Full funding of the United Nations system is crucial, and that decreases being made to the UN budget imperil not only the ability of this global institution to do its work, including implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, but also the access of NGOs to this international body.
Adopting a resolution on UN funding, the 26th General Assembly of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO), meeting at John Knox International Centre in Geneva, Switzerland on 1-3 March 2018—underlined "the vital role the United Nations System can and must play in fostering, managing and coordinating the achievement of the SDGs, engaging and building on the commitment, competence and responsibility of civil society organizations worldwide."
The assembly deliberated on the consequences of the regular budget cuts decided by the UN General Assembly for the current biennium and unanimously adopted the resolution reproduced below.
Sounding the alarm, assembly delegates stressed "the negative effects of the reduction of resources for public information and the participation of and consultation with non-governmental organizations in the work of the United Nations".
The delegates called on CoNGO's Board "to engage and mobilize in partnership with the worldwide civil society community to strengthen its advocacy with governments and all relevant actors to provide the United Nations System with the resources it so justifiably needs."
The assembly resolution has since been submitted to the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva as a written statement. It was submitted in view of the current discussion on creating so called "efficiencies" in the programme and work of the Human Rights Council caused by the cuts in the regular UN budget for the 2018-2019 biennium.
The NGO Committee on Development (Geneva) took the lead in organizing several side events during 2017 on financing the UN. These side events asked the question "Can increasing global tasks be addressed with declining budgets?"
In November 2017 a broad coalition of NGOs, including CoNGO, organized a conference in New York on the perils and challenges of a shrinking UN budget. It was followed by a joint NGO appeal to the UN General Assembly prior to the adoption of the 2018-2019 budget.
See full text of resolution in different languages.