The People: The NGOs
Non-Governmental Organizations
(A key part of Civil Society)

There are three (3) main peoples websites related to the activities of the NGOs at the United Nations:
1. http://www.ngos.net... The NGOs Network
This site is a neutral NGO site to allow any NGO associated with the United Nations, a platform to discuss their concerns and focuses. It also links to NGOs worldwide with no status to the UN. This site serves as an index to NGOs throughout the world.

2. http://www.ngodpiexecom.org/ (EXECOM)
This site represents the DPI-NGO Executive Committee EXECOM associated with the Department of Information (DPI) at the United Nations. This is an elected committee, supposedly from all the NGOs associated with DPI. But in fact, only a small number of NGOs vote, so this committee is far from an accurate representation of all the NGOs of DPI. Regardless, they represent an important group of NGOs at the UN.

3. http://www.conferenceofngos.org (CONGO)
This site represents a small percentage of the total NGOs who have special Consultative Status to the United Nations ECOSOC Economic & Social Council. They are called “The Conference of NGOs in Consultative Status to the United Nations.” Though a far cry from representing all the ECOSOC NGOs; small in number, they hold considerable power as a group. They are all professional in their approach, competent and dedicated to their activities at the UN.

And there is a growing mass of web sites worldwide which include those NGOs with some affiliation with the UN (holding various levels of UN status) and the worldwide rising number of NGOs outside the UN. These are individual and self-focused websites about their organizations focus and their specific interests. You can find many links to this growing number of NGOs at The NGOs International Network.

One of the weaknesses of the NGOs is their inability to understand the concept of “strategic alliances” which the private (corporate) sector so effectively employs even with their competitors and enemies in their businesses worldwide. Yet, there are a few examples of when they can overcome this weakness and work together.

We are interested in links to the NGOs both inside the UN and around the world who are interested in the Thematic and Substantive Issues the United Nations focuses on. IAED is interested in the problems of the world and how best to solve them. See the The NGOs Network.


There are seven (7) fascinating developments within the peoples movements. All occurring within the last couple of years:

1. A Rising number of NGOs worldwide. Civil Society wants a voice.

2. Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s suggestion of calling for a parallel (to the General Assembly at the UN) “peoples assembly” by the year 2000. This has been quickly corrected to a “peoples forum” the “millennium forum” and “maybe it could be held some place outside the UN, San Francisco or some place...” The very active, systematic and highly organized efforts worldwide to pursue this idea by the peoples organizations.

3. The stunning blow handed to the U.S.A. in Rome this year (1998) at the ICC, International Criminal Court; fascinatingly helped along by the sophisticated and organized efforts of NGOs, and the effective advocacy of the NGOs at that conference.

4. The rapid and organized effort worldwide by the NGOs against the private sector and a few developed countries to impose the MAI’s (Multilateral Agreements on Investments) on other countries of the world, making it a law. So far the NGOs have won, and they are actively monitoring the developments in this area.

5. The new focus of the peoples organizations on the corporations and their leaders as the “bad guys.” (“Their globalizing, and their causing the world’s problems!”) IAED works at helping the peoples organizations understand the good the private sector is doing and could be doing more of, with their help by working together.

6. “The International People’s Tribunal,” held at the United Nations the past two years in coordination with the UN Conference on Sustainable Development and follow-up to the RIO Conference on the Environment. The focus is on the impact of globalization on peoples and the environment. The cases that have been presented so far are extremely interesting and have potential legal case status for the Universities Law Schools.

7. Rapid and constantly expanding use of the web technology to instantly tell the world what use to be kept secret behind closed doors. What is changing is that a government or corporation can not pull something off in the world without being exposed to the rest of the world. The “Who did what to who,” “What’s behind the story” and “Where do the players live,” exposure on the web is a new and powerful development. Even the President of the U.S.A.’s private and personal actions can be aired on the worldwide web for all to see.

The Governments (mainly represented by the private sector and wealthy) understand and welcome “partnering” with the civil society to help them solve global and local problems. But, they are not interested in “power-sharing” with the peoples organizations , which are on the rise and using the same technology that the private sector is using to “globalize, ” to link people’s organizations together and be heard.

What are the implications for corporate planning and how will this impact their strategic plans for globalization.?

IAED is most interested in these developments. Real “sustainable” development can not work if this ultimately leads to confrontation. Everything invested to date worldwide could be lost!

IAED believes in globalization. It can work for all humankind...if we are careful and sensitive.

(updated 12/15/98)

 


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