November 25, 2019


International organizations are considered as key actor in supporting Palestinian civil society organizations and organizations working for Palestine. Many Palestinian civil society organizations, in cooperation with international NGOs, are partners in many projects supported and funded by international organizations. The Support from these international organizations has long been the basis for many specialized projects and programs related to Palestinian civil society organizations.

This report is a response to the roadmap drafted by some international bodies, led by the United Nations, which has developed a common strategic framework for engaging international organizations with civil society at the national level, to enhance the contribution of civil society in governance and policy building, host country development and guidance of Support, as well as to improve the effectiveness and impact, highlighting the contributions and actions of international organizations.

“The International platform of NGOs working for Palestine provides a specialized page on its website: the international Organizations Directory A roadmap for Palestinian CSOs' to build partnerships and actuate various support systems.”

Based on the analysis of the various support systems, and in consultation with the Palestinian civil society organizations working for Palestine, and reviewing the work programs of international organizations, which are in fact suitable for civil society organizations and cover most of their needs and affect well in the process of development of these organizations, a number of priorities have been identified Objectives and indicators, including:

  • Supporting the efforts of Palestinian civil society organizations in organizing their internal management and enhancing mechanisms of contribution and transparency.
  • Support and enhance financial stability of Palestinian civil society organizations.
  • Building and activating policy dialogue and mechanisms for participation and accountability and transition from local to national level and monitoring their implementation.
  • Supporting networking, interaction and communication systems between Palestinian civil society organizations and international support organizations.

Comprehensive cooperation with United Nations Bodies in relevance to Civil Society Organizations

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is the United Nations’ central platform for reflection, debate, and innovative thinking on sustainable development, based on three dimensions - economic, social and environmental. It is the main platform for encouraging discussion and innovative ideas, forging consensus to move forward, and for coordinating international efforts to achieve the agreed-upon goals. It is also responsible for the follow-up of most of United Nations conferences and summits.

The Council established a website (NGO Branch), as a focal point within the UN Secretariat for non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and for NGOs seeking status. The United Nations NGOs Division contributed to 5,083 of non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the United Nations related to the Economic and Social Council. In addition to other assistance which are provided to more than 47,000 NGOs working with the United Nations, including 345 Arab NGOs.

NGOs may submit their candidatures for consultative status with The Economic and Social Council. These consultative qualities are divided into three categories that allow NGOs to attend meetings and share information: public, specialized, inclusive. Interested NGOs should demonstrate their expertise, based on their experience and representativeness, and then be considered by the New York NGO Committee for nomination. The Council also includes the Partnership Forum, which promotes cooperation between Governments, businesses, foundations, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and parliamentarians.

Civil Society Unit

The Civil Society Unit within the United Nations’ Department of Public Information and Liaison Department is mandated to link the UN with non-governmental organizations and support the Department's efforts to disseminate information on the work and role of the United Nations.

The Department of Public Information collaborates with non-governmental organizations whose objectives are in line with the goals and principles of the United Nations through a variety of initiatives.

Currently, more than 1,450 NGOs have strong information programs on issues of concern to the United Nations and are currently formally linked to the Department of Public Information, providing the United Nations with valuable links with people and communities around the world. The Department of Public Information helps non-governmental organizations to access and disseminate information on a range of issues in which the United Nations participates, to enable them to carry out their activities more effectively in support of the United Nations Charter and to raise public awareness about the work of an organization.

Following the integration of the former UNOG with the Global Outreach Department, the Civil Society Unit provides strategic information, analysis and support to a wide range of stakeholders, using its unique convening and networking capacity to foster multi-stakeholder dialogue and build alliances on issues such as culture and education, human rights, peace and security, environment, economic and social development, health and population through the perspective of the entire United Nations system.

The United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF)

The United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), known as the Democracy Fund, was established to support projects aimed at strengthening the voice of civil society and human rights and encouraging the participation of all in the democratic process. UNDEF supports projects that strengthen the voice of civil society, promote human rights, and encourage the participation of all groups in democratic processes. The large majority of UNDEF funds go to local civil society organizations both in the transition and consolidation phases of democratization. In this way, UNDEF plays a novel and unique role in complementing the UN's other, more traditional work the work with Governments to strengthen democratic governance around the world. UNDEF subsists entirely on voluntary contributions from Governments.

It reached almost 170 million dollars in contributions and counts more than 40 countries as donors, including many middle- and low-income States in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The Fund provides grants ranging from US $ 100,000 to US $ 300,000 to support initiatives in the areas of: community activity, electoral processes, gender equality, media and freedom of information, the rule of law and human rights, enhanced civil society interaction with government, knowledge tools, and youth engagement. On average, the United Nations Democracy Fund receives about 2,000 to 3,000 proposals per year and only about 50 are selected.

The Integrated Civil Society Organizations (ICSO)

The Integrated Civil Society Organizations (ICSO) System, developed by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), facilitates interactions between civil society organizations and DESA. The system provides online registration of general profiles for civil society organizations, including address, contacts, activities and meeting participation, facilitates the application procedure for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and assists accredited NGOs in submitting quadrennial reports and in designating representatives to the United Nations for obtaining regular UN ground passes.

DESA has also created new Event Management System providing information on events and meetings related to economic and social development. The system also facilitates online pre-registration to any UN conference open for civil society participation, and allows for submission of NGO statements to the Economic and Social Council. Furthermore, it gives non-governmental organizations the opportunity to submit projects to the Best Practices Network. The ICSO System contains extensive statistical information about organizations in consultative status with ECOSOC, Rio+20, United Nations Population Fund, Department of Economic and Social Affairs Indigenous Peoples and in the areas of sustainable and social development, advancement of women, financing for development, forests and public administration.

The United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI)

The United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) is an initiative that aligns institutions of higher education with the United Nations in supporting and contributing to the realization of United Nations goals and mandates, including the promotion and protection of human rights, access to education, sustainability and conflict resolution.

Since 2010, UNAI has created a vibrant and diverse network of students, academics, scientists, researchers, think tanks, institutions of higher education, continuing education and educational associations.  There are over 1300 member institutions in more than 130 countries that reach millions of people in the education and research sectors around the world.

The work of these institutions is vital to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals as they serve as incubators of new ideas, inventions and solutions to the many global challenges we face.  United Nations Academic Impact provides the integral link to these stakeholders to ensure that the international community harnesses the energy and innovation of young people and the research community in service to humanity.

The United Nations University (UNU)

The United Nations University (UNU) is a global think tank and postgraduate teaching organization headquartered in Japan. The mission of the UN University is to contribute, through collaborative research and education, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare that are the concern of the United Nations, its Peoples and Member States.

In carrying out this mission the UN University works with leading universities and research institutes in UN Member States, functioning as a bridge between the international academic community and the United Nations system.