The Rev. Levi Bautista, assistant general secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS), has been elected president of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CONGO). Bautista, who is in charge of GBCS’s United Nations ministry, was elected at CONGO’s 23rd General Assembly, held last month in Geneva, Switzerland. He will serve through 2010.
CONGO is an independent, international, non-profit membership association of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). It facilitates the participation of NGOs in United Nations debates and decision making. CONGO is most active at the major UN centers of New York, Geneva and Vienna, but its work stretches out to all regions of the world.
CONGO was founded in 1948. Its chief objectives are to ensure that NGOs be present when governments discuss issues of global concern at the United Nations and to facilitate NGO discussions on such issues.
CONGO members represent a large range of vital interests, in areas such as human rights, gender, peace and disarmament, social justice, governance, environment and sustainable development.
The 23rd CONGO General Assembly was attended by nearly 300 persons representing some 140 NGOs and civil society organizations from 40 countries of all regions of the world, including more than 50 participants from Africa, Asia and Latin America. The General Assembly issued a call to action addressing peace and human security, gender equality and justice, human development and climate change, NGO solidarity with victims of violence, and sharing and sustaining resources.
Complete text of the call to action is available on the CONGO Web site at http://www.ngocongo.org/.