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Conference News: The Role of Civil Society in Policy Formulation and Service Provision

  • Report of the UNRISD Geneva 2000 Seminar, New York, 31 March 2000 (CN 2)


As part of its work for Geneva 2000, the five-year review of progress in implementing the 1995 World Summit on Social Development’s commitments, UNRISD held this seminar to bring some of the main messages from its current research on civil society and social movements at local, national and international levels to delegates, NGOs and agencies at the second Preparatory Committee meeting.

The first session of the seminar centred on discussion of the changing role of civil society organizations (CSOs) in social service provision. The second session highlighted the importance of collaboration between trade unions and NGOs: trade unions today cannot advance their agenda without NGOs, and NGOs need unions as well. The third session studied key elements that vitally affect the role of CSOs in making and implementing policy at national and local levels. The final session of the seminar dealt with reform of international institutions. Consensus emerged that as long as CSOs remain sidelined from key decisions over trade, investment, finance and global economic governance, the environment would not be conducive to social development. It was also felt that the chief challenge for global civil society was to develop a framework that will hold multilateral economic institutions accountable.

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  • Publication and ordering details
  • Pub. Date: 1 May 2000
    Pub. Place: Geneva
    ISSN: 1020-8054
    From: UNRISD