The normative frameworks of the United Nations form a strong foundation for defending civic space – from the international human rights norms and standards that protect freedom of assembly, association and speech, to Agenda 2030 that promote civic engagement through its calls for multi-stakeholder partnerships, inclusive societies and leaving no-one behind. But how can UN actors and platforms effectively reverse the trends of shrinking civic space and support civil society in practice?
Aiming to identify concrete ideas and opportunities for working with the UN to defend and expand civic space, the session will examine entry-points at various levels of the UN system, including the global UN fora, mechanisms and agencies and UN country teams in repressive environments. The session will combine brief presentations by representatives of the UN system and civil society with thematic group discussions where all participants share experiences and explore ideas.
Maina Kiai, former Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and to Association
Phil Matsheza, Regional Cluster leader for Governance and Peacebuilding, UNDP Regional Hub Bangkok
Micah Grzywnowicz, International Advocacy Advisor at Swedish Federation for LGBTQ Rights (RFSL), Member of the UNDP Civil Society Advisory Committee
Blazhen Maleski, Researcher at Reactor, Macedonia
Maja Åberg, Senior Policy Adviser, Amnesty International, Swedish Section
Matilda Hald, Programme Manager, Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation
The Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation
Key/search words for this session:
United Nations, international cooperation, civic space, partnerships, Agenda 2030, human rights