Compiled list of recommendations
Civil Society Cooperation with the UN and other
The Working Group on the Civil Society Cooperation with the UN
and other International Organizations recommends:
- To promote transparency and democracy in decision-making
processes following the example of the Swiss system of direct and participatory
democracy, and bring it up to international level. The main part of this should
be informing and promoting the commitments made by governments at the UN
- Another World Civil Society Forum should be organized in Geneva on
strengthening cooperation between civil society and the UN system for the
purpose of bettering the lot of the world's people.
- If and when a World Civil Society Forum has a solid structural form, it
should seek observer presence at the UN General Assembly and its main
committees to monitor the implementation of the commitments made at the
Millennium Summit. This would be in line with the UN Secretary-General's
proposal contained in the draft report of the General Assembly's Working Group
on Strengthening the UN system (A/50/24 of 16 July 1996).
- Whatever follow-up mechanism the Forum may decide, priority should be given
to explore the possibilities of establishing and funding a secretariat in
Geneva to assist in the development and implementation of the proposals coming
from this Forum, and to ensure full participatory democracy in the functioning
of such an office.
- The Forum Secretariat should continue to function as a network of
organizations for the exchange of information, discussion of issues and
longer-term forms of organization. Among the longer-term efforts could be the
creation of a World Civil Society Liaison Body in order to build upon and
co-ordinate the efforts of existing civil society forums for good governance
and a better world.
- Civil society in every country should campaign to press governments to pay
their dues to the United Nations in full, and on time, to enable the
organization to carry out its mandate under the Charter.
- Civil Society should follow up on the UN Secretary-General’s call for coalitions of change-bringing “together international institutions, civil society and private sector organizations, and national governments, in pursuit of common goals” (Report of the UN Secretary General A/54/2000), in order to seek to initiate a Global Policy Network on the prevention of armed conflict.
The Working Group on the Information Society recommends:
1. Civil Society Fundamentals
- Freedom of and access to information and communication is a
fundamental human right (UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights).
2. Civil Society Representation
- Governments, international organizations and Civil Society should ensure
equitable representation at the World Summit on the Information Society of
women, youth, the elderly, the disabled, and Indigenous Peoples.
- Geographical representation must be ensured.
3. Civil Society Participation
- Ensure full participation of Civil Society at all levels within the World
Summit on the Information Society process.
- Use communication technologies to allow distance participation (e.g. web
conferencing, teleconferencing, etc).
- Encourage synergies, cooperation, networking and cross sector connections
among all actors on an equal basis (e.g. education, health and environment).
- Increase local and regional cooperation among key actors.
- Make sure that broadcasting is on the WSIS agenda.
- Support the development of the third broadcasting sector (community radio
- Support media initiatives that create space and services for global
dialogue and information dissemination to bridge gaps between continents and
- Grow awareness among all stakeholders on the impact of MPeg 21 and other
new standards in broadcasting environments.
6. Access to knowledge
- Focus on capacity building. E.g. access to computers should be facilitated
as a tool to achieve this goal.
- Focus on education; the ability to think and be creative.
- Focus on content creation in local languages and broad scale systematic
- Universal access to Public Domain information should be proactively
- Governments, Civil Society, private sector and international organizations
should work to make progress in the building of infrastructure in developing
countries. Information and Communication Technologies infrastructure is the
basis of information flow.
- Access to ICT and information for citizens should be facilitated. Equal
opportunities for women, youth, elderly people, disabled people and Indigenous
Peoples should be ensured.
- The UN system and international donors should reinforce cooperation with
- Strengthen existing Civil Society networks to reach the furthest corners of
- Promote the creation of new networks between communities.
- Civil Society should ensure evaluation of the social impact of IPv6
implementation on society, on the citizen and on private businesses.
8. Communication privacy & network security
- Governments, Civil Society and international organizations must raise
awareness about the necessity of privacy protection through education of
- Governments must ensure Civil Society participation in privacy and policy
- The legal framework should reflect the interests of Civil Society
organizations and citizens.
- Independence and accountability are important for an oversight body of the
- Governments and Civil Society should establish a joint working group to
evaluate the social impacts of IPv6 and privacy implementation.
9. New technologies
- Technologies should not be a means of discrimination (info-rich,
- Governments and Civil Society should ensure archive integrity so that
cultural heritage will be maintained.
10. Concrete actions
- Develop and link databases of best practices of donor and Civil Society
- Encourage the development of an interactive knowledge sharing platform on
- The UN system and governmental information should be made universally
- Active provision of UN content in developing countries.
- Civil Society should use low-cost means (CD-ROMs, radio etc) to deliver
- Civil Society must involve technical experts to protect against fraudulent
monitoring of their private information.
- Civil Society should promote a collaborative network of open source
- Promote large scale translation.
- Large-scale provision of second-hand computers.
Environment, Trade and Sustainable
Statements to Johannesburg:
- We, the People and Non-Governmental Organizations participating in the
Environment, Trade, and Sustainable Development Working Group of the World
Civil Society Forum (meeting in Geneva from 15-20 July 2002), affirm our
commitment to work with all others to create a fully sustainable society. We,
too, are convinced that urgent and renewed efforts must be made by all
countries and people, in a spirit of international solidarity, to achieve
sustainable development. Further, we call on all governments to develop plans
for full and complete sustainability.
- We strongly support the Political Declaration presented by the Chair of the
Preparatory Committee, Dr. Emil Salim, and firmly request that it be signed as
is and should not be negotiated further or weakened in any way. We insist that
the countries do much better at honouring their commitments to uphold the Rio
Principles, implementing Agenda 21, and achieving agreed development goals,
than they have done since the Rio Summit Conference.
- We also recognize the urgent need for all countries to ratify and fully
implement the environmental and sustainable development Conventions and
Protocols. Thus we call on the countries to establish a process for reviewing
and publishing information as to which countries have ratified and are acting
on each treaty.
- Binding commitments, particularly funding mechanisms, along with short-term
targets, timelines, and specific means of implementation, still need to be
included in the Implementation Document and should preferably be added now or
included through the Commission on Sustainable Development processes.
- We agree that poverty eradication and changing unsustainable patterns of
production and consumption are essential components of the plan of action; but
would suggest that "protecting and managing the natural resource base" is
inherently of value in and of itself, while also being necessary for achieving
economic and social development goals.
- We would agree that worldwide conditions that pose severe threats include
poverty, unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, environmental
degradation, armed conflicts, etc. Thus we would suggest that disarmament,
non-violent conflict resolution, public health, population, drugs, armed
conflicts, and organized crime be specifically included in the plan of action,
along with targets, timelines, and means of implementation.
- Also recalling the Monterrey Consensus and Plan of Action, we urge that
specific means for significantly increasing levels of finance should be
established and agreed to, with direction given to the Financing for
Development process as to how this can be integrated into its activities.
Specific commitments must be made to address the priority areas identified in
the Implementation and Political Documents.
- It must be openly recognized that the governments of most developed
countries have not kept their commitments to increase the ODA to 0.7% of GNP,
nor the target of 0.15 to 0.20 to least developed countries. Thus specific
commitments and means of implementation must be established through the Plan of
Action to set targets, timelines, and a review process to ensure that these
commitments are finally carried out. This should include a review by Commission
on Sustainable Development in 2007.
- In addition, a significant replenishment of the Global Environment Fund is
essential for carrying out the Programme of Action, moving towards what is
currently spent on unsustainable subsidies, thus increasing by several orders
of magnitude in the years to come. Similarly Capacity 2015 must be seen as a
primary means of moving towards full implementation in the developing world. It
should thus be established as a stand alone programme, rather than as just a
part of UN Development Programme’s Core Programme; and a substantial
budget must be agreed for it.
- In addition, a specific protocol should be developed to focus on
establishing specific means of financing the full implementation of the
Programme of Action. Again, this should drive the on-going Financing for
- Full access to world markets is required for developing countries, rather
than just better access; and a complete phase out and elimination of trade
distorting subsidies is in order.
- Gender equity and parity must be included as essential elements of both the
Political and Implementation Documents along with rights-based ownership and
sustainable livelihood statutes.
- Any references to globalisation must emphasize first and foremost that the
benefits and costs of globalisation are very unevenly distributed. This
language must be retained in the Political Declaration along with the reference
to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. In committing
to making globalisation equitable and inclusive, full reform and
democratisation of the Bretton Woods Institutions is required. Similarly these
institutions must be subservient to UN processes and agreements in the areas of
social and environmental sustainability and not the other way round.
- The Department of Economic and Social Activity Task Group Recommendations
on Water, Energy, Agriculture, Health, and Biodiversity should be fully
considered by all countries, intergovernmental organizations, and civil society
in terms of their activities for implementation. In addition, they should be
integrated into specific programmes of action and then reviewed through the
Commission on Sustainable Development.
- Education is one of the most powerful ways for making people aware of the
potential outcomes and opportunities of sustainable development. It allows
people to develop alternative ways of thinking which are the key to sustainable
development. Governments must include sustainable development in education
curricula and courses at all levels, appropriate to the respective society,
culture, and community. We call on all governments, at all levels, to support
the development of and participate in Agenda 21 processes, integrating
education for sustainability in all areas of community life.
- Every precaution must be taken to ensure that the Type II Partnership
Initiatives do not lead to further privatisation of public services and that
significant funding is given to ensure that they are fully implemented. Support
and assistance must also be given for civil society leadership in developing
and participating in partnership initiatives.
- Finally, corporate accountability must be required rather than merely
encouraged and a convention to address this matter must be held.
The Working Group on Health promotion recommends:
- To promote health as a basic human right for all.
- To promote the Right to Health as inseparable from the Right to Life.
- The right to life and health is universal "health for all".
- To bring evidence to the Forum on Health Research that inequality, poverty,
exploitation, violence and injustice cause ill health.
- To request the World Health Organization to set up a Poverty and Health
- To strive for equity and equitable distribution.
- To make distribution economics rather than growth economics
the basis for health policy.
- To call for a moratorium on the creation of new "global funds".
- To promote local production of generics (use of developing regions).
- To strengthen infrastructure for delivering even donated drugs.
- To ensure that private and public funding empowers local producers.
- To gather and present evidence of the effects of national and international
policies on the health of vulnerable people.
- To adopt a holistic approach to health related issues, such as nutrition.
- To promote health as a human right irrespective of gender, race, age,
disability, and political situation.
- To raise awareness, especially in women, for equal rights for girls.
- To ensure that traditional medicine is exploited for the benefit of people
for patenting by industry.
- To examine and address patent issues for traditional medicines with the World
Intellectual Property Organization, World Trade Organization, World Health
- To address superior attitude of western medicine systems.
- To promote beneficial cultural practices and discourage or stop harmful
- To promote health education and awareness for all.
- To define health, taking into account community and spiritual values.
- To make the girl child the priority, as she is responsible for family unity
- To work for a UN that is free from the influence of transnational
- To insist that the UN distinguishes between real non-profit NGOs and
- To address the ”10/90 gap” in health research and help the 90%
who are excluded.
- To allow NGOs (public interest) to speak at the World Health Assembly.
- To hold a World Civil Society Forum in a southern state.
Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
The Working Group on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
1. Reinforce protection against torture
NGOs have a key role in making individuals, communities and the media
aware of torture cases. Their work and efforts have to be focused on human
rights education, the training of police and preventive visits to places of
2. Trade and economics
As the current economic system is at the root of many human rights
violations, the working group recommends a human approach to trade, e.g. the
adoption of the non-discrimination principle, the need for balance and the
accessibility of essential services (water-resources for instance). This can be
achieved by strengthening legal mechanisms and supervision at the national and
3. International penal law
NGOs urge the States to enforce the principle of “universal
jurisdiction”, which allows any country to prosecute perpetrators of
crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide and torture, regardless of where
the crime has taken place and regardless of the nationality of the perpetrator.
On the one hand, efforts must be focused on educating and training the
judiciary (judges and lawyers), and on the other hand, on limiting the
principle of immunity.
4. Promotion and protection of human rights
Every State needs to be held accountable for human rights violations.
Existing UN mechanisms for human rights should be reinforced by increasing
regional cooperation and collaboration among NGOs and the Human Rights
Indigenous Peoples, Gender and Development
The Working Group on Indigenous Peoples, Gender and Development recommends:
- To lobby for the ratification of all UN conventions recognizing the rights
- To promote gender equality in all aspects of development, in particular
with regard to the amounts of loans or grants made to women.
- To aim for 50/50 gender ratios in all positions of power, whether it be
governments, civil society or other.
- To lobby for the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- To lobby against the Trade Related aspects of Intellectual Property rights
(TRIPS) agreement on patenting living organisms.
- To support the right to self-determination of Indigenous Peoples.
- To include Indigenous Peoples, including Indigenous women, in all
negotiations and decisions concerning any large or small development projects
on their territories.
- To lobby against trade agreements which make it impossible for people to
sell their products.
- To promote a more sustainable model of development which consumes fewer
resources and pollutes less.
- To support legislation which fights racism.
- To lobby for the UN to adopt the Draft Declaration on the Rights of
- To back the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
- Indigenous representatives at international conferences must bring
decisions and information back to their communities and make sure that they
involve them in all aspects of such conferences.
Peace and Disarmament
The Working Group on Peace and Disarmament recommends:
- To support the United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) ’s call for a
conference on nuclear dangers.
- To publicise the Peace March from Pakistan to India, that is being
conducted by a group of Buddhist monks.
- To learn about the Olympic Truce movement.
- To endorse the Global Campaign for Peace Education.
- To get involved with the campaign to implement SC Resolution 1325 which
opens a space for women to participate in peacekeeping and peace negotiations.
- To help construct the new Non-violent Peace Force.
- To build the campaign against military attacks on Iraq.
For the purpose of clarity, the Working Group made a
distinction between the Public Sector, Civil Society (taken as non-profit) and
the Private Sector (as profit).
The Working Group on Private Sector recommends:
- Civil society organizations should play an active role in monitoring the
operations of private companies.
- Information regarding private companies should be more widely accessible to
civil society organizations.
- Civil society organizations should influence the definition of criteria and
the assessment of corporate behaviours.
- Decentralization of the assessment process of corporations should be
ensured. Civil society organizations and national bodies have a critical role
to play in this matter.
- Direct relations between civil society organizations and the private sector
should not be detrimental to the regulatory role of governments and the public
- Civil society organizations should increase their influence over the public
and private companies by maximizing communication from all sides such as the
media, education, academia, campaign heroes, strategic alliances and networks.
- Civil society organizations should require that the private sector respects
cultural diversity in its approach to development.
- Civil society organizations should pressure northern and southern
governments to reinforce their social and environmental criteria in the fields
of foreign direct investments, public purchase policies, and other economic
Right of Peoples to Self-Determination and Conflict
The Working Group on Right of Peoples to Self-Determination and
Conflict Prevention recommends:
- To call upon States to approve the Draft Declaration on Rights of
- To raise self-determination issues and cases before the competent UN bodies
- To urge the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights
to elaborate a work paper that reconceptualizes the right to self-determination
and its contribution to conflict prevention and resolution.
- To urge the competent UN bodies to create a mechanism to assist in the
peaceful resolution of self-determination claims.
- To create a website elucidating the self-determination claims of
- To ensure that the Johannesburg Earth Summit has Indigenous Peoples without
- The World Civil Society Forum should affirm, support and reiterate the
fundamental principle that human rights are universal and a human rights based
approach be adopted in all of the work of civil society, the UN system and
states. That is the fundamental principle.
- The World Civil Society Forum call upon the UN system and states to
immediately pass the UN Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
in the form in which it was approved by the UN Working Group on Indigenous
Peoples in 1993. If we say human rights are universal then we call for the
passage of a universal standard for Indigenous Peoples.
- The World Civil Society Forum call upon own members, states and UN system
to use indigenous peoples with the "S" without any qualification. It is
important to speak to the right of indigenous peoples as indigenous cultures
are collective. This should begin with the Johannesburg conference Earth
- The World Civil Society Forum strongly endorses and supports the UN
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Centre Catalonia initiative
that self-determination is a process for conflict prevention and resolution. It
has been developing for many years. Instead of proposing there is a right for
self-determination and fighting for it, we look at it as a process where we
can seek solutions to conflict. If there is any need for application in this
world it is for conflict prevention and resolution.
- The World Civil Society Forum endorses and encourages the theme of the UN
High Commissioner for Human Rights Decade of Partnership with Indigenous
Peoples and endorses the UN Development Program Policy of Engagement with
Indigenous Peoples as a prototype model which UN agencies and states should
adopt in their undertakings with Indigenous Peoples and peoples under foreign
occupation or alien domination and civil society.
- The World Civil Society Forum supports meetings of the UN Working Group on
Indigenous Peoples in the UN system.
- The World Civil Society Forum endorses and supports real partnerships
between Civil Society, UN and states. We would also endorse the policy of
engagement with UNDP. UNDP is the only agency within the entire UN system that
has a published policy statement on engagement with indigenous peoples. It
provides that Self-Determination is defined in international covenants.
Whenever there is a programme or a policy, UNDP cannot move individually. Their
policy requires they must have advice from civil society and indigenous
peoples. It is the only organization that focused on issues indigenous peoples
have been talking about and these are the same areas civil society is concerned
with. It is open transparency, redefining globalization, looking for
utilization of process of conflict resolution. UNDP policy is a human rights
based approach to sustainable development. They do not consider sustainable
development unless based on a human rights approach. UNDP has this policy for
engagement. It is a foundation for what a real partnership is.
Youth Forum Working Group on Civil Society cooperation with the United
We propose to create a World Youth Parliament based on
participatory democracy and to help facilitate the creation of an
intergenerational World Parliament of global civil society.
To achieve this goal we recommend the following actions:
- Peace education should become part of the school curriculum in all
- Inclusive youth councils should be organized for all decision-making
- Permanent intergenerational forums should be created for youth and leaders
at local, national and global levels.
- Youth rapporteurs should be granted access to decision making forums at all
- Inter-faith youth community building should be supported to strengthen the
social fabric of our society.
- Indigenous and non-indigenous youth alliances should be created to help us
reconcile our history and better understand sustainable development.
- Networking and dialogue between privileged and under-privileged youth
should be considered to help us address the economic divide.
- Civil society organizations should collaborate to create diverse online and
offline youth networks for all local, national, and international contexts.
Youth Forum Working Group on the Information
The Youth Forum Working Group on the Information society issues this plan of
- Campaign on problems of Information and Communication Technologies’,
freedom, accessibility, etc.
- Participate in decision-making at the UN (World Summit on Information
Society, etc.) and governments, as well as in the issue of the new methods of
- Education and training (formal and informal, including peer based).
- Develop and provide access (youth employment / business).
- Applications: (media, youth radio, news, etc, cross-cultural communication,
- Transgenerational: youth has knowledge to share.
Youth Forum Working Group on Environment, Trade and
The Youth Forum Working Group on environment, trade and sustainable
- We, this Youth Forum, proposed that governments reimburse or subsidize
growth processes in both industrial and less developed countries.
- We proposed that a marketing component is essential to reaching out to the
- We proposed that education is the key to creating a new way of thinking
about biological agriculture.
- We proposed that the UN would be a vehicle for pressuring states to adopt
Youth Forum Working Group on Health
The Youth Forum Working Group on Health Promotion recommends:
- We, the Youth, will volunteer and through our actions, get our
peers to volunteer in health promotion.
- We believe young children and the youth in all countries should
be taught first aid, basic health and hygienic practices.
- We believe private companies, NGOs involved in health, and
educational institutions should allot a portion of their funds to youth
volunteer groups, especially those dealing with health promotion.
- Change of consumer habits
- We, the Youth, will go back to our organizations and influence our members
not to buy products from:
- Factories/businesses that pollute water and air.
- Companies that employ cheap labour in unsafe and unhygienic working
- Incentives and penalties should be legislated to force the private sector
to clean up their operations.
- Information Campaign
Civil society should encourage media (especially radio) to give
youth groups free time to speak on issues such as HIV/AIDS and its stigma, TB,
malaria and mental health.
Civil society should encourage local and international artists
to make music/art to promote these issues.
- We call for the cessation of advertisements on tobacco and
alcohol, especially those directed towards youth.
- We encourage the creation/support of a youth network on health
issues using available media.
- We expect civil society to work towards increasing the supply
of medicine for devastating diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB, making
them fully available to people who need them. Civil society should call for a
change in patent legislation to ensure that developing countries are given the
capacity to produce drugs.
- Civil society should encourage the use of traditional medicine
and recognize the contribution of the knowledge of the indigenous people to
- Conflict Areas
There should be unimpeded access to health care or health
institutions, especially in areas of conflict.
Youth Forum Working Group on Human rights and
The Youth Forum Working Group on Human rights and humanitarian law issues
- We confirm that human rights are an vital issue for the Youth of this
- We recognize that democratic principles are an integral part of the
promotion and protection of human rights.
- We understand the undemocratic nature of the security council’s
unchecked veto, we propose a reform which allows the two-thirds override of the
- We invite civil society and the United Nations to draft and implement the
proposal, while mobilizing for a campaign that pressures the Security Council
states to adopt the said proposal.
Youth Forum Working Group on the Right of peoples to
self-determination and the prevention of conflicts
After analysing the question of self-determination with some
case studies, we, the Youth, recommend:
- The UN Security Council should be restructured so that the question of veto
status would become flexible in order to be applicable to different situations.
- Respect of UN resolutions by member states must be a condition of
international customary law.
- We recommend that the studies carried out by an expert of the UN
Sub-commission of Human Rights come out with positive recommendations about the
effect of globalization on people under the cause of self-determination.
- We request that the UN Security Council enforce its resolutions in the
following areas: the question of Western Sahara, the Palestinian people,
Southern Sudan, etc.; that people should be given a chance to determine their
destiny and the use of their wealth and natural resources.
- The international community should promote and support the International
Criminal Court. This Court will be a source of enforcing international human
rights laws and will give individuals and oppressed peoples a way of pursuing
criminal legal suits against states that oppress the rights of people fighting
We, the Youth, representing various youth organization in
countries all over the world, concerning the importance of the
self-determination of all nations and territories, agree to take the following
- Establish campaigns of solidarity with people under occupations in
accordance with the UN definition.
- Lobby globally for self-determination of people in occupied territories, as
Indigenous Peoples and minorities.
- Study visits and assisting the non-violent protesters are important for
seeking self-determination through
- Organize international civil protection groups for peace to the IP,
minorities, and people under occupation.
Out of 146 ballot papers, 120
voted in favour of an ongoing Forum, 24 voted against and 2 abstained.