World Summits & Conferences

Grant Making on a Global Stage


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For information about the United Nations and U.N. summits see the web site of the U.N. Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NLGS). The NLGS office helps NGOs and others learn how to enter and participate in the summit process, including implementation and follow-up activities. NLGS often provides orientation sessions prior to PrepComs. Of particular interest on the site is a planning document, “Gender on the Agenda: A Guide to Participating in Beijing+5,” which was prepared to assist NGOs prior to the five-year follow-up to the Beijing Conference on Women. It contains useful logistical and strategic information on how NGOs can prepare for any summit.

Within the United Nations’ web site, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) provides listings of past and upcoming U.N conferences and General Assembly special sessions. Information on a particular summit can generally be found via links to the functional U.N. commissions at. The ECOSOC site also provides a section on NGO participation, with directions on how to obtain consultative status.

The Non-Governmental Organizations Section of the U.N.'s Department of Public Information (DPI) also offers programs and information for NGOs, including briefings, orientations, and an annual conference.

Another organization that supports participation by civil society organizations in U.N. summits is the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CONGO).

There is no central clearinghouse for information about international conferences and meetings that take place outside the umbrella of the United Nations. For information on the biennial International AIDS Conferences and related meetings, see the web site of the International AIDS Society. To learn more about the World Social Forum, how it is organized, and how to participate, visit their web site.

The major multilateral financial institutions offer some information on upcoming meetings. See the web sites of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization.