Home

Little visible civil society presence at UN summit

14 September 2005

From a quick walk around the UN buildings and surronding area, I'd say Solana Larsen is right (see previous post) to say New York is so far underwhelmed by the presence of more world leaders together in one place at the same time since the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 for a summit predicated on "bold reform".

I was quite surprised to see no organised presence on the streets outside by NGOs like Oxfam calling for the UN to meet the Millennium Development Goals (however problematic those goals may be  - see Amir Attaran in the Sep 13 New York Times and this response from Jeffrey Sachs), or even the recommendations of the UN High Level Panel itself.

Indeed, the most conspicuous token of "civil society" presence I have seen so far is a giant poster right pretty much opposite one of the main entrances to the compound advertising brokenpromisesmovie.com . This comes from a group called Citizens United, whose American Sovereignty Project aims for "complete U.S. withdrawal from the United Nations, defeat of the treaty to establish a permanent U.N.-controlled International Criminal Court, and rejection of one-world government".

Who's getting rich from COVID-19?

Boris Johnson's government stands accused of 'COVID cronyism', after handing out staggering sums of money to controversial private firms to fight COVID-19. Often the terms of these deals are kept secret, with no value-for-money checks or penalties for repeated failures which cost lives. And many major contracts have gone directly to key Tory donors and allies – without competition.

As COVID rates across the country surge, how can we hold our leaders accountable? Meet the lawyers, journalists and politicians leading the charge in our free live discussion on Thursday 1 October at 5pm UK time.

Hear from:

Dawn Butler Labour MP for Brent Central and member of the House of Commons Committee on Science and Technology

Peter Geoghegan Investigations editor, openDemocracy, and author of 'Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics'

Jolyon Maugham Barrister and founder of the Good Law Project.

Peter Smith Procurement expert and author of 'Bad Buying: How Organisations Waste Billions through Failures, Frauds and F*ck-ups'

Chair: Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief of openDemocracy

Had enough of ‘alternative facts’? openDemocracy is different Join the conversation: get our weekly email

Comments

We encourage anyone to comment, please consult the oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.
Audio available Bookmark Check Language Close Comments Download Facebook Link Email Newsletter Newsletter Play Print Share Twitter Youtube Search Instagram WhatsApp yourData