Commission for Social Development

Since the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen in 1995, the Commission for Social Development has been the key UN body in charge of the follow up and implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action.

The NGO Committee on Social Development is dedicated to raising awareness and holding discussions on social development issues taken up by the UN System and in particular by the UN Commission for Social Development. The committee holds a Civil Society Forum and other capacity-building and outreach events on the occasion of the Commission.

Civil Society Forum

The Civil Society Forum is hosted jointly by UNDESA-DSPD, the NGO Committee on Social Development and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Foundation. The Forum is a time for NGOs worldwide to learn about each others’ work, to prepare for the Commission, including by work on position papers and interventions.


Csocd54 and Civil Society Forum 2016

Inequalities and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Rethinking and Strengthening Social Development in the Contemporary World.

The Civil Society Forum has been planned by the NGO Committee for Social Development in joint sponsorship with UN‐DESA Division for Social Policy and Development and the Friedrich‐Ebert‐Stiftung, New York Office. This Forum has been organized to prepare civil society participants to engage at the 54th Session of the Commission for Social Development (3‐12 February, 2016 at UNHQ in New York) as well as in ongoing discussions related to the application and evaluation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Speakers are invited to address and critique the Commission’s two year focus on “Rethinking and Strengthening Social Development in the Contemporary World” and, specifically, its relationship to the theme of inequalities which is a distinguishing feature of the new development agenda. The aim is that, at the end of these two days, participants will have developed concrete recommendations for the Commission, honed their understanding of the relationship between CSocD and Agenda 2030, and been galvanized to engage meaningfully both with governments in New York, and at the grassroots.

Csocd55 and Civil Society Forum 2017

Social Protection, Including Floors: A preeminent strategy to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development for all

The Civil Society Forum has been planned by the NGO Committee for Social Development in joint sponsorship with UN-DESA Division for Social Policy and Development. This Forum has been organized to prepare civil society participants to engage at the 55th Session of the Commission for Social Development (1-10 February, 2017 at UNHQ in New York) as well as in ongoing discussions related to implementation of social protection, including floors, at national and local levels. This space is to create an inclusive dialogue to foster cooperation between Member States, Civil Society and the United Nations. Speakers are invited to address and critique the Commission’s two-year focus on “Strategies for the eradication of poverty to achieve sustainable development for all” and, specifically, how social protection can help fulfil this objective. The aim is that, at the end of these two days, participants will have developed concrete recommendations for the Commission, honed their understanding of the relationship between poverty eradication and social protection, and been galvanized to engage meaningfully both with governments in New York, and at the grassroots

Csocd56 and Civil Society Forum 2018

Social Protection, Including Floors: A preeminent strategy to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development for all.

Achieving prosperity in its full sense requires the broadest and deepest possible participation in the economic and social life of society. Both within and across nations, the creation of social conditions that would end extreme poverty and, beyond this, provide all people with a genuine opportunity to flourish, and live in dignity throughout their lives, is among the greatest challenges of today. In recent years, social protection has emerged as a unifying concept for an array of measures aimed at building fairer and more inclusive societies. As a “set of policies and programmes designed to reduce and prevent poverty and vulnerability throughout the life cycle,” social protection “includes benefits for children and families, maternity, unemployment, employment injury, sickness, old age, disability, survivors, as well as health protection.” The establishment of social protection regimes has shown itself to be one of the most effective and straightforward strategies to simultaneously address human rights and fundamental material needs and to strengthen the capacity to constructively engage in the life of society at all levels. As such, it is a strategy that the international community has explicitly taken on as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Among its targets, Goal 1 of the Agenda, to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere,” calls for the implementation of “nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors,” as well as the achievement of “substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable” by 2030.

Csocd57 and Civil Society Forum 2019

Reclaiming Leadership on Social Well-Being: The Indispensable Role of Government in Promoting Social Protection and Transformative Fiscal and Wage Policy.

Across the globe, in diverse cultural and national contexts, signs abound of a fraying of the social fabric. Longstanding institutions and social arrangements are buckling in the face of a long-simmering dissatisfaction with the prevailing order, which is now erupting to the surface. Despite the gains that this order has brought about in many metrics of human well-being, large numbers of people have seen their opportunities stagnate, improve negligibly, or even decline. In this context, some leaders have sought to curtail public institutions’ traditional obligations to citizens, implementing austerity measures in the hope that free markets will pick up the slack. However, such an approach fails to reflect how long-term stability, prosperity, and trust are actually built within societies and the decisive role that government must play in bringing about such conditions.

Csocd58 and Civil Society Forum 2020

Affordable housing and social protection systems for all to address homelessness.

The Civil Society Forum has been planned by the NGO Committee for Social Development in joint sponsorship with UN-DESA Division for Social Policy and Development and Friedrich Ebert-Stiftung (FES). This Forum has been organized for civil society participants to engage with different experts from many perspectives on the 58th Session of the Commission for Social Development priority theme. This space is to create an inclusive dialogue to foster cooperation between Member States, Civil Society and the United Nations, and to unify behind a common vision in furtherance of the Sustainable Development Goals, and housing for all. The aim is for participants to develop a global understanding of homelessness, how to reduce it, and what policies we can advocate for. The forum will feature governmental, service, and lived experiences from all over the world, gathered here to share their successes, challenges, and recommendations for how to eradicate homelessness.

Csocd59 and Civil Society Forum 2021

Socially just transition towards sustainable development: the role of digital technologies on social development and well-being of all.

Digital technology has shrunk the planet, galvanized voices for social change and transformed the way we live forever. By enabling access to communications and information globally, technology has opened new doors toward advancements around the world. At the same time, in the context of the pandemic that affects us all today, the systemic weaknesses of our social and economic order have been dramatically exposed, pushing hundreds of millions of individuals and families into poverty. Now more than ever, synergies to pursue and adapt to a sustainable development that leaves no one behind must be explored and put in practice. Appropriately, the priority theme for the 59th session of the Commission on Social Development is “A Socially Just Transition to Sustainable Development: the role of digital technology and the well-being of all.” This theme stands as a recognition of the fact that, in spite of many gains in the last decade, the world community is still striving to achieve a just and sustainable path to Development and now faces the urgent need to harness the rapidly evolving new technologies for the benefit of all.