Summary: Working Group on Civil Society and International Organizations Cooperation
Participation in the elaboration of international policies
Panellists demonstrated the important role played by civil societies in the elaboration of international policies. Particular attention was given to the following areas:
human rights, indigenous people and health.
Non-governmental organisations have played an influential role in the wording of
human rights legislation. This is the case for the United Nations Charter for instance, as well as for the Declaration of
Human Rights and Pacts. Working groups dealing with disappearance of people have been set up, following pressure from organisations. Governments often
are not transparent enough about the situation that prevails in their country. They are more interested in protecting their economic interests than human rights. Special
reporters as well as experts gather and use evidence and reliable information provided by civil societies. Over the years, non-governmental organisations have also helped indigenous people gain recognition on the international scene. The latter are now heard in the
Ms. Bai Bagasao of UNAIDS pointed out that her organization has provided an effective response in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
This was possible thanks to partnerships between national Governments, members of
civil society and People Living with HIV/AIDS. The importance of this cooperation has been explicitly mentioned in the
Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, which was issued at the UN Assembly Session in June 2001. It has also been emphasized that
"realisation of human rights and fundamental freedom for all are essential to reduce vulnerability to
Civil society and non-governmental organisations have played and still play an important role in the design and implementation of international policies, and this in many areas. Unlike
Governments, they represent a reliable source of information and defend people's interests. In the fight against HIV/AIDS,
Governments have committed themselves to cooperate with civil society to give an effective response.
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