UN-Nairobi Civil Society Conference 2024, Outcomes and Prospects

by iNigerian.com

By Kelly Ovie Umukoro

In the heart of Nairobi, Kenya, stakeholders from around the world converged for the annual United Nations Civil Society Conference. Over 3,600 civil society representatives from 2750 entities registered to attend the conference along with 400 representatives of 64 government representatives, seven international intergovernmental organizations, 37 United Nations entities and more than 100 reporters. Seventy percent of those who registered to attend were from Africa, and 40% of the registrants were between the age range of 18 to 34 years.

With the theme “Shaping a Future of Global and Sustainable Progress,” and with the aim of laying the groundwork for the upcoming summit in New York in September, it was a platform where major decisions were made concerning the future of our planet.

Even though the conference kicked off with a titillating cultural presentation from the Nairobi cultural trop,  serious business began with a reminder from co-chair of the planning committee of the conference Mr. Maher Nasser reminded about the heavy rains and flooding that left death and destructions across Kenya and neighboring countries According to Mr Nasser, extreme weather conditions once again should remind everyone of the impact of climate change one everyone at the conference.  

But it was Zainab Hawa Bangura. Director General of the United Nations office at Nairobi (UNON) who kicked off proceedings by talking about greening the blue initiative, and about the role of civil society in shaping policies. She made the call for a multi-stakeholder engagement.  Delegates, activists, and leaders shared their visions for a more sustainable and equitable world. The air was filled with anticipation and hope as discussions began on topics ranging from climate change, poverty alleviation to gender equality and human rights. One of the key outcomes of the conference was the development of a communication strategy put in place on the first day of the conference.  

Another key issue that arose from discussions on youth empowerment was initiated by Felipe Paullier, Assistant Secretary-General for Youth Affairs, who made a case for youth involvement in the decision-making processes in the countries that were represented at the Nairobi conference. With young activists from different countries sharing their experiences, challenges, and successes in driving positive change in their communities, the stage seemed set for a heightened sense of hope and optimism for the future of Africa.

Throughout the conference, ANEEJ participated in five (5) workshops, listened to panel discussions, and networking events, all aimed at fostering collaboration and collective action. Grassroots organizations shared their success stories and innovative solutions, inspiring others to take action in their own communities.

From participation at workshops and breakout sessions, we at ANEEJ built our capacity with the practical tools and strategies to enhance our advocacy efforts and organizational capacity. ANEEJ interacted with other participants on grassroots mobilization, fundraising, digital activism, and strategic communications, equipping with the skills needed to amplify impact. As the conference drew to a close, delegates worked tirelessly to draft a set of recommendations and commitments to be presented at the New York summit. These proposals outlined concrete steps to advance sustainable development, protect the environment and promote social justice on a global scale.

President of the Republic of Kenya Mr. William Ruto and the Secretary General of the United Nation Mr. Guterres made concrete resolutions to sustain the gains of the conference, with plans of continuing the important work that had begun in Nairobi. The two-day event came to a close with a call from the United Nations Secretary General calling for a bold and honest conversation among government and civil society to drive forward a shared vision for reinvigorated multilateralism, a better world and a brighter future for all.

As we returned to our respective countries, most of us carried with us a renewed sense of purpose of the important role that Civil Society plays in the development sector. For us in ANEEJ, the 2024 United Nations Civil Society Conference was a transformative experience. It sparked new partnerships, inspired us to embark on bold actions that will shape a future of global and sustainable progress. And so, as the world looks ahead to the Summit in New York, there is a sense of optimism and possibility in the air. The seeds of change had been planted in Nairobi, and now it is time for those seeds to bloom and flourish on the global stage. 

———- Kelly Ovie Umukoro, ANEEJ Procurement Officer, was in Nairobi, Kenya.

You may also like

Leave a Comment