The UN DPI/NGO Conference is the premier event in the NGO calendar at the United Nations. It typically attracts an average of 2,000 representatives from more than 500 non-governmental organizations from over 100 countries. Each Conference focuses on a different UN topic of interest related to the work of civil society and NGOs. This international forum also brings together senior UN System officials, prominent international NGOs, academicians, public opinion makers and international media to discuss issues of global concern.

Purpose and Participation

The Conference offers NGOs an opportunity to put a global perspective on a specific issue. In recent years the focus has been on climate change, human rights, disarmament, global health, sustainability and volunteerism. This important gathering is also a unique occasion for NGOs to network and share best practices at the international level.

Participation at the UN DPI/NGO Conference is open to representatives of NGOs associated with DPI and/or in consultative status with ECOSOC. NGOs not included in these groups are welcome to register for the Conference as well; however, they require an endorsement from a United Nations entity that is familiar with their work and can provide feedback on their eligibility.

The UN DPI/NGO Conference explores ways and means for strengthening collaboration between local communities and global institutions. The three-day gathering of NGOs is organized by the Department of Public Information (DPI) in cooperation with the NGO/DPI Executive Committee and the participation of its associated NGOs and NGOs that have consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. If held outside of the United Nations Headquarters in New York, then the Department of Public Information will liaise with relevant authorities of the Host Country, at the local and national levels.

Looking Ahead

The Conference aims to build on what has already been accomplished by greater NGO and civil society participation in many of the debates taking place at the United Nations, including Informal Interactive Hearings by the General Assembly President with NGOs, civil society and private sector representatives. Speakers at the Conference are being asked to illustrate their work on the ground by real-life examples of effective partnerships to achieve the United Nations agenda, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To ensure the widest possible exchange of views and experiences, all NGO delegations are invited to appoint youth representatives under the age of 32.

As the largest gathering for NGOs taking place at the United Nations, the Conference has become an established forum for networking and exchange of views, opinions, expertise and best- practices on relevant issues. Beyond these, it has moved in recent times towards strategic partnership-building by inviting representatives of Member States to engage in dialogues with Conference participants. The Conference aims to provide a policy-building forum for NGO collaboration with the United Nations.

In addition to the plenary sessions and roundtables, the Conference includes an important number of NGO Workshops featuring the participation of civil society, United Nations, academia, government and private-sector representatives.


DPINGO Conference

Conference Segments

Roundtable Discussions. A series of fora where NGO representatives can exchange ideas and experiences with diverse experts.

NGO Workshops. These focus groups allow NGOs to interact with other colleagues about the work being carried out.

Exhibits. A space to showcase the work of NGOs and network with others that share similar interests.

Youth-led activities. Aimed at building partnerships across generations, strengthening the role of youth at the international arena.

Networking opportunities. A place for NGOs to meet organizations from other regions who share common interests and goals.

Side Events. An opportunity to participate in related side activities which reflect the theme of the Conference.

Conference Abroad

In 2008 the conference reached a new level when it celebrated its first edition outside the United Nations Headquarters in New York. In celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 61st UN DPI/NGO Conference took place in Paris, France under the theme “Reaffirming Human Rights for All”. The following year, the Conference was hosted by the City of Mexico, Mexico where the theme was “For Peace and Disarmament: Disarm Now!” In 2010 the Conference moved to Melbourne, Australia, where the discussion tackled the issue of global health, under the title: “Advance Global Health. Achieve the Millennium Development Goals.” The city of Bonn in Germany hosted the 64th UN DPI/NGO Conference under the banner: “Sustainable Societies. Responsive Citizens,” where the proceedings discussed sustainability and volunteerism.

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