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As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, the civil society organisations behind this joint statement have discussed the various outcomes achieved at this session of the Third Committee, despite additional challenges associated with the session being held mostly online.
The slender opportunities for civil society to engage with the Third Committee became even fewer during COVID-19 times as in-person restrictions did away with encounters with states delegates and UN officials at UN headquarters. Given this, it was deeply disappointing that more states did not extend an invitation to civil society organisations to join online informal meetings and defend the presence of civil society as observers. This was particularly disappointing, given that well before the start of the Third Committee session, in April, 14 civil society organisations called on UN agencies, mechanisms, and bodies to ensure that, in adapting their work to social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, they not limit the meaningful inclusion of civil society voices in UN discussions.
Read the full joint statement here.