Cover Image
close this bookHabitat Debate - Vol. 4 - No. 3 - 1998 - Urban Finance (HABITAT, 1998, 61 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentEDITORIAL
View the documentLETTERS
Open this folder and view contentsINTRODUCTION
Open this folder and view contentsFORUM
Open this folder and view contentsCASE STUDY
Open this folder and view contentsVIEW POINT
View the documentPARTNERS UPDATE
View the documentHABITAT NEWS
View the documentCALENDAR OF EVENTS
View the documentUNCHS (Habitat) OFFICES


Millennium NGO Forum

In his report to the General Assembly (A/52/850) the UN Secretary General said that: “the year 2000 constitutes a unique and symbolically compelling moment for Member States to articulate and affirm an animating vision for the United Nations in the new era.” The Secretary General proposed that the session of the General Assembly in the year 2000 be designated “The Millennium Assembly,” and that it include a summit segment that could be called “The Millennium Summit” where Heads of State and Government would be expected to participate. Moreover, he also proposed that Millennium NGO Forum be held in conjunction with the Assembly.

The Member States and representatives of NGOs/civil society are expected to consult on the five core areas of the work of the United Nations, namely: peace and security, economic and social affairs, development cooperation, humanitarian affairs, and human rights.

The Conference of Non-governmental Organizations (CONGO) has, during the last 18 months, sponsored a series of consultations organized by the CONGO Chairs Task Force on UN Reform. The one-day consultations have focused on UN Reform, increasing NGO access to the UN and the proposed Millennium NGO Forum.

The CONGO Executive Board also had the opportunity in Geneva to brief the Secretary General on the plans of CONGO on the Millennium NGO Forum and the possibility of establishing a liaison mechanism for consultations with the UN Secretariat.


It is a well established fact that NGOs effectively participated in the work of the League of Nations, they were present at the founding of the United Nations, and they have been effective partners of the United Nations ever since. It is, therefore, logical that NGOs play an important role when the mission and future of the UN for the 21st century is examined and the future structure is consulted upon by member states.

The CONGO Task Force has determined that the objectives of the Millennium NGO Forum will therefore be:

· to create a forum for channeling the imaginative and forward looking ideas and vision of NGOs at the local, national, continental and international levels.

· to create an organizational structure whereby NGOs with Consultative Status, DPI, NGOs, local and national NGOs, thematic networks, coalitions and other organizations of civil society could participate effectively.

· to make the process for NGO participation democratic, transparent and representational.

· to establish an efficient system for gathering and distributing information on local, national, continental and international Millennium NGO Forums through the operation of Websites, List Servers and Electronic Discussion Forums.


· Hold appropriate local and national Millennium NGO Forums throughout the planet

· Organize continental Millennium NGO Forums

· Participate in the Regional Meetings proposed by the Secretary General

· Hold a Millennium NGO Forum at UN Headquarters in New York, to consider and consult on the reports that emanates from local, national and continental NGO Forums.

The planning process, proposed organizational structure (including a Liaison Committee to the UN Secretary General) and a tentative time schedule are all aimed at achieving the expected Output of the Millennium NGO Forum which is to prepare a consolidated report that would feed to the Report of the Secretary General scheduled for mid 2000.

For further information, please contact:

Techeste Ahderom
The Chair in consultation with Representatives of CONGO, DPI/NGOs, Consultative NGOs and Selected Networks
866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 120
New York, New York 10017-1822
Tel: 212-803-2500
Fax: 212-803-2561
E-mail: <>

Accreditation of NGOs to CHS 17

The sixteenth session of the Commission on Human Settlements in paragraph 5 of its resolution 16/12, entitled “Review of the Working Methods of the Commission on Human Settlements: the Involvement of Partners”, decided that “... participation of the representatives of local authorities and the relevant actors of civil society, particularly the private sector, non-governmental organizations and research organizations in the field of adequate shelter for all and sustainable human settlements development, will be in accordance with rule 61 of the rules of procedure of the Commission on Human Settlements and the relevant provisions of Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.”...

It should be noted that this recent resolution supersedes the previous temporary arrangements on the participation of NGOs in sessions of the Commission on Human Settlements, since rule 61 of the “Rules of Procedure of the Commission on Human Settlements” clearly states the following on the participation of non-governmental organizations and institutions:

“...1. Non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council dealing with problems of human settlements may designate authorized representatives to sit as observers at public meetings of the Commission and its subsidiary organs. Entities referred to in section VIII of General Assembly resolution 32/162 may have representatives present at such meetings when matters within their field of competence are discussed;

2. A non-governmental organization attending a meeting of the Commission may, upon the invitation of the Chairman and with the approval of the Commission, make oral statements on matters within the scope of its activities;

3. Written statements provided by a non-governmental organization or institution referred to in paragraph 1 above, relating to an item on the agenda of interest to the organization, may be circulated by the secretariat to members of the Commission in the quantities and languages in which the statements were made available to the secretariat for distribution.”...

The relevant provision of the ECOSOC decision 1996/31 (<>) entitled “Consultative Relationship between the United Nations and Non-governmental Organizations” which clarifies the status of the NGOs which participated in the UN Conferences through its paragraph number 53 is quoted also below for your further information:

“...Non-governmental organizations without consultative status that participate in international conferences and wish to obtain consultative status later on should apply through the normal procedures established under Council resolution 1296 (XLIV) as updated. Recognizing the importance of the participation of non-governmental organizations that attend a conference in the follow-up process, the Committee on Non-governmental Organizations, in considering their application, shall draw upon the documents already submitted by that organization for accreditation to the conference and any additional information submitted by the non-governmental organization supporting its interest, relevance and capacity to contribute to the implementation phase. The Committee shall review such applications as expeditiously as possible so as to allow participation of the representative organization in the implementation phase of the conference. In the interim, the Economic and Social Council shall decide on the participation of non-governmental organizations accredited to an international conference in the work of the relevant functional commission on the follow-up to and implementation of that conference.”...

In view of the the above, the Secretariat of the Commission on Human Settlements wishes to urge those Non-governmental Organizations which were accredited to the Habitat II Conference and which are NOT in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to immediately apply to ECOSOC for the consultative status.

The contact address for the relevant office of the Economic and Social Council is as follows:

Chief, NGO Section
UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs
DC1-1076, One United Nations Plaza, New York NY 10017
United States of America
Tel: + 1 212 963 4846
Fax: + 1 212 963 4116
E-mail: <>

While contacting the ECOSOC secretariat, if you require any clarification or support for your application from the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements - UNCHS (Habitat); please contact:

Seyda Turkmemetogullari
Partners' Coordination Unit, Office of the Executive Director & Special Programmes
United Nations Centre for Human Settlements - UNCHS (Habitat)
P.O. Box 30030, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: + 254 2 62 4327, 62 3137, 62 3710
Fax: + 254 2 62 3080, 62 4267
E-mail: <> or <> or <>
Internet Sites: or

The Partners Update column is intended for all partners who wish to share information on their activities and achievements, particularly in relation to implementation of the Habitat Agenda. If you would like to contribute to this column, please send your submission to:

Rasna Warah, Editor
Habitat Debat
UNCHS (Habitat)
P.O. Box 30030 Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: (254-2) 623988
Fax: (254-2) 624333/624060