GCAP and Global Civil Society Organisations Call for Increased Inclusivity in SoTF Preparations

  • Concerns raised about limited space for civil society in the process, contrasting with UN’s commitment to inclusivity

  • Emphasis on a people-centric and open global governance approach

  • Concrete steps proposed include inclusive platforms, representative participation and a comprehensive review of civil society engagement

  • Anticipation for positive responses and collaboration to ensure a truly inclusive Summit of the Future process

In a joint statement co-authored by the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP), 380 civil society organisations (CSOs) and many GCAP members have urged key United Nations (UN) representatives to enhance inclusivity in the preparatory process for the Summit of the Future (SoTF).

Addressed to the Co-Facilitators of the Summit of the Future and to the President of the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly, the CSOs emphasize the importance of an inclusive and participative process.

The CSOs expresses gratitude to the co-facilitators for presenting the zero draft of the Pact for the Future and acknowledges the virtual consultation with Major Groups and Other Stakeholders (MGoS) and civil society representatives. However, it raises concerns about the limited space provided for civil society in the process, citing potential shortcomings in the commitment to inclusivity.

The organisations express regret over the perceived lack of meaningful engagement for civil society, contrasting with the UN’s commitment to inclusivity as outlined in Our Common Agenda by Secretary-General António Guterres. The statement emphasizes the need for a people-centric and open global governance approach, urging a reevaluation of the engagement framework.

Looking ahead to the Civil Society Conference in Nairobi, the statement stresses the necessity of an inclusive conference providing space for diverse and safe participation. It calls for sufficient resources to be allocated for meaningful involvement of a broad range of civil society stakeholders.

To address these challenges, the CSOs propose concrete steps for immediate action, including:

  • Establishment of inclusive platforms for engagement and open consultations for all
  • Representative participation in preparatory phases and negotiations
  • A comprehensive review of civil society’s meaningful engagement in UN processes to be incorporated into the Pact for the Future.

The statement advocates for mechanisms to ensure transparency, accountability and protection for civil society engagement, suggesting an Annual Civil Society Action Day to foster review and dialogue.

The CSOs express their anticipation for positive responses and fruitful collaboration, emphasizing the importance of incorporating diverse voices into the Summit of the Future process. The call aligns with the #UNmute campaign, advocating for the genuine integration of civil society contributions into shaping the future.

Download the UNMute CSO Statement – Summit of the Future in English here.

Download the UNMute CSO Statement – Summit of the Future in French here.

Download the UNMute CSO Statement – Summit of the Future in Spanish here.

GCAP Takes the Lead: Organising Key Events at WSF 2024 and APFSD to Address Global Challenges

Dear colleagues,

As we navigate through the intricate challenges facing our world today, the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) stands at the forefront of addressing the pressing issues that affect humanity and the planet. We delve into significant events that demand our collective attention and action.

World Social Forum (WSF):

The people of the planet are currently facing an unprecedented environmental crisis coupled with rising inequality, widespread food insecurities, war and majoritarian violence, as well as escalating tensions between major powers. In fact, humanity is on the brink of multi-faceted calamities that pose a grave threat to its very survival.

In this context, the 16th edition of World Social Forum (WSF) is taking place from 15 – 19th February 2024 in Kathmandu, where more than 1,000 civil society organisations and several individuals will gather to discuss issues affecting the humanity and the planet. NGO Federation of Nepal (GCAP Nepal) is playing a key role as part of the Nepal Organising Committee of the WSF 2024 to organise the forum.

GCAP is co-organising 3 events with NGO Federation of Nepal (GCAP Nepal), and 3 events with Action Aid Asia. If you are attending the WSF, you are requested to join the events.

Asia Pacific Forum for Sustainable Development (APFSD):

Moving forward, the 11th APFSD, themed « Reinforcing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and eradicating poverty in times of multiple crises: The effective delivery of sustainable, resilient and innovative solutions in Asia and the Pacific, » will be organised from 20-23 February. This significant gathering will take place at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand.

You are invited to participate in two official Side Events in APFSD organised by GCAP and members/alliance partners during APFSD.

Virtual side event:

The virtual side-event will be organised on the topic, “Advocating Universal Social Protection (USP) Floors for Asian Countries,” on February 21, 2024 (Wednesday), from 16.30 – 17.45 Bangkok time (GMT+7). Check your country time here.

Link to register: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYvcO-gqjIrGNZXd7-g4s6DIQWJmLAdbc6g

In-Person Side Event:

The in-person side-event will be organised on the topic, “Shaping Asia CSOs’ position for the Summit of the Future (SoTF) 2024,” on February 21, 2024 (Wednesday), from 11.30 am – 12.45 pm Bangkok time (GMT+7). Check your country time here.

It will be held in Room A, United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC), United Nations Building, Bangkok.

To register for this side event, please use this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeuMDjJMg516-ps-qIdEZ0c5GgUCML8Dpe6RzQc28CLuhPzFw/viewform

To attend the in-person side event, all registrants must also register on Indico to attend the APFSD by February 6 using the link: https://indico.un.org/event/1007683/

Please register using the option “Registration for Others” and choose your side event.  Those who do not register on Indico will not be able to access the United Nations Conference Center.

In solidarity,


Ingo Ritz

Director, GCAP

Declaration of the GCAP Global Assembly 2023 

–Call for Global Justice to Achieve the SDGs

The GCAP Global Assembly 2023 meeting in New York on 20 and 21 September 2023 calls urgent attention to the multiple crises we face as humanity and priority actions needed as a result. These challenges have brought us perilously close to a critical threshold, where ongoing and deepening conflicts in all regions and multiple attacks on human rights defenders threaten our common future and violate fundamental rights of all. Many of the planetary boundaries have been breached, jeopardizing the continuity of life as we know it. This is a consequence of the irreversible impacts of climate change, accelerated biodiversity loss, rising global temperatures and unprecedented monsoon floods as well as environmental pollution.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing economic, social and environmental inequalities highlighting the persistent failures to learn from our mistakes. This is evident in our continued adherence to a development model that disregards human rights obligations of governments and relies on exploitation of people and nature. In the name of economic recovery, unjust policies are being promoted, leading to austerity measures, xenophobia, setbacks in social progress, heightened conflicts, land dispossession from communities and the exacerbation of socio-environmental conflicts for the imposition of megaprojects, monocultures and carbon markets. We denounce complicity between states and transnational corporations which promote fallacious and bogus solutions to the climate emergency.

Download the GCAP Global Assembly 2023 here.

Read the Declaration here. 

Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Regional People’s Assembly Declaration 2023

People of all countries and regions are dealing with serious problems that need quick and determined action. It’s crucial to act urgently to tackle the complex challenges and global issues that could affect how we live our lives.

With the deepening of social, environmental, and economic inequalities caused by a development model based on the plunder and exploitation of peoples and nature, severe setbacks are occurring in human rights such as water, land, food, housing, habitat, and decent work. Additionally, in the territories, socio-environmental conflicts are being exacerbated due to the imposition of mega- projects, the expansion of monocultures, and carbon markets, all of this in complicity between states and transnational corporations.

We condemn authoritarianism, militarization, and the instrumentalization of judicial systems as a method to repress human rights defenders. These disastrous measures that seek to usurp the power of sovereign peoples lead to the closing of civic space and systematic violations of human rights, hindering progressive advancement in expanding rights, strengthening democracy, and consolidating the rule of law.

Read the Declaration here

Down the Declaration here in English and in Spanish.

Africa Regional People’s Assembly Declaration 2023

We, the participants attending the Africa Regional People’s Assembly online on September 6th, 2023, representing civil society organizations from across Africa to discuss shared concerns about pressing social justice issues on the continent, hereby jointly make the following calls to African governments, the African Union, the United Nations, and the international community: to work towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), enhance pandemic preparedness, address the national debt challenge, ensure social protection, peace, and security, and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Read the Declaration here.

Download the Declaration in English here; in French here.

European People’s Assembly Declaration 2023

As we reach the As we reach the midway midway point towards achieving the 2030 Agenda, our aspirations of delivering social justice, upholding human rights, ensuring fair distribution within and between nations, and building an environmentally conscious world for all appear increasingly distant and challenging to attain. Despite the relentless efforts of civil society and activists throughout the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) region, our fundamental political, financial, economic, and social systems face erosion due to austerity measures, xenophobia, conflicts, and lack of political will. These factors lead us to question the feasibility of fulfilling the visionary commitments made in 2015.

We call on UNECE governments to recommit to the pledges they made in 2015. This Regional People’s Assembly Declaration serves as a poignant reminder to policymakers, offering a set of recommendations aimed at advancing progress on the 2030 Agenda in the UNECE region in 9 thematic fields.

Read the Declaration here. 

Download the Declaration here

 Global People’s Assembly Declaration 2023

Halfway to Agenda 2030, we are still far from achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The draft 2023 Political Declaration fails to commit to the urgent action required to accelerate response towards the rising inequalities and poverty, for human rights, gender equality, social justice, peace, and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We demand governments match the political determination and persistence of civil society and activists, in all our diversity. Failure to achieve the SDGs – let alone make significant progress towards them – would be catastrophic for humanity and our planet.

This critical, interlinked Declaration of the 2023 Global People’s Assembly, co-created by over 40 national and regional People’s Assemblies and Global Peoples Assembly co-organizers, in all our diversities, is our shared and collective vision for a human-rights centered, gender transformative, intergenerational change to address the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and violence the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated, and to accelerate the faltering progress toward the achievement of the SDGs.

Download the declaration here 

Asia Regional People’s Assembly 2023 Declaration

This declaration has been adopted by all the 21 Organising Partners of the Asia People’s Assembly 2023, which was held online on September 5, 2023. Over 100 community members, CSO leaders, elected representatives, politicians and members from UN organisations participated in the Assembly. The declaration was used as input in the Global People’s Assembly 2023 at the SDG Mid-Point in September 2023.
Read the details of the declaration here.
Download the declaration here.

Global Week of Action Act4SDGs

Join the pubic action #FlipTheScript – The power is in our hands

The SDG story is about what most people want: more inclusive, peaceful and sustainable societies, no later than 2030. We know that, especially after two years of the pandemic that has turned the world upside down. It is time to react, reset, and restart. Old models have not delivered. We need new ones. That’s why people must rewrite the story that shapes a new reality. It’s about knowing that the impossible is possible – if we act together. It means taking back our world because it belongs to all people, not just a few. We need to flip the script to achieve a healthy, just and green world, the ambitions at the heart of the SDGs.

Let’s turn apathy into action. Turn fear into hope. Division into togetherness. More info here.

Last year’s Global Week to #Act4SDGs achieved its goal of collecting 100 million actions from all over the world. 100 million actions that had a positive impact on efforts to accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals and make a difference for both people and planet. During 16-25 September 2022, the UN SDG Action Campaign with partners, including GCAP, and other partners will scale up engagement across the world across the themes of climate, justice and peace – from igniting creativity, driving climate action, strengthening sustainable food systems, mobilizing local governments, bringing together youth movements, and much more – remarkable actions that showcase our collective commitment to ensuring a more sustainable environment and planet. All actions are captured and visualized on the website managed by GCAP and partners peoplesassembly.global, as wel as by the UN´s Global Map of SDG Action, which can be filtered down by country, region, SDG, and sector allowing us to report back at key UN milestone moments to show how collective action can lead to great change around the world. Visit act4sdgs.org for more information. 

GCAP Faces of Migration Event: SDGs and Migration in the EU – Presentation of Civil Society Report Time: Mar 2, 2022 02:00 PM Brussels

Please register here: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82616607251 In an uncertain world, with growing inequalities within and between countries, exacerbated by the impacts of COVID-19 and climate change, migration to and within Europe continues to divide public opinion and generate hostile policy responses, despite the contribution of migrants to the economic growth and well-being of their host countries and, through remittances, to their countries of origin. The event marks the publication of the Faces of Migration Report with the same title « SDGs and Migration in the European Union ». The full report is available here————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

GCAP side event at UN Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development

You can join the GCAP Africa/APSP Side event on Social Protection on 25 February 2022 at 7 am GMT with this ZOOM link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/81439340590 Many African countries remain behind or even off-track in different ways towards achievement of the SDGs by 2030 and Agenda 2063 goals. They are also moving at different paces. Increased food insecurity due to Covid 19 is a key challenge. With grassroots partners and networks in over 30 countries in Africa APSP and GCAP are working together on promoting social protection as a vital contributor to  end food insecurity in Africa. The experience of partners has shown how the impact of Covid 19 has exponentially increased food insecurity, breaking food chains and deepening already endemic poverty and hunger,  especially in rural areas. Currently Africa is the region with the lowest coverage of social protection, despite the Africa Unions recognition of its importance as a key element of recovery from Covid 19, that social protection tackles generalized insecurity and endemic poverty, and that the extension of social protection floors is fundamental to achieving the SDGs.

The side event will bring together civil society, grassroots organizations, UN agencies and VNR countries of Africa. Supported by an experienced moderator, panelists will bring experience of how social protection acts on food insecurity and hunger, giving up to date information and analysis on extending social protection coverage and its financing, and offering best practice examples for peer learning.  Civil society and grassroots panelists from Botswana  and Rwanda will share grassroots experience. Ms Valerie Schmitt,  ILO, will speak on social protection coverage and current opportunities and challenges; Ms Bintia Stephen Tchicaya, FAO will share up to date analysis and recommendations on food insecurity. The  4th time VNR reporting country of Togo will be invited to offer lessons learned in the VNR process. Mr Oyebisi Babatunde from the National NGOs Network of Nigeria shall moderate the event proceedings. Mr Simon Nhongo, Board member of the Africa Platform for Social Protection will give closing remarks . Key messages from the event will be submitted to the Forum organisers for inclusion in the final Declaration.


GCAP has co-produced key reports on inequalities and sustainability:

On 25 September 2015, the 193 Member States of the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The purpose, as written on the top of the agenda, is Transforming our World. The agenda is universal – for all countries – whether in the North or South – ending the differentiation between developing and developed countries. One core principal of the agenda is “Leave No One Behind”. The Agenda has 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). During the preparation process of the Agenda, GCAP national coalitions in 39 countries organized consultations at local and national level – involving communities and civil society – to develop the demands, which were brought to national governments and regional and global processes. Please see the global report here. Based on the consultations, GCAP insisted on putting addressing inequalities at the center and facilitating the active participation of people in the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. In 2015, GCAP together with partners mobilized 32 million people all over the world to act against poverty, inequality and climate change. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) go far beyond the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and offer the hope of a future where people live in harmony on a safe, sustainable planet. Unlike the MDGs, the SDGs include goals on inequalities, peace, decent work, justice and transparency while also vowing to end violence against women and children, human trafficking and dangerous climate change. While GCAP welcomes the adoption of the Agenda 2030, we recognize that the Agenda is a compromise of 193 governments. Together with the Paris Climate Agreement, this was one important step for solving the world’s most pressing problems. Still we criticize the weakness of the discussion on the structural and root causes of inequalities and poverty. Especially, there is no critical assessment of the role of the private sector, which is only portrayed as part of the solution, even though businesses often exacerbate inequalities, including gender inequality, poverty and climate change. GCAP will continue to challenge the structural aspects and causes of inequalities and poverty. We will hold all actors to account – including governments, private sector and international institutions, including the UN. To achieve the SDGs, policies that promote equality such as tax justice, decent work, distributive measures, social protection and gender equality are crucial. GCAP works at local, national, regional and global levels to monitor the implementation of the SDGs in order to ensure that countries achieve the goals and meet and exceed the targets for all groups. GCAP focuses on a bottom-up approach to engage people and governments. Our strategy of engagement with this framework is captured by the expression, “Localising SDGs – Supporting Local Communities Fighting for Justice.” This includes working with coalitions (especially NGOs, women’s organizations, youth groups, trade unions), as well as other constituencies and partners at national, regional and global levels based on grassroots-level work. GCAP works on the whole Agenda 2030, but especially on Leave No One Behind and the following four SDGs:

Voluntary National Reviews

Each UN member state reports every few years to the High-Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development (HLPF). GCAP National Coalitions influence governmental Voluntary Nation Reviews (VNRs) and also prepare and contribute to independent civil society reports. Some examples include:

Global Day / Week of Action – 25 September

Since the Agenda 2030 was approved on 25 September 2015, we use this day to hold governments accountable in the public. Each year we demand the implementation of the Agenda 2030 with a focus on inequalities and the participation of socially excluded groups. On 25 September 2017, GCAP initiated in cooperation with the UN SDG Action Campaign the Global Day of Action – Act4SDGs to mark the anniversary of the SDGs. Many CSOs from local and national level, and also regional and global CSO networks joined and made the day a success. https://youtu.be/aRUgs2Wpcqc

Coalition Building: National, Regional and Global Coalitions

National – Many GCAP national coalitions coordinate or are part of national coalitions on the Sustainable Development and the SDGs. They include different sectors of civil society – working on social, environment, climate and human rights, organisations of women, youth, older people, trade unions, different constituency groups as people with disabilities, indigenous peoples, Dalits. Examples: Japan, Nepal, IndiaKenyaSenegalSpainBelgium, Argentina Regional – GCAP coalitions, regional coordinators and representatives co-founded several regional SDG networks in cooperation with other networks for regional coordination and advocacy – with regional organisations as the African and the European Union and with the UN regional bodies.