Secretary General’s Statement following the CoD Civil Society Pillar meeting on the margins of UNGA

The Civil Society Pillar of the Community of Democracies (CoD) met in New York City on the margins of the 77th UN General Assembly. The CoD Secretary General, Thomas E. Garrett, joined the gathering to look at the year ahead on democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.

Following the meeting, he said, “The engagement of civil society on global issues is invaluable to the Member States of the Community of Democracies. Solutions to the many challenges today can often be found in government partnership with civil society.”

SG Garrett noted that the United Nations headquarters, again in 2022, was accessible only to United Nations staff and member delegations. “I call upon the United Nations to reverse the suspension of annual and temporary NGO access to the General Assembly.”

“Civil society expertise and ideas on issues ranging from the rights of girls and women in Afghanistan to climate change and the need to support Ukraine in its defense of the rule of law, among others, can be of immense value to diplomatic delegations. Before the pandemic, the United Nations outreach to civil society access was moving in the right direction, and I join the civil society organizations in their appeal for a return to full partnership with NGOs.”