The 21st Century Trust

Ford Foundation’s Governance and Civil Society Unit – The 21st Century Trust is a Registered Charity, No. 295676

Linked with Michael Edwards – USA.

… In an age of “small” government and privatisation of increasing areas of state activity, NGOs need to understand and influence the private sector more than they have in the past. There are signs that some large firms are becoming increasingly aware of the need, in their own corporate interest, to take civic and environmental interests into account in their activities. There are some of course who take a more pessimistic view that the exploitative nature of free-market economics was by no means balanced by a general obligation to societies in the developing world. Both sides are agreed, however, that NGOs would do well to spend more time trying to understand and enlist the efforts of the private sector in support of their causes … (excerpt one of long text of “Global Civil Society”).

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Address: 21st Century Trust, 25 Museum Street, London WC1A 1JT, United Kingdom, Telephone: +44 (0)20 7323 2099, Fax: +44 (0)870 056 7163;
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More a out the 21st Century Trust;

“Global Civil Society”: In recent years, NGOs have had a major impact on world politics by, for example:

  • Agencies like the Red Cross, Christian Aid and Oxfam pioneered emergency relief as well as long-term development assistance – which are now core functions of intergovernmental cooperation – and are currently leading global campaigns on specific issues such as universal provision of primary education, regulation of the pharmaceutical industry or control of the arms trade;
  • When the UN was formed, the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) and other NGOs lobbied hard for NGO access, which was enshrined in Article 71 of the UN Charter and the creation of “consultative status” to the UN;
  • Pressure groups like Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the Sierra Club have pushed environment issues up the international agenda. The environment was not mentioned in the UN Charter but is now a major concern of governments and international agencies;
  • The global coalition Jubilee 2000 made debt cancellation for the world’s poorest people a high priority for the world’s richest countries, even if it did not fully achieve its objectives;
  • A world-wide coalition of NGOs cajoled a majority of the world’s nations to create an international Criminal Court, which will be set up in The Hague.

… (excerpt two of long text of “Global Civil Society”).

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