The pandemic has had immense consequences for civil societies across the world. Currently, there is a danger that Covid-19 might result in the literal “muting” of civil society actors at this year’s virtual HLPF meeting at the UN. The active participation of civil society in UN forums is crucial in order to secure that UN efforts respond to the needs of the people it oversees.

Therefore, GCAP is part of the 460 civil society organisations from across the world who have signed a joint letter calling on UN member states to ensure civil society participation at the UN. Share and support this letter using #InclusiveUN.

Download the full letter here.

June 2020

Dear Excellencies,

We, the undersigned 460 civil society organisations (CSOs) from 115 countries, write to seek your support in ensuring the effective participation of civil society during the upcoming UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF) scheduled for 7-16 July 2020. As the preeminent multistakeholder body responsible for the review and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), HLPF processes derive strength from the engagement of diverse actors including a broad range of civil society organisations working at various levels. As the HLPF transitions to virtual communication and convening for its July 2020 session due to the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential that all relevant actors, including States and UN agencies, support and devise clear modalities to enable robust virtual civil society participation.

In response to disruptions caused by COVID-19, a number of Inter-governmental bodies have taken concerted efforts to facilitate extensive virtual participation in official meetings. Inclusive virtual modalities are crucial to supporting international cooperation in the spirit of multilateralism. An enabling environment for all stakeholders to participate that takes into account digital divides is thus crucial.

In his “We are all in this Together” statement of 23 April 2020, UN Secretary General António Guterres underlined the importance of promoting and protecting civic space in response to COVID-19. With respect to the SDGs, Secretary General Guterres unequivocally stated that, “Looking ahead, we need to build back better. The Sustainable Development Goals — which are underpinned by human rights — provide the framework for more inclusive and sustainable economies and societies”. Civil society is key to implementing the SDGs and we must take united action to ensure that the virtual HLPF reflects the broad spectrum of stakeholders who are committed to creating The World We Want.

To this end, we urge all states and UN agencies to support the following measures:

  • Provide an opportunity for at least three Major Group and Other stakeholders to respond to each Voluntary National Review (VNR), one of which should be from civil society.
  • Representatives from national civil society groups voices should be prioritized for inclusion during the HLPF, with adequate representation from regional and international civil society organisations.
  • Written questions should also be presented and answered within a month of the HLPF for those who are unable to ask their question within the given time of the VNR session.
  • All civil society shadow VNR reports should be published on the UN’s official HLPF website.
  • Ensure side events are inclusive of stakeholder participation, including a wide range of civil society led side online events to be shared in the official programme.
  • Identify more participatory approaches to engage with stakeholders on an ongoing basis, including best practice on use of online meeting technology to provide inputs, to ensure a more inclusive process before, during and after the main HLPF sessions

We thank you in advance for your consideration.


A Toda Voz AC
Aakash Welfare Society Hyderabad
Access Now
Acción Solidaria
ACCIONA Transformando
Caminospara SER y HACER A.C.
Accountability Lab
Achtung labs private limited
ACT Alliance
ActionAid Denmark
ActionAid International
Action for Sustainable Develpment
ADAB (Association of Development Agencies in Bangladesh)
ADD International
Adivasi Women’s Network
Adivasi-Koordination, Germany
Advocacy, Research, Training and Services (ARTS) Foundation
Afghan NGOs Coordination Bureau (ANCB)
Ageing Nepal
Agenda Cero A.C.
Aid Organization
AIDS-Fondet – The Danish AIDS Foundation
AidWatch Canada
Al Dua welfare organization
Al Falah Organization Islampur Swat
Alberta Council for Global Cooperation
Alfalah Tanzeem Swat
Alimentos de México aCompartir, A. C.
Alkhidmat Foundation GB
Allai Developement Organization
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Amnesty International
Amnistia Inernacional, Portugal
Animis Philanthropic Ventures Inc.
Arab Youth Platform for Sustainable Development – League of Arab States
ARCADIA – Romanian
Association for International Cooperation and Development
Argentine Network for International Cooperation – RACI
Asia Dalit Rights Forum
Asia Development Alliance
Asia-Pacific Human Rights Information Center
Asian Solidarity Economy Council (ASEC)
Asociación de Organismos No Gubernamentales (ASONOG)
Asociación Mexicana de Amigos Metabólicos, A.C. A.C.
Asociación Nacional de Síndrome de Williams AC
Association femmes leadership et développement durable
Association for Farmers Rights Defense, AFRD
Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia
Association For Promotion Sustainable Development
Association Nationale des Partenaires Migrants
Associations 21
Augustinians International (Curia Generalizia Agostiniana)
Avoid Accident
Awaz Foundation Pakistan
Azat Foundation
Bai Indigenous Womens Network in the Philippines
Bangladesh Indigenous Women’s Network
Bangladesh Nari Progati Shangha (BNPS)
Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio & Communication
Born Free Foundation
Bright Star Development Society Balochistan (BSDSB)
British Columbia Council For International Cooperation
Bulgarian Platform for International Development (BPID)
Burundi Child Rights Coalition (BCRC)
CAFSO-WRAG for Development
Canadian Council for International Co-operation
Cancer Aid Society
Caribbean Coalition for Development and the Reduction of Armed Violence (CDRAV)
Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO)
Center for Civil Liberties
Center for Environmental Concerns – Philippines
Center for National and International Studies
Centre for Environmental Justice
Centre for Human Rights and Development
Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur
Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion (CSEI)
Centre for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights
Centro de Arte y Cultura Popular Tonalteca A.C.
Centro de Justicia y Paz – Cepaz
Centros de cuidado, Atencion y educación integral coralitos AC
ChildHelp Sierra Leone
Christian Blind Mission
Church of Sweden
Church Women United Washington DC Unit
Civic Initiatives
CIVICUS: World Alliance for World Alliance for Citizen Participation
Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development
Civil Society SDGs Campaign/GCAP Zambia
CIVILIS Derechos Humanos
Colectivo Ollin, Alternativas para la Comunicaciòn, la Sexualidad y el Desarrollo
Comunitario AC Colectivo pro Inclusión e Igualdad Jalisco, A. C.
Colores del Rincón A.C. – MY World México
Commons Cluster of the UN NGO Major Group
Commons for EcoJustice
Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI)
Commonwealth Medical Trust
Community Advancement through Research & Development CARD
Community Initiatives for development in Pakistan
Comunidad de Organizaciones Solidarias
Concord Italia
Congrégation des soeurs de Notre Dame de Charité du Bon Pasteur
Congregation of Notre Dame de Montreal
Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
Congregation of the Mission
Consorcio para el Diálogo Parlamentario y la Equidad Oaxaca A.C:
Cooperation for Peace and Development (CPD)
CoopeSoliDar R.L
Coordinación de ONG y Cooperativas CONGCOOP
Council for NGOs in Malawi – CONGOMA
Council for Participatory Development
Crispin Swedi Bilombele
CRV & Co
D.C. Unit Church Women United
Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation
Dalit NGO Federation, Nepal
Dalit Youth Alliance (DYA)
Danish United Nations Association
Dawn Development Organization
Debasis Chowdhury Rana
DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project)
Dehi Ijtimai Tarqyati Social Workers Council (DITSWC)
Dehi Taraqiati Tanzeem (DTT) BILLITANG KOHAT KPK
Derecho, Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (DAR)
Desértica, Soluciones Endovasculares A.C.
Despertares Derechos Humanos
Development Dynamics
DHEWA (development for health education work & awareness) Welfare Society Chakwal Bheen
Dillu Prasad Ghimire
District Development Association
District Development Association Tharparkar (DDAT)
Dominican Leadership Conference
Dr. Tristaca McCray
DSW (Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung)
DUF – The Danish Youth Council
Earth Community
East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)
Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research
Edmund Rice International
Empresa marhnos®
Environmental Partnership Council
EOS – Association for Studies, Cooperation and Development
Equality Bahamas
Equality For All Development Organisation
Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation
Ethiopian Human Rights Council
European Youth Forum
Fagaras Research Institute
Federation of Environmental and Ecological Diversity for Agricultural Revampment and Human Rights
Feminist Dalit Organizations (FEDO)
FIAN Sri Lanka
Finnish Development NGOs Fingo
Fixing The World
FOKUS – Forum for Women and Development
Fondazione Proclade Internazionale – onlus
Food Security Network-PRAN
Foreign Spouses Support Group and Malaysian Campaign for Equal Citizenship
Former Commissioner, National Human Rights Commission Nepal
Forum for Women in Democracy
Forum of women’s NGOs of Kyrgyzstan
Forum Syd
Foundation for Older Persons’ Development (FOPDEV)
Foundation For Sustainable Development and Climate Action (FSDCA)
Freshwater Action Network Mexico (FANMex)
Friends of Angola
Fundación Dibujando un Mañana
Fundación Heinrich Böll – Ciudad de México, México y el Caribe
Fundación Mexicana de Medicina Paliativa y Alivio del Dolor en Cáncer A.C.
Fundación Mexicana para la Planeación Familiar, A. C. MEXFAM
Fundación MYWM- MY World México
Fundación Sanders AC
Gals Forum International
Gatef organization
GESIP Centro para la Gestión Integral y Participativa S.C.
Gestión Estratégica para Resultados de Desarrollo S.C.
Gestos (soropositividade, comunicação, gênero)
Global Call to Action Against Poverty
Global Citizen
Global Integrity
Global NGO Executive Committee
Global Shepherds
Globalt Fokus
Good Shepherd International Foundation- Nepal
Good Shepherd Sisters
Gopal Kiran Samaj Sevi Sanstha
Governance, Elections, Advocacy, Research Services (GEARS) Initiative Zambia
Gram Bharati Samiti (GBS)
Groupe d’Action pour le Progrès et la Paix (G.A.P.P.-Afrique)
Groupe d’Action pour le Progrès et la Paix (G.A.P.P.-BÉNIN)
Groupe d’Action pour le Progrès et la Paix (G.A.P.P.-Mali)
Grupo Holístico para el bienestar investigación y desarrollo social Integral, A.C
HAKI Africa
HelpAge Deutschland
Hevas Innovación
Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP)
IMCS Pax Romana
IMS (International Media Support)
Incidencia y Gobernanza Ambiental AC
Institute for Socioeconomic Studies – INESC
Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary -Loreto Generalate
Instituto de Comunicación y Desarrollo (ICD)
Instituto Potosino de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica, AC
International Association for Religious Freedom Coordination Council for South Asia
International Commission of Jurists
International Federation of Business and Professional Women
International IPMSDL
International Movement for Advancement of Education Culture Social & Economic Development (IMAECSED)
International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists
International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development
International Open Network
International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR)
International Planned Parenthood Federation
International Service for Human Rights
International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA)
International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs
Jaag Welfare Movement
Jairos Jiri Association
Jandran Welfare Foundation
Japan Civil Society Network on SDGs
Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation (JANIC)
Jeunes Verts Togo
Julián Carrillo My Words México Kids
Juventud 2030 GTO.
K.U.L.U. – Women and Development (KULU)
Kafka Welfare Organization
Kamal Subedi
Kanimi EcoTienda
Karapatan Alliance Philippines
Kathak Academy
Khpal Kore Organization
Kothowain (Vulnerable Peoples Development Organization)
Kyawkrup Foundation La Transformación del Graffiti al
Arte Pictorico, A. C.
Lanakaná Princípios Sustentáveis
Lanka Fundamental Rights Organization
Latvian Platform for Development Cooperation
Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada
Lepaje Environmental Organization
Let There Be Light International
LGBT+ Danmark
Life Education and Development Support (LEADS)
Light for the World
LSO Sada-e-Thal Welfare Organization
Lutheran World Federation (LWF)
Malaysian CSO SDG Alliance
Maldives NGO Federation
Maleya Foundation
Maranatha Hope
Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic, Inc. Más Coudadanía, AC
Mechanism for Rational Change MERC
Medical Mission Sisters
Mihai and Maria Foundation
Mitini Nepal
MPact Global Action for Gay Men’s Health & Rights
Mujer Y Salud en Uruguay – MYSU
MY World Mexico
Myanmar Youth Foundation for SDG
Nagorik Uddyog
Natasha Dokovska
National Advocacy for Rights of Innocent-NARI Foundation
National Campaign Against COVID-19
National Campaign for Education Nepal
National Campaign for Sustainable Development Nepal
National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights
National CSO Platform of Sri Lanka
National Integrated Development Association (NIDA-Pakistan)
National Organization for Sustainable Development (NOSD)
National Trade Union Center (NTUC Phl)
National Youth Council of Russia
Neelab Children and Women Development council
Neighbourhood Community Network
Nepal Development Initiative (NEDI)
Nepal Climate Change Federation
Nepal National Dalit Social Welfare Organization
Nepal SDGs Forum
NGO Federation of Nepal
NGOCSW/NYC Women and Girls of African Descent Caucus N. America, Latin America and the Caribbean Descent N.
Nigeria Network of NGOs
Noakhali Rural Development Organization
Observatory of Vulnerable peoples’ Rights (OVPR)
Okogun Odigie Safewomb International Foundation (OOSAIF)
ONAAR Development Organization
Open School of Sustainable Development (Openshkola)
Organizacion Mexicana de Enfermedades Raras
Organización por la Cooperación Ecológica A.C.
Organization for the Marginalized And Neglected Groups OMANG
Our Fish, Denmark
Outreach Social Care Project – OSCAR
OutRight Action International
Pakistan Development Alliance (GCAP-Pakistan)
Parliamentarians Commission for Human Rights
Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA)
Participatory Research Action Network- PRAN
Peace Infinity
Peace Justice Youth Organization
Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement
Plan International
Plataforma de ONG de Accion Social
Plataforma Portuguesa das ONGD (NGDO Portuguese Platform)
Portuguese National Youth Council
Portuguese Platform for Women’s Rights
POSCO Agenda 2030/GCAP Sénégal
Potohar Organization for Development Advocacy (PODA)
Programa Venezolano de Educación-Acción en DDHH (Provea)
Projonma Academy
Promotora Juvenil don Bosco AC
Proyecto Cantera Juntos por México AC
Purvanchal Rural Development and Training Institute
Radanar Ayar Association
Real Vision Development Organization
Reality of Aid – Asia Pacific (RoA-AP)
Red Agenda 2030 MX
Red Ciudadana 2030 por el Desarrollo Sostenible
Red de Educadores Ambientales de Chihuahua
Red Nicaraguense de Comercio Comunitario (RENICC)
Regional Centre for International Development Cooperation (RCIDC)
Rescue Alternatives Liberia (RAL)
Research Centre for Gender, Family and Environment in Development (CHFED)
Réseau Centrafricain au Leadership des Jeunes Femmes en Afrique Francophone
Réseau de Défenseurs des Droits Humains de l’Afrique Centrale (REDHAC)
Roberto ravagnani
Rozaria Memorial Trust
Rural Area Development Programme (RADP)
Rural community devlipment council Gwadar
S.O.S. – Criança e Desenvolvimento Integrale de ANG
SAHARA Voluntary Social Welfare Agency
Sahara Welfare Foundation
Saif Khan
Sami Foundation
Saudi Green Building Forum
Save the Children International
School of International Futures
SDG Action Alliance Bangladesh
SDGs National Network Nepal
SDSN Youth Mexico
Semillas para la Democracia
SEND-GHANA/Ghana CSOs Platform on the SDGs
SERR Servicios Ecumenicos para Reconciliacion y Reconstruccion
Sex & Samfund / The Danish Family Planning Association
Shaur Taraqiyati Tanzeem
Shirley Ann Sullivan Educational Foundation
Shivi Development Society
Sindh Desert Development Organization
Sindh Rural Development Organization
Sistemico, Regeneración Socioambiental AC
SLOGA Slovene NGO Platform for Development, Global Education and Humanitarian Aid
Slum Child Empowerment and Development Initiative
Smile Myanmar
Social and Economic Develepment Associares (SEDA)
Social Economic and Governance Promotion Centre
Society for Access to Quality Education
Society for Education and Development
Society for Indigenous Women’s Progress
Society for Sustainable Development
Society for the Empowerment of the People
Soka Gakkai International
Soñando y Construyendo por un México Mejor a.c
Soroptimist International
Spektro Asociación para el Desarrollo Social
Sri Lanka Nature Group
Sudan SDGs Platform
Sukaar Welfare Organization
Sustainable Agriculture and Environment.
Sustainable Development Organization (SDO)
Taiwan AID
Takhleeq Foundation
Taraqee Foundation
Teerath Kumar
Temple of Understanding
Teresa Kotturan
The Inclusivity Project
The National Civic Forum – Sudan
The National Council of NGOs/Action on Sustainable Development Goals Kenya Coalition
The Nationwide Movement Yuksalish
The Norwegian Forum for Development and Environment
Think Centre
Tirtha Biswokarma
Toktli Educación Ambiental
Uganda National NGO Forum
Uganda Network of Young
People living with HIV/AIDS (UNYPA)
UNA Sweden
Unanima International
UNANIMA International
Union de l’Action Féministe
Unión Nacional de Instituciones para el Trabajo de Acción Social – UNITAS
Unitarian Universalist Association
United Disabled Person of Kenya
United Global Organization of Development (UGOOD)
United Nations Association of Fiji
Universidad Anáhuac Mayab
Universidad Tecnológica de los Valles Centrales de Oaxaca
Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights
Vabieka Fest, Festival Internacional de Payasas.
Validity Foundation – Mental Disability Advocacy Centre
Varieties of Democracy Institute
VIER PFOTEN International
Village Development Organization (VDO)
Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund (DBA- Women First International Fund)
Vision GRAM-International
Voces de Cambio, Agenda para el Desarrollo
Voices for Interactive Choice and Empowerment (VOICE)
Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO)
Wada Na Todo Abhiyan
Water, Environment & Sanitation Society (WESS)
Women & Child Welfare Society
Women Deliver
Women’s Center for Guidance and Legal Awareness
Women’s Rights and Democracy Centre (WORD Centre)
WomenShade Pak
World Animal Net
World Federalist Movement – Canada
Youth Action Hub Guinea – CNUCED
Youth For Environment Education And Development Foundation (YFEED Foundation)
Youth Inter-Active
Yuma Inzolia
YZ Proyectos de Desarrollo a.C.
Zakir Hossain
Zonta International