Global leaders unite: Nairobi hosts historic UN Civil Society Conference 2024

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NAIROBI, Kenya/ Gareth Stamp/ – The 69th United Nations Civil Society Conference commenced in Nairobi, Kenya, on Thursday, marking a significant gathering of delegates advocating for reinforced global collaboration to address pressing economic, social, and environmental issues.

The conference, spanning two days, has attracted over 2,000 attendees from government sectors, UN bodies, non-governmental organizations, academic circles, industry leaders, and think tanks. They convene under the banner of “Shaping a Future of Global and Sustainable Progress.”

This event, notable for being the first UN civil society assembly hosted in the Global South, sets the stage for the upcoming Summit of the Future in New York this September.

Amina J. Mohammed, the UN’s deputy secretary-general, highlighted in her televised speech the critical global challenges we face today, emphasizing the need for collective action. She recognized civil society’s pivotal role in addressing the climate emergency, geopolitical strife, conflicts, and disparities that challenge the essence of multilateral cooperation. Mohammed urged governments to collaborate with these organizations to advance climate justice, the Sustainable Development Goals, peace, security, human rights, and a holistic approach to multilateralism.

The agenda includes workshops, exhibitions, and dynamic discussions, all designed to forge a path toward a sustainable and equitable future for both the planet and its inhabitants.

Participants gathering at the opening of the UN Civil Society Conference, which is being held at the UN Office in Nairobi, Kenya, from 9-10 May 2024.

Guy Ryder, the UN’s under-secretary-general for policy, mentioned that the summit will not only seek a unified strategy for the UN 2030 objectives but will also tackle critical topics such as the safety of new technologies, funding for development, and innovations driven by the youth.

Ryder anticipates that the civil society representatives at the Nairobi summit will establish enduring alliances to rejuvenate multilateralism and support the pursuit of worldwide peace, inclusive growth, and stability.

Carole Ageng’o, co-chair of the 2024 UN Civil Society Conference, expressed that the conference is poised to steer the global discourse on cultivating a more robust, environmentally conscious, fair, and equitable world for all.

She underscored the imperative to remodel multilateralism to resonate with the visions of the forthcoming generations, a focal point of the Nairobi conference.

Florence Syevuo, the executive director of the SDGs Kenya Forum, stated that civil society entities from the Global South should lead the charge in advocating for measures against the climate crisis, poverty, societal divisions, and conflict.