Diverse voices take to Twitter to demand that the UN #OpenTheDoor2NGOs

Voices from around the world took to Twitter to join the conversation about why civil society is so important to the UN and to demand that the UN #OpenTheDoorToNGOs.

As part of ISHR’s campaign for a better membership of the UN’s NGO Committee, we asked you:”Why do you think civil society is so important at the UN?” Over the last week, human rights defenders from around the world and State representatives have taken to Twitter to respond and join the demand for the UN to #OpenTheDoors2NGOs.

Why do you think the UN should #OpenTheDoors2NGOs? 

Because without the involvement of civil society, we will miss perspectives that are necessary to find solutions to  the world’s most pressing problems!”, The Uzbek Forum for Human Rights @UzbekForum

“Les organisations de la société civile font entendre la voix de millions de citoyens du monde entier aux Nations unies.”, Taha METWALLY @taha_radi



ISHR’s Phil Lynch tweeted that “The participation of human rights defenders and other civil society representatives ensures that solutions are community informed, responsive, owned and led.”

The International Coalition for R2P, added, “We strongly believe that the voices of civil society ensure @UN policies are impactful & effective. NGOs across the 🌍 including our members have immense expertise that should be at the heart of decision-making.”



“Civil society can help hold states to account and help push governments to behave better.” Ian Duddy, @IanDuddyUK

“Govs shouldn’t work in an ivory tower isolated from the people they are meant to serve, either at national or int. level. NGOs scrutinise, force states to focus on uncomfortable issues, they educate & they work in partnership with states & UN. We need much fuller access to NGOs’,” Ben Donaldson, @benaldson of UNAUK



All these voices – and more – spoke to the role civil society groups play in bringing to the fore the views of people who are otherwise silenced, providing solutions to concrete problems and holding States to account. 

In spite of the value of what civil society brings to the table, the NGO Committee – which recommends UN accreditation to NGOs – blocks some from participating in UN processes. 

As IWRAW Asia Pacific, a Global South feminist organization, explained in their tweet “Right now the #NGOCommittee has members who block human rights NGOs, robbing the UN of expertise key to making the world & our committees a better place for all #OpenTheDoor2NGOs.”

Given the value of the vision, expertise and energy of so many civil society organisations, it is just absurd – and counterproductive – for the UN to close the door on what they can offer,” said ISHR’s Eleanor Openshaw.  

349 national, regional and international NGOs have joined ISHR in calling for positive elections to the Committee on 13th April to allow for the constitution of a Committee that promotes civil society access and participation.  

It’s time for the UN to #OpenTheDoor2NGOs! Join the @ISHRGlobal campaign

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