How can an CSO be associated with the UN Department of Global Communications – Civil Society Unit (UNDGC – CSO)?

HIGGS since 2017 has been associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications – Civil Society Unit (UNDGC – CSO). This Department was established in 1947, but its formal relations with Nonprofit Organizations (CSOs) dates back to 1968.

What is the Department’s ultimate goal?

The UNDGC aims to bring citizens across the globe together with its associated CSOs in order to help them understand better the Department’s work and objectives of the United Nations.

More specifically, the UNDGC consists of three divisions: 1) Strategic Communications Division, 2) News & Media Division and 3) Outreach Division. The Outreach Division is responsible for the Civil Society and acts as a link between the United Nations and CSOs. What’s more, this division is responsible for cooperating with the affiliated CSOs and offering them a wide range of informative services. Today, according to the United Nations Regional Information Center in Athens, 1,664 CSOs have been associated with the UNDGC.

What are the benefits for a CSO?

  • Weekly information for CSOs relating to the UNDGC and the United Nations
  • Opportunities for communication
  • Ability to attend the annual conference of the DGC/ CSO Department
  • Annual Repository Scheme for newly linked CSOs
  • Annual entry permits at the United Nations Headquarters for up to three representatives
  • Receiving regularly UN information material
  • List of the Associated CSOs
  • Ability to interact and exchange views with other CSOs
  • Website with information concerning past and forthcoming events, news and related issues and services
  • United Nations documents and publications
  • Audiovisual Library

Significant criteria for being associated with DPI

  • The CSO must support and respect the principles of the United Nations Charter
  • The CSO should be recognized at national or international level
  • The CSO must operate exclusively as a Nonprofit Organization and be exempted from taxation
  • The CSO must should be willing and possess the appropriate means to implement effective informative actions regarding UN activities (for instance, issuing newsletters and brochures, organizing conferences, seminars and roundtables, securing support for the media)
  • The CSO must submit an annual financial statement (in dollars) signed by an independent auditor
  • The CSO must have a statute that ensures a transparent decision-making process, selection of executives and members of the Board of Directors

Which is the application process?

  1. Application Completion (in English)
  2. Accompanying documents required:
  • Copy of the organization’s statutes (in English)
  • Official certificate from the public authorities on nonprofit making and the CSO tax exemption

*Note: The document must be on an official letterhead and indicate the date

  • Copy of the most recent annual balance sheet of the organization (in USD), signed by an independent auditor.
  • Elements for implementing an information program relevant to the United Nations: at least six (6) different types of samples from the most recent information material (e.g. newsletters, magazines, broadcasting material, conference reports).
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation from organizations / people you have worked with and are aware of your work.
  • One (1) letter of recommendation from the UNIC / UNIS / UNRIC organizations being associated or any part of the United Nations with which you have cooperated.

*Note: All documents must be in English or French, the two languages that are used by the United Nations Secretariat. Material in any other language must be accompanied by an informal translation in one of those two languages.

  1. The application and accompanying documents should be sent to the following e-mail: [email protected]

*Note: If files are large, we recommend sending them using the following tools: Google Drive, WeTransfer, Dropbox, One Drive.

  1. Once all the required documents have been received, they will be evaluated by the UNDGC. The CSO will then be informed of the date that the relevant committee will meet to evaluate the application and make a decision.
  2. Once its application is accepted, the association status is provided and the CSO will receive an accreditation form, which must be completed and sent to the Outreach Division.

*More information regarding the application process can be found here and in the United Nations Regional Information Center (in English).

What are the obligations for a CSO?

  • Completion every year of the accreditation form. It is important for all CSOs to update their contact details on an annual basis.
  • To update the DGC regarding any undertaken activities related to the Department’s objectives by submitting a yearly report.

Summarizing, the application process for getting associated with the UNDGC–CSO is considered as quite simple and easy. The DGC’s staff is highly willing to assist and respond to all your questions. Therefore, we would like to urge any Greek CSO that meets the above criteria, to apply and become Associated Member with UNDGC–CSO so as to contribute not only to the promotion of the United Nations work and but also to the enhancement of the international cooperation between civil society global actors.

Multilateralism isn’t just government coming together. It is also people…including civil society collectively stressing the importance of having strong multilateral partnerships.

Maher Nasser UN, DPI at UNNGO2018 Conference

Katerina Kaisari
Assistant Manager at HIGGS

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