenous peoples, LGBT individuals)?
  2. What role should the UN play to ensure people have a say in their country (e.g. regarding national laws and policies on protests, access to information, freedoms of expression and association)?
  3. How could the UN strengthen its political support to civil society (e.g. through more positive narratives on civil society, meetings during high-level visits, regular consultations etc.)?

 

Comments (247)

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

 

WEEK 1 SUMMARY

 

Dear participants, thank you very much for participating in and contributing to the first week of discussions on the role of the UN in protecting and promoting civic space.  Many of your responses to the questions posed were constructive and forward looking, based on your views and hands-on experiences with regard to challenging human rights issues in your countries.  Therefore, we would like to provide a summary of your contributions, which hopefully will inform the discussions during the second week.

What should the UN do to protect and promote civic space and partner with civil society actors:

  • UN’s decision-making and consultation structures need to better account domestic political realities and be grounded on views of citizens and people
  • improve the UN’s advocacy at all levels on the States’ compliance with and implementation of international legally-binding normative standards, including human rights treaties, and the need for more political pressure by the international community on States to protect and open up civic spaces
  • improve access to information, especially by civil society actors at the grass-roots and community levels, who otherwise may not have access to and knowledge about the UN and its work
  • reach out to, communicate with and involve local and community civil society actors in its work, lend political, technical, financial and other support, and avoid selectivity and promote diversity in its engagement with civil society
  • significantly increase public awareness, basic knowledge and capacities on fundamental human rights and public freedoms, including through the use of digital technologies to facilitate information sharing and improve engagement between the UN and civil society actors, and freely accessible online courses and resources
  • better protect those under risk, including human rights activists and defenders, journalists, discriminated population groups working on human rights issues, and those working in humanitarian and conflict settings
  • improve civil society engagement in inter-governmental processes (e.g. including those that do not have ECOSOC consultative status), UN’s responsiveness to civil society concerns in relation to these processes, and address challenges and barriers related to civil society engagement (e.g. unclear or cumbersome accreditation and registration processes, physical and procedural inaccessibility, travel requirements and costs, visas and other issues), including the engagement with the UN High Level Political Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals

Some ideas and suggestions for the UN:

  • UN senior leadership should lead by example on civil society issues in their engagement and advocacy with Member States, and move from rhetoric (Political Declarations) to action, and demonstrate clear commitments for effective partnership with civil society and to promote civic space
  • put in place a civil society fund to support civic activity at country and regional levels
  • put in place “information feedback loop” between the UN and civil society, where civil society is also be able to say how the UN is performing, thus providing relevant feedback back to the UN
  • develop online interactive forums and venues to reach out to diverse group of civil society actors, as well as online and freely accessible course on human rights and fundamental freedoms
  • explore possibilities for establishing “contracts” and “agreements” between the UN, government authorities and civil society, which seek to ensure safe engagement of civil society and improve protection
  • need to advocate for human rights education in schools, including on women's rights, to raise awareness among the public
  • create safe spaces to listen to and foster dialogue with civil society to inform decision making at the country, regional and global levels, and particularly with those who are disproportionately effected by decisions, including youth activists, indigenous groups, LGBTI individuals and women’s rights defenders

Some questions that could be discussed further:

  • civil society actors also play an active role in the protection and promotion of civic space, thus how the UN can better support civil society and what joint strategies could be put in place?
  • how the UN can strengthen its partnership with others (e.g. parliament, national human rights institutions, academia, businesses, entertainment and other sectors) in protecting and promoting civic space?
  • what is the role of the UN on protection vis-à-vis other actors that work on protection issues, including other international actors, NGO-led protection networks etc.?
  • how can the UN more effectively ensure it is engaging with a diverse set of actors in order to ensure it leaves no one behind?

Thank you and we look forward to your further contributions.

 

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

 

DAY 1

 

Dear participants, a very warm welcome to you all and thank you for engaging with this important forum! I am Baatar Bayarmagnai and I work on civic space issues at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. And I am very pleased to be one of the moderators.

As many of you know, or have experienced, the civic space is shrinking and is under threat across the world. The civic space allows us, without fear, to express freely, assemble and associate with others, participate and have a say in decisions that affect our lives, and thus is a fundamental precondition for a dignified life. This space also guarantees the achievement of development objectives, maintaining peace and security, delivering humanitarian assistance, and ensuring the realization of human rights. The United Nations, its entities and processes, has a long tradition of partnering and working together with diversity of civil society actors in variety of ways. However, faced with shrinking civic space and threats against civil society, the UN must step up its approach and do better to protect and promote civic space, together with you as agents of real change.

We need to hear your voices, your views and opinions, lessons learned and experiences, as well as your practical recommendations on how the UN can improve and do better. For this purpose, you will find some key guiding questions for discussions at the top of this page. These questions could be also summarized as: 

  • How can the UN partner better and effectively with diverse civil society actors, and improve the channels of participation and access to information?
  • What role should the UN play in protecting better civil society actors under threat, including from reprisals for cooperating with the UN and from offline and online attacks?
  • What role should the UN play to promote civic space and support civil society better, including effective civil society participation in national decision-making processes?

We encourage you to refrain from posting anything too lengthy or duplicate messages, and be succinct and concrete in your postings.

Thank you again and we look forward to your constructive contributions!

 

 

Liu Si • Online Educator at Freedom Human Rights Research Group from United States

As for the roles of UN in promoting civic space and supporting civil society better, my experience tells me that average people don’t have even the most basic knowledge of human rights, which affects their own pursuits of rights and justice.  People don’t even know the division between public and private spaces, which leads to all the wrong perceptions on human rights and freedoms.  I also have a hard time looking for suitable materials to do my online education. 

Therefore, I want to say simply publish the laws and news are not enough to make sure people understand these things.  I would like very much that UN set up a channel to establish open courses online on human right laws and other related topics, so that instead of my telling the audience that it’s from some professor of some university that I can’t tell you, I can simply tell my audience that it’s all from UN website.  As far as I know, UN has high credit among the people, but UN is so extremely high that it’s too far from everyday life.

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

Liu Si, thank you for your valuable comment. You are raising an important issue of access to information.  If possible, could you elaborate a bit more on what the UN can do to improve access to information?  Is it about availability of basic information in local languages, simplicity of the content to be understood by people, or any other measures that the UN can adopt?  Many thanks again for your contribution

Liu Si • Online Educator at Freedom Human Rights Research Group from United States

[~57448] I would like to identify it as an issue of access to basic conception.  Here are a few examples that can be observed in China: 

People typically understand freedom as willfulness or “do whatever one wishes”.  As a result, if you want to talk about liberalism, they would rebuke by saying it’s wrong to allow anyone do whatever they wish.  Also, people can’t tell the difference of the term liberal in respects of economy and politics.  Therefore, people usually think China is a free country already.  That’s why popular objectionS against the liberals in the West is seen among the dissidents too.

People interchangeably use the terms “power“ and “rights”, including the scholars, because the typical understanding is that equality means equal standard everywhere, even between the government and individuals. Yet, where restrictions are posed on the government is the individual’s freedom, therefore, the standards for the government (public) and individual (private) must be different.  Thus government is also Allowed to enjoy freedom, and gets no restrictions either from the constitution or from the people.

Also people commonly believe that human rights are the same as morality.  Therefore, where morality requires that the society punish individuals for their immoral conducts and consequently deprive them of all their rights, people, including human rights defenders, would agree without realizing human rights are there equally for every individual, not just the “good” guys. Mistreating criminals is thus widely accepted, by which the government can conveniently  label the innocent as criminals and violate CAT, but only the mistreatment on “good guys” are questioned.

There are countless such misperceptions in the society.  I would like to suggest that UN establish an open online education platform and provide courses that will clearly teach people these fundamental concepts.  And I hope the entire program will be downloadable freely so that it will be easy to copy and spread.  It doesn’t have to be translated to various other languages, because otherwise it’s time-consuming.  I believe there may be many volunteer translators, openly or anonymously.  The reason why I raise this issue is that even the relavant courses in the free countries do not cover such topics, probably because they are considered as “common sense”.  But they are not common sense at all in many other nations and communities, such as Chinese.

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Liu Si, many thanks for clarifying different understandings and misperceptions.  Your point of the need for free online educational courses and materials to dispel these is well noted.

moka • Président du conseil d'administration at FONDATION KALIPA POUR LE DEVELOPPEMENT from Congo - Kinshasa

Merci beaucoup le moderateur pour votre mot d'introduction avec un aperçu du contexte de forum en ligne, c'est très clair et enrechissant. L'approche holistique de l'espace civique est très capitale et nécessite comme vous venez de le dire et une affaire de tous; Moi même, je me dis si nous nous organisions dans nos missions d'accès à l'information comme les églises s'organisent avec un jour dominical par semaine, tout le monde changerait le comportement d'où l'espace civique n'est pas du tout une fatalité mais c'est question d'organisation, de communication et de partenariat durable et permanent.

Merci vraiment et au fur et à mesure , nous allons développer le débat 

 

moka • Président du conseil d'administration at FONDATION KALIPA POUR LE DEVELOPPEMENT from Congo - Kinshasa

[~57448] , je comprends de "l'accès de l'information" comme un circuit de message ou de l'information qui part de l'emeteur vers le recepteur avec, en principe un feedback jusqu'à l'entourage même de l'émeteur mais nous avons une observation malheureuse pendant les séances  organisées dans nos différents clusters d'où les acteurs de la societé civile livrent ces informations à l'auditoire mais par contre , les informations une fois être dispersées à travers le monde entier, l'emeteur ne sache pas d'habitude le fruit que message a apporter dans l'humanité. Allors C'est très important et stratégique d'encourager en terme de livraison des  medailles ou avec les différents prix en nature ou espèce afin d'implique tout le monde au métier de recherche d'information

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@mocha, thank you for your comment regarding the need for "information loop" or feedback. If we understood you correctly, it is not only important to have an access to information by civil society, but also some feedback from the UN how civil society information was used and with what impact.  We believe that information loop or feedback could also work the other way around, where civil society are also able to say how the UN is performing, thus providing relevant feedback back to the UN.  Would be interesting to hear more from you what would be the channels or mechanisms that could be established to promote such information flow.

moka • Président du conseil d'administration at FONDATION KALIPA POUR LE DEVELOPPEMENT from Congo - Kinshasa

[~57448] 

Oui, Baatar, les canaux d'information qui seraient important d'innover sont celles entre autres avoir des experts engagés par les ONU qui auront uniquement la tâche de faciliter la transmission de l'information entre la communauté et les acteurs de la societé civile et avec les agences de nations unies car le défi est que chaque acteur de societé civile s'organise pour avoir propre information à présenter,

je voudrai aussi que cet organe ou cette structure  s'occupe de promotion culturelle à travers la barza culturelle avec la promotion des denses et jeux culturels et en encourageant les festivales culturels afin de reconsilier le dialogue communautaire, faire passer le message de Nations Unies et beaucoup d'avantage que la structure sera à tout temps en communication avec les acteurs de la société civile. La création des émissions des jeunes, femmes et autres couches seront les stratégies que cette structure pourait organisée à tout temps

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@mocha, thank you!

Ivona Truscan • Associate Human Rights Officer (UNHCR) at UNHCR from Switzerland Moderator

Dear participants,

Welcome to the global consultation on UN's Approach to Promoting and Protecting Civic Space. 

My name is Ivona Truscan. I am Associate Human Rights Officer at UNHCR. I will be moderating during the second week of the consultation (20-24 January 2020).

I look forward to hearing about your experience engaging with UN processes and to having constructive exchanges with you all. 

Samir Kumar Das • Chairman at IMAECSED (International Movement for Advancemet of Education Cul\ture Social & Economic Development) from India

Dear Ivona Truscan from UNHCR

I am very happy to hear from you. Since 1995 we are fighting for the promotion and protection of Human Rights. We regularly monitoring and taking action through Net to different stakeholders. We have organized many Seminars, Fought in the National commission of Human Rights for some Human Rights violation cases earlier. Launched  earlier Human Rights Training center. But due to non available of projects we could not focus our expertise. I am a legal practioner for last 38 years having wide knowledge  and experience to fought for Human Rights. I can assure you our expertise along with  our dynamic team of legal practitioner and youth can achive a good result to become an active agent and pursue its  work in any country or situation to protect and promote Human Rights. We are also capable to launch different Human Rights Projects if we can avail any support. I can assure you our best performance  

Ledoux • from Cameroon

Dear Ivona Truscan,

 

I am Wamba André Le Doux, the president of the association AFVMC (http://afvmc.free.fr) , a Civil Society Organization (CSO) based in Cameroon.

My propositions to the global consultation on UN's Approach to Promoting and Protecting Civic Space are the followings:

 

1) UN to revamp CSO's actors , stakeholders and partners in the Social Mobilization (meaning working with the grassroot populations / communities) including Indigenous Peoples through a bottom-to-up's approach;

 

1) UN should give a new orientation (by including CSOs in the running process of the UN Volunteers' board through bottom-to-up's approaches) in its online or outline recruitments of its volunteers - who are always been the main key actors working on the field in any organization.

 

Kind regards

 

Wamba André Le Doux,

Social and cultural worker in the sustainable development

Douala (Cameroon)

 

Pepsie Adiukwu • Founder/Director at Oge Pep Empowerment Initiative from Nigeria

Many thanks for providing this platform. 

Effective patnership depends a whole lot on interests. Once a genuine interest is established, the other necessary factors would be commitment, competence and integrity in carrying out the tasks.

The UN can diversify on areas of inclusivity - try the paths less travelled, new methods of engagement.

Regular town hall meetings with communities/schools/religious institutions at the grassroots level is one channel that could be effective.

Collaborations on community/communal projects at the grassroots level.

Consistent/constant monitoring of projects.

Awareness can be created through the mass media (traditional/social) and various social institutions.

The UN representatives in Countries/States/Communities should have an "open door" policy to enable a robust exchange of information.

There could be a review of some of the terms of engagement that are not very friendly to young/small civil society organisations who do credible and problem solving work oriented to the vulnerable communities.

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

Pepsie Adiukwu, thank you for your contribution. Increasing the interest of civil society to engage with the UN and diversifying areas of inclusivity is an important point. In order to make the UN's engagement at the grass-roots and community levels more systematic, what kind of incentives the UN could provide to increase the civil society interest in engaging with the UN?  This may also be linked how the UN promotes and/or promoted civic space.  We welcome your additional comments and contributions on this. 

Pepsie Adiukwu • Founder/Director at Oge Pep Empowerment Initiative from Nigeria

[~57448] 

I believe that the number one incentive for any individual doing a job is assistance in getting that job done.

For me an incentive would be a patnership - moral/financial support to get my work done.

I don't know if I answered your question.

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

Pepsie Adiukwu, thank you and your answer is clear.

Adriana Solano • jóvenes líderes políticos at Insituto Casla from Costa Rica

es imposible llegar a un buen índice cuando hay muchas comunidades tan vulnerables donde no llegan a entender que derechos tienen y menos que luchen por ellos, la ONU debe de desentralizarse, he estado trabajando con gobiernos locales, asociaciones de desarrollo, junta de vecinos y lo único que a ellos les importa es solucionar sus problemas comunales antes que el de los demás y el error que la ONU es que los jóvenes, los más vulneranbles no solo deben enfocarse en LGTBIQ (sin sonar en contra) porque no es así.es mas que eso, acá hay mucho pobres y la ONU no llega fácilmente a ellos, la oficina de aquí en Costa Rica se enfoca en una agenda y no muchas veces es real, sacar informes cuenta si....Pero hay niños en extrema pobreza que no llega a alcanzar esos datos, la prensa muy pocas veces hacen campañas sobre esos derechos, son anuncios que pautan ONU, y sus oficinas y por obligación de compromiso de pauta lo hacen, hace tanta falta el periodismo de campo social, que nos muestre esas historias reales, de indígenas, de discapacitados, de violencia infantil,irse más a la periferia y salirse del centro de la ciudad, han hecho esfuerzo pero hace falta mucho.

Falta sensibilizar con casos reales.

trabajé con la junta de jóvenes Unesco en Costa Rica y las necesidades de pueblo alejados, donde falta mucho trabajo con ellos, porque ellos son los líderes que los otros jóvenes y niños deben escuchar a sus líderes territoriales.

Un niño pobre un joven pobre no tienen  acceso a las publicaciones por redes sociales.

 

pagan a agencias de publicidad pero no sensibilizan antes en el tema a los trabajadores, entonces no vale gastar tanto en ese recurso no bien dirigido.

Falta compromiso de los líderes jóvenes políticos del país, que nos representen afuera pero que se le de seguimiento no es ir a pasear a la ONU, con una comitiva increíble y no traer una carpeta deseosa de ser expuesta y replicar lo aprendido allá , entonces para que enviar a líderes que no traspasan sus conocimientos, ojo aquí pasa mucho. 

 

 

Ivona Truscan • Associate Human Rights Officer (UNHCR) at UNHCR from Switzerland Moderator

Dear @Adriana Solano, 

Thank you very much for sharing your views and for highlighting the limitations that the UN may face in reaching out to the most marginalized communities or to children and youth living in poverty situations. Your point about developing planning strategies that are based in concrete evidence from the ground and which reach to local communities, local leaders, local structures and dynamics is very important. 

KeGenderQueer • Coordinator at Nairobi Drag Queens from Kenya

Greetings from Nairobi Kenya. I am a drag queen performing Artist who uses Art to create an enabling environment for my community to express themselves freely through diversity. Maintaining such spaces without sustainable resources limits our liberty, potential and visibility to continue empowering and advancing community's engagement from the local regional moving forward.

Most of the time i see United Nations during marking of the Gay pride month to show their solidarity but the big question is, do you understand that our lives don't revolve round carnivals and pride parades? Discrimination, stigma, violence, prejudice and ostracization by our families are amongst what we go through everyday. I would recommend the United Nations Un Habitat to state clearly their commitment on engaging to build a more sustainable safe spaces by engaging the communities on the grassroots because we are the people who know what we go through every day.

 

If you would wish to reach out here is my address 

Njanjafrancis126@gmail.co 

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

KeGenderQueer, thank you for your important recommendation for the UN to state its commitment clearly. This implies that "effective partnership," to which @Pepsie Adiukwu alluded to, would be key to go beyond a symbolic support. What would you recommend for the UN to show a clear commitment, would it be a proactive messaging and statements by UN senior leadership and staff members at the country and community level, and other actions by the UN?  Thanks for any additional thoughts and comments.

Ekwen Lovet • Founder and Director at ARMOR from Cameroon

Warm greetings from Cameroon. Thank you very much for this wonderful opportunity to consult the United Nations via this online forum.

The United Nations and its organs have put in very significant efforts in reaching out to diverse civil society actors or groups locally and globally for participation and partnership. Over the recent years, civil society actors and human rights activists evolved from the business sector, film and entertainment industry, social enterprises, and technology. I strongly recommend the United Nations and all its organs to also focus on reaching out to these other sectors which contribute to the welfare of mankind and its society. They play significant roles in the protection and preservation of humanity and human rights, advocacy and humanitarian response to humanitarian crisis. A good example is UNDP’s recent cooperation with African foundations for social investment in African youths affected by conflict and human rights violations.

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

Ekwen Lovet, thank you for pointing out that other actors from the business sector, entertainment industry, social and tech enterprises, have also an important role to play for the betterment of society, and also in defense of human rights as you pointed out. Thanks also for sharing a good example of partnering with UNDP.

Pepsie Adiukwu • Founder/Director at Oge Pep Empowerment Initiative from Nigeria

I will use my NGO's work as an example to answer some of these questions.

In 2018,  during the 16 days of activism, we went to one of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Abuja, Nigeria to engage/educate the women and children on their human rights. After speaking to the children in the school, they seemed hopeful.

On the other hand, the women in the camp were very skeptical about the message - their response were words of despair:

"How can you say we have rights when we are abandoned in this place...some of us have lost our husbands, some children...some of us are disabled, we have lost our sources of livelihoods...we are  visited by some people in the government once in a long while and they give us food/ things that would sustain for a few days. What then happens after that?"

Indeed individuals and Non Governmental Organisations like mine, visit them and try to help them but this is not sustainable.

After four years of visiting them and engaging them with several initiatives, we decided to establish a sports academy for the girls.

Our goal is to teach them skills that would equip/empower them for the future.

We would consistently expose them to information and a lifestyle different from what they get in the camp.

This now brings me to the answer to one of your questions.

We wish to partner with the UN on this project but there's no easy entry point.

We know that the children stand to gain a lot if the UN lends a helping hand.

This project has been self-funded so far.

 

 

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Pepsie Adiukwu, thanks again for sharing your hands-on experience. When you mentioned that "there's no easy entry point" do you mean that the information about what the UN could do or support your cause is not clear, or even if information is available, there are no dedicated focal points or established structures to facilitate a systematic and sustainable partnership? Would be good to have your feedback on this, if possible, which will be helpful to understand some of the challenges relevant to your context.

Sister Ling ( HOL GS) • Founder at Hands of Love GS from United States

There was a great video on You Tube that discussed the out look of what African Parents want for their children to learn,  that went into great detail about functional real life skills African Parents instill in their children everyday.

It's always better to leave children closer to their family in any helping situation then when you came.

"The unimaginable of just the feeling,  let alone the real everyday life of hopelessness, is really a big deal!"

When African based groups present a help day in the community,  they always make it a grand day.

That the day is happy while the message gets through.

This is also an example of a different type of civic space that may be more informal with different rules and permits you need, if you need them. Also a some what overlooked space and traditional factor that we could maybe learn from in the future, The Importance of Civic Spaces.

As well as factors that reflect on decision makers even at refugee camps, if they  would be more likely to allow events if they are fun, bring people together and accomplish a goal then ones that cause controversy even in the family unit of refugees at a refugee camp.

This is also my opinion and I'm sure your program and visit was appreciated and worthwhile.

Pepsie Adiukwu • Founder/Director at Oge Pep Empowerment Initiative from Nigeria

[~57448] A little bit of both really  - I have read some of the guidelines for partnership and my project seems to float in-between several funding/grants options, particularly in terms of format and duration.

Also, some of the terms of engagement are cumbersome.

Pepsie Adiukwu • Founder/Director at Oge Pep Empowerment Initiative from Nigeria

I believe there are obstacles in accessing intergovernmental fora.

The number one obstacle is information then, protocol/procedures...many of these fora have restrictive guidelines.

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Pepsie Adiukwu, you are raising yet another important issue, which is one of the questions posed for the discussions. Indeed, participation in many UN inter-governmental processes are limited to NGOs with ECOSOC consultative status.  Despite this limitation, and lack of clear information on protocols/procedures as you pointed out, what other challenges you may have experienced in engaging with such processes?  What would be your practical recommendations in improving the engagement of diversity of civil society actors with the inter-governmental processes, if one has no ECOSOC consultative status and if restrictive guidelines set by the UN Member States may be difficult to change?  Any thoughts and recommendations are welcomed.

Ekwen Lovet • Founder and Director at ARMOR from Cameroon

@Baatar Bayarmagnai, To answer the last question you posed on practical recommendations in improving the engagement of diversity of civil society actors with the inter-governmental processes, if one has no ECOSOC consultative status and if restrictive guidelines set by the UN Member States may be difficult to change, I recommend that the United Nations should create a Special Unit covering civil society actors without ECOSOC consultative status to facilitate their engagement with inter-governmental processes. 

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Ekwen Lovet, thank you for your comment.  It is great to see that participants are able to respond to questions posed to others, so that we build upon each other's questions and replies.  Much appreciated! 

Ekwen Lovet • Founder and Director at ARMOR from Cameroon

@Baatar Bayarmagnai You are welcome.

Alejandra • senior gender advisor at Myself from Spain

Dear all, good morning and thank you for have created this space of discussion. Following Liu Si  comment i would like to reinforce the fact that most people don´t know about their rights and this is the case of the majority of women. Here in Spain some civil society (some women organisations) know about the existence of the CEDAW of the platform of Beijing, but regular people don´t know about these regulations. So, i good idea could be to mainstream those norms and regulations. 

Samir Kumar Das • Chairman at IMAECSED (International Movement for Advancemet of Education Cul\ture Social & Economic Development) from India

I am principal Founder and Chairman of International Movement for Advancement of Education Culture Social & Economic Development (IMAECSED) an Indian based NGO..

IMAECSED is very much grateful for this wonderful opportunity to engage & consult the expert of United Nations along with the global stakeholders via this online Global Development Hub. We can get wider scope of knowledge sharing, join hands for collaboration and Partnership, improve our projects and take action wherever necessary..We can play an active role in the protection and preservation of humanity, advocacy, conflict, human rights violation and humanitarian response in crisis. Since 1995 we are terribly facing lot of crisis to accelerate our varied objectives and activities. In the present context my observation regarding civic space, is a very significant topic in the present day competitive world. It is a very crucial subject how we can enjoy this space, leave this space to other and in case of conflict what are the solutions.

Non cooperation from various sectors many a time create stumbling block to our work but our untiring effort and continuous movement within such a limited resource lead us to accelerate our activities with various UN Organ and other global stakeholders. We are always extending our hands to join with the interested Group or any other sector to achieve our target for 2030 Agenda.

Alejandra • senior gender advisor at Myself from Spain

Another idea should be related to the consultation with politicians, it has to be mandatory

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Alejandra, thank you for your comment on the need for consultations with politicians. Your comment reinforcing the point on accessibility of information, especially in a simpler and easily understandable format for broader public (if I understood correctly that this is what you are saying), is well noted.

Rugaiyatou Ubale • minorities and indigenous at CIVICUS from Cameroon

Hello everyone I'm happy to be part of this organization. I'm a Fulani mostly known as the minorities and indigenious here where I come from many don't know their right lack of education Early marriage and so on. 

Women suffering and children young men running after cattles while others are in the streets smoking marijuana. I see this everyday but I don't have no means to talk to no one so I take this opportunity to plead that the Muslim community should be looked at especially in Cameroon

They know nothing about their right they're being manipulated and taken advantage of. 

We need a pen not a man not cattles

We need education

I'm sorry I'm not that much educated and I might not put my words together correctly I hope y'all understand

Busayo Obisakin • CEO/President at Women Inspiration Development Center from Nigeria

I will like to raise the issue of protection of human right activist. It has been a serious issue in Nigeria and issue that we have been grappling with since I have stated the work ten years ago. As a result of the corrupt system, most of the time activist are seriously exposed to attack. You cannot expect the person you are fighting to protect you and you cannot afford your own security outfit then you are left on your own unprotected. And like Alejandra has pointed out, most women don't know their rights and few that knows their are always afraid of fighting for their rights because getting justice is always very cumbersome and many times impossible. Mainstreaming norms and regulations is a good idea but consultation with the police and judiciary is also germane 

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

[~57485], thank you for sharing your concern regarding the protection, or lack thereof, of human rights activists.  The issue of protection is not an easy question, and the UN needs to do more.  Have you engaged with any UN entity in your country regarding protection, and what was your experience like?  In addition, do know and/or have you worked with any NGO-led protection networks, and how UN could make bridges and partner with such protection networks?

Busayo Obisakin • CEO/President at Women Inspiration Development Center from Nigeria

[~57448] Thank you for your response! you will agree with me that it is not easy at all for grass root NGO to have access to our country entity. I apply to be part of the spotlight consortium  in my country but not successful. I think I will agree with Sister Ling on the online interactive forum that Ngo's in each country should have access to get information from UN and able to send messages quickly.  for those that may not have access to internet , there should be a way they can call or send messages through their cell phone.

Sister Ling ( HOL GS) • Founder at Hands of Love GS from United States

[~57485] 

Thank You So Much!👍😊

Believe me they do care and many of us worry alot about you guys and the ladies fighting so hard for freedom and fair treatment for everyone. The MDG's were formulated in the year 2000. It didn't really take off untill many years later.

The UN SDG30 is going to be like that. Its still early now and the UN Bodies work hard at putting things together for many, many communities all over the world. Many are still very poor too. Just know sometimes don't say stuff if its going to be dangerous. Many of the tuff guys beating people up and worse had very hard lives growing up. Over time as things get better and they will, safety will be less of an issue even for activists. Taking it slow when it seems like trouble,  is not bad to do but just how it is. Don't give up speaking out even if here and there you must be quiet.

Thanks again. 👍💕👍

 

Hepzibah

Warm greetings from Citizens Center for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR) Owerri, Imo State Nigeria.

I thank you immensely for this privilege to participate in the discussion in UN's pproach to Protecting and Promoting Civic Space.

The work of the CSOs cannot be over emphasized as they respond on emergencies especially at any humanitarian crises and generally on governance issues that bother on human rights. They have also increased media activities affected government policies.

Moving forward, UN can partner better with the CSOs by creating list serve with proven organizations and actors and constantly updating them with relevant information and UN policies on humanitarian issues. Also granting them access without much bureaucratic bottlenecks to access vital information for action.

The UN can also consider convening face to face meeting with  Civil Societies on Sustainable Developments affecting human rights issues e.g, climate action and environment, quality education, peace & conflict resolution, gender equality, good health and well-being etc. We have observed the rapid growth of CSOs members and their demands, even while some lack clear definitions and purpose, however, UN should stick to strict verification as experiences without making the processes difficult with CSOs with clarity of vision.

UN can also strengthen responsiveness to the inputs of CS.

Encourage Civil Societies to speak collectively rather than individually.

Increase CS accountability and credibility.

UN can also help in protecting CSOs from threat by intervening in national issues without necessarily having to overstep boundaries. For e.g most of the countries especially developing countries like Nigeria is a signatory to most of the human rights instruments and treaties, yet no reasonable effort seen by the UN to threaten these countries using sanctions. Yes we understand diplomatic interventions in international relations but having upheld human right issues and still upholding, the UN should intervene in threats, condemning it and discourage, frown at it. The Nigeria National Assembly wants to pass Social Media bill into law, by implication shutting out the rights to freedom of  information/speech. This idea came up when Civil Societies rose to condemn various abuse of human rights action by members of the house etc. Some Civil Societies received threats and some inhuman treatments while they carried out peaceful protests and solidarity march. There is so much to talk about. Before the end of the Global Dev Hub.

UN can promote Civic Spaces and support Civic Society better to function effectively and also participate meaningfully by empowering them through support, build their capacities by offering both offline and online courses and leverage on the above to grant them access to be part and parcel of GA and also allowed to make inputs no matter how brief in GA meetings once in a while. By the this, the people at the grassroots who do not have access and are limited to information can increase their awareness level in human rights issues, able to increase their demand for better services and accountability from their leaders whom they put in power through voting to represent them.

CSOs also need funding, training and information to participate and contribute effectively to UN 's work.

Our organization happened to have introduced Open Budget Policy in Imo State, with so much strategic advocacy and sensitization program, we could not continue for now because of lack of funding as we would work wit the 27 Local Goverment Area councillors and traditional heads, different stakeholders and actors to ensure that the project succeeds enabling the people to monitor projects approved in their communities and the budgets (figures) approved. It is their right, and also check the budget if any on security issues.

Thank you as we move on before the end date elapses, will make more contribution 

   Ogechi Ikeh

Executive Director CCIDESOR

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

Hepzibah, thank you for your detailed contribution on many pertinent issues, and many of your recommendations do reinforce many other suggestions made above by other participants, including on better access to information, capacity building and training for civil society (including online courses mentioned above), political support and funding to civil society, as well as better channels of civil society participation in intergovernmental processes such as the UN General Assembly.  Thank you very much also for making the important links with the Sustainable Development Goals, which seek to "leave no one behind" and meant to be an inclusive process of all voices, including from civil society and the people. The latter is highly relevant to the UN's role in promoting civic space, including in the national decision-making process and the implementation of the SDGs.  We look forward to more contributions and recommendations from you.

Adelfa Malpica • Directora at ONG de Derechos Humanos from Venezuela

Buenos días, estoy muy agradecida de poder opinar en esta consulta pública que la ONU ha creado para que la sociedad civil participe y sea oída.
Al respecto puedo decir que es una gran oportunidad de aportar mi opinión respecto a los aspectos que son una preocupación para mi como ciudadana, como profesional, como trabajadora, como ente político particular y como integrante de una familia.

Asi que desde éste día aprovecharé para poder comunicar cada cosa que me hace sentirme excluida del mundo y asi tratar de ser voz de aquellas personas que no tienen voz en estos momentos porque no pueden comunicarse por aqui para decir lo que sienten y lo que les aqueja. Estoy consciente que  aún cuando soy un grano de arena en un desierto, mantengo la esperanza de ser escuchada.

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

[~57842], welcome to the forum, and we look forward to hearing from you more and your recommendations.

Mohammed Mominul Haque • FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR at PEACE AND JUSTICE ALLIANCE from Canada

Hi: warm greetings from Canada, I want to thanks OHCHR for creating this opportunity to participate in this important issue now have been facing civil society in the world, I think UN and Global leaders need to do more to Protecting and Promoting Civic Space as well human rights, In 1948 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in 1948, was the result of the experience of the Second World War. The 30 Articles' needs are implemented by every signatory state, we feel that if every country fulfills those articles there will be no more conflict, crisis, the civil war in the world. At present about 75 million are forcefully displaced from their home for the internal conflict, these conflicts are the result of  Leaders are fighting for power and money, sometimes victims peoples asking is there any UN or organization who could come forward to prevent them from conflict and protect them from the corrupt leaders.

I am a Bangladeshi Canadian my personal experience tells me that average people in Bangladesh and Canada do not know the basic knowledge of human rights, which affects them to get the right to justice.

At present in the world is experiencing rising incidents of hate crimes, shrinking democratic spaces, worsening environmental and economic turmoil and violence, we are reminded that every day must be a day to uphold human rights. As voices of hate and discrimination become more emboldened, we are reminded that it is our responsibility as global citizens to stand up to injustice everywhere. Now many parts of the world people are protesting for freedom and basic needs.

 

In Bangladesh, since 2009, the present government to keep the power they have been continuously violating the universal declaration of human rights as well Bangladesh constitution. If any person or civil society raise voice against government oppression either they will face illegal imprison, false case, arbiter arrest or kidnap.

It is hard to get funds to implement a program, my suggestions we want to fund easily to work for the people.

I want the UN and other Global organization needs to stand against the hybrid regimes around the world, we need to take necessary action rather than statements. In the ground, vulnerable peoples have been upset about our failure to protect their lives and humanity.

Thanks.

 

 

Douala Bertrand Francis • PRESIDENT at HUMANITARIAN LAW AGENCY from Cameroon

PRESIDENT HUMANITARIAN LAW AGENCY

JE SUIS DOUALA BERTRAND 

Diplome de l institut des nations unies pour la formation et la recherche 

avant de repondre a ces questions il serai important d exprimee ma gratitude a la grande famille des nations unies pour tout ce qui a ete fait depuis 1945 pour les etats favorisant leurs ascesion a l independance 

la prevention des conflit internationnaux et non internationaux tel jadis la situation du ruwanda ,la consolidation de l etat de droit et de la democratie

la conduite des operations humanitaires de part et d autre face a l excalade des conflit suite a la recrudecence du terrorisme .

le soutien social atravers LE PNUD,UNESCO,LE PAM ,ECOSOC,LA BANQUE MONDIAL ECT.

les informations sont transmise atravers les centres d information des nations unies

ou a l intermediaire de certains ONG ou club scolaire et universitaire

1.Malgres les efforts des nations unies beaucoups reste a faire 

face aux arrestations arbitrais des journaliste et des observateurs de droits de l hommes sans oublier les poursuites penal contre les membres de certain ONG pendant l excercice de leurs fonction pour sauver l homme en danger

2 nous ammenes a pense qu il faut une resolution des nations unies relatif a la protection des acteurs de la societe civile ,journalistes ,observateur des droits de l hommes pendant leurs travail.

3 pendant les crise politique et armees les civiles sont plus exposes car les soldats ont les gilet pare balls et arme et les civils non rien pour leurs protection

4 il faudra creer un corp amee d elite specialiser pour la protection du convoi humanitaire operationelle pour les zones des conflits armees pour la protection des camps de civil et leurs convoie en deplacement.

5 les haut commissaire des droits de l hommes l orqu il arrive dans les pays ou il ya violation des droits de l hommes ils doivent faire une descente dans le terrain avant d arriver a la presidence

6 mettre l accent sur le financement des project des ONG et accorder des bourse a certain membre dans les domaines pointure developpement durable,action humanitaire ,aeronautique ,engeenerie ,medecine dans les universites .

 

 

 

Giorgina Piperone • Program Analyst (UN Women) at UN Women from Australia Moderator

Douala, thank you so much for taking the time to share your perspectives on some of the main challenges civil society actors are facing - particularly those working in conflict areas - these insights are really valuable. You speak about violations against human rights activists and journalists, and the need for the UN to improve its protection efforts for civil society actors at risk. I'd be interested in your view as to how the UN might better protect human rights activists and journalists who are experiencing violence. Have you worked with the UN previously on protection of human rights activists, and if so, can you tell us about that experience? [~57485] and @Djepangyvonne, you have also expressed that the UN could strengthen its protection of human rights activists who are experiencing violence, and so we'd be grateful for your perspectives also. 

Samir Kumar Das • Chairman at IMAECSED (International Movement for Advancemet of Education Cul\ture Social & Economic Development) from India

I am principal Founder and Chairman of International Movement for Advancement of Education Culture Social & Economic Development (IMAECSED) an Indian based NGO..

IMAECSED is very much grateful for this wonderful opportunity to engage & consult the expert of United Nations along with the global stakeholders via this online Global Development Hub. We can get wider scope of knowledge sharing, join hands for collaboration and Partnership, improve our projects and take action wherever necessary..We can play an active role in the protection and preservation of humanity, advocacy, conflict, human rights violation and humanitarian response in crisis. Since 1995 we are terribly facing lot of crisis to accelerate our varied objectives and activities. In the present context my obervatioin regarding civic space, is a very significant topic in the [resent day competitive world. It is a very crucial subjecthow can we enjoy this space, leave this space and in case of conflict what are the solutions.

Non cooperation from various sectors many a time hinder our work but our untiring effort and continuous movement within such a limited resource lead us to accelerate our activities with various UN Organ and other global stakeholders. We are always extending our hands to join with the interested Group or any other sector to achieve our target for 2030 Agenda.

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Samir Kumar Das, thank you for message, and for emphasizing that civil society and NGOs "can play an active role in the protection and preservation of humanity, advocacy, conflict, human rights violation and humanitarian response in crisis."  This is an important point, which is not often discussed.  Therefore, we would also be keen to hear from you what civil society will be able to do as active agents of change, and how UN can support you in your endeavors.  Thank you for your comment!

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Mohammed Mominul Haque, @Douala Bertrand Francis, thank you for your comments, and for reminding us of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the purposes and values of the UN system enshrined in its Charter.  We look forward to more contributions from you. 

Samir Kumar Das • Chairman at IMAECSED (International Movement for Advancemet of Education Cul\ture Social & Economic Development) from India

I am principal Founder and Chairman of International Movement for Advancement of Education Culture Social & Economic Development (IMAECSED) an Indian based NGO..

IMAECSED is very much grateful for this wonderful opportunity to engage & consult the expert of United Nations along with the global stakeholders via this online Global Development Hub. We can get wider scope of knowledge sharing, join hands for collaboration and Partnership, improve our projects and take action wherever necessary..We can play an active role in the protection and preservation of humanity, advocacy, conflict, human rights violation and humanitarian response in crisis. Since 1995 we are terribly facing lot of crisis to accelerate our varied objectives and activities. In the present context my obervatioin regarding civic space, is a very significant topic in the [resent day competitive world. It is a very crucial subjecthow can we enjoy this space, leave this space and in case of conflict what are the solutions.

Non cooperation from various sectors many a time hinder our work but our untiring effort and continuous movement within such a limited resource lead us to accelerate our activities with various UN Organ and other global stakeholders. We are always extending our hands to join with the interested Group or any other sector to achieve our target for 2030 Agenda.

Giorgina Piperone • Program Analyst (UN Women) at UN Women from Australia Moderator

Hello Samir, we're so pleased that you've joined the consultation and thanks for introducing yourself. In your comment, you share some of the challenges NGOs have been experiencing in recent times, including lack of cooperation from various stakeholders, which make it difficult for organizations to achieve their objectives. I'd be interested in your view as to how the UN could strengthen its support to NGOs to help them overcome some of these challenges and enable NGOs to carry out their work safely.

Samir Kumar Das • Chairman at IMAECSED (International Movement for Advancemet of Education Cul\ture Social & Economic Development) from India

[~57494]  

Dear Giorgina Piperone from UN Woman

I am very happy to hear from you. Since 1995 we are fighting for the promotion and protection of Human Rights. We regularly monitoring and taking action through Net to different stakeholders. We have organized many Seminars, Fought in the National commission of Human Rights for some Human Rights violation cases earlier. Launched  earlier Human Rights Training center. But due to non available of projects we could not focus our expertise. I am a legal practioner for last 38 years having wide knowledge  and experience to fought for Human Rights. I can assure you our expertise along with  our dynamic team of legal practitioner and youth can achive a good result to become an active agent and pursue its  work in any country or situation to protect and promote Human Rights. We are also capable to launch different Human Rights Projects if we can avail any support. I can assure you our best performance  

Sister Ling ( HOL GS) • Founder at Hands of Love GS from United States

Hello Everyone!

I'm here and trying to navigate the platform at GlobalDev Hub.

So far I have only found the comment section. I await further instructions on how to proceed or will wait for others in the community to upload their answers and opinions.

I also would like to thank UN Staff for putting this great opportunity to contribute to an important issue together for everyone.

"Thank You!"

SL

HOL GS

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Sister Ling ( Lisa Liz Steele), welcome to the forum.  You are in the right place and this comments section is the discussion forum!  We look forward to your constructive contributions to the questions posed.

Sister Ling ( HOL GS) • Founder at Hands of Love GS from United States

Thank You For You Welcome Message👍❤!

I would also like to add, I and my group have been studying these very hard issues of poverty, violence and displacement as well as sustainable future's for young ppl and children for some time now. So if I seem more knowledgeable about many issues, this is acquired knowledge that happened over almost 20 years. 14 of them as a Founder of two ngo organizations HOL GS & LWSF.

You all will grow with your organizations and causes over time just don't give up and keep at it.

They Are Listening Believe Me They Are!

On this first day of this great opportunity to connect with others that are doing the same thing.

It greatly pains me as I look at the suggested reading that was also a focus of the invitation email and what we all actually just did.

Quote

"Restrictions and attacks against civil society persist at all levels."

That is really who we all are and this talks about our work and what we each face each day.

We are all trying to say this too in our own way and experience that something is wrong,  weather our own experiences are direct to our person or cause or more indirectly done and difficult to place as such a threat.

That one even exists.

I think we should each go back a re-look at the expectations of the sponsoring UN Bodies and or Committees and re-read the intros and then think about what the UN CSO is really asking everyone to give input and think about.

This could also change the tone of what we say, see and respond too but might be well worth the extra reload to make this event more memorable to everyone who participates.

We are free here to talk and share our stories and opinions including the fact that UN People are usually very understanding and face each intervention and forum with high expectations for dialogue and change to take place.

We should too.

Ps. I'm known for being wordy so nothing personal as that's what I do.❤

Emolji's are allowed used in reason I believe so feel free to add some too!👍

 

 

 

 

Angelica Flores • Presidenta at Fundacion Internacional Fabricando Fantasias Ayúdame Ayudando.A.C from Mexico

Buenos días , la falta de educación y cultura legal que hizo de México lo que hoy lamentablemente vivimos.

Recalco lo que Si Liu menciona la gente comun no conocemos nuestros derechos y los pocos qué los conocemos no tenemos el apoyó de nuestras autoridades, alcontrario nos volvemos enemigos públicos, blancos de injurias, críticas, maltratos psicológicos y físicos;

Como lo dice mi organización civil fabricamos fantasias en un mundo de mentiras jurídicas y legales con los derechos, la gente aprende a defender y al llegar a una autoridad para qué nos defienda recibimos un NO como respuesta y un seguimiento físico en nuestra contra, me gustaría que la ONU formara modulos así cómo los derechos humanos en todas las delegaciones Políticas y en los estados para qué vigilen y observen el procedimiento que tienen los derechos humanos en el país me entristece el día de hoy México es uno de los países con menos acceso ala información ya que todos los pasa por filtros específicos, que él dia de hoy la verdad sea un fin político, no el verdadero, el de defender el derecho humano a la salud, la vivienda y la educación de calidad.

Nuestros chicos con discapacidades en muchos estados como Hidalgo, todavia pasan desapercibidos por sus propias familias y al hablar de temas cómo éstos nos dicen que nuestros proyectos son buenos pero tienen que ir respaldados por un político entonces donde esta mis derechos a identificarme y proponer un benedicio sin fines de lucro para una comunidad y dónde me difiendo si todo se vuelve un círculo vicioso entré los tres poderes.

Qué propongo mas acceso ala información.

Que la ONU tenga espacios en medios de comunicación no solo en redes sociales sino en radio y televisión

Hagamos virales nuestros derechos.

Escuchen a los más pobres.

Eschen ala gente de la calle.

Escuchen a las mujeres que sufren violencia

Escuchen a los migrantes

 

Busquemos el fondo del problema y empecemos a trabajar desde un bajo para que los de arriba no sigan pisoteando a nadie. 

Las organizaciones civiles nos financiamos con dinero propio y todos los días estamos preocupados del cómo seguir apoyando si se nos cierran puertas.

Más spot, más publicidad, más reuniones con la gente u organizaciones civiles, una universidad de la ONU enfocada a los derechos humanos ahi se daran cuenta de qué nadie sabe nada respecto a esto, más comerciales, más empresas patrocinadoras, más información internacional, más de la ONU en los congresos, más de la ONU en las legislaturas , más de la onu en el mundo mas de la ONU en nuestros niños que son el futuro más de la onu en la música y en las ecuelas.

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Angelica Flores, thank you for reinforcing some of the earlier points by others for more awareness raising among broader public, educational materials and online resources, as well as access to information in general.

Giorgina Piperone • Program Analyst (UN Women) at UN Women from Australia Moderator

@angelicaflores welcome to the discussion and thank you very much for these insightful comments. Indeed, a lack of information and awareness on human rights standards is an issue and a concern that is shared by other participants including [~57851] and @liusi. Many thanks for suggesting that the UN could more actively communicate on various media and social media channels in order to ensure the UN is communicating with, and listening to, those who are often marginalized such as women and migrants.

In your comment, you suggest that those who advocate for human rights become, “public enemies, targets of insults, criticism, psychological and physical abuse”. @Busayoobisakin has shared similar concerns. Can you elaborate on these concerns? How can the UN strengthen its support to those who are experiencing violence and pushback in their human rights work?

Sister Ling ( HOL GS) • Founder at Hands of Love GS from United States

@AngelicaFlores

A very heart felt comment that I took the time to translate if you do not mind and be free to translate my reply back to Espanol.

The many issues you mentioned including the lack of clear support from policy makers and others of power is a very real problem all over the world.

Our children are growing up in a world that in some ways is saying, " They will have to figure this out themselves one day later."

We all have to use 2020 as the year where we figure more things out and make the world better. .

It can happen, even if it seems very difficult to do right now. 

My best input for your many valid examples is take each step to a better tomorrow,  one step at a time. Change attitudes and opinions about the poor and displaced slowly with each person or out reach you can make happen. Continue to just be vocal and tell the other side of each story you embrace to tell.

Many people are listening and trying to help but there is a common factor on all sides of these very serious issues and that is, that there is a real problem that is not just going to go away.

We also need to consider this week and next, about why are civic spaces important and what we can all add and receive from this forum about this serious problem.

How the need for spaces and venues to reach people about these very important issues and how important they are to other things if the rights to civic spaces was not to be anymore.

Let's hope that doesn't happen.

 

 

Angelica Flores • Presidenta at Fundacion Internacional Fabricando Fantasias Ayúdame Ayudando.A.C from Mexico

[~57448] 

La falta de conocimiento, abuso de las autoridades, nos vuelve blancos perfectos,hablare en lo que vivimos dia dia ... Vamos y damos cursos de derechos humanos básicos a comunidades que sufren de violencia de genero pero vamos sólos por nuestros medios nadie nos respalda queremos que niñas estudien que no sean víctimas de abusos y desapariciones y los presidentes municipales envenenan a los hombres de éstas regiones diciéndoles que queremos robarlos, que eso no es cierto que su ley se ara y que mejor nos retiremos y no vuelvamos e sido acompañada por mujeres con machetes para que no no hagan nada, no hay una autoridad.

Seria perfecto que alguien nos acompañara que alguien fuera con nosotros a educar no a generar problemas, vamos a ayudar a que ahiga una cordialidad entre ellos vamos a luchar para que terminen los abusos para que ahiga escuelas no para generar mas conflictos pero las mismas autoridades nos ven como enemigos, AY UN DICHO Y ES VERDAD ALREDEDOR DEL MUNDO LOS POLITICOS NOS QUIEREN IGNORANTES Y CALLADOS..

Angelica Flores • Presidenta at Fundacion Internacional Fabricando Fantasias Ayúdame Ayudando.A.C from Mexico

Giorgina Piperone LA ONU DEBE HACER DOBLE REFUERZO APOYARNOS CON MAS DIFUSION Y SE QUE ES ALGO COMPLICADO PERO DEBERÍAN HACER UN LISTADO DE PERSONAS DEFENSORAS DE DERECHOS HUMANOS Y TENER UN SEGUIMIENTO DE SUS ACTIVIDADES DE ESTA MANERA ABRÍA MENOS DESAPARICIÓNES FORZADAS DE PERIODISTAS Y PERSONAS DEFENSORAS DE DERECHOS HUMANOS PARECEMOS DELINCUENTES ESCONDIENDONOS CON LA VERDAD QUE USTEDES NOS MUESTRAN PERO SIN APOYO ACTIVO

MIRIAM SAAVEDRA SERNA • Proyectos at FUNDACION PAOLA ZOZAYA from Mexico

[~57908] Expresas con claridad la situación actual de nuestro País, no hay nada más que agregar.

Te felicito por tu trabajo. Saludos desde Tampico, Tamaulipas.

Giorgina Piperone • Program Analyst (UN Women) at UN Women from Australia Moderator

Dear friends – thanks so much to all those who have taken the time to share their perspectives and experiences on how the UN can improve its approach to protecting civic space, and a warm welcome to those who are just joining the conversation!

My name is Giorgina Piperone, I work in the Civil Society Division at UN Women and it’s a pleasure to be joining the conversation as a moderator this week (13-17 January). Let’s keep the conversation going by sharing insights on how the UN can more effectively protect civil society actors at risk, build strong partnerships with a diverse range of civil society actors, and actively promote a safe and vibrant civic space.

I look forward to hearing from you!

 

Alejandra • senior gender advisor at Myself from Spain

I would like to reinforce the idea of creating broader spaces for women and women rights

Giorgina Piperone • Program Analyst (UN Women) at UN Women from Australia Moderator

Thank you very much for your important contribution and indeed, the UN must be engaging with a broad and diverse range of marginalized groups and civil society actors, including women and women's rights activists. Could you perhaps elaborate on this suggestion further - how might the UN strengthen its work to engage and create spaces for women in your community, and do you have any examples of previous efforts that have been effective? I'm also inviting [~57851] and [~57485] to share their perspectives given the examples of their work with women and girls shared earlier.

Alejandra • senior gender advisor at Myself from Spain

Giorgina Piperone  Pepsie Adiukwu and Busayo Obisakin 

For me a substantial work is lacking at multiple levels:

1.- political participation : women from civil society have the right to participate in politics in our communities, we need to be present and represented at the political level, and i am not talking about parity i am talking about being able to bring women issues to the table: feminicides, violence against women, etc. mostly urgent issues. 

2.- consultation: politicians should be obliged to consult women issues with the CS movements, with all, not just with some of them 

3.- population sensitization: a plan needs to be implementing to sensitize people on international norms and regulations as the Cedaw and the Beijing platform, on national lows on women´s rights

4.- education: girls of all ages should have access to the information concerning their rights from early stages, from primary school or even before

5.- talking about public space: women movements need to have public spaces at their disposal for public action

6.- protection for victims of gender based violence at the  domestic level, in order for women organizations to count on enough places to have women protected

I will come back with other ideas. 

Thank you

 

Alejandra • senior gender advisor at Myself from Spain

Talking about methodologies theater can be an awsome tool when talking about sensitization at school and education programming

 

Giorgina Piperone • Program Analyst (UN Women) at UN Women from Australia Moderator

@Alejandra thank you for your comment and for detailing some of the main challenges facing women's rights activists. As you suggest, the UN has an important role to play in ensuring civil society, including women's rights activists, LGBTI individuals and other marginalized groups, can safely engage and consult with and national decision making bodies. Many thanks again for your comment!

djepang yvonne • Présidente Fondatrice at Association pour la promotion de la lutte contre les violences faites aux femmes et la participation au développement de la femme Africaine"LUCOVIFA" from Cameroon

                                 PROTEGER ET PROMOUVOIR L'ESPACE CIVIQUE

1-PARTENARIAT:

LUCOVIFA ayant un statut Consultatif Spécial auprès d'ECOSOC depuis 2013, travail à promouvoir et à  participer à atteindre les ODD institués par les Nations Unies en 2016.

Sur cette trajectoire, nous accédons aux informations de l'ONU aux travers des news lettres, des e-mail, et des sites de l'ONU.

Considérant que le travail des ONGs, associations, groupes communautaires, OSC, chercheurs, ... sont nécessaires pour la réalisation des activités et programmes de l'ONU, il serait souhaitable de les identifier et y prêter une attention sérieuse à long terme, mais alors comment?

- Créer une représentation ECOSOC par pays afin d'assurer à cette cible(groupe, ayant le Statut Consultatif à ECOSOC): Protection - Accompagnement - renforcement des capacités - faciliter l'accès aux conférences(par la mise sur pied d'un fonds d'assistance) ceci pour échanges, partenariat avec d'autres groupes pays - travail en synergie, en réseau... ayant en commun le même champs d'action...

2- PROTECTION:

Pour la protection des acteurs menacés, l'ONU doit mettre sur pied une POLICE de veille de protection de ces acteurs, afin qu"elle puisse investiguer et collecter toutes preuves d'attaque contre un(e) défenseur(e) des droits de l'Homme victime; ensuite inciter à juger et à sanctionner les responsables de près ou de loin de ces attaques, soit au niveau national ou bien international.

3- PROMOTION:

A partir de la création des représentations d'ECOSOC pays citées plus haut, des séminaires de formation des acteurs de la société civile permettront à ces derniers d'être outillés pour mieux participer aux processus décisionnels nationaux.

Giorgina Piperone • Program Analyst (UN Women) at UN Women from Australia Moderator

@Djepeng thank you so much for your considered contribution. In particular, your idea to build national based civil society networks to facilitate information sharing, build capacities and develop strong partnerships between civil society and the UN, is very valuable and well noted. Many thanks again for your comment!

Ahmed Abdulkadhim ALaskari • trainer at (none) from Iraq

شكراً جزيلاً على هذه المنصة المهمة والتي من خلالها يمكن تبادل الافكار و المعلومات و ايضاً تطوير المهارات الخاص بحقوق الانسان و الحريات الأساسية.

أما بالنسبة إلى الدور الذي مكن أن لتلعبة الأمم المتحدة لتعزيز معرفة الناس بحقوقهم فهذا دور مهم جداً لكون الكثير من الناس لا تعرف ابسط الحقوق الاساسية و من وجهة نظري كصحفي من بلد مثل العراق أعتقد ان الناس لا تحب القراءة بشكل كبير و خاصة النصوص الجافة و الطويلة فممكن أن تلجى من خلال أقامة منصات معينة تطلق من خلالها صور أنوغرافك ذات الوان و اشكال ممزة و فيديوغرافك و حتى موشن غرافك و انميات صغيرة تساهم في فهم و تعزيز حقوق الانسان بطرق بسيطة ممكن ان يشاهدها الشخص ويتذكرها ولاتأخذ منه وقت ولاجهد لمعرفة الاحداث والطرق القانونية التي يمكن ان تفيده .

محرد رأي .

Giorgina Piperone • Program Analyst (UN Women) at UN Women from Australia Moderator

Many thanks for your comment, Ahmed! Several participants share your concern about the lack of information and awareness relating to human rights standards, so your suggestions for how the UN might improve its communication through the use of creative media (ie, the use of images, motion graphics and video), is very much appreciated. 

moka • Président du conseil d'administration at FONDATION KALIPA POUR LE DEVELOPPEMENT from Congo - Kinshasa

De l'efficacité de partenariat avec l'ONU, au fait, étant qu'une organisation des nations unies, chaque personne devra se sentir implique d'une manière ou d'une autre aux actions des ONU  sur le terrain mais plus souvent, on remarque beaucoup de rigueur aux agences et organes mendatés des nations unies c'est-à-dire pour qu'une personne entre dans l'enclos ou bureau d'une agence de nations unies c'est vraiment un problème oui, je comprend que dans le cadre sécuritaire on doit mettre de rigueur mais j'envisage qu'il ait une unité spéciale au sein de l'ONU chargé de l'espace civil qui aura spécifiquement la  mission de collaborer au quotidien avec la communauté locale et c'est cette unité qui pourra éduquer, informer et communiquer le rôle de chaque organes ou agence de nations unies si non tout le monde connait déjà que les actions des nations unies ne sont pas pour l'intérêt de la population.  Cette unité aurai aussi mission de pereniser les activités après projet exécuté par un des organes des nations unies  

Jing Rey Henderson • Communications and Partnership Development Manager at NASSA/Caritas Philippines from Philippines

Thank you very much for having this platform.

One of the key areas where UN can fully maximize resources and partnerships is in the area of human rights. In the Philippines for example, there are CSOs working on this theme entirely alone successfully but would be able to accomplish more if big organizations like UN can be fully supportive not for a given period only but for a longer period to enable full impact. Meaning, support must not only be given per project but more within a development phase. With land rights issues alone, if UN can provide technical, legal and funding support to CSOs and church organizations, the more than 100,000 collective certificates of land ownership can be transferred in no time to farmers. 

The establishment and support to human rights defenders' sanctuaries can also another track UN can support local organizations. Church groups for example have always been the refuge of HR defenders and they receive no support from anyone. If this can be done in a more systematic manner, more can be helped.

Access to information is another way UN can be fully felt at the grassroots. In most cases, working groups are only for international organizations and local CSOs are always left out. The UN-OCHA Community of Practice on Community Engagement in the Philippines is a good example of how UN networks can maximize partnerships and collaborative use of resources with local organizations.

Collaboration and presence must not be done through one-time engagements. UN must try to develop meaningful relationships on-ground long-term.

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Jing Rey Henderson, thank you for highlighting the UN-OCHA example on the community of practice on community engagement.  We would encourage other participants to share such examples that you know of, for better information and experience sharing among participants. 

Liu Si • Online Educator at Freedom Human Rights Research Group from United States

Setting up a mechanism to review constitutions and laws of signatories based on their signed and approved international human rights laws

Regarding the promotion and protection of human rights, I would suggest the above, just like UPR.  Under this mechanism, reviews will not be focused on human rights records but on theIr domestic constitutions and laws based on their respective signed and approved international human rights laws.

Because I find that governments which violate the human rights always quote their own “laws” of their country while their actions actually violate the international human rights laws they have signed and approved.  The consequences of their practice will always end up terrifyIng the entire society from defending their freedom and exercising their rights.

The ground for this proposal is that it’s hard for UN to follow each individual cases but it is reasonably practical and necessary for the UN to care for the implementation of all the international laws, the first of which would be that each signatory should ensure that their constitution and laws must agree to what they have signed and thus promised.

Just to add one point to it, the review should end with a concrete conclusion such as a promise of rectification with a Practical agenda.  I assume this will be helpful for the human rights defenders to exercise self-protection from government reprisals.

Hamid Reza Kazemi • from United States

Markaz Toseeh Tehran has been working in the field of cultural and social development with a vision of sustainable development in areas such as the disabled, the elderly, working children, youth, women, and immigrants after formulating scientific programs. Ongoing projects in Markaz Toseeh Tehran are common points our organization has with the United Nations.

It seems there are many challenges to engaging the United Nations in the common areas of concern for NGOs, including:

- Uncertainty about how to participate in projects related to women, youth, immigrants, specifically, the Markaz Toseeh Tehran has three projects running across the country for people with disabilities, the elderly and working children, wishing to cooperate with the United Nations, do you have any solutions for further communication in this area?

- the ambiguity in how how to use the UN experience concerning common issues,

Specifically how can use the results of UN research and programs?

- Do you have a solution to let NGOs know about UN plans and programs?

-  Most of the NGOs active in the areas of immigrants, women, people with disabilities, the elderly, etc are in close contact with the United Nations, but other NGOs cannot obtain information about their plans and the results of their projects.

- Why the UN does not provide the conditions for linking and utilizing the experiences of NGOs with one another?

-Why don't your subordinate departments mention on the UN site have a secretariat or a special section of the UN office where representatives of NGOs can actively interact?

-Markaz Toseeh Tehran after obtaining consultative status from ECOSOC and appointing representatives for United Nations Headquarters in New York, for further communication sent the respected Secretary General and one of its members to the UN Office in New York , Markaz Toseeh Tehran has presented a new approach on disability in the country under the slogan "Positive Discrimination for Disabled", to introduce this plan and to communicate closely with the United Nations, the members of the Center, upon entering the UN Headquarters, found that the Desa Department did not even have a physical presence !!

- There was no secretariat in the UN Office !!!

 

 

- Available is through the organization's website information on United Nations practices and policies, but it is impossible to communicate with departments and use their experience and information.

For example, the Desa department does not respond to emails sent !

 

 The United Nations should provide effective and active communication conditions for the exchange of experiences, the use of information and programs and more details of projects, and how to collaborate and participate in these programs and the exchange of information between NGOs.

- The Markaz Toseeh Tehran hopes to communicate with UN departments and further details on development-oriented programs related to women, youth, disabilities, immigrants, etc., and can benefit from UN experiences in this area.

 

 

Markaz Toseeh Tehran believes, three major issues in our cities and villages are:

1- Disabled People

2- Working Children

3- The Elderly

Unfortunately, a significant percentage of the country's population is among the three groups that face many challenges.

Our organization, after extensive research, has implemented practical programs in the areas of interest and has implemented successful efforts in these areas between 2015 and 2019 in the cities of Tehran and Karaj. despite persistent efforts by Markaz Toseeh Tehran, major obstacles have slowed progress in implementing these projects. with support and participation in these projects, the United Nations can eliminate some of the challenges ahead.

Changing the public outlook on people with disabilities and women and their greater support and participation in civic and social activities with proper UN training and assistance can be effective in reducing the suffering.

 

 

 

NGOs and projects related to sustainable development for women, youth, the disabled, the elderly, working children, immigrants, etc, they need to play a more significant role in UN programs and to provide conditions in the Security Council, ECOSOC, the Human Rights Council, the World Periodic Review and various committees with special attention to civil society activists and NGO programs. That such projects be considered the priorities of the above collections.

- Representatives of NGOs and various civil- society groups appear to lack access to UN commissions and subcommittees. (Compared to government sector representatives)

- Representatives of groups such as women, youth, the disabled, the elderly, working children, immigrants, ethnic and religious minorities, indigenous peoples have no role in the decision-making process of major UN commissions and prioritize and plan for sustainable development.

 

- By actively engaging with organizations that pursue the demands of groups such as the disabled, the elderly, youth, women of ethnic and religious backgrounds, the United Nations has advocated for greater diversity of civic groups and take positive steps towards the goals of the 2030 agenda programs.

 

 

- unfortunately, in most cases, civil society activists in developing countries are exposed to all kinds of threats and violence. much of the work of civil society groups is to combat poverty and corruption and to tackle all forms of discrimination and inequality that in themselves are in the interests of individuals and groups that benefit from this inequality. therefore, the United Nations can support their programs by supporting individuals and organizations active in these areas.

 

- The United Nations first identifies and works closely with civil-society actors, and then supporting programs that are in line with sustainable development goals, can provide protection against intimidation, threats, and attacks online and offline. And with the help of executive tools available to prevent threats against civil society actors .

 

 

- Civil-society activists generally pursue goals such as combating poverty and corruption and economic inequality, combating discrimination, empowering vulnerable groups, helping to promote social justice, empowering women, empowering youth, and providing social services. much of this effort is in essence at odds with the interests of government officials.senior UN leaders can support greater diversity by supporting civil society activists against government officials and trying to force governments to prioritize civil society activists' programs.

 

 

National laws and policies on protests, access to information and freedom of expression that affect a large part of civil society activities are generally under the control of governments in developing countries. control and access to information that fights corruption and social inequality and the formulation of laws that can reverse the trend is back to governments.

- Strengthening civil society and supporting civil society projects in these countries and actively and continuously liaising with the programs, removing barriers and problems of civil society sector projects is the proposal of the Markaz Toseeh Tehran to the United Nations in this regard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Hamid Reza Kazemi, thank you for highlighting many of the pertinent challenges in partnering with the UN, especially at the headquarters level and those serving inter-governmental bodies and forums. As you noted, lack of clarity on existing channels and entry points for effective engagement, lack of responsiveness despite proper structures for NGO engagement that may exist, as well as many barriers for persons with disabilities, children and older people for effective engagement are well noted, and through this discussion we are seeking to hear your ideas how theses gaps could be addressed. We hope to hear from many others on this forum about their experiences too, and possibly, your solutions and ideas to these problems.

You have also raised another important role that the UN could play in facilitating conditions for information exchange and experience sharing among civil society and NGO networks. Would be interesting to hear from others if they have experience with this and if the UN facilitated interactions between you and other NGOs or civil society actors, and how in practice this was implemented. Any further comments from others are welcomed.

However, going back to your other comments on the challenges, or lack of opportunities, for persons with disabilities, youth and children, minorities and indigenous peoples, and older persons to engage with the UN.  There are a number of mechanisms that facilitate such engagements.  For example, the UN Open-ended Working Group on Ageing, the UN Forum on Minority Issues and the UN Expert Mechanism and Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Gender and Youth Promotion Initiative of the UN Peacebuilding Support Office and its Peacebuilding Fund to support civil society organizations, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as the UN DESA promotion of the participation of youth organizations, with or without consultative status, with the ECOSOC’s Annual Youth Forum.  What was your experience like in engaging with these forums and mechanisms, and would you have practical recommendations to improve the engagement?  Thanks for any additional views and comments.

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

 

DAY 2

Dear participants,

Welcome to the second day of the consultations, and we would also like to welcome new participants that may have just joined!

During yesterday’s discussion, we believe we heard many challenges and practical recommendations from you, and we thank you again.  The discussion was reach in its scope and content, however, if we summarize majority of views, then the UN needs to significantly:

  • Improve access to information, especially by civil society actors at the grass-roots and community levels, who otherwise may not have access to and knowledge about the UN and its work
  • Reach out to, communicate with and involve local and community civil society actors in its work, and lend political, technical, financial and other support as may be required
  • Significantly increase public awareness, basic knowledge and capacities on fundamental human rights and public freedoms, including through communication tools and freely accessible online courses and resources
  • The need to better protect those under risk, including human rights activists and defenders, journalists, and vulnerable, marginalized, excluded and discriminated population groups working on human rights issues
  • Improve civil society engagement in inter-governmental processes, especially those that do not have ECOSOC consultative status, and improve the responsiveness of the UN to civil society concerns in relation to these processes 

Of course, you also raised many other issues and concerns.  However, if you allow me to highlight a few comments or contributions that stand out.

@Liu Si made an important point that States and governments often do not honor their legally binding obligations under international human rights law that they ratified voluntarily.  Lack of the public awareness of these obligations exacerbates the already challenging situation. We understand this point is very relevant to what the UN could or should do in reminding States of their obligations and implementation of human rights treaties, and broader public of their rights, including as part of the UN's advocacy and promotion of civic space and fundamental rights and freedoms.

@Samir Kumar Das noted that civil society and NGOs "can play an active role in the protection and preservation of humanity, advocacy, conflict, human rights violation and humanitarian response in crisis."  This is an important point, and civil society actors in the frontline are the actual agents of change.  The issue is then how the UN can support better the civil society cause, as well as how civil society actors can come together and combine their efforts avoiding any polarization.

We also encourage you to respond to other issues or questions that were not sufficiently discussed, as well as an active discussion among participants.

Please note that many participants are contributing in different languages, therefore, please do not forget to change the language at the top of this screen, so that entire discussion will be displayed in your own language, if available.

Thank you all again, and we look forward to continued and productive discussions!

Samir Kumar Das • Chairman at IMAECSED (International Movement for Advancemet of Education Cul\ture Social & Economic Development) from India

Dear Mr.  Baatar Bayarmagnai from OHCHR,

I am very happy to hear from you. Since 1995 we are fighting for the promotion and protection of Human Rights. We regularly monitoring and taking action through Net to different stakeholders. We have organized many Seminars, Fought in the National commission of Human Rights for some Human Rights violation cases earlier. Launched  earlier Human Rights Training center. But due to non available of projects we could not focus our expertise. I am a legal practioner for last 38 years having wide knowledge  and experience to fought for Human Rights. I can assure you our expertise along with  our dynamic team of legal practitioner and youth can achive a good result to become an active agent and pursue its  work in any country or situation to protect and promote Human Rights. We are also capable to launch different Human Rights Projects if we can avail any support. I can assure you our best performance.   

Dear Mr.  Baatar Bayarmagnai from OHCHR,

I am very happy to hear from you. Since 1995 we are fighting for the promotion and protection of Human Rights. We regularly monitoring and taking action through Net to different stakeholders. We have organized many Seminars, Fought in the National commission of Human Rights for some Human Rights violation cases earlier. Launched  earlier Human Rights Training center. But due to non available of projects we could not focus our expertise. I am a legal practioner for last 38 years having wide knowledge  and experience to fought for Human Rights. I can assure you our expertise along with  our dynamic team of legal practitioner and youth can achive a good result to become an active agent and pursue its  work in any country or situation to protect and promote Human Rights. We are also capable to launch different Human Rights Projects if we can avail any support. I can assure you our best performance.   

Mariana Bwema Chibalonza • Coordinatrice at IFEDD from Congo - Kinshasa

Bonjour a tous 

je suis tres heureux d'etre parmi vous .

Bien que les ONGs et la societe civile puissent jouent sont role mais nous devons aussi donne la connaissence a la communaute en matiere de droit de l'homme;sur la gestion de conflits

L'ONU doit donne a nouveau ou renforce la connaissence des acteurs de la societe civile sur le thematique 

Mariana Bwema Chibalonza • Coordinatrice at IFEDD from Congo - Kinshasa

L'ONU doit accompagne les OSC en renforcant leur connaissence  sur la thematique ainsi que dans la mise en oeuvres des actions sur terrain pour que la societe civile jouer bien son role il doit etre outille et avoir de connaissence sur la notion de droit il ya aussi le devoir;gestion de conflits et sur la reponse humanitaire  

Ivan Kibangou • Directeur at Global Participe from Congo - Brazzaville

Je pense que l'ONU devrait soutenir des programme de vulgarisation des droits et libertés des OSC. 

 

Mariana Bwema Chibalonza • Coordinatrice at IFEDD from Congo - Kinshasa

L'un ce qui ou prenons L'ONU ensemble

Samir Kumar Das • Chairman at IMAECSED (International Movement for Advancemet of Education Cul\ture Social & Economic Development) from India

 

Dear Ivan Kibangou, I am principal Founder and Chairman of International Movement for Advancement of Education Culture Social & Economic Development (IMAECSED) an Indian based NGO..

Want of English we can not participate your consultation.

 

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Samir Kumar Das, please don't forget to change the language into English (selection list at the top of the screen) to be able to see the discussion translated into English.

Ivan Kibangou • Directeur at Global Participe from Congo - Brazzaville

ONU devrait soutenir les programmes de vulgarisation des droits et libertés des OSC.

Un fond devrait être mis en place pour cela. Et un observatoire avec un système d'information rapide devrait être mis en place. 

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Mariana Bwema the balonza, @Ivan Kibangou, thank you for your comments, which reiterates the importance of the UN in raising awareness among and supporting, including financially, civil society actors. For example, UN peacebuilding and humanitarian agencies work with many local and community organizations, and also provide some funding, although such engagements could be further improved.  Have you engaged with such UN organizations, and what practical recommendations would you propose based on your experience, including on the options for early warning system?

Mariana Bwema Chibalonza • Coordinatrice at IFEDD from Congo - Kinshasa

Je suis en RDC precisement au Nord kivu mais partant de l'experience que j'ai avec les agences de nations unis dans le cardre de la consolidation de la paix je pas encore  je pas encore vu des actions pareilles peut etres ils ont une autre approche mais je me rappel on voulais organise un forum d'echange intule"FEMME et MINES" dans notres approche c'etais dans le cadre de parle au femme travaillant dans l'exploitation miniere sur leur droit et le devoir de l'exercise miniree on a voulu que PNUD et ONU FEMME puisse nous accompagne dans telle activites malhuresement il nous disent qu'il ya pas de fond pour ca,et il connaissent tous ce qui se passe dans le zone minier en lisant de rapport comment le droit sont viole;le conflit entre les entreprises et les artisanaux or il faut mene les activites de rapprochement pour consolide la paix dans de zone conflictuese.je crois il est temp de se releve pour une cause communautaire avec vos agences  surtout sur le violation de droits humains et la consolidation de la paix;pensons y 

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Mariana Bwema Chibalonza, thank you for your contribution.

Ivan Kibangou • Directeur at Global Participe from Congo - Brazzaville

Je suis en République du Congo, je peux vous affirmer qu'aucune agence des nations unis, principalement le PNUD, n'a un programme d'appui à la protection de l'espace civique au Congo. en effet, depuis 2016, le gouvernement de la République du Congo s'active à faire adopter au Parlement Congolais une loi restrictive de l'espace civique et les agences du système des nations unies au Congo n'assistent pas les OSC engagés dans cette bataille juridique, dans ce plaidoyer avec les parlementaires. seul l'ong américaine ICNL qui assistent les organisations de la République du Congo sur le plan technique et financier dans ce plaidoyer grâce auquel ce projet de loi n'a pas encore été adopté.

cependant, les activistes de la société civile continuent à être arrêtés. rien que ce mois de décembre 2019, cinq ( 5) militants de la société civile ont été arrêtés pour avoir, selon les services de renseignements de la police, voulu organiser une marche contre la pauvreté des populations

il faut que les OSC aient des  fonds pour organiser les campagne de vulgarisation des droits et libertés des OSC 

Ce que nous voulons c'est que le DPI avec le réseau de ses centre d'information des nations unies renforcent la vulgarisation des textes relatifs à la liberté d'association

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@John Kibangou, thank you for your insight on the level of the UN support and engagement with you and other civil society actors, including on the issue of protection.  Across the world and in general, there are many reports, including from civil society, regarding the emergence of draft national legislation that restricts civic space and civil society activities in many ways, as well as of growing crack downs on peaceful protests and persecution of human rights activists, journalists and other civil society actors.  In your view and from your experience, what would be the likely reasons of the UN inaction in protecting civic space and civil society actors when the UN engages with authorities?  Would it be political willingness of the UN to engage on those issues, technical capacities or any other reasons?  When civil society approach the UN with these concerns, what is the usual response by the UN to such civil society concerns?  Of course, you may wish not to respond to questions in a detailed way, but any additional feedback will be helpful.

If other participants have similar experiences to share, we are keen to know them too.

Angelica Flores • Presidenta at Fundacion Internacional Fabricando Fantasias Ayúdame Ayudando.A.C from Mexico

QUERIDOS AMIGOS ANALIZANDO LAS INICIATIVAS Y PROPUESTAS DE ESTE FORO CABE SEÑALAR LA IMPORTANCIA EN TODO EL MUNDO DE LOS DERECHOS IRRESTRICTOS DE LA HUMANIDAD, HABLABAMOS DE VIOLACIONES A LOS DERECHOS EN GENERAL Y LA PREGUNTA DEL MILLOS ES? POR QUE ESTAS QUEJAS ?DESDE CUANDO HAY VIOLACIONES Y PORQUE POR MEDIO DE ESTE FORO LA ONU SE VA ENTERANDO, POR QUE HASTA HOY DEBEMOS PONER FIN, PORQUE SOMOS NOSOTROS LOS QUE CON MIEDO VAMOS POR EL MUNDO DEFENDIENDO LO QUE DEBERIA SER POR DERECHO NUESTRO

ESTO HABLA DE LA FALTA DE CRITERIO DE CADA UNO DE NUESTROS GOBERNANTES QUITAR LOS ESPACIOS CIVICOS NOS PONE CONTRA LA PARED EN NUESTRAS LABORES HAGAMOS UN FRENTE COMUN NUEVO, CON GENTE DE LA SOCIEDAD CIVIL RESPALDADO POR LA ONU PARA VIGILAR LOS ACUERDOS, PACTOS Y TRATADOS ,VEAMOS QUIEN NO CUMPLE Y DEMANDEMOS

DICEN QUE NO HAY PEOR LUCHA QUE LA QUE NO SE HACE HEMOS DEJADO PASAR TANTO Y HASTA DONDE LLEGAREMOS SOMOS LIBRES CON RESPONSABILIDADES PROPIAS PERO NO SOMOS LIBRES DE ELEGIR SOBRE OTROS

"EL RESPETO AL DERECHO AJENO ES LA PAZ"

APOYEN NUESTRAS CAUSAS NO SE OLVIDEN DE NOSOTROS MILES DE PERSONAS AN MUERTO POR DEFENDER SUS DERECHOS Y NADIE SUPO NADA LUCHAMOS TODOS EN CONJUNTO POR UN SUEÑO VIVIR EN PAZ DONDE CANINEMOS TODOS JUNTOS SIN DEJAR A NADIE ATRÁS Y QUE NUESTROS NIÑOS NO TENGAN HAMBRE DONDE NUESTRA FAMILIAS VIVAN BAJO UN TECHO Y QUE NO TENGAMOS QUE UIR DE NUESTRAS RAICES.

FORTALEZCAN SUS PROGRAMAS, APOYENSE DE LA SOCIEDAD CIVIL VERIFIQUEN SUS TRATADOS Y PONGANLE FIN A LA OPRESIÓN, NO NOS ABANDONEN EN NUESTRAS LABORES CADA VEZ MAS GENTE NOS QUEDAMOS SIN RECURSOS PARA SEGUIR APOYANDO SI NO RECIBIMOS APOYO NOSOTROS SEREMOS LOS SIGUIENTES EN NECESITAR AYUDA Y NO ABRA NADIE

ALGUNAS ORGANIZACIONES HEMOS PERDIDO TODO Y AUN ASÍ LUCHAMOS . QUE ESTO NO SE QUEDE EN UN FORO EN COMENTARIOS LOS QUE NOS HEMOS ATREVIDO HABLAR ES POR QUE YA NO VEMOS SALIDAS YA NO VEMOS LUZ ENTRE TANTA OBSCURIDAD

 

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Angelica Flores, thank you for speaking out your concerns and challenges all of us face in the context of shrinking civic space, disregard of international norms and standards, and all types of human rights violations. We understand that your comment also speaks to the contribution made by @Liu Si on the need to push for the implementation by States of numerous international human rights instruments that they ratified. The implementation of these treaties remains a multi-decade challenge.

We would like to encourage you to share with us your views and practical suggestions on, if possible, what measures and solutions you expect the UN as whole (and not just the UN human rights system) should put in place to promote the implementation of international treaties by the States?

Angelica Flores • Presidenta at Fundacion Internacional Fabricando Fantasias Ayúdame Ayudando.A.C from Mexico

MAS INFORMACIÓN DIGITAL, MAS PUBLICIDAD, FOROS Y EVENTOS PUBLICOS DONDE SE DE A CONOCER SU LABOR DE USTEDES Y EL COMPROMISO CON LA SOCIEDAD CIVIL, QUE POR MEDIO DE USTEDES SE PUEDAN HACER LISITACIONES DONDE NOS APOYEN PARA SABER NUESTROS DERECHOS Y RESPONSABILIDADES EN UN EVENTO CÍVICO Y NO SE VIOLE NINGÚN DERECHO .. Podría enviar a alguna persona a verificar que se cumpla en conjunto con la seguridad pública de cada país

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Angelica Flores, great, many thanks for your additional clarifications and inputs, which really re-confirm what others have also expressed.

Mohammed Mominul Haque • FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR at PEACE AND JUSTICE ALLIANCE from Canada

Hi: how are you all, hope you are all well. I need to bring your attention that peoples in the ground feels that their voice is not heard by the international community. In many places around the world regimes keeps power without listen or provide any social justice to the peoples, regimes never provide any space to the civil society or opposition, normally there should be space to express peoples grievances, if there will no real space for the people and civil society activist than they will try to find another option to express their concern, people want that their voice has heard by the authority, if citizens has failed to get their rights or service from the country they will try to raise voice to get justice, Government tried to politicized administration, media, judicial and law enforcement agencies, to keep power patronize corruption in the society, create intentionally chaos and crisis, if you at present what ever conflict and crisis world has been facing maximum has been created by the own nation. Some times we are seeing internal conflict are controlling by the neighbour country for their geo politics.

UN and international community need to bring urgent solution to bring peace, security and solve conflicts in the fragile countries, marginal or vulnerable peoples are the main victims, corrupt leaders, politicians and businessman are taking all the advantage, five person people are the owner of the whole country resources, peoples are not getting their real service from the government, there is huge gape between the ruler and citizens of the country, corporation impunity is the biggest factor now world is facing, media, politics has been controlling by the elites, poor or marginalized peoples feels that no one listen to them or provide any real hope to them.

Many regimes in the world they keep power without real vote for pro long periods. When we see any conflict or crisis in any part of the world, we issue a statement, hybrid regimes or dictators never count those statements, hybrid remise openly deny or ignore what other organization has said, they said we need to keep power to continue our so-called development (paper development), suppressing others rights and voice. Example country : BANGLADESH.

Now, it is the time we need to bring a strong message that civil society around the world are united, we will go to the countries where human rights has been violating by the regimes, UN and Global force need to create to topples dictators. Needs to create space for the civil society and marginalized people.

Thanks.

Mariana Bwema Chibalonza • Coordinatrice at IFEDD from Congo - Kinshasa

je suis de meme avis que vous;L'ONU doit soutenir et accompagne les actions de la societe civile sur terrain ;les entreprise qui vile le droit de communaute local mais le gouvernement soutienent ces entreprises 

Samir Kumar Das • Chairman at IMAECSED (International Movement for Advancemet of Education Cul\ture Social & Economic Development) from India

[~57928] 

I am principal Founder and Chairman of International Movement for Advancement of Education Culture Social & Economic Development (IMAECSED) an Indian based NGO..

Want of English we can not participate your consultation.

I am principal Founder and Chairman of International Movement for Advancement of Education Culture Social & Economic Development (IMAECSED) an Indian based NGO..

Want of English we can not participate your consultation.

 

Sister Ling ( HOL GS) • Founder at Hands of Love GS from United States

[~14693] 

Hello!☺😶

Your want of English is not to bad.

I understand your message too.

Participating in this forum is important because it gives others who actually work at UN a chance to hear what regular ppl think about things. It is not always the same old thing that does not change. We all have our nations little ones who need us to try to make things better. I hope you can maybe try to use translate on web to talk more about being in an NGO and if you feel safe and what is your view on what UN could do to make NGO feel safer even if you are safe.

We have a whole next week and the weekend. I hope you can join us.

Okay Thank You!👍

Liu Si • Online Educator at Freedom Human Rights Research Group from United States

Anonymity - a Way to Self-Protection

In authoritarian and totalitarian states, human rights defenders are mostly targeted by the government.  The situation is very different from the free states, where civil society constitutes a vital part in public life.  In a saddened state, there is no legal recognition of NGOs or non-profits, which means human rights defenders are all lone fighters.  Open criticisms will land the speakers in jail.  All these are colossally wrong, but arguments doesn’t help.  A realistic way is self-protection.  Anonymity can help people to work most of the time online and stay safe.

The problem with anonymity is that you are restrained in many respects, such as shrinking audience base, no credibility, no external support especially in finance, and most importantly, no Public recognition therefore, extremely vulnerable before the government's iron hand.

The pros and cons can go on and on.  So I want UN to analyze if it’s a desirable tactic?  If it is, an advocacy for anonymity by UN experts will be helpful.

But UN need to find a way to educate people how to keep anonymous online.  Taking VPN application as an example, many people have no sense of it, which means without step by step demonstration, like screen recording, they simple can’t manage.

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Liu Si, thanks again for your continued contributions and suggestions.  As you pointed out, as well as by many other civil society organizations, in authoritarian states the civic space is closed or non-existent, and civil society actors and human rights defenders are facing oppression.  In this kind environment, in a similar way we asked from @John Kibangou, what is it that the UN could do more in support of civil society, including greater partnership and networking among different actors on the protection?  The same question could be asked from @Mohammed Mominul Haque above in response to his commentary, what role would you expect the UN should play in such difficult and restrictive environments?  Some possible responses could also be in line with other suggestions made by participants thus far, including on such as greater education and awareness raising among the population etc, but what are the practical, constructive and innovative ways in which the UN could lend its support? 

You are also suggesting that the UN should do an analysis on the issue of anonymity, and we would like to hear the experiences and suggestions of others.  However, establishing a secure and safe communication channels between the UN and civil society, including online security, may be another separate issue distinct from anonymity.  We invite participants to share their experiences, if appropriate, on how the UN in your countries adopted secure communication channels or paid an attention to the security of individuals or groups in general.

Rugaiyatou Ubale • minorities and indigenous at CIVICUS from Cameroon

@Baatar Bayarmagnai 

Hello to everyone on board thanks once more for this opportunity to be part of y'all. I want to talk about people in the ground who's voice can't be heard by the international community I here are an example who has been a victim of crisis

civil society and NGOs play an active role in the protection of humanity, advocacy, conflict, human rights violation etc

People in English Cameroon are suffering and dying the Muslim community is not even looked at as humans because of lack of education. 

UN and international community need to bring urgent solution to bring peace, security and solve conflicts in the fragile countries like Cameroon innocent peoples are the main victims, corrupt leaders, politicians and businessman own the country and hard working able and capable youths are roaming around streets smoking marijuana. We need peace and security humanitarian assistance and realization of human rights by looking into the areas of need and providing them with all the necessary equipments. 

I do have so much to show the world about my community if I'm giving the chance to 

Liu Si • Online Educator at Freedom Human Rights Research Group from United States

[~57448] Thanks for reply.  Self protection and protection are the two sides of one coin.  In Hong Kong, protestors protect themselves from persecution by hiding their faces with masks and anonymously participating online activities. They know how to protect themselves online and offline, which many in the mainland China don’t.  On the other side, during the past 7 months, government announced >6000 arrests, 40% are students;  also 3000 deaths. Some death cases are very suspicious of murder, but police claim suicide.  The situation leave protestors in trauma.  Now from the protection side, if UN can enquire the government about their states, it should be very helpful to prevent violation on CAT, because some young detainees report their experiences of being mistreated, even group raped during detention.  In this regard, NGOs can’t perform this type of protection.  Some cases report to NGO when they realize about possible harms they have faced with, but receive no protection, and some cases get arrested shortly after their reports.

Therefore, talking about protection from UN, I think most needed protection are for the detainees and the missing.  For my knowledge, most of the cases get mistreated less if UN enquire their government about their states.  But such cases are very rare.  If UN can establish a mechanism, such as intervene procedures as other participants have suggested, it’ll be great.  Of course by doing this, UN have to establish a database and a means of communication wIth UN branch offices.  But effective protection will require that enquiry to respective governments come from UN headquarters not the local branch offices.

Sister Ling ( HOL GS) • Founder at Hands of Love GS from United States

I'm so sorry to get off topic.But we are intently in engagement of this issue in Hong Kong. As well as hoping the ngo observer can be allowed in. Could you cite your source if public about the 3000>  deaths.

I was unable to find any news of this.

If not it's okay and I will not quote you and please keep my request with in the context of " confidential colleague chat"!💕💕💕

Thanks!

SL

Rugaiyatou Ubale • minorities and indigenous at CIVICUS from Cameroon

[~57830] please how can I get in contact with the human rights and UN bodies in Cameroon Bamenda

I've seen most of them and no one else s willing to talk or attend to me they keep saying I should see the bigger people I don't know who's the bigger person's please

Tariq Alsabahi • from Oman

Hi I totally agree with what you said. Thanks

Adelfa Malpica • Directora at ONG de Derechos Humanos from Venezuela

Quiero centrar mis planteamientos principalmente en dos aspectos fundamentales para mí y para muchas personas con las que he conversado, que son: Q2. Protección de los actores de la sociedad civil y Q3. Promoción y defensa de los espacios cívicos:

Sabemos que  La "responsabilidad de proteger" como propuesta llevada a la ONU por un lado lleva consigo un mensaje de intervención en socorro de víctimas o posibles víctimas de serias violaciones de derechos humanos.

La "responsabilidad de proteger" apareció en la ONU vinculada a las discusiones sobre la intervención humanitaria en Kosovo y en vista de las experiencias negativas de la ONU en Somalia, Rwanda y Bosnia, tratando de dar una respuesta a la cuestión de qué hacer frente a emergencias humanitarias graves que surjan en cualquier parte del mundo.

En la actualidad ya se han dado diversos casos de emergencia humanitaria que han originado propuestas del uso de la fuerza bajo el concepto de "responsabilidad de proteger" como los habidos en Myanmar, Zimbabwe y Sudán, hechos estos que obligan a examinar este concepto a fin de afinar su contenido, su posición en el sistema de la ONU, la fuerza de su mensaje y sus límites.

Las Naciones Unidas define una Emergencia Humanitaria Compleja como "una crisis humanitaria en un país, región o sociedad en la que hay una total o considerable ruptura de la autoridad, como resultado de un conflicto interno o externo, y que requiere una respuesta internacional que va más allá del mandato o capacidad de un solo organismo y/o el programa de país de las Naciones Unidas en curso" (IASC, 1994). En sus efectos de hambre, inseguridad alimentaria, malnutrición, vulnerabilidad y riesgo, la FAO traduce las emergencias complejas como "Una crisis humanitaria grave que suele ser el resultado de una combinación de inestabilidad política, conflictos y violencia, desigualdades sociales y una pobreza subyacente. Las emergencias complejas son fundamentalmente de carácter político y pueden hacer mella en la estabilidad cultural, civil, política y económica de las sociedades, sobre todo cuando se ven agravadas por peligros naturales, enfermedades respiratorias y enfermedades como el VIH/SIDA, Paludismo, Tuberculosis, entre otras enfermedades epidémicas que surgen por falta de control en salud pública, los cuales menoscaban los medios de vida y acentúan la pobreza de la población.

Respecto a Venezuela como Estado Fallido, está suficientemente documentada la Emergencia Humanitaria Compleja que se vive en el País, con una población de 31.8 millones de habitantes y un territorio dividido en 24 estados, vive una Emergencia Humanitaria Compleja desde el año 2015 sin precedentes en el País, entre los indicadores más lamentables que se tienen a Diciembre de 2018 referente a:

En relación a la Emergencia en alimentación y nutrición (Fuente: Reporte Nacional: Emergencia humanitaria compleja en Venezuela, derecho a la alimentación), tenemos resumidamente lo siguiente:

-94% de la población venezolana no cuenta con ingresos suficientes para pagar los precios de una canasta de alimentos y de servicios básicos por las extremas condiciones de privación económica.

-Con una caída de la producción nacional mayor a 60% y de las importaciones en más de 70%, la población venezolana enfrenta una escasa disponibilidad de alimentos.

-80% de los hogares venezolanos vive en inseguridad alimentaria por el cierre de establecimientos, la escasez y costos de los alimentos y las dificultades para cocinar por falta de agua, gas y electricidad.

-64% de los venezolanos había perdido unos 11 kg de peso entre 2016 y 2017, por el acelerado deterioro de la ingesta de alimentos en la cantidad y calidad necesaria, siendo más afectados los niños y las mujeres.

-De 5% a 11,5% subió el porcentaje de población subalimentada en Venezuela entre 2016 y 2018, y la desnutrición aguda global alcanzó porcentajes de emergencia en niños menores de 5 años y embarazadas de parroquias pobres.

-25.000 embarazadas no reciben control prenatal y 7.500 se controlan tardíamente en el octavo y noveno mes de embarazo, poniendo en riesgo sus vidas y las de sus hijos en un contexto de emergencia alimentaria.

-La combinación de emergencias en alimentación y salud disminuye las probabilidades de que los niños más pequeños y las embarazadas que sufren de desnutrición severa tengan oportunidad de sobrevivir.

-33% de los niños entre 0-2 años de edad de sectores pobres tiene retardo de crecimiento según el indicador talla/edad; exponiéndolos a irremediables trastornos del desarrollo y enfermedades a futuro.

-Ante las políticas de privación y dependencia, que incluye la negativa a reconocer la emergencia y no publicar cifras oficiales, las familias se han visto forzadas a adoptar estrategias de sobrevivencia, incluyendo emigrar.

En el derecho a la salud, sus impactos se han materializado en la destrucción de un sistema sanitario público ya deteriorado, causando graves daños a la salud de millones de personas, la reaparición y propagación de epidemias erradicadas décadas atrás y miles de muertes en creciente ascenso.

Respecto a la Emergencia por daños a la salud y la vida (Fuente: Reporte Nacional. Emergencia humanitaria compleja en Venezuela. Derecho a la salud)

-Al menos 60% de la asistencia médica disponible en 2011 se perdió entre 2012 y 2017; prestada por servicios de salud públicos a 82% de la población usuaria.

-18,7 millones de personas con las condiciones de salud de mayor prevalencia, incidencia y mortalidad no tienen garantías de acceso a diagnósticos ni a tratamientos.       

-300 mil personas Trasplantadas, con Hemofilia, Cáncer, Parkinson, Esclerosis, y otras personas con condiciones crónicas graves, fueron privadas de medicamentos desde 2016.

El riesgo de fallecer en un hospital público es bastante alto, causando extrema vulnerabilidad a las personas por la precariedad de las condiciones de atención.     

-406.000 casos de malaria, generó la epidemia en 2017, con 280 muertes en 2016. Se esperan 700.000 nuevos casos y 1.500 muertes al finalizar 2018 por debilidad de programas antipalúdicos.

-140.000 personas con cáncer y más de 300.000 con condiciones cardíacas severas han visto reducidas sus posibilidades de sobrevivir por ausencia de diagnóstico, tratamiento y cirugía.

-En 66% subió la escala de muertes maternas y en 30% las infantiles de 2015 a 2016. Siguen en ascenso hasta 2018, con los agravantes de la desnutrición y las epidemias. 

-10.952 nuevos casos de Tuberculosis ocurrieron en 2017, intensificándose en las cárceles debido a las condiciones inhumanas de hacinamiento y desnutrición de la población reclusa.     

-Más de 79.000 personas con VIH dejaron de recibir antirretrovirales desde 2017 y el número de defunciones aumentó de 1.800 en 2014 a posiblemente más de 5.000 en los últimos años.

-De 23.000 a 3.500 descendió el número de personas atendidas en instituciones psiquiátricas públicas y las que están no disponen de comida ni de medicinas.   

-9.362 suman los casos de Difteria y Sarampión en 2018 con 230 muertes. Estas epidemias ya se extienden a todo el país por desplazamientos internos y bajas coberturas de vacunación.

-2.500 de 15.000 personas que se dializan por deficiencias renales, fallecieron entre 2017 y 2018 por las fallas, contaminación, déficit y cierre de las unidades de diálisis.

-La mayor parte de los establecimientos de salud públicos presentan serio deterioro de sus plantas físicas, no cuentan con suficiente personal y materiales de limpieza, una adecuada disposición de residuos ni suministro regular de agua, entre otras cosas.., como es la falta de electricidad continúa... Estas condiciones inadecuadas de saneamiento favorecen infecciones intrahospitalarias y 50% de los hospitales con servicios complejos no cuentan con laboratorios de bacteriología. Entre 2017 y 2018 fallecieron 12 niños y adolescentes que se dializaban en el Hospital Infantil J.M. de los Ríos por infección bacteriana en los tanques de agua y filtros de las unidades. En un año se duplicó el número de muertes infantiles en este hospital, pasando de 79 a 160; las tres primeras causas fueron el shock séptico, la neumonía y la desnutrición. Entre 2016 y 2018, también fallecieron 147 niños y niñas por bacteria Serratia Marcescens en el Hospital Pediátrico Dr. Agustín Zubillaga del estado Lara. De igual modo, entre diciembre de 2017 y febrero de 2018, se denunció la muerte de 112 recién nacidos en la Maternidad Santa Ana de Caracas por bacteria Klebsiella Pneumoniae.

Yo podría explanar mucho más información aquí, pero se haría muy largo éste documento, y creo que innecesariamente, sobre asesinatos y desapariciones forzadas cometidas por organismos de seguridad del Estado, el grave problemas de los servicios públicos, el grave problema del poder adquisitivo de la población y el alto costo de la vida, de la falta de dinero efectivo en los bancos, del alto costo de las medicinas y alimentos que impiden su accesibilidad a la mayoría de la población, la violación constante de las leyes por parte de los entes gubernamentales, etc., etc., etc., porque el Consejo de Derechos Humanos de la ONU a través de su Alta Comisionada para los Derechos Humanos tiene todos los informes al respecto de las graves violaciones de Derechos Humanos que se vive en Venezuela de manera sistemática, lo que sustenta la Emergencia Humanitaria Compleja existente desde el 2015 en el País

Ahora bien, para mí, para mi familia que se vio obligada a migrar, para mis amistades que han migrado también, y quienes aún seguimos en Venezuela viviendo las penurias asfixiantes de la Emergencia Humanitaria Compleja, queremos decirle a la ONU que debe haber necesariamente un límite, tiene que haber algo o alguien que detenga en algún momento la escalada de esa Emergencia humanitaria, cuando quienes la originaron desde el gobierno continúan haciendo lo mismo sin recapacitar sobre el daño que están causando masivamente a la Población en Venezuela, porque genera muerte, pobreza, enfermedad y toda clase de daños colaterales a la población civil que la sufre y que se encuentra desprotegida contra los criminales que obstentan el poder, avasallan y subyugan la vida de la población, lo que la obliga a migrar mes tras mes, y la que no puede migrar, debe soportar el deterioro constante de su calidad de vida, y luchar por su vida y la de su familia, muchas veces infructuosamente…

Es por ello que no es justo que una población sea sometida por largo tiempo al horror de vivir una Emergencia Humanitaria Compleja, con todas sus consecuencias…, simplemente porque un grupo reducido de personas han tomado el poder del País, manejan a su antojo las Instituciones, las Leyes y tienen las armas para someter de diversas formas a la población, mientras la Comunidad Internacional mira desde afuera todo lo que ocurre y solo usa la Diplomacia, pues les digo como víctima que el uso de la Diplomacia es una bofetada en la cara de la población, porque no soluciona nada cuando ya se vive una Emergencia Humanitaria Compleja, y consecuentemente una violación sistemática de Derechos Humanos que configuran crímenes de lesa humanidad….

Yo les pregunto a ustedes señores de la ONU: acaso tiene que haber otro Holocausto para ver si ese Organismo va a reaccionar y a efectuar alguna acción que si vaya dirigida a solucionar de raíz  los males que vive la Población en Venezuela.  

Es por ello que demando la revisión y mejoramiento en la aplicación la “Responsabilidad de Proteger” a través de figuras como: la Injerencia Humanitaria o R2P, y a tal efecto les dejo los siguientes planteamientos que son una recopilación de algunas personas conocedoras de la materia, para que recapaciten y hagan algo al respecto:

"Derecho de injerencia" de los Estados. 

Indiferentemente de la dualidad de planteamientos que puedan surgir del término “Derecho de Injerencia” o “Injerencia Humanitaria”,

Lo que es indiscutible es que los Estados tienen derecho a abrir los ojos. Un Estado puede preguntarse, preocuparse y ocuparse por lo que ocurre en los demás Estados. Aunque, muy a menudo, éstos todavía se inhiben, este derecho no deja lugar a dudas. Hay, efectivamente, mecanismos de defensa de este derecho, instaurados para y por el conjunto de los Estados, principalmente en el marco del Consejo Económico y Social: la Comisión de Derechos Humanos adopta, a este respecto, la amplia base del acatamiento de los derechos humanos.

En el también amplio ámbito de las controversias o de las situaciones que pueden poner en peligro la paz o la seguridad internacionales, todo miembro de la ONU puede recurrir al Consejo de Seguridad. Por último, para ampliar todavía más este derecho de control, se han creado -o lo están siendo- mecanismos convencionales que obligan a un gran número de Estados, como el Comité de Derechos Humanos en el marco del Pacto Internacional de Derechos Civiles y Políticos y de su protocolo facultativo, de 1966; o los procedimientos relativos a las inspecciones, previa solicitud, previstas en el artículo IX (consultas, cooperación y determinación de los hechos) del proyecto de Convención sobre las Armas Químicas, que con toda probabilidad será aprobado dentro de poco tiempo. Y no hablemos de los acuerdos zonales.

Pero, ¿puede haber un derecho a actuar cuando este " derecho de control " deja al descubierto hechos que son inaceptables? Una vez más debemos hacer distinciones. No cabe duda de que, en virtud de su soberanía, y siempre que se abstengan de utilizar la fuerza, los Estados pueden actuar: aparte de las obligaciones que le imponen los Convenios o el derecho internacional consuetudinario, nada impide a un Estado negarse a cooperar con otro Estado cuyo Gobierno se compone de una manera considerada inaceptable.

Por lo demás, los mecanismos previstos en los convenios internacionales y, ante todo, la Carta de las Naciones Unidas, permiten, en determinados casos, sanciones.

Lo difícil es saber si, más allá del indiscutible ámbito de su competencia soberana y de su participación eventual en los mecanismos internacionales o zonales, los Estados conservan un derecho de intervención ad hoc, que implique el uso de la fuerza en determinados casos especialmente graves.

Salvo por lo que respecta a las decisiones tomadas por el Consejo de Seguridad, el sistema estipulado en la Carta de las Naciones Unidas no prevé el uso de la fuerza por motivos que no sean la legítima defensa. Dado que es individual o colectiva, ésta permite la intervención de Estados no directamente agredidos, sino que se limita claramente a los casos en los que un Estado miembro es objeto de " una agresión armada ".

El concepto de intervención humanitaria que, en su sentido más amplio, autoriza la intervención armada de un Estado en el territorio de otro Estado para poner término a las violaciones graves y masivas de los derechos humanos, no tiene cabida en el sistema previsto por la ONU. La doctrina, por lo general, rechaza la licitud de la intervención humanitaria incluso en su sentido más restringido, es decir, la intervención armada para salvaguardar a sus propios ciudadanos en otro Estado.

Los argumentos evidentes que se oponen a tales prácticas son los siguientes: tolerar la intervención humanitaria significaría crear una gran incertidumbre en las relaciones internacionales, pondría en peligro todo el sistema de seguridad instaurado en virtud de la Carta de las Naciones Unidas y, por último, comportaría manifiestos riesgos de abusos, pues las violaciones de los derechos humanos podrían brindar pretexto para intervenir con otras intenciones,

Y sin embargo... ¿no hay, en caso de deficiencia manifiesta del sistema previsto para realizar los objetivos de las Naciones Unidas, ningún derecho de los Estados a actuar, cuando se cometen actos manifiestamente contrarios a tales objetivos? ¿Puede afirmarse que los Estados tienen el deber de contemplar la matanza de poblaciones sin utilizar, para impedirlo, todos los medios, incluso militares, de que disponen?

Se trata evidentemente de un gran debate que no podemos abordar seriamente en tan sólo unas líneas.

Notemos que, en su proyecto de Código de Delitos contra la Paz y la Seguridad de la Humanidad, la Comisión de Derecho Internacional de la ONU menciona tanto " todo acto de agresión, incluyendo el empleo por las autoridades de un Estado de la fuerza armada contra otro Estado con cualquier propósito que no sea la legítima defensa nacional o colectiva o la aplicación de una decisión o recomendación de un órgano competente de las Naciones Unidas " (artículo 2, numero 1) como los " actos inhumanos, tales como la matanza, el exterminio, la esclavitud, la deportación o las persecuciones, perpetrados en contra de cualquier población civil por razones sociales, políticas, raciales, religiosas o culturales, por las autoridades de un Estado o por personas privadas instigadas por dichas autoridades o toleradas por ellas " (artículo 2, número 11).

Como la intervención estatal unilateral está reservada a la salvaguardia de la independencia nacional, no hay prevista más solución, si se cometen delitos como los definidos en el artículo 2, párrafo 11, que la de hacer funcionar el sistema internacional basado en la Carta. Por razones mencionadas anteriormente, no se quiso prever, en caso de deficiencia de este sistema, una derogación temporal en pro de intereses generales de la humanidad. No habría, pues, una alternativa al hecho de cometer un delito contra la paz y la seguridad de la humanidad, para impedir otro.

Es cierto que el afianzamiento del sistema fundado en la Carta sigue siendo el objetivo prioritario. Pero la existencia de un " estado de necesidad " que no se funde en la defensa de un único interés nacional, sino en la de intereses fundamentales de la humanidad, ¿no merece un nuevo debate a la luz de ciertos acontecimientos contemporáneos?

 "Deber de injerencia" de los Estados 

Podemos admitir, en el  "global village" en que se ha convertido el mundo, que los Estados no sólo tienen derecho a abrir los ojos, sino el deber de hacerlo. En la Carta de las Naciones Unidas se definen, por lo demás claramente, unos principios de acción para la Organización " y sus Miembros " en cuanto a la prosecución de los objetivos de las Naciones Unidas. La llegada de extranjeros a muchos países obliga, además, a los Estados a examinar la situación en los países de donde proceden esas personas, pues principalmente en función de esta última se determinará si podrán ser expulsadas o si deberán ser admitidas.

Por último, el derecho internacional humanitario, introduciendo para todos los Estados Partes en los Convenios de Ginebra la obligación de " hacer respetar " estos Convenios, impone, como mínimo, una obligación de vigilancia.

En resumen, la interdependencia cada vez más marcada de los Estados, el desarrollo de los derechos humanos y la emergencia de un principio de solidaridad permiten concluir que hoy los Estados ya no gozan del " derecho a la indiferencia”.

Por otra parte, sería claramente un abuso deducir de lo anterior que hay un deber de intervenir por la fuerza fuera de los sistemas de seguridad conformes con la Carta de las Naciones Unidas. Concretamente, el análisis efectuado sobre la obligación de "hacer respetar" el derecho internacional humanitario recogido en los Convenios de Ginebra no deja lugar a dudas a este respecto.

Urge la reforma de la Carta de la ONU, como mínimo -y sin perjuicio de otros perfeccionamientos- en dos puntos fundamentales. El primero sería el reconocimiento del principio de injerencia humanitaria como tercera justificación para una acción bélica internacional. Añadidura hoy necesaria, habida cuenta de la actual filosofía en materia de defensa de los derechos humanos por encima de las fronteras y los regímenes. Principio rigurosamente paralelo, con toda su complejidad, a esa jurisdicción universal que -dentro del ámbito judicial- permite hoy capturar y procesar internacionalmente a un violador de los derechos humanos como Pinochet. Por supuesto que este principio de injerencia humanitaria, al ser incorporado al ius ad bellum internacional, habrá de ser regulado y delimitado, eso sí, con todas las precauciones y condicionamientos que impidan la proliferación de este tipo de intervención militar. Pero su necesidad es evidente: la comunidad internacional ha de contar con los suficientes instrumentos legales, tanto para dar cuenta de un Milosevic por vía militar como de un Pinochet por vía judicial.

El segundo punto a reformar -y tal vez primero en importancia- sería el funcionamiento del propio Consejo de Seguridad. La presencia de cinco privilegiadas potencias con derecho de veto -alguna de las cuales puede ser parte plenamente implicada en los conflictos debatidos- constituye para la ONU un pesado lastre antidemocrático capaz de frustrar o paralizar -como en este caso- decisiones muy necesarias, urgentemente requeridas por la mayor parte de la comunidad internacional.

Recordemos que la norma camina siempre por detrás de los comportamientos. Son los comportamientos, impuestos por las circunstancias y necesidades de cada época, los que marcan el camino que después, tras ellos, será seguido por la legislación, la normativa, el desarrollo institucional. Así ocurre, una vez más, en esta ocasión: se ha actuado con un criterio -la injerencia humanitaria- aún no incluido en la Carta de las Naciones Unidas, pero que, por necesario, no tardará en llegar.

Según ha pronosticado el prestigioso Instituto Internacional de Investigación sobre la Paz de Estocolmo (SIPRI), las guerras del futuro tendrán su origen en violaciones de los derechos humanos cuyo volumen y gravedad la comunidad internacional no podrá permitir. Es decir, serán guerras cuya motivación no será otra que la injerencia humanitaria en defensa de pueblos, etnias o comunidades sometidas a insoportables grados de opresión. Pues bien: si las previsiones son ésas, está clara la necesidad de regular y establecer las vías jurídicas para situar tales intervenciones armadas en el marco de la debida legalidad internacional.

Y por ultimo quiero agregar, la sofisticación en el proceder de la delincuencia organizada mundial, de los grupos terroristas que se están aliando con estos, el narcotráfico y de los grupos políticos con ambición de perpetuarse en el poder de los Países que se lo permitan, a través de ideologías falsas y dañinas, como por ejemplo, el Comunismo, el Nazismo, Fascismo, el Fundamentalismo Islámico, etc., ameritan que se tomen medidas y acciones más fuertes para detener el avance de esas ideologías y de esos grupos que ambicionan perpetuarse en el poder, aún a costa de los daños que ocasionan en la población, sea la Venezolana o la mundial… Existen muchos ejemplos actualmente de lo que digo a nivel mundial, respecto a las acciones dañinas de las ideologías falsas, allí están las acciones del Foro de Sao Paulo en Países como Ecuador, Chile, Brasil, el narcotráfico en México, en Colombia y en Venezuela, los grupos fundamentalistas como ISIS y de Hezbollah en muchos Paises, tambien lo ocurrido en Iran con el derribo del avión civil, por solo poner algunos ejemplos, creo que la inteligencia de cada quien le permite entender a lo que me refiero...

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Adelfa Malpica, thank you for your post, and we do really share your frustrations regarding the human rights situation and crisis in Venezuela.  As you noted, there were many reports and documentation, by the UN human rights system and civil society alike, of severe human rights violations in this country.

Unfortunately, the issues you raised go well beyond the focus and discussion topics of this consultation.  We would therefore really appreciate your views and contributions on the questions and topics posed for this consultation.  Thank you for your understanding.

Rugaiyatou Ubale • minorities and indigenous at CIVICUS from Cameroon

 

 

Hello to everyone on board thanks once more for this opportunity to be part of y'all. I want to talk about people in the ground who's voice can't be heard by the international community I here are an example who has been a victim of crisis

civil society and NGOs play an active role in the protection of humanity, advocacy, conflict, human rights violation etc

People in English Cameroon are suffering and dying the Muslim community is not even looked at as humans because of lack of education. 

UN and international community need to bring urgent solution to bring peace, security and solve conflicts in the fragile countries like Cameroon innocent peoples are the main victims, corrupt leaders, politicians and businessman own the country and hard working able and capable youths are roaming around streets smoking marijuana. We need peace and security humanitarian assistance and realization of human rights by looking into the areas of need and providing them with all the necessary equipments. 

I do have so much to show the world about my community if I'm giving the chance to 

Giorgina Piperone • Program Analyst (UN Women) at UN Women from Australia Moderator

Rugaiyatou Ubale, thank you for your comment and for highlighting civil society's important role in achieving a peaceful and safe society. Do you think the UN could do more to work together with civil society organizations in your community to build peace and reduce conflict?

Rugaiyatou Ubale • minorities and indigenous at CIVICUS from Cameroon

[~57494] yes sir I'm sure 

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

Note from moderators:

Dear participants, we encourage you to refrain from posting anything too lengthy or duplicate messages, and be succinct and concrete in your postings. We appreciate all your contributions and recommendations so far!

Sister Ling ( HOL GS) • Founder at Hands of Love GS from United States

Forum Answer To Q3 (a.)

From my experience I believe the UN gives adequate support of civil society participation by it's actors in most member state nations. Based on what role the UN should play is a very complicated question since different nations have different rules and laws. People and civil society members also have to make their own determinations in what causes they engage and should not depend on the UN to have to support any cause or view even if they host the message of the view. This is an important fact that keeps the total focus on a safe environment for everyone even if someone in the bigger whole of UN Civil Society is having a problem.

The UN CSO System to be in greater participation of diverse groups might should consider more online interactive forums and venues. Where these groups and other groups can share their experiences about working in their field of engagement and get support via these online venues from other civil society members. Keeping in mind we are bringing in knowledge and understandings of different important issues and diverse communities that are often around the world overlooked and underserved.

This helps the UN communicate the problems it see's via it's active civil society actors to policy makers and member state representatives.

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Sister Ling ( HOL GS), thanks for the contribution, which is constructive and forward-looking!  Your suggestion of online interactive forums and venues, which we suppose also needs to be safe and secure, would make it possible to reach out to diverse group of civil society actors in the country, who otherwise may not always be able to engage physically with the UN.  Online platforms may also help getting out messages quickly and to have open channels of communication.  However, from your experience, how best grass-roots and local actors could benefit from such online platforms, if members of local communities may not be in a position to use effectively such platforms (for example, internet connection issues, lack of awareness or knowledge of using technology etc)?  Would you have additional thoughts on this?

Sister Ling ( HOL GS) • Founder at Hands of Love GS from United States

[~57448] 

 

Thank you for your robust reply as I know you take your work very seriously and understand the critical nature of human rights and no one left behind re: sdg30.

Right now grass root urgency also has a double meaning at least it might to some. When I hear "grassroots" in the context you placed this term.I thought immediately of rural locations in developing world economies including, more nations in Asia stepping up to the International plate of inclusion and framework. Although I should cite this directly but I cannot today. An example of how grass root actions and not just a movement alone. What  I would like to highlight is a recent short docu segment that put to task some developers to make an  app( application) in a short amount of time that would help a rural village I believe was in India. This app would address the fact about farming in the community between the various farmers and their families. This also was an example of the use of civic spaces of a community as I had mentioned yesterday in a less advanced setting being helpful and lesson teaching. So, they made the app to help the farmers. Except very few could read or write but have phones and also livelihoods.

The developer then went on to create a set of icons that the users could use to say different things of if someone had an idea they could tell everyone. But the developer went one step further and added a voice note that was easy to use so the village users who downloaded the app could also share the exact idea or message too.

This to me was a good example of grass roots ideology to reach a hard to reach group with something that could help make their life easier and they could use it.

So  I guess in civic spaces and UN inclusion maybe technology can be developed that meets the small needs of the user who might have special needs but if met can do well once they can understand and be included.

 

So my answer is: "Inclusion Technology"    could help.

Got a bit wordy there but I'm done now.👍😊❤Thanks

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Sister Ling ( HOL GS), thanks again for your idea of Mobile App as an example of "inclusive technology". 

Liu Si • Online Educator at Freedom Human Rights Research Group from United States

Talking about UN protection from my own perspective, work should be divided into two phases: 1. While activists are free; 2. While activists are in custody.

For the first scenario, I think it’s good if UN can provide information everyone can access to. For the second, it’s crucial if UN can intervene to help the person in custody to at least preserve their lives and stay in fair health states.  To make it possible, UN need to establish procedures.  For example, activists maybe known to NGOs, which should bear the responsibility to timely report to local UN offices, which will direct the information to the headquarters.  I know (from public media) of several cases who, due to headquarters’ intervention, managed to preserve their lives.

The current problem is that since there’s no such mechanism present at local levels, NGOs feel reluctant to report cases under risk of severe persecution.  Even they report or have their clients report directly to the local offices, in the absence of a mechanism, the Information of such cases just sit in there in the local offices, who probably have no procedures to follow to take any further actions to save the lives of the detainees.  Sometimes, tragedies do happen.

I would like to make a summary of UN’s role in this regard: UN should act like an agent or body of CS actors and activists which helps to talk to the governments, because a person alone, especially in vulnerable conditions, can’t face the threats and harms from the governments.  Nor can NGOs for what I know.  Therefore, if we need someone to help out, UN should be there right at those moments.

moka • Président du conseil d'administration at FONDATION KALIPA POUR LE DEVELOPPEMENT from Congo - Kinshasa

Par rapport à l'aspect de la protection des acteurs de la société civile , je tiens vraiment qu'il ait si pas la restructuration mais la coordination efficace et efficiente des structures de la société surtout chez nous ici en République Démocratique du congo car plus il y a tant des structures de celle-ci plus il y a tant de vision mais de toute les façon, toutes les structures de la société civile devraient avoir une même mission donc c'est un véritable défi à renforcer d'abord la capacité en terme de plusieurs séances de formations dans les acteurs ou structure de OSC en bonne gouvernance.

Il existe aussi un autre défi comme responsabilité de l'ONU, de ne plus peut être identifier et encadrer à travers le pays ou région les ONG accréditées par l'ECOSOC afin de pouvoir les soutenir dans l'égalité c'est pourquoi je tiens vraiment à soutenir mon option de l'élargissement de l'ECOSOC dans chaque pays comme une agence ou organe stratégique de l'ONU car les différents clusters ne jouent pas les missions de l'ECOSOC en totalité pour satisfaire la société civile.

Pastoral and Environmental Network in the Horn of Africa • Country Representative for Somaliland/Somalia at Sadia Musse Ahmed from Somalia

Civic space is usually limited  or none existent in many parts of the Horn. Civil society members are struggling and many aligned with current regimes which is contrary to the principles of the Civil society and the civic space. UN needs to review their operations in each country in collaboration with international community to pressurize governments and civil society members to create the necessary space for the civil society to operate and become effective.

Even the space exists, local communities and their CSOs are marginalized and their voices are not heard. 

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

 

DAY 3

Welcome to the 3rd day of discussions, and we thank you again for all your contributions and for your continued engagement.  To summarize some of the takeaways from yesterday’s discussion:

  • Repeated suggestions that the UN should lend more political and technical support (including funding) to civil society actors, especially at local and community levels
  • Growing concerns regarding better protection of civil society actors, especially in conflict, humanitarian, and crisis situations (for example, serious human rights violations and closed space in restrictive/authoritarian states)
  • In connection with the above, the need for more political pressure by international community on States to protect and open up civic spaces
  • Continued need to push for the implementation of international norms and standards, including on human rights, by States that ratified them
  • Using online interactive forums and venues, which would make it possible to reach out to diverse group of civil society actors

In summary, most of the discussion has revolved around the issue of protection.  However, there are some unanswered questions on how the UN should carry out and/or facilitate the protection of civil society actors, especially at the country levels and in difficult conflict and crisis situations?

We hope to hear your further ideas and inputs on these important aspects, in addition to other contributions you wish to make on other questions.

 

Sister Ling ( HOL GS) • Founder at Hands of Love GS from United States

How can the UN protect Civil Society Actors At A Nation by Nation level? ( Question Summary)

This Mr. Bayarmagnai is a very hard question because every nation has different rules when it comes to activism. Sometimes from what is public examples and stories of civil society type activists getting in trouble that can also include, journalists, political party members even entertainers like Bobi Wine from Uganda.  Are not immune from persecution by governments directly and even others depending on what the issue is.

The UN also has an obligation to it's Member States.

To be fair and some what impartial to each states oath to the UN and global system that includes their participation or non-participation in any decision or ratification of next step or pending actions carried out by the UN as a global body or organ. This in most cases is carried out by a vote based on the action being written out in exact terms and then voted on by the Member States Delegated Representative.

How this is always done and has been done in the past,  puts individual civil society actors or groups,  in a difficult position if something goes wrong.

On one hand the problem the activist could be facing might be at a local level. Meaning, no one in higher government even knows there is a problem in the first place.

Then there is the factor of Impunity.

No civil society participant should ever want to be seen in the act of impunity or getting special favors because of someone they know or have connections with over the rights of everyone else. This can happen sometimes in good ways when people and nations appreciate the help and extra input their civil society actors do and they feel they want to show it by being nice to them sometimes. This also can be because the group is not getting the funding opportunities they should and some feel sorry for them, the activist. But when a big problem happens that deals with safety and even personal harm to a CSA ( civil society actor) or their family.

Any help the UN can give,  might be better served on a case by case basis. Based on the unique situation each CSA is in,  what the problem was and if the UN or national powers were made known of what the situation is or was.

This is also in cases of CSA's who have a working relationship with their own governments weather they are supportive or critical. As well as what the nature is of the accusation or problem,  such as a criminal case a CSA may have been involved in as a result of their activities or views.

These are very serious questions that the UN must always take into consideration that also reflects on the safety of everyone else if the UN supports a CSA who was later proved to have done something wrong. Of course even if wrong the CSA should be kept safe but it can cause more problems for others by being now part of the brand of Impunity if any was shown because your affiliated in anyway with the UN or a UN Agency.

I could go on to many many scenario based examples, real and contrived but I think the best answer would be: Maybe the UN can set up a small group or sub group sponsored by the most appropriate UN Body or Agency and develop a platform that is available, where CSA's who feel at risk can privately write in and ask for advice or direction to where they can find help internationally or in their nations if a problem occurs.

This should be made available publicly with in the UN System but communications should be upheld as confidential but not binding. 

This can help the CSA to not go it so alone,  as well as creating a type of deterrent that if governments or private groups choose to strike back at those using their rights to help and give input to difficult situations of others. They can be pinned as doing this as a private complaint or even a suspicion being allowed to be made and noted by someone else.

Although not an answer to the problem but this would serve as a way for the CSA not to feel so isolated and that there is a type of recourse of protection out there for them when something goes wrong.

 

Hamidreza Afshari • from Iran

Hello everybody

Our NGO is called Afraz Cultural Association from Iran. Cultural matters here is not something national, moreover it could be considered regionally because most of the cultural roots of Iran, such as Nowruz, are common with the neighbor countries. In this case it could be so critical factor to make a peaceful interaction among the people and states in the region. So I want to talk about the item “a” of question one regarding what the entry points are to engage with the UN for the NGOs located in these countries. Unless the virtual and internet infrastructure do not develop enough to engage actively the NGO members from worldwide it seems the only way to be involved in UN activities is physically participation in the relevant events. As the main offices of the UN are located in Europe and United State it is too difficult and costly for some NGO representatives who are resident in middle of Asia to actively participate. Visa process, which requires a trip itself to a neighbor country for interview for Iranian who applied for USA visa, travel cost, residential cost, etc. make it so difficult for NGOs to make a decision in participation, even they prefer not to do so. As a solution in this regard UN can open an office in the region to facilitate interaction between the regional social societies. Once the social societies’ members of the region have been connected through UN moderation they can continue their communications without direct UN involvement and this could be really helpful for peaceful activities.

 

Best

Hamidreza Afshari

Afraz Cultural Association

 

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

Hello @Hamidreza Afshari, and thank you for your contribution.  You rightly highlighted some of the challenges and barriers related to civil society engagement with the UN, especially those located at headquarters levels, due to inaccessibility, travel requirements and costs, visas and other issues.  In the absence of accessible online platforms, the need for which was highlighted by many others previously, what would you suggest should work in your specific context of restricted environment?  This also relates to the discussion we had yesterday, and some of the questions raised for the further comments.  We welcome your thoughts on what worked in your context, and your views on what role other international actors and NGO networks could play or played in your context, which the UN could support. 

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

 

If I may offer a combined response to @Liu Si, @mocha, and @Pastoral and Environmental Network in the Horn of Africa

 

With regard to your comments on “effective protection will require that enquiry to respective governments come from UN headquarters not the local branch offices”, “UN need to establish protection procedures and mechanism present at local levels” and “UN needs to review their operations in each country in collaboration with international community to pressurize governments and civil society members to create the necessary space for the civil society to operate and become effective”, these are all valid points.

To keep the discussion focused, I would propose to separate what UN human rights system is doing on protection from what needs to be done by the rest of the UN system at the county level.  I will explain below.

As many of you might know, the UN human rights system (Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, UN special procedures, UN treaty monitoring bodies, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and UN entities working on specific thematic human rights issues), is the effective means of ensuring that the protection of civil society actors is guaranteed by States as a legal obligation.  These mechanisms combined (including through their normative, standard setting, investigative, monitoring, reporting, fostering dialogue functions etc.) do put a lot of pressure on States that are not complying with their legally binding human rights obligations.  Protection is effective when States comply with their obligations to respect, protect and fulfill human rights, so protection starts from States.  And these mechanisms seek to ensure this.  This, perhaps, is in line with many comments you made on improving the implementation of international norms, and should be part of the advocacy efforts by UN for open civic space at global and national levels.

But what is interesting to explore and to hear from you, is what else can be done at the country level by the rest of the UN system and UN entities on the ground, apart from and to complement UN human rights system, in the absence of or non-compliance of States with their obligations.  The UN country presences are the closest reference points for civil society actors under threat, where some protective measures should be put in place without delay.  And here, the UN country presences have a big role to play.  Many UN entities, especially working on peacekeeping and humanitarian issues have their own approaches and practices on protection, but this has not been systematic across the UN country presences at large.  So what is the role and what are the solutions?  May be UN’s convening role to bring together different actors to the table and discuss protection issues, partnership with others, such as donors, NGO-led protection networks to seek solutions, to provide a temporary safe space for those under risk, also considering the limited resources available to the UN itself, among other possible options?  The idea here would be to come up with a “menu of options” in relation to protection, which UN entities at the country level could consider depending on the context and issues.

Therefore, we need to hear from you and your experience on what worked and what didn’t work at the country level with regard to protection.  Help us to come with the “menu of options” that needs to be practical, implementable and with an impact.

Looking forward to hearing your ideas, may be even just one small idea from each of you, so when these ideas are combined, they will allow us to have those options.

Elin Fabre • Programme Director at Global Utmaning from Sweden

Dear all,

In relation to this topic, yet not directly answering the questions above, I would like to share our work in this area. 

I am the programme director for sustainable cites at Global Utmaning (Global Challenge) which is the leading Swedish independent think tank promoting long-term solutions to ecological, economic and social challenges through collaboration between research, business, politics and civil society. 

We have recently published the results from our #UrbanGirlsMovement initiative closely related to this topic: 

the Urban Girls Handbook (https://www.globalutmaning.se/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2019/10/Handbook_UGM_md_TJ_sista_Web_komp.pdf)

and the Urban Girls Catalogue (https://www.globalutmaning.se/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2019/10/Urban-Girls-Catalogue.pdf).

They are collecting good practices, outlining methods, presenting tools as well as providing guidelines and policy recommendations on how to create public space for all, particularly empowering women and young girls in socioeconomically vulnerable areas. 

Kind regards,

Elin Andersdotter Fabre
Programme Director Sustainable Cities - Global Utmaning - Norrsken House - Birger Jarlsgatan 57C - 113 56 Stockholm - Sweden - Tel: + 46 70 223 32 47 - Skype: elinandersdotterfabre - Mail: elin.fabre@globalutmaning.se - Twitter: @elinafabre - Web: www.globalutmaning.se - FB: facebook.com/globalutmaning

 

 

 

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

Hello @Elin Fabre, thank you very much for your contribution and for sharing some resources, which will be helpful in addressing some of the important but difficult questions we are posing.  We look forward to your continued contributions and practical suggestions. 

Rugaiyatou Ubale • minorities and indigenous at CIVICUS from Cameroon

[~57448] sir I wish to ask how to get in contact with the human rights bodies and UN in Cameroon Bamenda to be precise

My phone number is 

WhatsApp and calls +237650176671

Email rugaiyatouubale@gmail.com

PCA • from Tanzania

Greetings from the Pan African Lawyers Union in Arusha, Tanzania. We thank you for this important forum. Kindly find our answers below to contribute to this discussion.

With gratitude,

Portia C. Allen, M.A.

Partnerships and Fundraising Specialist

Pan African Lawyers Union

pallen@lawyersofafrica.org

 

Partnership/participation:

What are entry points for you to engage with the UN?

Answer:  Human rights and rule of law.

What are the challenges you face in engaging with the UN (e.g. unclear about entry points/contacts, opaque and complex procedures, etc.)?

Answer: Namely, engaging with the UN to contribute to PALU’s continental work with civil society especially in conflict, post conflict and occupation settings, and, specifically, with regard to: (1) strengthening the capacity of national lawyers associations (NLAs), regional lawyers associations (RLAs), and international lawyers associations (ILAs) to enhance civil society engagement; (2) mobilising NLAs, RLAs, and ILAs to coordinate their responses to protect civil society actors effectively, including from reprisals.

PALU has not been very active in working through human rights mechanisms based in Geneva; also, PALU is very keen on learning more, so that we may incorporate the vast UN infrastructure for human rights and rule of law into its work. The UN’s approach to protecting and promoting civic space, therefore, comes at a good time, and PALU would be catalytical in forging and sustaining civil society partnerships (especially within the legal profession throughout Africa).

Have you ever contested decisions that restricted your participation in the UN?

Answer: No.

How do you receive information about UN processes?  

Answer: Information is received from a range of governmental and non-governmental actors (based in Africa, Europe, and North America); for example, the East African Community, the Southern African Development Community, the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Court) and the East Africa Court of Justice (EACJ); as well as the African Union (AU) through the Office of the Legal Counsel, the Department of Political Affairs, the Commission on International Law, and the Pan African Parliament.

Have you experienced any difficulties in accessing information about the UN’s policies and processes?

Answer: No.

What measures do you suggest to improve access to information and quality of information?

Answer: PALU has been successful in accessing to information and quality of information among its networks (mentioned above). PALU suggests also that UN policies and processes are shared directly with the PALU Secretariat, so that such information may be shared directly with PALU members, namely among the more than five RLAs, 54+ NLAs and over 1,000 lawyers spread across Africa as well as within the Diaspora.  

With a view to “leaving no one behind”, what can the UN do to reach out to diverse civil society actors or groups (e.g. women, youth, persons with disabilities, ethnic and religious minorities, indigenous peoples, LGBT individuals) in your country/region/area of work?

Answer: Strengthen the capacity of individual lawyers, NLAs, RLAs, and ILAs who are working for the protection of rights of vulnerable and marginalised communities in Africa; through (virtual) capacity-strengthening seminars for example, these actors may be equipped with knowledge and skills to: (1) advise on, and proactively advocate for, safe participation of diverse civil society groups in national decision-making processes, including through protests; and (2) promote opportunities to expand the space for civil societies and systematically highlight the positive contributions of civil society.

Can you provide good examples of the UN reaching out to specific groups?

Answer: Some good examples are when PALU participated in the 5th Session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, which was convened by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) among others. Also, PALU has worked with the UN Development Programme, the UN Office of the Special Advisor for the Prevention of Genocide and the UN Office of the Special Advisor for the Responsibility to Protect. PALU is involved also in the AU-led Consortium on Combatting Illicit Financial Flows from Africa.

Do you have any comments about civil society participation in intergovernmental forums (e.g. Security Council, ECOSOC, Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, various commissions etc.)?

Answer:  PALU is interested in working closely with the Human Rights Council, and, has applied for one of its staff members to participate in the 2020 International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme (HRDAP); participant results have not been announced to date. ISHR's HRDAP equips defenders with the knowledge and skills to make strategic use of the international human rights system. It also provides an opportunity for participants to directly engage in lobbying and advocacy activities at the UN level to effect change on the ground back home. PALU aims to strengthen its current work with women human rights defenders especially following up: (1) reports by key special procedures mandates in the areas of human rights defenders and (2) discussions on human rights situations and/or oral updates. 

Do specific groups (e.g. women, youth, migrants, minorities, indigenous peoples, LGBT groups etc.) face greater obstacles than others in accessing UN inter-governmental fora?

Answer: Yes.

How could the UN support efforts towards more diversity?

Answer: Provide diverse civil society actors or groups with access to: (1) representation in political and economic decision-making processes; (2) new legal frameworks regarding equality in the workplace and the eradication of harmful practices; and (3) user-friendly tools to support diverse groups to speak out, organise, mobilise and take action off-line and on-line, in order to have a say in decisions about their future. Partner with the PALU Women Lawyers’ Forum, which is an active platform to share news, progress and share best practices and recommendations on the various issues that affect women in the legal profession.

Protection of civil society actors:

What role do you expect the UN to play in situations when civil society actors are at risk (e.g. of intimidation, threats and attacks off-line and on-line)?

Answer: Partner with PALU on its continental efforts to hold States accountable for their responsibilities under the African Charter and other human rights instruments to which they have adhered. PALU remains the most prominent and active litigator at the African Court and the EACJ. By 1 November 2018, PALU had litigated more than 21 cases before the African Court and 14 cases before the EACJ through Applications/References, Representation and Amicus Curiae briefs. PALU has now litigated more than 24 cases before the African Court and 17 cases before the EACJ; out of these, 13 are still ongoing cases before the African Court while 10 are before the EACJ.

Can you provide examples of the UN taking such measures?

Answer: Relevant to the case documented as Reference Number 15 of 2019: H4HA and PALU vs. Attorney General of the Republic of South Sudan and the Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya, the Security Council published the Report of the Panel of Experts on South Sudan that it had appointed. The fate of Mr. Dong Samuel Luak (Mr. Dong) and Mr. Aggrey Ezbon Idri (Mr. Aggrey) remained a mystery until 30 April 2019, when the Security Council published the report. The case concerns the abduction, enforced disappearance, illegal and/or extraordinary rendition, arbitrary detention, torture and possible subsequent murder of Mr. Dong and Mr. Aggrey. The report laid out, with great authority, arising from a comprehensive exercise of corroboration and fact-checking, and in great detail, the sequence of events, constituting multiple illegalities and violations of human and peoples’ rights, the fate that befell Mr. Dong and Mr. Aggrey from the moment of their respective abduction. Equally important, it was on the basis of this detailed albeit astounding report, and on subsequent inquiries, investigations and consultations, the Applicants filed Reference 15 of 2019.

How could the UN strengthen its protection role, including in cases of intimidation and/or reprisals against people who cooperate or seek to cooperate with the UN?

Answer: As evidenced, the tide against civil society is strong, specifically, on the rise are hostile discourse, off-line and on-line abuse and harassment, disinformation and smear campaigns. It is within this context that PALU suggests that the UN strengthen its protection role through an increased mandate manifested and led by civil society. Arguably, the authority of the Security Council has suffered thus far because the intention to have the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security has faltered. This challenge presents a “new decade” opportunity for prompt decisive action through the Security Council’s political posture and the assorted resources provided to it that goes beyond the traditional box checked. PALU urges international attention to reducing blockages against civil society.

Promotion of and advocacy for civic space:

What role should the UN and its senior leadership play vis-a-vis State authorities in terms of ensuring safe civil society participation in national policy discussions and decision-making processes?

Answer: Work with: (1) individual lawyers to advocate for the rights to information, expression, assembly and association; engage with civil society and the public at large on law reform initiatives; (2) NLAs to contribute to long-term approach of protecting the civic health of a country; (3) RLAs to foster sustainable accountability among NLAs; and (4) ILAs to advance dialogue (among individuals and institutions) beyond the moments of immediate crises.

How can the UN support diverse participation in these processes (e.g. of women, youth, persons with disabilities, ethnic and religious minorities, indigenous peoples, LGBT individuals)?

Answer: As mentioned above, provide diverse civil society actors or groups with access to: (1) representation in political and economic decision-making processes; (2) new legal frameworks regarding equality in the workplace and the eradication of harmful practices; and (3) user-friendly tools to support diverse groups to speak out, organise, mobilise and take action off-line and on-line, in order to have a say in decisions about their future. Partner with the PALU Women Lawyers’ Forum, which is an active platform to share news, progress and share best practices and recommendations on the various issues that affect women in the legal profession.

What role should the UN play to ensure people have a say in their country (e.g. regarding national laws and policies on protests, access to information, freedoms of expression and association)?

Answer: As mentioned above, strengthen the capacity of individual lawyers, NLAs, RLAs, and ILAs who are working for the protection of rights of vulnerable and marginalised communities in Africa; through (virtual) capacity-strengthening seminars for example, these actors may be equipped with knowledge and skills to: (1) advise on, and proactively advocate for, safe participation of diverse civil society groups in national decision-making processes, including through protests; and (2) promote opportunities to expand the space for civil societies and systematically highlight the positive contributions of civil society.

How could the UN strengthen its political support to civil society (e.g. through more positive narratives on civil society, meetings during high-level visits, regular consultations etc.)?

Answer: Where examples of effective implementation of the UN’s policies and programmes by civil society actors are evidenced, further improve on promoting and protecting civic space in a multitude of ways, e.g. through rule of law programming, capacity development, advocacy in support of open space, including through the work of UN human rights bodies and mechanisms. Arguably, a way to move civic space work to the next level is: (1) provide lawyers with access to a tool for collecting and populating information on decisions made by Courts to the general public; (2) engage in talks with lawyers on the importance of creating a body/organ within the AU whose sole purpose is to implement the decisions of Human Rights bodies; and (3) energise and empower lawyers in African International Courts and Tribunals.

 

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@PCA, thank you very much for your input and for answering most of the questions.  Your responses and many examples you provided may be useful to other participants.  However, if possible, could you provide additional comments on any challenges you may have faced, including when partnering with the UN?  And what was your expectation on how the UN should have supported you better in addressing challenges and difficulties.  There were some reports recently about restrictive national laws and restrictions on the use of online technologies in your country.  How this affected your work, and what were the UN's responses to these negative developments?

PCA • from Tanzania

[~57448], I thank you for your questions. My additional comments are: PALU has facilitated a number of capacity-building initiatives with various stakeholders for law reform [e.g. protection of freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly]. Also, PALU has engaged directly with national advocacy initiatives, especially in crisis situations where PALU could be called upon to share its evolving understanding of how sub-regional, continental and international norms, institutions and actors could play a role in resilient, open, democratic societies. Prior advocacy highlights include: (1) prepared the draft protocol for extension of the jurisdiction of the African Court to also include an international criminal jurisdiction; (2) developed the African Court legal aid funding framework, institutional structure and fundraising strategy, culminating in the AU Statute setting up a Trust Fund for Legal Aid for the three key AU human rights institutions; (3) engaged in research, documentation, consultation, advisory and advocacy initiatives, alongside others, to support the development of the AU Transitional Justice Policy Framework; (4) Non-Governmental Organisation Forum panel session on the progress to develop adoption and implementation of draft 10-Year Action and Implementation Plan for the Human Rights Decade in Africa.

Baatar, some challenges faced with the UN were mentioned in my initial post, specifically, engaging with the UN to contribute to PALU’s continental work with civil society especially in conflict, post conflict and occupation settings, and, specifically, with regard to: (1) strengthening the capacity of national lawyers associations (NLAs), regional lawyers associations (RLAs), and international lawyers associations (ILAs) to enhance civil society engagement; (2) mobilising NLAs, RLAs, and ILAs to coordinate their responses to protect civil society actors effectively, including from reprisals. As mentioned above also, PALU has not been very active in working through human rights mechanisms based in Geneva; also, PALU is very keen on learning more, so that we may incorporate the vast UN infrastructure for human rights and rule of law into its work. The UN’s approach to protecting and promoting civic space, therefore, comes at a good time, and PALU would be catalytical in forging and sustaining civil society partnerships (especially within the legal profession throughout Africa). 

Equally important, individual lawyers, NLAs, RLAs, and ILAs are integral to increasing civic space in Africa. Some examples of contributions by individual lawyers include and are not limited to: (1) advocate for the rights to information, expression, assembly and association; (2) engage with civil society and the public at large on law reform initiatives. Whereas NLAs could contribute to long-term approach of protecting the civic health of a country and RLAs could foster sustainable accountability among NLAs. ILAs could advance dialogue (among individuals and institutions) beyond the moments of immediate crisis.

Baatar, please, have I answered your questions? 

With gratitude, Portia

 

 

 

 

 

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@PCA, thank you for additional clarifications, and your response is clear.

Dosse SOSSOUGA • Executive Director at UN SDGs NGO Major Group d'or Africa: Amis des Étrangers au Togo: ADET from Togo

Nous savons tous que le partenariat se faisait à travers un point focal des agences spécialisées des Nations Unies au nom de tout le système des Nations Unies.

En tout cas, moi je reçois des informations  de l'UNICEF, de l'OIM, de l'UNESCO, du PNUD, de PAM, de l'ONUSIDA et autres ...

Ne laisser personne de côté exige une diversité d'acteurs. Il faut d'abord identifier ces groupes dans chaque pays et responsabiliser une organisation qui sera chargée de faciliter leur participation au Forum.

Pour la protection des acteurs de la société civile, il faut que les agences spécialisées, en signant des contrats avec la société civile, les remet au ministre de la sécurité qui doit rassurer sur la protection des organisations impliquées dans la mise en œuvre des contrats signés.

Et quand, ces acteurs sont menacés, intimidés, les grandes autorités doivent s'expliquer à la tribune des Nations Unies devant toutes les autres autorités avec des sanctions morales si cette menace n'est pas bien défendue.

Pour promouvoir l'espace civique, il faut que les gouvernements manifestent leur volonté de coopérer efficacement avec les OSC, qui ne sont pas obligatoirement les OSCs de leur choix. Ils doivent rechercher et nommer les dirigeants de la société civile à la tête des institutions nationales et locales de développement durable suite aux réformes nécessaires pour la mise en œuvre des ODDs.

Ces responsabilités données de la société civile permettra à cette dernière de s'engager plus dans les processus décisionnels et de discussions nationales, d'engagement, d'innovations, de redevabilité, de transparence et de lutte contre la corruption. Ici, les Nations-Unies peuvent proposer des ressources humaines à promouvoir à cet effet.

Un règlement intérieur et directives permettront de respecter la hiérarchie établie dans la structuration de la société civile nationales, sous régionale et locale.

Au fait, les textes et les déclarations aux Nations-Unies restent aux Nations-Unies pour certains. C'est pourquoi, une fois nommé ou contrat signé la législation en vigueur y afférente doit être remis aux ayant droits.

Et pour renforcer son soutien à la société civile, les Nations-Unies doivent mettre à la disposition de la société civile un système de communication rapide pour suivre de prêt l'évolution de la mise en œuvre des ODDs au niveau national et local.

 

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Flat cut SOSSOUGA, thank you for your contribution and raising this interesting idea of "contracts" with civil society.  However, it was not clear if you meant such contracts between civil society and the UN, or between civil society and the Government?  Could you clarify and elaborate on your idea?  It is curious to know how this would work in practice, and do you have any examples that show such agreements did or may work?  Many thanks for additional inputs.

Saripalli Suryanarayana • Engineer at "Senior Professional Engineer from India

@Elin Faber has described certain important issues.@Baatar is right.Very many nations and societies have to address developmental issues.The core is Digital technology.The second is Hunger,poverty to be eliminated.Housing to be provided.

For these some times corruption,some time lack of resources are the main issues.Less or least development prohibits investments in nations and regions.Basic issues,of water,food ,cloth are some times bad.Each country may have a devlopment agenda and follow the set rules,for finaces from international agencies.Many countries are trying to develop internet and digital technologies for neighbouring countries.

Food essentially is grown by locals,but storage as well sales are bad if infra is not devloped.They need to approach countries with technology,know how and man power for assisting them.

Then once some development takes place,other productive gaints for human use and consumption may join.The country assisting could ask for approach for markets,because it invested its resources.The only legislation that shall be in place is when how many locals are to be employed,and how many sub works for locals are to be generated.

Giorgina Piperone • Program Analyst (UN Women) at UN Women from Australia Moderator

Saripalli Suryanarayana thanks for your comment. The use of digital technologies can indeed serve as a useful tool also to facilitate information sharing and improve engagement between the UN and civil society actors. Many thanks again!

Arzak Khan • South Asia Hub Manager (Innovation for Change) at Innovation For Change from Pakistan Moderator

Mobile for Development relies on the theory that increased access to mobile devices acts as an integral cornerstone in the promotion of overall societal development. Once viewed as a luxury mobile devices are becoming a necessity throughout the developing countries. The undependable electrical infrastructure of many developing countries does not cater well to mass hardwired ICT adoption hence mobile portable devices  battery power, and flexibility of mobile technologies is well suited to the common pursuits and lifestyles of those residing in the developing world to leapfrog to information economy and advancement in digital technologies. 

Angelica Flores • Presidenta at Fundacion Internacional Fabricando Fantasias Ayúdame Ayudando.A.C from Mexico

Buen día desdé Chalco, Estado de mexico, Espacios Cívicos y como la ONU deberia apoyar a la sociedad civil para que conjuntamente se trabaje de manera eficaz

* Hacer una encuesta pública donde se expresen las necesidades de cada region

* No basar sus resultados en datos estadísticos ya establecidos ya que ahi aveces no se Encuentra la realidad

*La mayor parte de las asociasiones civiles en nuestros estatutos y lineamientos tenemos que somos un órgano de consulta federal estatal y municipal, CONSULTENOS

* El verdadero motivo del cierre de los espacion civico ES LA OPRECION  no ser vistos para que el mundo no se entere

*** Esto último viola vario derechos individuales, derechos de expresión y de asociación libré 

*Tambien es importante mencionar que tenemos el firme conocimiento que todas estas muestras de expresion deben de ser hechas con respeto y normas PERO  aveces se deben manifestar de otra maneras para ser realmente escuchados no solo en tu región sino en el mundo

*Abria que analizar por que se llega a estos limites de manifestacion civil a fondo

*Propongo que se establezca un día terminando este foro de manifestación pacífica en todo el mundo en vinculacion con derechos humanos y ONU donde se manifieste en silencio la lucha por este derecho, sincronicemos nuestros relock a nivel mundia y hagamos que nos vean y nos escuchen sin una palabra

*Los que estamos participando en todo el mundo en este foro es por que de verdad estamos siendo parte de injusticias y vemos tristemente que estamos solos

*Muchos coincidimos que la ONU para los ciudadanos es solo algo muy muy lejano de nuestra realidad cotidiana

*El problema ya existe HAY QUE RESOLVERLO

*La mayoria que éstamos aquí hemos vivido mas de cerca las violaciones a derechos humanos y nos afecta de sobremanera el cierre a los espacios cívicos

*Preparándonos desde el principio con ustedes en línea o mediante espacios presensaciales

*Para ustedes no sera facil llegar a nosotros con la atención que requerimos en idiomas lenguas regiones

*Para nosotros no a sido tampoco facil el camino para llegar hoy con ustedes

Debo confesar que cuando entre al foro pense que seriamos miles y millones de usuarios , desde ahí debemos partir 

*Onu solo esta llegando a unos cuantos

*Onu no esta siendo publicitada como debería

*En una encuesta pregunte entre 50 personas me contestaron Onu sirve para eventos bélicos

En este foro deberíamos empezar a organizar con ustedes un plan de trabajo para buscar soluciones

Que propones moderador de que manera podemos apoyarlos a ustedes

moka • Président du conseil d'administration at FONDATION KALIPA POUR LE DEVELOPPEMENT from Congo - Kinshasa

Un autre atout de la protection des acteurs de la société civile c'est le moyen de communication qui devrait être disponible au moins dans chaque agglomération de 100.000 habitat avec un petit bureau dont la permanence sera assure, le moyen de transport c'est à dire même les vélos seraient à envisager pour les acteurs locaux qui courent plus de 200km à pieds
 et la  motivation en terme d'achat de performance serait une approche très capitale qui mettra et rendra les travaux des acteurs comme une profession mais pas comme un volontariat car tellement que les gens sont véritablement pauvre, ils considèrent la mission   de l'acteur de SC comme une simple responsabilité de lutte contre le paiement de taxe et impôt

Liu Si • Online Educator at Freedom Human Rights Research Group from United States

In country level, in order to open up space for civil society, UN needs to propose and sign up agreements with the state governments on what UN will do in the respective states, which may be different from state to state,  Therefore, under such agreements, the civil rights actors may have some protection.

For instance In China, a most recent law regulates all NGOs must register with the government, which violates the inter laws, but it’s a state where any questions or objections will be regarded as crimes, so no one can raise any doubt.  Only UN can uphold the principles of civil society by holding the state government responsible for their unlawful passing of such laws.

China always accuse other governments as having intervened in the internal affairs of its domestic issues, but UN is very different, because as a member state under UN international laws, UN has a stake in the member states to see to it that the laws voluntarily signed and rectified  are implemented in their country.

Such agreements will allow the actors and activists access in a safe fashion to UN meetings and their information.  Otherwise, more people will die other than Cao Shunli because of efforts and attempts to work with UN and to access to UN information.

Iain N Walker • Executive Director at newDemocracy Foundation from Australia

I think the one thing the UN can do is lead by example in their own engagement activities.

A challenge to reaching agreement on global problems is that many UN decision-making and consultation structures fail to fully take into account domestic political realities. Governments of both Left and Right get a PR/ campaigning (electoral) benefit from a slightly nationalist positioning and not letting decisions be 'imposed' from an international body. This points to the UN engagements not offering the right design approach (i.e. civic space) to address the problem.

A UN engagement structure that was grounded in domestic citizen views first, with those informed views considering the tradeoffs involved then presented to national parliaments and then taken to international discussions could aid in the solution of that problem.

This can be done with a light touch approach which encourages countries to innovate: what should ideally emerge is that 1-2 countries deliver something exceptional which others are then drawn to emulate.

A challenge faced by civil society is that it is frequently also a political actor - and so politicians criticising them as pawns for others is a politically astute course of action. One way to remedy this would be to encourage the use of randomly-selected citizens in public judgment exercises (much like the role of a jury in a criminal trial). Where civil society and governments are the expert witnesses, we need a more formal role for everyday people - a group for whom it is pretty much impossible to ascribe political motivations.

Politicians of all persuasions have one thing in common: they tend to think they're right! Most would welcome the chance to make their case to everyday citizens and use this as the basis for a position to take to a UN-sponsored discussion. Equally, this creates a different role for civil society as a fellow expert asking citizens to make a fair judgment rather than acting as a de facto voice of the community themselves. 

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Iain N Walker, thank you very much for your constructive input.  You are making an important point that UN can lead by example, which is something the UN strives to do with room for self-improvement.  When we talk about civil society, we are not only referring to NGOs, human rights activists and defenders, media and journalists, but also a broad spectrum of other civil society actors such as social and other movements, trade unions, academia and think tanks, youth and student groups, representative of other population groups, environmental and other activists, professional associations, victim-support groups, coalitions and networks, community- and faith-based groups, professionals contributing directly to the enjoyment of human rights (e.g. humanitarian workers, lawyers, doctors and medical workers), so on and so forth.  Therefore, the space in which all those civil society actors interact with those who make decisions or influence decision-making (state institutions, executive authorities, legislative and judicial bodies), is regulated by laws, policies and other interests (political, economic, social etc.), including economic interests of businesses and the private sector.  The UN is interacting with all those actors, playing a facilitation and convening role in this complex space.  Based on your experience and observations, could you share your views on what other innovative approaches, in addition to your point on "bottom-up" approach, can the UN adopt in its interactions with these actors to represent "we the peoples" spirit of the UN Charter, while also ensuring compliance of States with international norms and standards (e.g. human rights and humanitarian law, labour standards, various treaties, conventions and declarations etc.) on the background of increasing national laws and policies that seek to restrict civic activity?  We welcome your further thoughts and suggestions on these. 

Amel Karoui • International Division Executive at Majlis Kanser Nasional - MAKNA from Malaysia

Regarding the partnerships and collaboration with the United Nations, it is important to draw your attention to the fact that these processes can unfortunately get complicated. Civil Societies could face constraints in accessing the UN and its subsidiary bodies, as each body is independent and has different codes and processes. Even though MAKNA is conferred the Special Consultative Status, we still need to dig a lot in order to have access to information or keep up with the events and resolutions meetings happening in the UN whether on the international, regional or local levels. We suggest creating common platforms or websites to help us find useful information more easily, as the existing ones fail to deliver the necessary information.

As per the view to leaving no one behind, we believe that the United Nations can help create more programmes to mainstream SDGs and expand the reach beyond civil societies and stakeholders committed to SDG achievement. This could also be possible through urging governments to engage the populations and the general public even more, thus easing the task on civil societies. The United Nations could further help with creating a digital hub for NGOs to have such consultations and discussions about topics of interest to both entities such as SDGs matters or other concerns on regular basis. This will not only strengthen the communication between UN and CSOs, but also it would be a meeting point where we could share perspectives, practices and solutions.

Nevertheless, as much as we were pleased to attend the High Level Political Forum in its 2019 edition and are eager to attend it again this year, we struggled a lot with the processes of registration, etc. Furthermore, traveling costs are significantly high. It is not realistic to assume that Non-For-Profits from all over the world are able to fundraise and invest those funds attending meetings on a different continent. As a matter of fact, very few institutions within our sector are able to do so. If we are aiming to "leave no one behind" and the inclusion of Civil Societies in the achievement of the 2030 agenda is truly imperative, we are failing to accomplish these two precepts by making these meetings an exclusive kind of gathering. This point was also raised by CSOs during the HLPF 2019.

It is also a good initiative to make regional forums on sustainable development, but the “application” process to attend is made very long and complicated for civil societies, as we need to submit plenty of written statements and answer about 50 questions to be able to submit our participation or attendance request in the Asia-Pacific Sustainable Development Forum 2020 for example. We suggest simplifying these processes in order to maximize the engagement of civil societies and actually leaving no one behind! There are plenty of closed meetings convened at UN in which NGOs are excluded, but even the open meetings, which are supposedly inclusive are made complex, while advancing the achievement of SDGs can only be possible with Civil Societies’ support and constant drive.

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

Hello and thank you @Amel Karoui for your response.  The challenges you highlighted regarding a limited opportunity for civil society to engage with the High Level Political Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals echoes and are similar to challenges highlighted by @Hamidreza Afshari.  In this case, what do you think the UN country presences should do to channel critical civil society voices from the ground to global discussions, so that no one is left behind in practice?

Jeff Acaba • Programme Officer at APCASO from Thailand

Hi everyone! Below are my responses to each of the questions:

Q1. Partnership/participation:

  1. What are entry points for you to engage with the UN? What are the challenges you face in engaging with the UN (e.g. unclear about entry points/contacts, opaque and complex procedures, etc.)? Have you ever contested decisions that restricted your participation in the UN?

    Our entry points in engaging with the UN are through the individual UN Cosponsoring organisations who have established civil society platform, Task Force, or a Delegation (such as UNAIDS and WHO). However, UN organisations have varying understanding of what civil society is and sometimes that at some point, civil society organisation engagement are only being tokenized without proper processes and frameworks to follow.
     

  2. How do you receive information about UN processes? Have you experienced any difficulties in accessing information about the UN’s policies and processes? What measures do you suggest to improve access to information and quality of information?

    Among the UN agencies that we work with have regular email communications and are very apt in sharing information to civil society. A measure to improve the information-sharing would probably be holding regular consultations or "brown bag sessions" with CS and NGOs so that the communication does not solely rely on online communication as face-to-face conversations can also help. UN offices can also provide sfe space for NGOs to discuss and strategise.  
     

  3. With a view to “leaving no one behind”, what can the UN do to reach out to diverse civil society actors or groups (e.g. women, youth, persons with disabilities, ethnic and religious minorities, indigenous peoples, LGBT individuals) in your country/region/area of work? Can you provide good examples of the UN reaching out to specific groups?

    In Asia Pacific, UNAIDS co-hosts a Partnership Forum wherein regional key population networks and CS are invited to meet on a regular basis.
     

  4. Do you have any comments about civil society participation in intergovernmental forums (e.g. Security Council, ECOSOC, Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, various commissions etc.)? Do specific groups (e.g. women, youth, migrants, minorities, indigenous peoples, LGBT groups etc.) face greater obstacles than others in accessing UN inter-governmental fora? How could the UN support efforts towards more diversity?

         Civil society participation really varies. In some settings, some UN act as gatekeepers to these spaces, and would only allow the usual partners to engage. Others are more collaborative, and even provide support for CS to participate further. I think it will be helpful if UN does not only support CS to participate in terms of sharing information, but also holding or supporting pre-conference convenings or strategising among CS. At the same time, as UN provides these support, that they should not intervente but only act as facilitators for these processes to maintain independence.

Q2. Protection of civil society actors:

  1. What role do you expect the UN to play in situations when civil society actors are at risk (e.g. of intimidation, threats and attacks off-line and on-line)? Can you provide examples of the UN taking such measures?

        UN should continue to support CS either through capacity-building, hosting meetings, or even supporting to be able to develop technical capacity and be part of the broader CS discussions outside of the country. For example, in the Philippines, conversations around drug use is very difficult, hence UNODC provides safe spaces for CS working on harm reduction to meet, albeit in small congregations, so that the work continues despite the difficulty. UN organisations should also talk to each other so that the support to CS are not duplicated but are complemented.

  1. How could the UN strengthen its protection role, including in cases of intimidation and/or reprisals against people who cooperate or seek to cooperate with the UN?

There must be a global or regional processes wherein civil society actors' complaints are heard, and a body within the UN wherein these complaints are heard and addressed. Understanding that the UN is Member-State led, this should not delimit its responsibility and mandate to listen and be accountable to the most marginalised, of whom some countries do not even consider as their citizens due to criminalization and ostracization.

Q3. Promotion of and advocacy for civic space:

  1. What role should the UN and its senior leadership play vis-a-vis State authorities in terms of ensuring safe civil society participation in national policy discussions and decision-making processes? How can the UN support diverse participation in these processes (e.g. of women, youth, persons with disabilities, ethnic and religious minorities, indigenous peoples, LGBT individuals)?

         UN senior leadership should make use of the political commitments around civil society support to lobby and advocate among Member States of their commitments. There are already commitments enshrined in many Political Declarations about civil society support - it's time that UN should compile and use these in their processes, and remind Member States of their commitments.

  1. What role should the UN play to ensure people have a say in their country (e.g. regarding national laws and policies on protests, access to information, freedoms of expression and association)?

UN should develop a Civil Society Fund so that it can provide support to CS at the country level and regional level.

  1. How could the UN strengthen its political support to civil society (e.g. through more positive narratives on civil society, meetings during high-level visits, regular consultations etc.)?

UN should develop a Civil Society Fund so that it can provide support to CS at the country level and regional level.

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

Hello and thank you @Jeff Acaba for taking your time and for providing structured responses to many of the questions.  Your suggestions concerning the need for greater support to and protection of civil society also reconfirm many other voices expressed during the discussions.  Especially, your comment on the role of the UN senior leadership is well noted!

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

 

DAY 4 and 5

 

Welcome to the 4th and 5th days of the consultations, and we also welcome newly joined participants.  A number of ideas and suggestions were made yesterday, which can be summarized as:

  • Challenges and barriers related to civil society engagement with the UN and its processes, unclear or cumbersome accreditation and registration processes, physical and procedural inaccessibility, travel requirements and costs, visas and other issues, especially engaging with the UN High Level Political Forum in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Some ideas were proposed whether “contracts” and “agreements” could be made between the UN, government authorities and civil society, which seek to ensure safe engagement of civil society and improve protection
  • Continued support to and capacity building of civil society to engage with the UN at global and country levels, and improve civil society representation in political and economic decision-making processes, including through new legal frameworks and user-friendly tools to support diverse groups to speak out, organise, mobilise and take action off-line and on-line
  • The use of digital technologies as useful tools to facilitate information sharing and improve engagement between the UN and civil society actors
  • The need for the UN to lead by example in their own engagement activities with various actors, and that the UN decision-making and consultation structures need top better account domestic political realities and be grounded on views of citizens and people
  • Varying understanding of the UN of what civil society is, and tokenistic engagement without proper processes and frameworks to follow
  • Need for increased political commitments by the UN senior leadership on civil society issues in their engagement and advocacy with Member States, and move from rhetoric (Political Declarations) to action, and develop a Civil Society Fund to support civil society at country and regional level

We look forward to hearing more from you!

 

moka • Président du conseil d'administration at FONDATION KALIPA POUR LE DEVELOPPEMENT from Congo - Kinshasa

Chez nous République démocratique du congo, il suffit qu'une organisation de la société ait un bureau avec équipement et moyen de communication et surtout un circuit de communication permanent, je crois que la scurité pour les acteurs de la SC sera une garentie

David Kode • Advocacy and Campaigns Lead (CIVICUS) at CIVICUS from South Africa Moderator

@mocha.  That is useful to know.  The number of civil society organisations in the DRC are as diverse as the country itself.  

Sister Ling ( HOL GS) • Founder at Hands of Love GS from United States

Dear Concerned Members of The Group,

I was sadly unavailable yesterday but will catch up this week end.

Why should we give out likes?❤

A very simple fact is, "No One Is Left Behind!"

We as Civil Society Should also not be left behind as well.

Please view my interactive presentation attached.

SL

Santiago Roberto Bertoglia • Asistente humanitario y VNU NÚMERO DE ROSTER - 1279899 at Voluntarios de las Naciones Unidas - Argentina from Argentina

Estimados Amigos y Colegas: 

Estoy agradecido por estar aquí y por su invitación: Actualmente me encuentro muy preocupado por la corrupción de funcionarios públicos en Argentina que ponen en peligro las vidas de la población. Por lo que busco trabajar junto a colegas y amigos con las Resoluciones de la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas A/RES/70/1 y A/RES/73/140. Saludos cordiales.

Saripalli Suryanarayana • Engineer at "Senior Professional Engineer from India

I am contineously in to the 'Innovation Conversation' of  UNDP’s Accelerator labs during last two months. Being a member of "RBEC Knowledge Innovation" we are able to attend the webniar.And  participated during various UNDP discussions on Habitat-3 etc.What it means is to achive the 2030 agenda on SDGs,"We need to retrofit the present cities,urban systems so that we bridge gaps and do not widen such'.

We also need to use available better communications and enhance to 4G for digitalisation,in economy and banking.We also have to enhance the living by giving disaster resistance husing."Of all the problem to day is migration".It could be regional,or to the Urban areas,or beyond the borders of their "Culture and Heritage".

While education shall decrease the conflict and so the migration,it is increasing with the non availabulity of resources ,as well lack of good leadership[in conflict areas-no leadrship].

Mitigation,urbanisation,resilence in to health and food systems in what ever available ways shall advance the countries.

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Suryanarayana Saripalli, thanks for the contribution and for highlighting a good example of working together with UNDP on such important development issues, including the Sustainable Development Goals.

fiquet • Project officer at NGO from Switzerland

What measures do you suggest to improve access to information and quality of information?

Contents of meetings and information on forthcoming major events should be made more accessible on internet, so everyone can access it. Also, social media must play a central role in mobilizing social initiatives.

With a view to “leaving no one behind”, what can the UN do to reach out to diverse civil society actors or groups (e.g. women, youth, persons with disabilities, ethnic and religious minorities, indigenous peoples, LGBT individuals) in your country/region/area of work?

Innovative approaches, aiming at enhancing the situation at the grass-root level, should be promoted. Actions on the ground, effective at the local level should be promoted, rather than conventional international fora.

It would be interesting to have a network of local associations, in each region of the world, to facilitate the implementation of change on the ground

Do you have any comments about civil society participation in intergovernmental forums (e.g. Security Council, ECOSOC, Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, various commissions etc.)?

I have already witnessed acts of intimidation towards human rights defenders speaking in public at the UN in Geneva. Safe environment for human rights defenders at the UN is not yet a reality.

What role do you expect the UN to play in situations when civil society actors are at risk (e.g. of intimidation, threats and attacks off-line and on-line)? Can you provide examples of the UN taking such measures?

The UN should create mechanisms specifically dedicated to acts of harassment and reprisals from states. One of the best way possible to deal with it would be that the UN share it publicly to everyone, that such state is putting civil society actors at risk. Sometimes simple communication can also be the solution, because states want to avoid the spreading of bad news about them.

How could the UN strengthen its protection role, including in cases of intimidation and/or reprisals against people who cooperate or seek to cooperate with the UN?

The UN should allocate more time and budget to this issue. Mechanisms have to be created so people can safely engage with the UN.

What role should the UN play to ensure people have a say in their country (e.g. regarding national laws and policies on protests, access to information, freedoms of expression and association)?

The UN could play a role of incubator for social mobilization. For example, creating safe spaces where people can exchange, dialogue and have a say on the violations they may suffer from. Once people get used to speak and dialogue between each other, society may be more open to dialogue.

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@fiquet, thank you for your pertinent points, which really add to contributions made by others in relation to: accessibility and availability of information; the need to reach out to, communicate and engage with grass-roots actors and organizations; as well as the UN's role in providing a safe space for civil society actors.  You raised another important point in relation to protection, which is reprisals and intimidation against civil society actors for cooperating with or seeking to cooperate with the UN system.  On this, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights acts as a UN system-wide official to coordinate the UN system efforts in addressing and respond to reprisals.  We will welcome your views on how could the work of the UN Assistant Secretary-General be further improved, if you are aware of this mandate, as well as the UN's response to reprisals in general.

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

 

Note from moderators:

Dear participants, the email notification system was malfunctioning since afternoon of Wednesday 15 January.  Due to this technical issue, many of you may not have received any notifications regarding latest posts, and we sincerely apologize if this has caused you any inconveniences.  The email notification system has been fixed now!

We invite you to check the latest posts you may have missed, and actively contribute to the discussions.

 

Susan Wilding • Head of Office: Geneva Hub at CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation from Switzerland

Thank you again for the space to engage the UN on this important conversation.

In response to the first question around participation and access, it is important that the UN do not perpetuate closing space for civil society by being selective in the groups the UN engages and the voices the UN listens to. I am speaking particularly about the UN's role at a national level, where it could be said, that the UN has the greatest impact on protecting and promoting civic space. Yet, we often hear from national partners, that meetings/ briefings with UN are often overrun by State sponsored civil society groups (understandably -due to their links with governments- they have more influence and ability to attend/ be heard) but what this does is squash the space for independent civil society to be heard. I think its important at a national level for all UN staff to make sure that they are creating space for independent civil society and that they engage them in a manner that they are comfortable with (safety, language etc).

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Susan Wilding, thank you very much for making a great point that the UN and its staff at the country level should avoid the selectivity and the kind of civil society actors they engage with.  A really great point and we believe this reinforces the need for some innovative approaches, such as the availability of online and mobile platforms for everyone to engage (which was repeatedly suggested previously) to break the silos of greater engagement by those civil society actors who have connections with both UN and government processes.  However, given that different UN entities have different mandates, which often define their core constituency, what would you suggest, in terms of specific mechanisms and channels, that could be adopted across the UN entities on the ground.  Would your organization, and other NGO networks you know of, have adopted good practices on inclusive, equal and effective engagement, which the UN could learn from?

KAS Lebanon Office • from Lebanon

Dear all,

Most of the Lebanese citizens don’t know their rights and responsibilities, even the basic ones. This problem starts with children from their early life at school. Most of the schools in Lebanon, especially those located in rural areas, don’t provide human rights education. If we start with this issue, UN could offer awareness campaigns in schools for students, for teachers and even for parents to help in spreading the awareness.
On another level, even mature and educated adults don’t know all their rights. For example, new graduates, applying for jobs for the first time, should know their rights in answering questions and filling applications. Employees should also know their rights in their workplace.
In addition, all citizens should know their political, humanitarian, and social rights. As you may know, Lebanon is currently having protests in different areas. These protests shed the light on an important problem among the Lebanese “the lack of knowledge of their rights”. Moreover, Women’s Rights is one of the most important topics in the region.
As for your role, you may help in different ways:
1- Transferring information on human rights through online infographics videos
2- Uploading documentaries about human rights online
3- Uploading videos for conferences that were done on those topics
4- Providing a public online page for inquiries and complaints for every country
5- Providing offices for inquiries and complaints in every country
6- Providing awareness campaigns in schools for students, for teachers and even for parents to help in spreading the awareness.

Thank you,

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Kas Lebanon Office, thanks for your contribution, which is clear and succinct.  Similar points were made by others on the need for greater awareness raising on human rights and fundamental freedoms among people, using digital and online tools for better connectivity etc.  Specifically, your point on the UN's role in advocating for human rights education in schools, including on women's rights, is key for the awareness raising among the public.  Thank you for your input, and we hope that others will contribute to this discussion.  

Hepzibah

Hello everyone, it has been quite interesting with all our contributions and even more so, our consistent updates.

In addition to what i have commented on Day 1. In Q1  Partnership/Participation, with a view of 'Leaving no one behind' I would want to emphasize a little on this especially as we have the decade year 2020 with us looking at 2030. What the UN can do to reach out to divers of Civil Society actors or groups E.g Women, Youth, Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) etc,I would love to see the UN who are also drivers of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) see to it that CSOs have deep understanding of the SDGs. I am an SDGs activator in Nigeria, my observation in our sensitization outreaches was that even the CSOs have little or no understanding of SDGs which s the core blueprint of our human rights work. Action point is that UN should of necessity, sponsor more massive activation of SDGs in every state using active , accountable and responsible focal persons to ensure that the CSOs carry out their work effectively and efficiently. The people at the grassroots do not have any idea on what these goals are. Intentionally, leaving no one behind will be achieved, carrying the interest groups along, like the women and youth, PWDs etc SDG#17 is key for all and sundry.

Women groups, Youth and PWDs need lots of programs, like empowerment programs where the UN can assist the CSOs  to organize training on fundraising skills, ICT skills, effective communication and Self-development etc. The youth as well need some level of entrepreneurial skills to help both school and non- school youth to be gainfully employed in one thing or the other,

PWDs need our assistance to improve their livelihood. Nigerian President Buhari signed the Discrimination Against Persons with disability bill into law on January 23, 2019. Little on no implementation has been effected on that. Most of the PWDs also do not have that knowledge. The UN can also help the CS by funding a program to carry out strategic advocacy to relevant stakeholders, government agencies and other ministries, carry out sensitization outreaches, radio phone in discussion program , campaign etc to actually domesticate and implement these law. The UN also has UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD)   and also SDG#10 Reduced Inequalities and can actually drive this process through the CSOs.

Q2 Protection of Civic Society.

I like to keep it short and simple. UN can take sanction as measures when information and events about threat, intimidation that bother on life and death are met out against CSOs. But it must be verified beyond reasonable doubt. We have heard in the news how Staff of CSO abducted, sometimes threatened and people stick out their neck to walk the talk and need protection from United Nations to be able to do humanitarian work. The UN can also follow up on CSOs bi-annually in their list serve to get reports on safety, peace/conflict resolutions. UN can also increase more work on peace and conflict  resolutions with the assistance of the CSOs to change the mindsets and narratives of the society.

Q3. Promotion of Advocacy for Civic Society

The UN has so much to contribute in terms of ensuring that CS have a say in national laws and policies, on protests and access to information, freedom of expression by carrying out diplomatic visits to the federal, state governments using their focal persons domiciled in the country accompanied by the members of active CSOs to advocate and boost the opportunity of the said country in terms of receiving diplomatic immunity for security, education and health etc for the particular country that cooperates at the same time discouraging hate speeches and random disregard of government authorities. There is always a balance in life both for the leader and the led.

Thank you

Ogechi Ikeh

Executive Director

Citizens Centre for Integrated Development for Social Rights (CCIDESOR)

 

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Hepzibah, thank you for your input and you have raised a number of important points.  In relation to SDGs as an agenda by the people and for the people, the Goal 16 is about inclusive participation in decision-making, protection of human rights defenders, and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions.  Therefore, the implementation of all other SDGs depends on the realization of the SDG 16.  SDG 16 captures all the main points on protection and promotion you raised in your contribution, thus it is highly relevant to the protection and promotion of civic space.  We invite you to share your views on how the SDG 16 is being implemented in your country, and in case the implementation of this goal is "left behind" the implementation of other Goals, how can the UN better support civil society in bringing this issue to the attention of the government?  Do you have examples of better partnership between the UN and civil society around the SDG 16?

Hepzibah

[~57448] Thank you for your response.

I sure will share our experience with SDG #16 and how it has fared ,what UN can do to assist Civil Society and its approach to the government as well..

Thank you

Ogechi Ikeh Hepzibah

Executive Director

Citizens Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR)

Owerri. Imo State

Nigeria

Samir Kumar Das • Chairman at IMAECSED (International Movement for Advancemet of Education Cul\ture Social & Economic Development) from India

I am principal Founder and Chairman of International Movement for Advancement of Education Culture Social & Economic Development (IMAECSED) an Indian based NGO..

IMAECSED is very much grateful for this wonderful opportunity to engage & consult the expert of United Nations along with the global stakeholders via this online Forum. We have wider scope of knowledge sharing, join hands for collaboration and Partnership, improve our projects and take action wherever necessary. We play an active role in the protection and preservation of humanity, advocacy, conflict, human rights violation and humanitarian response in crisis. Since 1995 we are terribly facing lot of crisis to accelerate our varied objectives and activities. But the present context Civic Space is not a mere right to the civil society it is one of the fundamental weapons to establish in the society. Our engagement to the UN demands enabling environment for civil society to play an active role to achieve free access to enjoy human rights with dignity and within the campus of Rule of Law. To overcome any situation from its interruption of free enjoyment of rights, we hope and pray to the holy United Nations to be more liberal to us.  

 

Non cooperation from various sectors many a time create stumbling block to our work but our untiring effort and continuous movement within such a limited resource lead us to accelerate our activities with various UN Organ and other global stakeholders. We are always extending our hands to join with the interested Group or any other sector to achieve our target for 2030 Agenda.

Giorgina Piperone • Program Analyst (UN Women) at UN Women from Australia Moderator

Thanks [~14693] for sharing your reflections and for reinforcing the UN's role to help create a safe and enabling environment for civil society. 

Mandeep Singh Tiwana • Chief Programmes Officer at CIVICUS from United States

Thank you for initiating this conversation. 

On the question of promotion of and advocacy for civic  space it would be helpful if the UN's leadership and member states elevate the human rights pillar and place it on par with the other two pillars of peace and security, and development. The UN's three pillars should be seen as inter-related and mutually reinforcing in both policy and practice. Also, civic space and civil society participation should be seen as interlinked. Currently, the human rights pillar receives a tiny proportion of the UN's budget which needs to be addressed to ensure compliance with civic space commitments enshrined in international human rights law. With regards to the peace and security pillar, civic space and civil society participation could constitute a key component of any agreements or initiatives. With regards to development pillar, Agenda 2030 commitments could include robust and relevant civil society led indicators to enable proper reporting and action on civic space and civil society participation. 

Giorgina Piperone • Program Analyst (UN Women) at UN Women from Australia Moderator

[~58038] thank you so much for these concrete and considered suggestions on how the UN can improve its promotion and advocacy work on civic space, and better coordinate its approach to civic space across the three pillars. Many thanks, Mandeep!

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Mandeep Singh Tiwana, thank you very much for your input, which really raises a deeper question why civic space is important.  As you noted, although it is often said that the three pillars of the UN are interdependent and equal, the rhetoric is often not translated into action.  One could also push the boundaries further and argue that human rights are the ultimate objectives, where development and peace and security are the means to achieve the higher objectives.  Open, safe and democratic civic space fosters conditions where investments in development and peace and security contribute to positive human rights outcomes.  How can the UN, together with civil society, make a business case that protection and promotion of civic space may be the only option?  Thanks for your views and suggestions on joint strategies. So far we talked about how the UN should protect and promote civic space, and it is interesting to explore what can be done jointly, going back to some of the earlier comments on the important role of civil society as well.

OTU, Uwem Robert. • from Nigeria

On Q1 subsection d, I feel happy that the UN is taking the issue of access and engagement more seriously. From the days of In Larger Freedom till date, the problem has been allowing CSOs access at those high level events and breaking down the over protectionism on national delegations. The UN should encourage a genuine role for CSOs that allows CSO focal points access at the table. When leaders know they are likely to meet questions from their citizens when at the UN they will act right. The UN can do more by encouraging government to include civil society as part of their official delegations to these meetings. On the whole I implore the UN to make access to CSOs a transparent and to BREAK DOWN THE BARRIERS

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@A Life, Robert, thank you for your contribution, and for proposing that civil society should be part of the State delegations to the UN meetings and processes.  Indeed, there are some good examples where civil society actors were included as part of the State delegations to the High Level Political Forum to review SDGs.  If you can share your view how the UN can advocate and convince State authorities to do so in a systematic way would be welcomed! 

Mohamad SAFA • CEO and Permanent Representative at United Nations at Patriotic Vision - PVA from Lebanon

Dear participants,
Hope to find you all well,
I am Mohamad Safa and I am Patriotic Vision's CEO and Patriotic Vision's Permanent Representative at United Nations. I will briefly and in general answer many of the questions you have asked here.

 

I will starte with "Q1. Partnership/participation: With a view to “leaving no one behind”, what can the UN do to reach out to diverse civil society actors or groups (e.g. women, youth, persons with disabilities, ethnic and religious minorities, indigenous peoples, LGBT individuals) in your country/region/area of work? Can you provide good examples of the UN reaching out to specific groups?"

- Patriotic Vision has a special consultative status with the United Nations (ECOSOC) and that I travel twice or three times every year to stand against human rights violations everywhere. I have touched from many regional and local managers dealing in a racial or sectarian way in this field "especially youth field" and I can explain the subject under the air in order to keep names and offices secretly so that you can deal with the issue and address it outside the media. Because of this and other reasons, it is difficult for the United Nations to reach everyone due to the arbitrary policies of some directors, which are dealt with due to race, gender, color, religion, etc.
 

 

As for Q2. Protection of civil society actors: "What role do you expect the UN to play in situations when civil society actors are at risk (e.g. of intimidation, threats and attacks off-line and on-line)? Can you provide examples of the UN taking such measures? How could the UN strengthen its protection role, including in cases of intimidation and/or reprisals against people who cooperate or seek to cooperate with the UN?"

- I believe that, according to UN  basic principle, “We are the people of the United Nations,” the United Nations should provide privileges and immunity to the head of organizations that advocate for human rights, since since 2016 I have traveled to many countries to participate in conferences and provide oral or written reports against some governments which violated human rights and I know many of my friends have been arrested in airports and dealing inhumanly only because they submitted a report on a specific country and this happened with me in an Italian airport and I had informed the NGO office in Geneva. Therefore, the United Nations must stand with people who can be trusted and given some privileges and immunity in order to carry out their work in a good way and it is possible to help the United Nations achieve its goals. I do not think that governments will criticize themselves by themselves. Therefore, our role is the most important in the Human Rights Council. Therefore, we must be protected to continue our work.
 

my answer for Q3. Promotion of and advocacy for civic space: "How could the UN strengthen its political support to civil society (e.g. through more positive narratives on civil society, meetings during high-level visits, regular consultations etc.)?"

- Since I reside in Lebanon and as Patriotech Vision have special consultants status with the United Nations, we have not been received any invitation from the United Nations in Lebanon to any forum or to conference. We are only invited from Geneva, Vienna, or New York. 

I have many reports to talk about. But I don't want to publish them here so I guess when I reach Geneva we can have a meeting and talk.

Sincerely,
SAFA

 

 

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Mohamad SAFA, thank you for your input.  The "immunities and privileges" is one of those issues that are well beyond the scope of this consultation.  Regarding your concerns in relation to the UN presence in Lebanon not reaching out to your organization, in your view what are the reasons of such practice and whether you tried to raise the issue with the UN entities in Lebanon and what were their responses?

Mohamad SAFA • CEO and Permanent Representative at United Nations at Patriotic Vision - PVA from Lebanon

Baatar Bayarmagnai thanks for your reply, I told you it will be good to have a meeting with you when I am in geneva. send me your contact.

moka • Président du conseil d'administration at FONDATION KALIPA POUR LE DEVELOPPEMENT from Congo - Kinshasa

Bonsoir à tous,

Mon intervention porte toujours sur la protection des acteurs de la société surtout dans les zones en conflits ou post-conflits armés. Il se remarque souvent qu'avant le conflit armé, l'ONU qui est toujours informé de tout et de rien n'informer pas  bien avant les acteurs des OSC pour qu'elles puissent prendre de disposition de l'auto défense moins encore l'envoie d'un numéro vert (téléphonique) si pas pour tout le monde mais possible pour le responsable des OSC  accréditées car en principe l'ONU devrait nous gâter car c'est nous qui sommes toujours menacés sur le terrain et lors des différents clusters, nous informons toutes les informations difficilement reussies.

Pendant le conflit, nous devons être identifié par une agence spécialisée de gestion des ONG accréditées et être doté même des cartes de volontaire de l'ONU cette structure existe mais souvent des opportunités limitées aux pays développés ce n'est pas bien.

Après le conflit, les activités de sensibilisation et de soutien aux actions de l'ONU devraient être faites par les volontaires des ONG accrédités. C'est possible avec le budget de ONU de prendre au moins 1 Volontaire à l'ONU pour chaque ONG accréditée car l'offre d'emploi qui se lancent chaque jour devraient mettre des priorités pour les acteurs de la société civile par exemple.

Akre Guy Hervé Bessi • l'ONG ADOKA a pour Mission d'apporter une assisnce scolaires aux enfants démunis. Promouvoir les Droits des Femmes et des Enfants. Lutter contre toutes formes de Violences à l' égard des Femmes et des Enfants. Apporter un appui à la réinsertion d'Enfants at ONG ADOKA from Côte d’Ivoire

Bonjour je bessi Akre Guy Hervé, je suis le président fondateur de l'ONG ADOKA.

Concernant les questions sur les partenariat/ participation : l'ONU devrait rendre plus accessible les différents liens qui nous permettent de la joindre par la s sensibilisation beaucoup de publicités . l'ONU doit se faire l'ami de la société civile nombreuses sont les ong qui ne la connaissent pas.

Pour la protection des acoeurs de la société civile, l'ONU doit assurer leur protection des activites. La police des nations unies doit faire connaître ses prérogatives de la société civile, Avoir aussi un contact qui permette l'information rapide‹ ou la dénonciation d'intimidations vis à vis de la société civile.

Apporter un appui aux États pour soutenir les programmes spécifiques aux ONG.

l'ONU doit mettre la pression sur les Etats afin qu'ils se conforment aux résolutions et aux recommandations des nations unies relatives aux libertés, promouvoir où rendre accessible aux citoyens l'amda à travers les brochures Simples qui seront aussi traduites en langues locales.

Enfin l'ONU doit faire le renforcement de capacités, les formations, partage d'expériences  avec les ONG et des tables rondes.

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Akre Guy Hervé Bessi, thank you for your input, and your suggestions on more capacity building, experience sharing are well noted.

Saúl Morales • Investigacion y Analisis de los Derechos Humanos at Saul Morales from Mexico

RESPUESTA A PREGUNTA Q1

EXPERIENCIA PERSONAL.

Desde muy joven he sido una persona que se resiste contra el racismo y la discriminación. Desafortunadamente en mi comunidad local no era escuchado y también yo no sabía cómo actuar contra este problema. Entonces decidí unirme a una organización internacional de derechos humanos cuando me hicieron la invitación para hacerlo. Durante mi activismo en esta organización internacional de derechos humanos, conocí a mucha gente que se dedicaba a defender derechos en otras organizaciones y me enviaron información acerca de cursos sobre derechos humanos. Yo tenía poca información de la ONU, pero en el año 2010, recibí información acerca de un seminario para defensores de derechos humanos, que se realizaría en una universidad pública estatal de la ciudad de México, donde participo la oficina del alto comisionado de naciones unidas para los derechos humanos en México. Ese seminario estaba abierto al público en general y me sorprendí cuando observe a personas de la sociedad civil y trabajadores del gobierno. Porque yo creía que solo los políticos del alto nivel gobierno tenían acceso a la ONU.

Y también por el paradigma de la elite de los derechos humanos en México, que era un tema de debate durante en esos años. Donde esta pregunta era muy frecuente… ¿Porque si realmente son importantes los derechos humanos, no son incluidos en la constitución de México?... Lo asombroso de este seminario para defensores de derechos humanos, es que la respuesta a esta pregunta, fue respondida… “El proyecto para incluir los derechos humanos en la constitución Mexicana tenía muchos años ignorándose”…

… La indignación fue fuerte… Y durante los años 2010 y 2011, muchas personas con diferentes actividades, nos dedicamos a promover la inclusión de los derechos humanos en la constitución mexicana, en diferentes sectores de la sociedad, especialmente en el poder legislativo de México. La petición a nuestra solicitud fue escuchada y el 10 de junio del 2011, se publicó en el diario oficial de la federación, el decreto por el que se modifica la denominación del Capítulo I del Título Primero y reforma diversos artículos de la Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, es decir, se modificó el artículo 1 de la constitución mexicana para establecer de manera clara los derechos humanos en el país.

http://dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5194486&fecha=10/06/2011

https://www.gob.mx/segob/articulos/que-sabes-sobre-ddhh-y-la-reforma-constitucional-de-2011-11-puntos-clave-para-entender-y-ejercer-tus-derechos

 

RESPUESTA A PREGUNTA Q2

ENEMIGOS PROVIENEN DE CUALQUIER PARTE

Durante el tiempo de conocer a la ONU, solo he aprendido una cosa del riesgo como defensor de derechos humanos… “Los enemigos de los derechos humanos provienen de cualquier parte del mundo”… ¿Cómo obtienen información los enemigos de los derechos humanos acerca de los defensores de derechos humanos?... La respuesta es…No lo sé.

En México he observado que el crimen organizado está interesado en atacar a los defensores de derechos humanos, más que el gobierno. Probablemente este ataque se deba a la mala información acerca del concepto de los derechos humanos en el país o talvez porque el concepto de la participación ciudadana y del voluntariado, no es popular en México. La baja popularidad de la defensa de los derechos humanos, de la participación ciudadana y del voluntario, se debe a que estas actividades se convierten en una potencial amenaza para la mafia civil y del gobierno.

En definición, la defensa de los derechos humanos, la participación ciudadana y el voluntariado, son un mismo entorno y considero importante que la ONU, informe a la población acerca de estos entornos de participación y defensa, que no son enemigos del país. Para evitar que la sociedad civil tenga alianza con diversos factores o peligros que destruyen a la nación, como por ejemplo, el racismo y la discriminación.

En México es frecuente observar que la sociedad civil y el gobierno, atacan con facilidad a la defensa de los derechos humanos, participación ciudadana y voluntariado. Lo extraño es que la sociedad civil y el gobierno, no actúan de la misma manera con el crimen organizado, donde la actitud es más pasiva y silenciosa. Por este motivo también considero importante que la ONU obtenga información de las personas más atacadas por la sociedad civil y el gobierno, para confirmar que no existe riesgo en la defensa de los derechos humanos, participación ciudadana y voluntariado.

https://www.gob.mx/defensorasyperiodistas

 

RESPUESTA A PREGUNTA Q3

ESPACIO INTERNO Y EXTERNO CIVICOS

Personalmente puedo decir que he aprendido más acerca de los derechos humanos en espacios internos y no en externos. Es espacios internos de universidades públicas y privadas, instituciones públicas, embajada, auditorios, hoteles y casas, son lugares donde he obtenido el conocimiento de los derechos humanos. Por este motivo, considero que la ONU debe apoyar en la realización de diversos eventos, en lugares que son accesibles, incluyentes y económicos, para hablar sobre el tema de los derechos humanos.

Probablemente el espacio externo cívico, es el más conflictivo para llevar a cabo reuniones. Las protestas y marchas, no son populares para muchos gobiernos y comunidades locales. Algunos sectores de la sociedad civil y gobierno, piensan que las protestas y marchas son una solución fácil a los problemas del país. Otros sectores de la sociedad civil y gobierno, piensan que las protestas y marchas, son pretextos de la delincuencia organizada para hacer más grande a la mafia. Pero de alguna u otra forma, para las diferentes ideologías o creencias acerca de las protestas, marchas y reuniones públicas, la ONU debe informar a la población sobre los derechos y deberes de las personas en situación de manifestación y de fomentar la tolerancia en las zonas donde se efectúan los eventos de manifestación.

http://www.ordenjuridico.gob.mx/Constitucion/articulos/6.pdf

 

 

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Saul Morales, thank you for your contribution and for sharing your personal story.  Your message on the need for the UN to reach more widely, and especially those at local or grass-roots level, as well received and reinforces many similar suggestions made during this consultation.  What do you think the UN should do in your country, where the government authorities increasingly recognize that people have the right to peaceful assembly, and should not be subjected to any human rights violations?  And how civil society in Mexico could support the UN in this cause of protecting and promoting civic space?

Saúl Morales • Investigacion y Analisis de los Derechos Humanos at Saul Morales from Mexico

[~57448] Gracias por sus comentarios. En México es posible observar que las autoridades de gobierno tienen un cambio de política en relación a las reuniones protesta y manifestación. Este motivo es por la presencia más frecuente de los derechos humanos durante estos eventos y también porque la ONU tiene contacto con los altos niveles federales de gobierno en México. Pero la ONU también debe trabajar con los niveles estatales y municipales del gobierno. Sin embargo, también existen otros factores como las ideologías negativas y peligrosas también son visibles durante estas reuniones ciudadanas. Porque desafortunadamente las ideologías antiguas del gobierno acerca de que los trabajadores de gobierno no tienen derecho de nada y también por las ideologías antiguas de la sociedad civil acerca de que nada en el país en gratis. Estas ideologías peligrosas intervienen directa y principalmente en las políticas públicas de los niveles de gobierno estatales y municipales. Nadie puede dar lo que no tiene o conoce.  Y en las alcaldías, ayuntamientos y municipios, que tiene el primer contacto con los ciudadanos, la defensa de los derechos humanos, tiene también su primera labor. La sociedad civil en México debe reconocer que los trabajadores de gobierno también tienen derechos humanos y el gobierno de México debe informar a la sociedad civil que los derechos humanos no son un comercio. La sociedad civil debe apoyar a la ONU reconociendo la gratuidad de los derechos humanos y el gobierno debe reconocer el espacio libre para las reuniones de la sociedad civil, saludos.

Ivona Truscan • Associate Human Rights Officer (UNHCR) at UNHCR from Switzerland Moderator

Dear Saripalli Suryanarayana,

Thank you very much for sharing your work and the reports regarding climate change, water and irrigation systems. They are very useful to understand the extent of the problems and the measures that need to be considered to address some of the challenges. 

It would be great to hear more from you on whether you have experience engaging with the UN on issues related to your work and expertise. Have you faced any difficulties in doing so?

Thank you.

OTU, Uwem Robert. • from Nigeria

Dear Moderator, Thanks for your comment. The UN has good working relationship with most governments especially like Nigeria where the DSG and PGA come from. Also the UN has access to credible NGOs working with them,  so persuasively the UN can reach out to governments and convene an interactive dialogue between the government and NGO representatives on this crucial issue. As a member of the Global NGO Executive Committee which is the executive committee of NGOs affiliated to the Department of global communication of the UN, the issue of access to government delegation by NGOs is a front burner.

I think an interactive forum is a way forward and as well sharing outcomes of dialogues such as this would help to give a sense of who is doing what country by country and should be shared with national governments. If needed we could share with you a questionnaire format which could precede such an interactive dialogue..

Thank you

Ivona Truscan • Associate Human Rights Officer (UNHCR) at UNHCR from Switzerland Moderator

Dear @OTU, Uwem Robert,

Thank you very much for sharing your experience and for highlighting UN's role and possibility to bring together government authorities and NGO representatives. Thank you as well for suggesting the possibility to organize interactive forum discussions and expanding opportunities to share outcomes of dialogues. If possible, we would be happy to receive an example of a questionnaire that you may have used in the past. 

Many thanks, and in case you would like to comment on some of the other questions in the consultation, we look forward to receiving your thoughts.

 

 

Merna • Executive manager at Partners for Transparency from Egypt

Hello everyone

I am much grateful for this wonderful opportunity to engage and consult the expert of United Nations along with the global stakeholders via this online Global Development Hub. Through this platform, we can discuss and find solutions about the challenges facing us as NGOs

I think United Nations should provide more space for NGOs inside and outside the United Nations , NGOs need strategic plan in United Nations and also need funded program to implement activities outside United Nations and these program fund by United Nations

So what do you think about that ? 

Ivona Truscan • Associate Human Rights Officer (UNHCR) at UNHCR from Switzerland Moderator

Dear @Merna,

Thank you very much for your comments and the suggestions about establishing an NGO strategic plan in the UN and expanding funding opportunities. It would be very helpful to hear your views on the NGO strategic plan.

Thank you.

Lisbeth Arias • from Guatemala

Hola a todos y todas, sobre el planteamiento de la vida cívica en relación a la juventud y otros grupos no representados, una de las  barreras es el acceso a la toma de decisiones dentro de las organizaciones, las Naciones Unidas en la actualidad posee estrategias no efectivas para medir este tipo problemas en sus mecanismos , el problema de fondo es que la juventud es relleno dentro de las organizaciones porque al final existe un centrismo de quienes son los que deben hablar al final de tal cuenta que si la ONG participara en el informe temático sobre la participacion de la juventud en la vida cívica  , quienes opinan al final no son jóvenes. También otro problema es la falta de recursos para dar una vida jurídica a una organización juvenil , al momento de entrar a las reglas de ser aceptados no se cuenta con dinero para legalizar una organización juvenil ya que en mi país es un proceso muy caro por lo tanto , si quisiéramos ser parte de algún informe sobre cierto tema que realizara la ONU no podríamos ser tomados en cuenta ya que existen muchos grupos organizados pero sin personalidad jurídica , el que las organizaciones juveniles puedan tener acceso a espacios de toma de decisiones o de exponer sus ideas en relación a ciertos temas es vital para el fortalecimiento de la participacion en la vida cívica.

David Kode • Advocacy and Campaigns Lead (CIVICUS) at CIVICUS from South Africa Moderator

Thank you for raising such pertinent issues Lisbeth.  Indeed inclusion of youth voices in decision making processes in challenging in many countries and organisations.  What works in some countries is that youth come together to have a collective voices on issues affecting them.  In some countries, youth have set up networks specifically to enhance their engagement with the UN  It is also important that NGOs working at national level to include youth voices in all their planning and actions so that they are captured in policy making by governments.  We can point you to some youth groups you can also reach out to for experience sharing. 

Ivona Truscan • Associate Human Rights Officer (UNHCR) at UNHCR from Switzerland Moderator

Dear @Lisbeth Arias,

Thank you very much for your comments and for bringing up issues related specifically to youth organizations. The issues you raised about the participation of youth in decision-making and standard-setting processes is very important. Many thanks for raising the point about the costs related to the legal requirements to establish youth organizations and the difficulties faced by organizations without legal personality. Would you be able to tell us a bit more about the limitations faced by organizations without legal personality?

Thank you.

Leli Darling • Board member at Haus of Khameleon from Fiji

I'm a transgender activist in Fiji and right now we are facing discrimination from our Sports Minister when News Media printed his comment " No Transgenders will be allowed to participate in women sports".

Together with our PMs two utterances  in the past that "Gay marriage will never happen in Fiji" these events have created a deluge of trans phobic and hateful comments online , and we feel unsafe when going out in Public . 

In both occasions NO Transgender persons actually demanded for both rights to be implemented but the conversation happened above our heads.

David Kode • Advocacy and Campaigns Lead (CIVICUS) at CIVICUS from South Africa Moderator

Thanks for sharing those concerns @ Leli Darling.  We are reaching out in solidarity.  Are there civil society groups in Fiji who share your concerns and can support advocacy on these issues?  The UPR process can be useful in brining these to the attention of the UN. 

Ivona Truscan • Associate Human Rights Officer (UNHCR) at UNHCR from Switzerland Moderator

 

DAY 6   ( WEEK 2 )

 

Dear Participants,

Welcome to the second week of the consultation on UN's Approach to Promoting and Protecting Civic Space! My name is Ivona Truscan and I will be moderator this week together with a few colleagues.

Thank you very much for all the contributions last week as well as to the moderators. Baatar Bayarmagnai's earlier post summarizes the main issues discussed last week.

We would be happy to hear your views and thoughts on questions related to:

  • civil society actors also play an active role in the protection and promotion of civic space, thus how the UN can better support civil society and what joint strategies could be put in place?
  • how the UN can strengthen its partnership with others (e.g. parliament, national human rights institutions, academia, businesses, entertainment and other sectors) in protecting and promoting civic space?
  • what is the role of the UN on protection vis-à-vis other actors that work on protection issues, including other international actors, NGO-led protection networks etc.

Thank you very much and I look forward to further fruitful exchanges with all of you!

Eddie • Chief Executive Officer at ABC4All A Better Community For All from Sierra Leone

Eddie Boston-Mammah. Chief Executive Director. ABC4All (A Better Community For All).

Hello Member,

ABC4All has a entry point to engage with the United Nation when it was granted Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council). We stated receiving information about the United Nations Activities.

For the United Nations to reach out to every civil societies actors or groups especially those in developing countries, the following should be observed:

The UN should open a line of communication directly with the organization, provide training for civil society organizations to facilitate the smooth operations of their work. United Nations should treat any information received from any organization with seriousness, especially human right violation, political intimedation and imprisonment.

Protection:

This is a very important element in achieving our goals as a pressure group and humanitarian organization and also a voice for the voiceless, we need to be protected and respected in our various communities.

We always mediate and advocate on behalf of the marginalize and the vulnerable.

The UN can better protect these organizations through technical, moral and financial empowerment because most of these organizations do not have condusive environment to work. Their offices should be equipt.

Promotion:

Civil Society organization should be encourage to participate in national discussion especially at parliamentry level and in decision making process of the country. UN should support the organizations through cordial working relationship and to capacitate our working partners throughout the country.

 

Ivona Truscan • Associate Human Rights Officer (UNHCR) at UNHCR from Switzerland Moderator

Dear Eddie Boston-Mammah,

Thank you very much for your comments and observations on how the UN could enhance its ability to ensure the participation and protection of civil society organizations as well as to encourage and promote them. Thank you for raising the importance of training, capacity-building, resources and basic equipment. 

It would be interesting to hear your views on what kind of training (skills or qualifications) you think would be most relevant for civil society organizations and what methods of facilitation of such training would be most appropriate in order to reach as many civil society actors as possible.

Thank you.

Gavin Charles • Policy Team Lead at Canadian Council for International Co-operation from Canada

Hello,

We appreciate this consultation. Our comments focus on Q2 and Q3, the protection of civil society actors and the promotion of civic space.

The UN should advance – through its communications, meetings with state officials, and internal processes – a global consensus on the relationship between civic space and sustainable development.

In April 2019, civil society representatives from around the world, including the Canadian Council for International Co-operation, united in a Call to Action urging governments of all countries to reverse the disturbing global trend of shrinking and closing space for civil society. This Call to Action and the associated Action Agenda identify a clear connection between civic space and sustainable development. We will not repeat here all the points noted therein, but they should all be considered as part of this review exercise.

Just as an empowered civil society is key to the fulfilment of human rights and human freedom, it is essential to sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals are highly challenging and absolutely necessary. But while governments have the primary accountability to these commitments, governments cannot achieve them alone. Civil society, the private sector, and individual citizens must all join in their pursuit.

As the aforementioned Call to Action states, “strengths of civil society are its diversity, its rootedness in communities and territories, its direct development experience, and its capacities for public engagement.” These are the benefits that civil society offers governments in support of their obligations to their people and to the planet, and these are what is lost when civil society is suppressed and civic space is diminished.

This critical role of civil society in sustainable development is receiving increasing recognition. A recent statement by the Community of Democracies – a rare example of an intergovernmental organization in which civil society has a seat and voice at the table – drew the link between media freedom, a key component and indicator of civic space, and sustainable development. The Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation, is an example of a multi-stakeholder body where a civil society representative now serves as co-chair alongside governments.

The UN as a whole must be a champion for civic space and civil society actors as key to the global sustainable development effort. This connection is often acknowledged when the UN is discussing civic space specifically – including in the introduction to this consultation. But the importance of civic space is frequently ignored when the topic is sustainable development more generally. This link must be systematized and mainstreamed across UN efforts. Simply put, every time we talk about sustainable development is an opportunity to talk about the importance of civic space.

The more we are divided and closed off from each other, whether by intention or through neglect, the less likely we are to achieve the daunting development challenge that lies before us. Open civic space goes hand in hand with accountability and sustainable development – for governments, civil society and all of us.

Thank you again for this opportunity to input.

Emanuele Sapienza • Policy Advisor, Governance (UNDP) at United Nations Development Programme - Regional Centre in Panama from Panama Moderator

Many thanks Gavin Charles for highlighting key civil society initiatives like the Call to Action as well as the steps taken by the Community of Democracies and the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation.

You make a very important point in your intervention: advocacy efforts for the promotion and protection of civic space should strongly emphasize that a free, vibrant and empowered civil society is essential to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

It would be very interesting to hear from participants about successful experiences of documenting the link between civic space and sustainable development – including whether and how these experiences had an impact on policy and how they may apply to the specific mandate of the United Nations.

Krati Sharma • I am a volunteer in The Peacebuilding Project, a youth-led organization dedicated to empowering and education communities on the topic of Conflict Resolution, Mediation and Peacebuilding with operations in India and the U.S.A. at The Peacebuilding Project from India

Hello,

I am a volunteer at The Peace Building Project. We appreciate this consultation.

Our comment concerns Q3 subsection 'b' of the questions.

 

Q3. Promotion of and advocacy for civic space:

b. "What role should the UN play to ensure people have a say in their country (e.g. regarding national laws and policies on protests, access to information, freedoms of expression and association)?"

 

The UN needs to deepen its connections with national governments and establish certain pre-requisites for their positions at the UN. The focus of these prerequisites should be to mainly loosen up the political arena for constructive dissent to breathe, by opening up forums where decisions concerning the public, made by the govt alone and by both govt and UN jointly, could be opened up for discussion with the citizens.

UN can also set up organizations in certain crisis-prone regions to function as watchdogs for effective democratic functioning.

Global Dev Hub is an effective initiative, however, to gain insights and suggestions for better functioning in context-particular situations, the above seems like a promising step further towards enhanced inclusiveness in decision-making at the UN.

Thank you for this opportunity.

 

 

Emanuele Sapienza • Policy Advisor, Governance (UNDP) at United Nations Development Programme - Regional Centre in Panama from Panama Moderator

Thank you Krati Sharma for noting the importance of inclusive public decision-making spaces that allow for constructive dissent. Thanks also for your comments on how the UN system can support member states in creating such spaces. As you remarked, we are very keen to leverage the large outreach of Global Development Hub to gain insights on this important issue!

Emanuele Sapienza • Policy Advisor, Governance (UNDP) at United Nations Development Programme - Regional Centre in Panama from Panama Moderator

Hello everybody!

My name is Emanuele Sapienza. I am a policy advisor on governance with UNDP’s Regional Hub for Latin America and the Caribbean and I will be co-moderating the second week of the consultation (until 24 January).

I have been following with great interest the discussion so far and I am looking forward to more contributions!

Warm wishes,
Emanuele

GoldWorme • from United States

The UN Global Compact Networks and the World Federation of United Nations Associations can play an active role in the protection/promotion of civic space. The UN Global Compact Country offices/networks should host more public events connecting the "People" to the "Prosperity" community.   

WFUNA should be the leading non governmental organization advocating for the SDGs. If the UN could fund WFUNA and country members, so country members can be the premium resource center for NGOs/CSOs, resilience and adaptive capacity will accelerate. 

The UN MYWorld2030 Survey can be utilized as a protection data tool. Civil society actors can input a "distress signal sequence" as often as necessary, so the UN can receive accurate data of threats/reprisals. MYWorld2030.org  data.myworld2030.org

The urgency/prioritization of "Partnership for the Goals" is the most challenging SDG, and cooperation and co-creation is still fairly new to 85% of civil society. Adaptive and System Leadership resources should enhance overcoming barriers to cooperation/co-creation among NGO/CSO actors, and halt/reduce the current trend of activism, advocacy, and financial insecurity. 

Emanuele Sapienza • Policy Advisor, Governance (UNDP) at United Nations Development Programme - Regional Centre in Panama from Panama Moderator

Thank you GoldWorme for this message. If possible, I think it would be very interesting if you could elaborate on the concepts of "adaptive and system leadership" and how they might contribute to addressing some of the challenges experienced by civil society actors.

GoldWorme • from United States

[~57217] Adaptive and Systems Leadership oriented to SDG11: Sustainable Cities/Communities. I've been a SDGConsultant since September 2015, so I'm well acquainted with the typical fragmented approach to the SDGs. "Working in silos" on SDG programs/initiatives not only is unsustainable, but leaves agents of change vulnerable to obstruction. SDG 11 Targets are all about 'civic space", and NGO/CSO actors need to prioritize participation in sustainable urbanization, just as they prioritize political representation . Personal resiliency and risk reduction by learning Cities/Communities resiliency and risk reduction.  

This specific consultation reveals two instances about the need for systems leadership.

  1. 80% of the public perceives the United Nations as a "World Government", not an Intergovernmental Cooperation. Therefore, this platform, just as the other SDG hubs I've engaged with, will be utilized as if it were a "procurement support/help desk", instead of a beta test civil space development experience. When NGOs/CSOs better understand the UN system, they will better understand their national/local systems, and identify how to interact with other decision makers beyond elected officials. 
  2. Civic space is great for networking, but few will utilize this consultation platform for networking. I can't read the comments in the various languages, but I intend to respond to other participants. NGOs/CSOs actors generally pursue vertical consultation, and don't consult their contemporaries for co-creative solutions or feedback. System Leadership will help NGOs/CSOs better understand/identify the other supporting actors within our "Ecosystem of Sustainable Development", People-Prosperity-Planet-Peace-Partnership.  
Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@GoldWorme, thank you for your clarification, and you are making an important point that civil society actors should understand better about the UN, how it works, and what are the opportunities and limitations, which then would make it clear how they can engage better.  Thus, we take this as a recommendation that UN must communicate better and increasing awareness about its work among civil society actors.

You may select English from the drop down language selection menu at the top of this page, and all the discussions will be translated into English.

Olga Arnaiz • Advocacy Coordinator at Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos from Mexico

 

There are many challenges for a real participation and representation in such UN spaces as the UPR, the HRC, etc. First, it is only a minority of the population that is familiar with the work and importance of said work being conducted at the UN level or with the mandate of each Committee or each Special Procedure. It is even more difficult to understand how each of them works, the many different requisites and deadlines to send information and to be able to present this information before them. Very few people and/or organizations have sufficient resources to travel to Geneva or New York, and most of the time, these are organizations that are based in big cities (such as Mexico City), so the experiences of the organizations from smaller towns or indigenous communities are overlooked. Moreover, many times, often it is the same person (the Director or Coordinator of one well known NGO or another) who travels time and again to the international appointments.

The UN should have a more active role in ensuring a rich and diverse participation in every process. Sometimes it is not necessary to travel all the way to Geneva or New York. Virtual dialogues can be arranged through the local headquarters of the UNCHR, but then then UN has to guarantee enough resources to fund the local trips of the representatives of all the organizations and also manage the technological needs for such conferences.

It is also imperative that the UN becomes more vocal in its support of the role of organized civil society and human rights defenders in general, but especially those who are at risk as a consequence of their activism. This should not be the sole responsibility of the Special Rapporteur but should instead be a top priority for the UN at large, since human rights is one of the axes of the UN.

Thus, whenever a human rights defender is murdered, tortured or disappeared there should be a general outcry from all of the UN instances. And when there are strong indications that the perpetrator is  a member State, the UN should keep a very close watch on the investigation and take action to avoid impunity as is the common case in human rights violations against human rights defenders.

Monica Vincent • Policy Advisor (Discrimination Based on Work and Descent) at Amnesty International from Sri Lanka

Dear [~58088] 

Firstly, thank you for your time and for raising pertinent issues re navigating UN spaces and redefining the role of UN in supporting civil society, particularly the human rights defenders. A quick question Olga, do you have any specific recommendations on strategy and tactics, that the civil society could follow in their engagement with the UN vis-à-vis other actors such as national human rights institutions and other regional and international organisations?

Thank you! 

M

OTU, Uwem Robert. • from Nigeria
  • civil society actors also play an active role in the protection and promotion of civic space, thus how the UN can better support civil society and what joint strategies could be put in placgies could be put in place?
Ivona Truscan • Associate Human Rights Officer (UNHCR) at UNHCR from Switzerland Moderator

Dear @OTU, Uwem Robert.

Thank you for your comment highlighting the role civil society actors play in protecting and promoting civic space as well.  Your question is very pertinent and we are interested in hearing more about the joint strategies.

Thank you.

Monica Vincent • Policy Advisor (Discrimination Based on Work and Descent) at Amnesty International from Sri Lanka

Hello there!

Delighted to co-moderate the consultation on such a critical topic. Look forward to a productive discourse of learning and sharing. 

Kind regards

Monica Vincent

Policy Advisor (Discrimination Based on Work and Descent)

Amnesty International 

moka • Président du conseil d'administration at FONDATION KALIPA POUR LE DEVELOPPEMENT from Congo - Kinshasa

je soutiens l'intervention de Olga, car l'ONU a bien définie que les organisation de la société civile doivent être apolitique et sans but lucratif cela fait à ce que nous tous, nous sommes distraits en disant aux membres que nous sommes sans but lucratif et que les petites cotisations servent seulement pour le bureau. alors où peut-on trouver les moyens pour répondre aux exigéances entre autres celles de l'autofinancement pour participer à des réunions et sensibilisation communautaire. Je pense que à part les organisations des Nations Unies qui dirigent les différent clusters une fois par moi, l'ONU pourrait nous faire si pas l'extension de l'ECOSOC alors autres organisations car si vous analysez les missions de l'ECOSOC chaque organisation accréditée devrait sans doute appuyer aux activités de chaque organisation car elle a une obligation de faire son rapport après 4 ans.

Je soutiens que l'ONU nous appui dont à l'entrepreunariat car avec les peu d'activités lucratives chaque pourra comprendre et financer ses actions. Une agence d'achat de performance des OSC seraient donc souhaitable et ma recommandation à l'UNU nous sommes des experts pour définir les différentes modalités et vous verrez tout le monde sera impliqué très activement dans les missions de l'ONU  

Ivona Truscan • Associate Human Rights Officer (UNHCR) at UNHCR from Switzerland Moderator

Dear @moka,

Thank you very much for your comments highlighting the constraints civil society actors face with regard to limited funding opportunities. Both @Olga Arnaiz and @[~57596] raised the question of accessing funding opportunities. In case you have been involved in projects using UN funding, I would also be interested in hearing your views on the specific requirements or the procedures that civil society organizations need to meet in order to be involved in such projects.  

Thank you.

Arzak Khan • South Asia Hub Manager (Innovation for Change) at Innovation For Change from Pakistan Moderator

Hello everybody!

My name is Arzak Khan. I am South Asia Hub Manager at Innovation For Change (I4C) Network and I will be co-moderating the second week of the consultation (until 24 January) along with Monica Vincent.

I have been following with keen interest the discussion on civic spaces and greater roles the UN can play and I am looking forward to more contributions especially from my region.

Warm wishes,
Arzak

Kirana Anjani • Research Assistant at Lokataru Foundation from Indonesia

Hi everyone, my name is Kirana Anjani from Lokataru Foundation, Indonesia. We greatly appreciate UN’s initiatives to hold an online consultation regarding its approach to protecting and promoting civic space. Shrinking civic space (SCS) has become one of our research focus and we have witness the urgency to fight this issue has increase at an alarming rate in Indonesia for the past years. It got to a point where new SCS form involving different actors and restricting different civic space activities keep coming up every week. Thus, not only that we conduct research, we are also involved in capacity building training, technical assistance with those who are affected, initiating policy dialogues with related government agencies, and actively raising public awareness through our social media campaign.

To start, I would like to begin with question Q3 (c) on how the UN could strengthen its political support to civil society. One of the latest example of how UN action really put a pressure on our government is when the Chief of UNHRC called Indonesia out regarding its handling on violence and crackdown in Papua. This statement really gains the attention of Indonesians as to how bad the government has been treating Papuans, a minority ethnic located in the easternmost part of Indonesia. International attention is something that the government has always been afraid of and UN support through statements can really help us to raise the issue and urge the government even more. Thus, I would like to stress the importance of UN comment/stance on an issue, even through a short statement/press release on website (such as what the OHCHR has been doing a couple of times). If it’s deemed too much, maybe a social media reach out, such as actively engaging/retweeting/liking/promoting NGO works could also really help supporting us to raise the issue and put pressure on the Government.

Second, the suggestions given in the question such as meetings during high-level visits could also work. Regarding visits, Indonesia is sometimes reluctant to hold international visit by UN especially to Papua. One time, the government rejected a UN visitation proposal to Papua because they felt that ‘the UN headquarters should have been the one who contacted them, not through the branch office in Bangkok’. We really hope that excuses like this shouldn’t get in the way of UN effort to hold a visit. It is important that UN take a firm stance towards states who are obviously reluctant to cooperate. In holding visits, the UN could also make a forum where the three actors (NGO, UN, and Government) could sit together and have an equal say on the discussion. That way, we can freely discuss/expose some information that might have been restricted to international attention directly, and see the response of the Government when being ‘confronted’ by UN officials. The outcome of the dialogue can be an urgent appeal, recommendation, or other action to the Government. We understand that reaching CSOs to be involved in the forum may be difficult but UN can start by giving attention to NGOs that are actively engaging to UN through different channels of communication such as Special Procedure OHCHR, etc. I think that would be it for a start. I look forward to a discussion or comments from everyone!

Note: I’m open for other CSOs to share their experience relating SCS or especially communicating with the UN/international organization to gain support :) Kindly reach me below on the comments or through any other medium.

Arzak Khan • South Asia Hub Manager (Innovation for Change) at Innovation For Change from Pakistan Moderator

[~58016] shrinking civic spaces is becoming a global phenomena and it is heartening to see that you researching and conducting capacity building program at Lokataru Foundation. In your opinion what concrete steps are required for strengthening Civil Society Organizations to actively engage and participate at UN for support. 

Ivona Truscan • Associate Human Rights Officer (UNHCR) at UNHCR from Switzerland Moderator

Dear @Kirana Anjani,

Thank you very much for your comments on the question related to how the UN can promote and strengthen civic space. Many thanks for highlighting the issue of documenting and data collection of situations affecting civil society organizations as well as for suggesting the creation of dialogue opportunities between government authorities, civil society organizations and the UN.

It would be  interesting to hear your views on key aspects to take into account when collecting data related to incidents affecting civil society organizations.

Thank you.

Kirana Anjani • Research Assistant at Lokataru Foundation from Indonesia

[~57843] Good day, Sir. I think every CSO must be looking for a way to engage and participate in the UN but the problem probably lies on access/means of communication as well as the perception that the UN would not respond that much to CSOs initiative to participate (especially from the new ones). To start, just like my example, the UN can use social media or popular means of communication to engage with the CSOs. Yes, almost all of UN bodies have their own social media account but all are mostly used as a means of promotion of UN programs which is not wrong, but could be improved by also promoting CSOs activities who engage with the UN. When CSOs are able to see that more and more CSOs receive/gain attention from the UN, that would invite even more CSOs to participate and open up to UN for support. To summarize, ease the UN's flow of communication to CSOs, make it simple and easily accessible. Also, increase response to CSOs initiative and publish such response as much as possible to encourage everyone to join.

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Kirana Anjani, thank you for your insightful post and your responses.  Further to question of our moderators, Ivona and Arzak, we would be keen to hear more from you on how should the UN, jointly with civil society, address the issue of "non-cooperation" by States, which is also often observed in the discussions of intergovernmental bodies and forums.  "Non-cooperation" is a pertinent problem, and stems from non-compliance of States with their legal obligations under international law, including human rights law, and ultimately affects what the UN can do to protect and promote civic space.  This really links with broader comments made earlier on implementation of, or lack thereof, human rights norms and standards, as well as the role of civil society.  The UN will continue doing advocacy and awareness raising through their established channels and practices, but what are the concrete and innovative approaches to mobilize civil society and the public in general to increase the pressure from within?  Any suggestions are welcome.

Kirana Anjani • Research Assistant at Lokataru Foundation from Indonesia

[~57448] Your question brings me to my other main point, which also relates to Q2 regarding the aim to 'leave no one behind'. CSOs inside a State probably already have their own alliance or CSOs networks as well as their mobilization strategy. UN can utilize this network to reach out through specific CSOs to request their alliance and network participation in the UN activities/initiatives. Furthermore, UN can also create/ facilitate the formation of UN's network of CSOs in a particular State, an established list/network of CSOs who are willing to engage and participate in UN activities which I think will be met with great enthusiasm. That way, when the UN is planning to exert a certain attention/pressure to the government from the outside (international communities), these network is well-informed and will be able to mobilize people at the right time.

Baatar Bayarmagnai • Human Rights Officer (OHCHR) at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland Moderator

@Kirana Anjani, thanks for raising good points on the UN's role in facilitating a networking among local civil society actors, or mobilizing such networks.  The issue is then what are the practical channels to ensure that no one is left behind.  One solution could be online platforms for interactions between the UN and civil society, which was raised by some participants during the last week's discussion.  Thank you.

Ivona Truscan • Associate Human Rights Officer (UNHCR) at UNHCR from Switzerland Moderator

DAY 7

Dear Participants,

Welcome to the 7th day of the consultations, and we also welcome newly joined participants.  A number of ideas and suggestions were made yesterday, which can be summarized as:

  • UN’s role in providing dialogue platforms for government authorities and civil society actors;
  • Possibility to develop a strategic plan for the cooperation of NGOs with the UN;
  • Difficulties faced specifically by youth organizations in terms of participation in decision-making processes and access to resources to meet requirements for gaining legal personality;
  • Limitations in the participation of civil society organizations due to lack of funding;
  • The importance of making the participation in UN processes accessible at country level;
  • The need for the UN to address more effectively situations where civil society organizations are at risk of intimidation and reprisals in relation to their cooperation with the UN system;
  • The importance of data collection and documentation of incidents affecting civil society organizations;
  • The importance of capacity-building for civil society organizations in relation to UN processes and modalities for participation;
  • The role of the UN to encourage a safe and enabling environment that ensures the participation of civil society organizations in dialogue at national level;
  • The need for the UN to encourage and support initiatives from civil society organizations to work jointly;
  • The need to highlight also the role that civil society organizations play in achieving sustainable development;
  • The need for the UN to encourage inclusive public decision-making spaces that allow for constructive dissent.

Thank you and we look forward to further contributions and exchanges!

archita faustmann • Development Policy at Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation from Switzerland

Thank you for organizing this consultation!

I am Archita Faustmann and work for HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, Switzerland. Shrinking space for civil society is one of our main advocacy issue and being a development organization, we address it within the context of economic, social and cultural rights.

Here are our comments -  based mainly on our experience in working on advocacy issues with our local partners in several regions/countries.

Answer 1:

  • We take the main coordinating and facilitating role for local partners to engage with the select UN mechanisms such as UPR process, treaty bodies and UN Special rapporteurs (UN SR) based on the thematic priorities of the organization. Our advocacy objective is to build the capacity of our local partners and help them engage with the select UN mechanisms.
  • On the issue of addressing safe civic space within the context of economic, social and cultural rights, there is a need to synthesis the work of UN SR especially working on thematic issues of economic, social and cultural rights (water, housing, food, extreme poverty – to name a few). While the timeline for the upcoming country visits of the UN SRs are accessible on the OHCHR homepage – the detailed questionnaire of issues for their visits becomes available only at a short notice through the OHCHR weekly newsletter. For a larger organization working across many regions and countries/ time zones, it can be difficult to coordinate with field offices in a meaningful way given such short notice.

Answer 2:

  • Regular screening of upcoming opportunities mainly on the OHCHR individual homepages of the UN SR, treaty bodies and UPR processes.
  • Keeping updated on the work of several UN SR is challenging as each of the UN SR has a different approach to publish their upcoming engagement opportunities. It will be useful to find a way to have engagement opportunities with all of the UN SR on one platform. Details of upcoming country visits (Not only dates timeline as it is currently published!) should be accessible much in advance so that there is enough time for civil society to get organized and engage meaningfully.
  • Currently, treaty bodies publish their time schedule under the headings – “state party report”, “list of issues” and “concluding remarks”. Such a listing is difficult for local partners to understand on “when is the civil society report due”. It would be useful if treaty bodies could publish a time frame also for “submission deadline for shadow reports” (similar to how it is done under the UPR Review”)
  • Organize annual orientation sessions among CSOs together with relevant legal associations which informs CSOs on their country’s related NGO regulations, and how they can apply corresponding UN instruments to meaningfully and securely partake.

Answer 3:

  • Target directly and engage specifically with these groups when conducting country visits/ missions etc.
  • Ensure every new RC and head of UN agency in country meets representatives of each of these groups and has annual safe space debrief session
  • Organize in country national and sub-national events which feature and value the role of these groups while affording a safe space for addressing their rights, needs and constraints
  • Make it a rule that no UN led or contributed to event, can be organized without the meaningful participation and representation of  min % of women, and assures min % diversity e.g. no male only panels/speakers; if an event is opened by a man, it is closed by a woman; or if opened by a woman, it can be closed by a man, however he should represent also another ‘minority group’ e.g. differently abled, ethnic etc.
  • Consider responsible private sector and CSO alliance building support
  • Support the networking of networks between these groups in same country but also region

Answer 4:

  •  If not already included in guidelines for governments and others, update instructions in such a way that they stipulate the meaningful and safe participation of these sub-groups of civil society in various consultative and/or reporting processes as an independently verifiable requirement
  • Simplify reporting procedures to include a secure online and offline, even anonymous option for reporting contributions, official and/or shadow. 
  • Provide ‘affirmative action’ resources and/or incentives which promote not only participation but preparation, and follow up for more meaningful representation of these sub-groups; not only from the CSO side, but also in terms of government representatives who tend to be male dominated from the ‘ruling social, ethnic, religious, economic so forth’ class.
  • Include information, guidance etc. in local language and more audio-visual options

Protection of civil society actors:

Answer 5:

  • Be prepared to lead, facilitate and protect CSOs’ participation in UN Rights system; UN should not allow itself to be intimidated to the extent that it compromises its own mechanisms and the safety of local CSOs ready and willing to partake.

Answer 6:

  • Continue to cooperate with like-minded donors e.g. EU human rights bilateral dialogue and ‘open door’ protection mechanisms for rights defenders/ activists
  • If not already in place in a given country, have agreements/ contingency plans including early warning systems with like-minded embassies/ donors which are not restricted/ limited by nationality of individual/ CSO at risk or confirmed as requiring protection.
  • Consider special resolution/ sanctions in case of confirmed breaches/ violations against individuals/ CSOs
  • Consider making certain now optional protocols no longer optional so that individuals/ CSOs have more leverage to hold governments/ duty bearers to account

Promotion of and advocacy for civic space:

Answer 7:

  • Engage not only at high level, but also sub-national levels across judicial, legislative and executive agencies and representatives e.g. police, military, ministries and departments, home affairs and international affairs, border/immigration, parliaments/ committees, oversight institutions and bureaus, religious/ traditional leaders etc.
  • Act as a convener at national and sub-national levels, including all above mentioned duty bearers/ oversight institutions, on CSO related issues e.g. civic space but also more particular issues, rights and obligations related to women, youth, minority groups according to UN mechanisms signed by said country

Answer 8:

  • In many cases, having a say/ advocating in own country is more difficult than having a say in a neighbouring/ nearby country with ties/ influence on own country e.g. cross-border geo-politics and influence.  Consider cross-border ‘advocacy’ and voice alternatives, which can help CSOs raise awareness of citizens/ stakeholders in the country of a government with particularly negative impacts on citizens/ CSOs of the impacted country so that CSOs’ /citizens of that country can also apply pressure on their own government/ duty bearers for their ‘bad foreign policy’ to prevent, or stop negative or damaging decision making, investing, and more

Answer 9:

  • Consider publishing articles/ news in local media featuring positive narratives less from the UN as an institution (although do that also) but rather promote other state/ government/ duty bearer sources, promoting more peer led positive messaging, from not only in country, but neighbouring or other.

 

Kirana Anjani • Research Assistant at Lokataru Foundation from Indonesia

Hi Archita, I'm Kirana from Lokataru Foundation in Indonesia. I strongly agree with you regarding the difficulties in understanding the website directories and keeping updated with the activities of SR. It really took us sometime to find what were looking for, which is the deadline for submissions. I hope this point will be taken into account and considered by the committee cause it definitely will help CSOs to participate in time. I also face difficulties in engaging with SR, in relation to that, do you have any strategies in communicating or engaging with SR aside from waiting for an announcement for a call for input? Have you ever use the Special Procedures and receive a feedback? If you have, do you mind to share the strategies here? We are currently preparing reports to be submitted to SR but we are not sure as to how we should effectively do it so that these reports will reach them. Thank you very much! 

Ivona Truscan • Associate Human Rights Officer (UNHCR) at UNHCR from Switzerland Moderator

Dear @archita faustmann,

Thank you very much for your contribution and the structured comments in response to each of the main questions. The suggestions you make in order to enhance and facilitate access to information are very pertinent. 

Thank you.

Ledoux • from Cameroon

Dear Everyone,

I am Wamba André Le Doux, from association AFVMC (http://afvmc.free.fr) based in Cameroon.

 

Q1.Partnership/Participation

d) How could the UN support efforts towards more diversity?

 

The UN support efforts towards more diversity could be focussed on how to eliminate violence against migrants (because of these revealed crimes suffered by migrants such as forced labors, forced prostitutions, imprisonments, incarcerations, criminal detentions, modern slavery including the trafficking, the smuggling and the confinement as domestic workers of women and girls through the forced migrations).

One proposal is to redirect activities of your UN International Organization for Migration towards this direction to takcle these misdeeds in partneship with Civil Society Organizations.

 

Kind regards

Wamba

Ivona Truscan • Associate Human Rights Officer (UNHCR) at UNHCR from Switzerland Moderator

Dear @Ledoux,

Thank you for your comments regarding the types of human rights violations and abuses that persons may suffer in the context of migration. 

It would be very interesting to hear your views and the participants'views in relation to challenges faced by organizations working in relation to migration or forced displacement contexts.

Thank you.

Pierre Lautti Daleba • Vice coordonnateur chargé des droits humains et des relations avec les osc at Coalition des indignés de cote d'ivoire from Côte d’Ivoire

Bonjour chers tous.

Je suis activiste ivoirien .Depuis la crise poste électorale, l'espace civile ivoirien connait des restrictions et des graves violations. Nous même en avions été victimes le 23  juillet avec une arrestation alors que nous partions répondre à une invitation officielle des autorités du pays.

Ma question, pour l'organisation des nations unies est devenues aphone dans ce qui se passe dans notre pays. Les arrestations des députés, des activistes et les menaces de mort.

 

Ivona Truscan • Associate Human Rights Officer (UNHCR) at UNHCR from Switzerland Moderator

Dear @Pierre Lautti Daleba,

Thank you very much for sharing your experience and views regarding the risk of shrinking civic space in electoral or post-electoral contexts. It would be helpful to hear your views on how to protect civil society organizations in such situations.

Thank you.

 

Ricardo • Abogado at DAR from Peru

Hola a todos, acabo de entrar y procederé a responder las preguntas; sin embargo, antes quisiera hacer notar que la traducción de las preguntas es bastante defectuosa, lo que limita la participación de hispano hablantes no o que dominen una lengüa extranjera popular, espero pueda ser tomado en cuenta. 

Ivona Truscan • Associate Human Rights Officer (UNHCR) at UNHCR from Switzerland Moderator

Estimado @Ricardo,

Muchas gracias por su comentario y por informarnos sobre las limitaciones de la traducción al español. Estamos tratando de hacer que las discusiones y consultas sean accesibles para personas y organizaciones de todo el mundo en su idioma de preferencia. Esperamos recibir sus comentarios.

Gracias.

Mohammed Mominul Haque • FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR at PEACE AND JUSTICE ALLIANCE from Canada

Hi, how are you all, as you knew that about 47 countries around the world witness surge of civil unrest for civil rights and equality. Many countries civic spaces are controlling by the Government. As reference, I want to bring your kind attention about the present BANGLADESH situation, If you believe on democracy, human freedom and rights, please extend your hand and your personal assistance to restore constitutional and human rights in Bangladesh. Since 2009, the present unelected,( In 2014 and 2018 general people has failed to vote, opposition parties rejected the election as farcical, massive corruption, rigging and intimidation happened during the election) fascist, corrupt Army back Government came to power they ruled a country Bangladesh without follow the constitution of Bangladesh as well as UN charter, to keep power for prolong period present Government has been violating the Bangladesh constitution Article 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 44 and UN Charter of Rights Articles 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11,12, 13, 18, 19, 20, and 21, they frequently denying peoples voices, no space for others to take breath or free movement, ruling party frequently denying peoples voices, no space for others to take breath or free movement, all places from Villages level to Metropolitans, every persons under censorship, surveillance, Government intentionally divided a nations into two part, by doing media bias and propaganda keeps trying to divert people’s eyes from the reality, at present marginal people has witnessing how Government nakedly using administration, law enforcement agencies and judicial systems against opponents and civil society peoples, Government has been controlling civil society and NGO by Digital Act and new NGO Act, all business went downsized, lots of unemployment, inequality, peoples of Bangladesh needs your help to restore their rights to live peacefully, they have rights to do so, it has given by the constitution and UN charter. Government officials of Bangladesh are not doing their job to safe peoples from all kind of injustice and intolerance, every persons wake up with fears of Government brutal activities, if any person want to raise voice against Govt. illegal activities either they were killed by cross fire, kidnapped or put imprison without any proceedings, Whole country became a prison or a war zone. Present Govt. only tolerated their followers and supporter even they have been doing corruptions and all illegal activities. Bangladeshi peoples has been witnessing many cases of extra judicial killing, arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearance, sever torture, and human rights violation. To keep Bangladeshi peoples from any kinds of civil unrest, violence or conflict, we earnestly request to United Nations and other Global leaders that take urgent measures and create united pressure to the Bangladesh regime on the road of real democracy, peace, stability and restore people’s civil rights in Bangladesh, SAVE PEOPLE, SAVE BANGLADESH.

Emanuele Sapienza • Policy Advisor, Governance (UNDP) at United Nations Development Programme - Regional Centre in Panama from Panama Moderator

Dear Mohammed Mominul Haque,

While this on-line consultation is not intended as a forum to engage in a discussion on specific instances of human rights violations, a key question we would like to get insights on is how best - in general terms - the UN can perform its protection role in cases where civil society actors are at risk. Any contributions participants may have on that would be very welcome.

Arthur Dahl • President at International Environment Forum from Switzerland

The experience of the International Environment Forum (https://iefworld.org) may be relevant to improving entry points to the UN system. We are a virtual professional organization for environment and sustainability with over 400 members in 75 countries. We have no budget and collect no funds, networking over the Internet and partnering with other organizations for an annual conference. We have no formal legal status, but are properly organized with a Governing Board elected annually. When we applied for UN accreditation to WSSD in Johannesburg in 2002, there was some hesitancy because we did not fit the normal pattern, but we were finally accredited in the Scientific and Technological Organizations major group, have since been able to make a substantive contribution to UN conferences and processes, organizing side events and contributing to statements. This shows the potential of modern technologies to allow global voices from civil society to organize and participate in UN processes even without funding, and the UN should encourage this.

We have always had good gender balance (the board has a majority of women), and as a Bahá'í-inspired organization we also contribute the perspective of a religious minority. The major groups process has helped small organizations like ours to contribute to a collective voice at the UN, and this should be encouraged as an interface with the UN system.

In a book published this week, "Global Governance and the Emergence of Global Institutions for the 21st Century" (Cambridge University Press), we propose the creation of a Second Chamber for Civil Society advisory to the UN General Assembly, that would formalize the major groups and other stakeholders process, providing a voice for the global common good and the diversity of opinions that only civil society can contribute to global decision-making processes. This would also raise the profile of civil society organizations and would facilitate their inclusion in national policy discussions and decision-making.

Emanuele Sapienza • Policy Advisor, Governance (UNDP) at United Nations Development Programme - Regional Centre in Panama from Panama Moderator

Thank you Arthur Dahl for sharing the experience International Environment Forum and for your suggestions on institutional reforms that would facilitate greater civil society input into intergovernmental dialogue at the UN. This is indeed a very important issue and a theme we would be keen to hear more about.

LadyJase O York • Senior Youth Officer at Tonga Leitis Association from Tonga

I find it ok to connect ourselves to the UN WOMEN RegionalOOffice in Suva Fiji and even though we are connected but we need them to clvalue our relationship as a CSO an a development partner.

 

I am working at the Tonga Leitis Association which is the existed umbrella CSO for LGBTQI in the Kingdom of Tonga. We hope that UN Women will be close to us and let us connected in all national, regional and international advocacy movements we do. 

Arzak Khan • South Asia Hub Manager (Innovation for Change) at Innovation For Change from Pakistan Moderator

Dear [~58097] thank you for your suggestion and interest in connecting with UN Women. In your humble opinion what steps should be taken by UN to support advocacy movements at both local and regional levels and develop relationships with local CSOs.

forestgap

Pregunta 1. Participación

a. Puntos de entrada con la ONU: Defensa de los Derechos Humanos, especialmente, de la niñez (OCHR), Implementación de ODS (PNUD), Protección del medio ambiente (Pacto Global), Trabajo en salud sexual (ONU SIDA) y promoción de los derechos de género (ONU Mujeres). 

El vínculo con la ONU es a través de los relatores mediante la autoconvocatoria a mesas de diálogo entre organizaciones de la sociedad civil a nivel nacional, regional e internacional. La participación en los foros de la ONU es posible a través de estos canales aunque no redundan en resultados políticos y sociales concretos. Las observaciones de la ONU a los Estados son de carácter exhortativo y no son vinculantes. ¿De qué sirven las observaciones y recomendaciones a los gobiernos si una vez recibidas, no hay un seguimiento, no hay denuncias públicas de los problemas tratados, no hay un acompañamiento del trabajo de las organizaciones sostenido en el tiempo, comprometido y realista? Nuestra experiencia con la plataforma de Pacto Global es que está diseñada para empresas y aunque las organizaciones de la sociedad civil pueden participar, no es un espacio que contemple nuestras necesidades como OSC.

b. Recibimos información de la ONU a través de los espacios de participación de las OSC en foros autogestionados, en espacios de articulación con el Estado y con organismos de la ONU (PNUD, otros) 

c. El camino para mejorar la circulación de información y el vínculo con la ONU es que se involucre directamente con las problemáticas sociales de cada país y con las organizaciones que la interpelan. 

d. La participación es sostenida por diferentes organizaciones sociales pero sin efectos políticos y existe a los efectos meramente formales porque no tienen carácter decisivo en ninguna política pública.

 

Pregunta 2. Actores sociales

a. No tenemos conocimiento de las acciones efectivas de la ONU para proteger los actores sociales. La represión, tortura, encarcelamiento y asesinato de líderes y liderezas sociales en América Latina y el Caribe no da cuenta de un mecanismo de protección eficaz y eficiente, ni del interés real de la ONU por proteger la vida de estas personas. Las recomendaciones no suelen tener mayores efectos políticos en los gobiernos ni tampoco en la vida concreta de las víctimas. La democracia como forma de gobierno, los derechos humanos como garantía de vida digna y un ambiente saludable, y el Estado de derecho como sistema político son tres aspectos que en la actualidad están cuestionados por gobiernos conservadores porque entran en conflicto con los proyectos de desarrollo económico financiero de los sectores económicos concentrados nacionales e internacionales. Es necesario poner en evidencia el costo político (económico, social, ecológico, humano) del modelo de desarrollo dominante en el mundo, en sus distintas expresiones en los distintos países que integran la ONU y confrontar a la asamblea con estos datos. Es necesario que la ONU promueva un cambio de paradigma global participando de la agenda de la asamblea general.

b. Llama poderosamente la atención la injerencia política (lobby) permanente y la violación sistemática de las regulaciones nacionales, provinciales y municipales por parte de empresas internacionales y, al mismo tiempo, las enormes limitaciones con que interviene la ONU como organismo multilateral, por lo general, en la consecuencias de las acciones de estas empresas, todo en un mismo país. El genocidio y el ecocidio en curso en América Latina y el Caribe ya de tantos años tiene causas económicas explícitas que involucran empresas de países centrales. Las observaciones a los Estados deben estar acompañadas de denuncias públicas internacionales de los intereses y los actores económicos involucrados. Es inadmisible que estas empresas reproduzcan el mismo modus operandi en cada país donde operan sin un registro de sus acciones a nivel internacional que esté disponible públicamente. Las personas responsables de las tomas de decisión en estas empresas no suelen ser denunciadas públicamente y de este modo son protegidas en la comisión de los delitos. No es posible sostener la paz en un mundo que se sostiene con un modelo de desarrollo basado en la injusticia. 

 

Pregunta 3. Espacio público

a. El mayor desafío para la ONU es superar la connivencia de intereses de la ONU como organismo multilateral con los grupos económicos que garantizan a los países (centrales) el producto bruto interno necesario y, por ende, la participación privilegiada tanto en el financiamiento como en las decisiones de este organismo. Esta relación conlleva un traslado de las mismas lógicas colonialistas de desigualdad en la relación de la ONU con las organizaciones de los países periféricos. La ONU necesita impulsar una transformación de los vínculos orgánicos con los Estados fundantes desde la sociedad civil de estos países para recuperar la función política y social de sus estados con fines concretos de cambio social democrático y participativo, al menos en aquellos países que han adoptado este sistema de gobierno.

b. La ONU en articulación con organizaciones locales puede monitorear, controlar, denunciar y sancionar con visibilizaciones de los intereses económicos en juego cada una de las violaciones de los derechos humanos tanto en los países centrales como en los países periféricos. La ONU puede ayudar a acortar la distancia permanente entre los informes de los estados y los informes de las organizaciones sociales mediante un trabajo de gestión política y de apoyo para el acceso a recursos para un trabajo más articulado entre el estado y las organizaciones sociales, en favor del fortalecimiento de la participación en el espacio público, la democracia, y la justicia social.

c. La ONU puede tener mayor participación como observadores -con sus equipos- en los territorios en conflicto tomando parte en las movilizaciones y acompañando las demandas sociales para informarse sobre la naturaleza de los conflictos y fortalecer la participación social además de visibilizar a nivel internacional las injusticias sociales y las propuestas en construcción de las organizaciones sociales locales. 

Emanuele Sapienza • Policy Advisor, Governance (UNDP) at United Nations Development Programme - Regional Centre in Panama from Panama Moderator

Thank you forestgap for your message, which raises a number of important issues. One that I would like to highlight is the role of the private sector. In particular, there are two questions that in my opinion warrant deeper reflection. On the one hand, what can be done to rebalance strong disparities in access to decision-making processes between business and civil society actors (when these disparities indeed exist)? On the other hand, are there experiences of business actors advocating for the protection and expansion of civic space? What can be learnt from these experiences. And how does all of this apply specifically to the UN?

Rosalee Keech • Chief Observer to the UN at League of Women Voters of the United States from United States

The ability to provide service and partner with the UN is cumbersome and non-intuitive.  Entry points are various: ECOSOC, OHCHR, DGC, UNFCCC, UNWomen, SRSG-VAC, ILO, WHO, IPU and a number of  member states are just a few we have dealt with in the past year.  Because we have been a presence at the UN since the beginning in 1945, we have had success in reaching willing partners.  However, that is not true when we embark on new areas or if personnel have changed.  The Blue Book, which most NGOs are probably unaware of, helps in identifying some of the players.  Our recommendations include:

  • expanding the Blue Book to include all UN Agencies and affiliates (ILO, IPU to name a few) and list all ECOSOC accredited organizations and their contact information (it’s available on iCSOnet);
  • Providing an orientation package link upon gaining or renewing ECOSOC, DGC or other accreditation.  Orientation package should include contact information for the individuals responsible for aiding NGOs, the points of entry for the UN based on subject matter (SDG topics may be of use for alignment, roles of the Main and UN Observers (Resolution 1996/31 identifies the consultative relationship between the United Nations and those NGOs enjoying consultative status, as well as the roles and responsibilities of the Observer);
  • Enabling all conference organizers to utilize the same system (Indico) and process for registration of NGO delegates to the conference;
  • Creating a help desk that is accessible by email, phone and in person that is staffed with personnel that serves as a central point of entry and can triage inquiries to a more knowledgeable source.  

The attitude of many in the UN bureaucracy and at the member state Missions is one of disdain for the NGOs.  Support by the Secretariat and the Security Department to diminish the attitude would go a long way to help build partnerships rather than close it down.  Once an annual grounds pass has been issued, why should a NGO Main and UN Observers be treated differently than staff regarding access to the Headquarters?  Waiting in long lines with temporary visitors, being subject to “pat downs” when the underwire in a bra sets off the screener, not having the ability to sit on the main level of a meeting in the larger rooms, nor enter the 2nd floor for any purpose sets up visible barriers that makes interaction with delegates and other actors difficult at best. Recommendations regarding attitude and access are:

  • An annual N grounds pass should grant the same access as a D or S grounds pass;
  • UN and Senior Leadership should develop rules and require that when a member state is sponsoring or hosting an event within the UN, that the member state identifies how accredited NGOs will be encouraged to gain access, intervene and interact with other attendees, including member states’ delegates and staff.

Lastly, while we have not been subject to harassment-->threats-->violence, we are aware that others are.  In addition to combating corruption, a root cause of some harassment, here are some ideas for trying to stem this horrific trend by shining a “spotlight” on those member states that engage in such activities:

  • Livestream and enabling the video to be recalled by searching the name of the member state and/or the topic of all meetings and events that are open to accredited NGOs, including most sessions of the Security Council;
  • Encourage the member states is to conduct a “debriefing” for accredited NGOs from the member state at the close of High Level meeting or conferences while the “spotlight” is still on;
  • Ensure that all countries hosting UN events in country are open and safe for civil society to attend and observe before engaging a country to host.  UN and Senior Leadership could extend the “invite” to in country civil society organizations.  
Emanuele Sapienza • Policy Advisor, Governance (UNDP) at United Nations Development Programme - Regional Centre in Panama from Panama Moderator

Dear Rosalee Keech, thanks for your message and for pointing out how strengthening and expanding partnerships also requires changes in operational practices and arrangements. Your concrete suggestions are much appreciated.

Wes Faires • from United States

I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in this discussion.  Here, I would like to open a discussion on UN engagement with civil space actors in the arena of Outer Space legislation.

On multiple occasions, I have been fortunate enough to participate in the UN Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPOUS), as a ‘silent observer’ on behalf of the public.  

With regard to Question 1 on Partnership/Participation:
In my experience, the barriers of entry have lessened over time, and I do commend the UNCOPUOS / UN Office of Outer Space Affairs on the increased degree of openness for civil actors in rent years.

With regard to Question 3 on promotion of advocacy for civic space:
The task at hand is to compel the United Nations Secretariat towards a reaffirmed commitment to upholding the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights  (UDHR) when it comes to international space policy.   

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights may not be considered binding international law,
and some states may have reservations against committing to it, yet the UN Secretariat itself should have no issue in issuing a statement confirming intention to uphold it, considering that the press for implementation of the 2030 Agenda is largely Secretariat driven.

In the international arena, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights can be seamlessly integrated into legislative proceedings pertaining to Outer Space, given that:
-The 2030 Agenda is grounded in, and re-affirms the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(A/RES/70/1 para. 10, para. 19).

Solidarity on such a core foundational UN principle as the UDHR solidifies reflection of Agenda 2030.
I propose that UN Secretariat take this opportunity to move forward with Sustainable Development, and lead the way in incorporating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into international space policy.  

There is one United Nations Treaty in particular that appears patently inconsistent with the UDHR:

A/RES/34/68
The 1979 Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies,
Article 11, paragraph 3 denies the right to property on the surface/subsurface of the Moon (and other celestial bodies within our solar system).

Yet Article 17 of the UDHR states
“Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.” Article 17,
paragraph (1).

Such inconsistencies could be prevented from developing with a reaffirmed commitment on the Secretariat level to upholding the UDHR as proceedings pertaining to Outer Space going forth.

Back to the broader picture, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was intended from the outset to be UNIVERSAL.  With the push for implementation of Agenda 2030 across the board, integration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into space policy by the Secretariat would be both timely and logical – It reaffirms adherence to a fundamental United Nations cornerstone, and provides an opportunity to strengthen the commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

I look forward to your comments, and will gladly expand on specific points if need be.

 

Emanuele Sapienza • Policy Advisor, Governance (UNDP) at United Nations Development Programme - Regional Centre in Panama from Panama Moderator

Thank you Wes Faires for this contribution. A recurrent theme in several posts has been the opportunities and challenges of civil society participation in intergovernmental processes facilitated by the UN. Very interesting to hear about your experience as a civil society observer in connection with a frontier policy issue such as the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

Samir Kumar Das • Chairman at IMAECSED (International Movement for Advancemet of Education Cul\ture Social & Economic Development) from India

I am principal Founder and Chairman of International Movement for Advancement of Education Culture Social & Economic Development (IMAECSED) an Indian based NGO..

IMAECSED is very much grateful for this wonderful opportunity to engage & consult the expert of United Nations along with the global stakeholders via this online Forum. We have wider scope of knowledge sharing, join hands for collaboration and Partnership, improve our projects and take action wherever necessary. We play an active role in the protection and preservation of humanity, advocacy, conflict, human rights violation and humanitarian response in crisis. Since 1995 we are terribly facing lot of crisis to accelerate our varied objectives and activities. But the present context Civic Space is not a mere right to the civil society it is one of the fundamental weapons to establish in the society. Our engagement to the UN demands enabling environment for civil society to play an active role to achieve free access to enjoy human rights with dignity and within the campus of Rule of Law. To overcome any situation from its interruption of free enjoyment of rights, we hope and pray to the holy United Nations to be more liberal to us.  

 

Non cooperation from various sectors many a time create stumbling block to our work but our untiring effort and continuous movement within such a limited resource lead us to accelerate our activities with various UN Organ and other global stakeholders. We are always extending our hands to join with the interested Group or any other sector to achieve our target for 2030 Agenda.

Monica Vincent • Policy Advisor (Discrimination Based on Work and Descent) at Amnesty International from Sri Lanka

Thank you for your comments @ [~14693]  Your inputs on enabling environment for civil society engagement is important, and I was wondering if you have any recommendations on how we can strategically engage with other players (say for example: our parliamentarians, businesses and others) to achieve our collective objectives?

Mridul Upadhyay • Asia Coordinator at United Network of Young Peacebuilders from India

Dear Baatar and Ivona,

The first-week summary already covers a lot of important points. While I am assuming most of what I am saying is already a part of some interpretation of that summary, still not leaving to guess, here is what I would like contribute:

 

  1. ‘Protect, promote and partnership’ depend a lot on what one stakeholder thinks about another one; useless/useful, threat/ally, responsibility/burden, right-holder/demographic-number. If we take the case of young people, they are either considered as victim (to be saved) or perpetrator (to be stopped) but rarely as someone playing an important and positive role in peacebuilding (even after getting a legally binding UN Security Council Resolution 2250 that highlight such role). Because of these prevailing narratives and mistrust, young people go through experiences of exclusion across the globe from multiple stakeholders. If world will keep carrying this narrative deep in psyche, the stakeholders are not going to create mechanisms to ‘Protect, promote and partner with’ youth-led civic space. So here young people need more advocacy and stronger accountability from UN on the narrative itself.
  2. Threats and human rights violations against young activists, including young peacebuilders, affect them a little more than adult human rights defenders because of social stigma, unavailability of stronger support system and easily manipulated prevailing narrative. These violations are in most cases undocumented and uninvestigated (to date, no data is systematically collected on human rights violations of young activists throughout the world). Further, state violence disproportionately affects young people. We need better sex and age-segregated data to make the advocacy and accountability mechanism stronger.
  3. In some cases, working closely with the UN itself makes young peacebuilders and activists get labelled and come under suspicion at a scale that they and/or their family members experience relation and detention. The United Nations needs to focus on this and create better mechanisms to protect young peacebuilders and human rights activists.
  4. Sometimes, there is a huge time lag (many years) between the global and county level discussions on the same issue even in the work of UN agencies. i.e. UNSCR 2250 has given a strong attention to ‘Protect, promote and partner with’ young peacebuilders and youth-led peacebuilding civic space. There has been only one half-a-day consultation organised so far by UN agencies in India on UNSCR 2250 (2015) in August 2017. Is one such consultation in 4 years really enough for a country of 400 million youth to bring attention to these specific and important issues? And are we really partnering enough and building upon the comparative advantage of youth-led civil society?
  5. There has been a trend of preferring specific ‘type’ of young people in selection for fully-funded participation in intergovernmental forums; based on a mix of gender, countries and context etc. It is certainly not inclusive. Of course, they are as good as others (or maybe even better?), but others are also as good as they are.
  6. UN certainly carries a lot of power dynamics, sometimes too intimidating to be approached for partnership or seeking support by on-ground stakeholders, especially youth from communities.
  7. Further, the grassroots organizations and the kind of community reach that the UN wants to have, require the UN to be more modest in its operations and expenditures (if I may say so). I am not asking for staff-cutting (instead interns should be paid too, along with other reforms), but every meeting/conference/high-level forum do not need to be organized in expensive 4-5 stars venues with each delegate having full big room to him/herself by default. Many a times, communities and local level civil society feel that if UN is ineffective then why to engage with it and if UN is also a part of civil society then it certainly creates a different image (elitists) for civic spaces, reducing their credibility also in the community if they decide to link their work with UN.
Arzak Khan • South Asia Hub Manager (Innovation for Change) at Innovation For Change from Pakistan Moderator

Dear [~57612] thank you for sharing some very interesting points. To further this discussion I would be keen to learn more about your suggestions and recommendations on the strategy UN needs to adopt to bring on board youth to address the issues of shrinking civic spaces along with creating a positive image in society. 

Md. Moniruzzaman • Administer overall programs and activities, Decision & Policy making, condition with executive committee and General Committee, networking and linkage build up with government partners, leading, planning, budgeting recruitment. All Kinds of communications at Aid Organization (AO) from Bangladesh

South-Asian part of the global man is pointed as one or the poorest and limited means area. Of course local government, GOs and NGOs are working hard to overcome this situation; the limited means people are not decreasing a lot. In many cases, the actual beneficiaries do not get the solution. This situation must change. Monitoring is the most attracting I think to implement SGD 2030. More programs should be done by UN to change this situation into a shining future.    


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