Implications and Impressions from the Opening Session of the 65th Annual UN/DPI NGO Conference

 Originally published by the UN/DPI NGO Blog

In the time prior to the Opening Session of the 65th Annual UN/DPI NGO Conference, the hallways, conference rooms, aisles, and seats of the United Nations were filled with attendees from highly diverse backgrounds and industries. When introducing myself as a blogger for DPI/NGO and as a representative of American University’s School of International Service Online, my participation and presence was immediately welcomed. This inclusive atmosphere led me to realize the all-encompassing spirit and purpose of this conference.

All of us are joined at this conference for the sheer fact that we genuinely care about making the world a better place to live for everyone.

As United States Representative to the UN Samantha Power said in her opening address: “What cause could be more worth joining than eradicating the world’s worst suffering and empowering people to live with dignity?” The goals for everyone involved within this conference stem directly from this mission—to create a framework for the post-2015 agenda that comprehensively reflects the interests of the world population.

The end goal of the Conference—to produce a declaration that will be considered when developing the post-2015 development agenda—is a key ingredient for increased civil society awareness and participation in the eradication of poverty, disease, and suffering. Civil society is becoming increasingly aware of the United Nations’ work across the globe as online media coverage and citizen journalism also continue to grow. It’s hard to read the international affairs portion of any media without reading about the UN’s involvement. This conference is another step in that direction. Involving civil society proactively within this conference works to ensure sustainable global development, participation, and engagement. What better way to engage civil society other than giving them a seat at the table?

It is difficult to speak to the goals and impressions of the entire NGO and civil society communities. However, the atmosphere of the conference and the opening session perfectly delivered the differing perspectives from each of the groups in attendance. As the year 2015 draws nearer and our Millennium Development Goals are replaced with a more inclusive Post-2015 Development Agenda, the partnerships and perspectives shared throughout this conference have never been more valuable.

As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his video address, we [the United Nations, Civil Society, and the NGO community] need to “seize this once-in-a-generation chance to plan for a better future.” Everyone’s goal at this conference is to eliminate global poverty, disease and suffering; this conference is the best shot we have at encompassing differing perspectives on how we can achieve this goal.

More Coverage of the UN/DPI NGO Conference:
Workshop at a Glance: Ensuring Sustainability for Education Development
Moving Towards Integrative and Sustainable Policy through the Resource Nexus
Integrating a Global Process of Learning Human Rights into the Post-2015 Agenda
Workshop at a Glance: Education and Self-Determination Keys to Climate Justice