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BigLogo.gif UN Member States on the Record

A dialogue between the President of the General Assembly and civil society

On 6 February, the President of the General Assembly held an interactive briefing with representatives from civil society. This unprecedented initiative provided an opportunity to enhance the dialogue on the post-2015 development agenda ahead of a series of high-level events and thematic debates to be convened by the PGA.

Stressing the important role of civil society as partner and supporter of the United Nations, the PGA told participants: “you have an equal voice – you will be heard”. Also addressing the meeting, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson noted that “civil society organizations are a source of ideas and inspiration” and “key critical development partners, agents of change, and watchdogs.” He invited CSO representatives to keep raising public awareness around the ongoing efforts to shape a new vision for global development.

The frank interaction provided much food for thought to the Office of the PGA on potential ways to reflect stakeholders’ concerns and to further the conversation on the post-2015 agenda. Questions were raised on how to include the voices of children, rural women and people living in poverty. Ninety-one year old Helen Hamlin of the International Federation on Ageing reminded the audience that older persons are knowledgeable, experienced, willing and able to contribute. Her passionate remarks drew warm applause in the ECOSOC Chamber and were a reminder that the “missing pieces” from the MDGs must be addressed as work progresses to identify the priorities for 2015 and beyond.

During the remaining part of the 68th session, the President will convene three high-level events and three thematic debates to set the stage for the elaboration of the post 2015 agenda. The first thematic debate on water, sanitation and sustainable energy will take place on 18-19 February. The other events will focus on the contributions of women, the young and civil society (6-7 March); the role of partnerships (9-10 April); stable and peaceful societies (24-25 April); North-South, South-South, and triangular cooperation and information communication technology (ICT) for development (20-21 May); human rights and rule of law (17-18 June).

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Webcast for the event: