A Response from Civil Society

> Executive Summary
Opening Statements
Reviewing the Millennium Declaration
NGOs as Partners in Debt Relief and Financing for Development
NGOs as Partners in Values and Public Service
NGOs as Partners in Strengthening the Family
Building Cultures of Peace and Leadership
Discussion Groups
Closing Statements

Executive Summary
"The Millennium Declaration of the United Nations: A Response from Civil Society" was held in New York at the United Nations Headquarters and New York Hilton Hotel from October 20-22, 2000. Hosted by the Mission of Indonesia to the United Nations and co-sponsored by the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO) and the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace (IIFWP), it was attended by over 500 representatives of NGOs and civil society from 105 countries. H.E. Ambassador Makarim Wibisono, Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the United Nations, Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak, Chairman, IIFWP, and Dr. Wally N'Dow, Secretary General, WANGO, co-chaired the conference.
The conference took place five weeks after the Millennium Summit of World Leaders convened at the United Nations attended by 150 heads of state, government and royalty--the largest gathering of world leaders in history. The world leaders unanimously adopted the United Nations Millennium Declaration at the Summit's conclusion (approved in General Assembly resolution 55/2). The document, itself derived from U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan's We the Peoples millennium report--contains a statement of values, principles and objectives for the international agenda of the new century and sets deadlines for many collective actions. It is a significant statement outlining the shared values and those critical areas in need of serious consideration as we look into the new century and new millennium.
The co-sponsors convened this conference to respond to the Millennium Declaration--the core results of the Millennium Summit--in the belief that it is essential for representatives of civil society to enter into dialogue, as partners, with governments, and offer their wisdom, insight and recommendations, as called for by the Secretary General. The responses consisted of reactions from IIFWP, WANGO and individual NGOs who examined the Declaration in detail, including its stated values. The conference served to link constituent NGOs from within their tradition to the United Nations IIFWP's response focused on the role of the family, while WANGO specifically focused on the six values elaborated in the Declaration. These six enunciated values were intended to be linked to the larger community of NGOs, especially the religious and spiritual community and value-oriented NGOs, from within their respective traditions.
The partnership of governments, NGOs and civil society can help realize the vision and objectives of the Millennium Declaration. This conference represented the first such effort in the process of discussion, support and advocacy of the principles and objectives outlined in the Declaration. It also represented a follow-up effort by IIFWP, which sponsored "Assembly 2000: Renewing the United Nations and Building a Culture of Peace" at the United Nations in August, just prior to the Millennium Summit, to evaluate the results of the deliberations of the world's leaders.
The conference itself was structured around the eight major themes of the Millennium Declaration:

  1. Values and principles
  2. Peace and security
  3. Development and poverty eradication
  4. Protecting our common environment
  5. Human rights, democracy and good governance
  6. Protecting the vulnerable
  7. Meeting the special needs of Africa
  8. Strengthening the United Nations

Presenters reviewed each of these subjects and offered recommendations. Special sessions were held on three additional topics of the potential partnership roles of NGOs: "NGOs as Partners in Debt Relief and Financing for Development," "NGOs as Partners in Values and Public Service," and "NGOs as Partners in Strengthening the Family." Discussion groups were then convened around the eight themes of the Millennium Declaration, in terms of how NGOs respond to the Declaration and how they can work together.
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