UN Civil Society Conference opens in Kenya with call to strengthen multilateralism

  • World
  • Thursday, 09 May 2024

NAIROBI, May 9 (Xinhua) -- The 69th edition of the United Nations Civil Society Conference opened in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on Thursday with delegates renewing the call for strengthening international cooperation to solve global economic, social and environmental challenges.

Over 2,000 participants, drawn from governments, UN agencies, civil society, academia, industry and think tanks, are participating in the two-day conference, to be held under the theme of "Shaping a Future of Global and Sustainable Progress."

As the first UN civil society conference to be held in the Global South, it will serve as a precursor to the Summit of the Future that will take place in New York in September.

Amina J. Mohammed, deputy secretary-general of the United Nations, said in a televised address that the Nairobi summit took place against a backdrop of monumental global challenges that require solidarity to tackle.

Civil society organizations are in a vantage position to offer solutions to the climate crisis, escalating geopolitical tensions, conflicts and inequality that threaten the survival of multilateralism, Mohammed said, adding that governments should partner with civil society to help deliver climate justice, sustainable development goals, peace, security, human rights and inclusive multilateralism.

The meeting will feature workshops, exhibitions and interactive dialogues aimed at charting a new, sustainable and just future for the planet and humanity.

Guy Ryder, under-secretary-general for policy at the United Nations, said that besides exploring a common approach to achieving the UN 2030 goals, the summit will also discuss pertinent issues like the safety of emerging technologies, financing for development and youth-led innovations.

Ryder said that civil society groups attending the Nairobi summit are expected to forge lasting partnerships that can help revitalize multilateralism, the quest for global peace, inclusive growth and stability.

Carole Ageng'o, co-chair of the 2024 UN Civil Society Conference, said it will drive the global conversation on how to achieve a more resilient, green, just and equitable planet for all citizens.

The need to restructure multilateralism and align it with the aspirations of future generations will be a key highlight of the conference in Nairobi, Ageng'o said.

Florence Syevuo, the executive director of SDGs Kenya Forum, said that civil society groups from the Global South should be at the front line of promoting action on the climate crisis, poverty, divisions and strife.

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