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The intersection of acting locally and thinking globally: The United Nations Civil Society Conferenc

Updated: Sep 23, 2021


Women of the World is excited to welcome civil society, non-governmental organizations (NGO), and representatives of both the public and private sectors to Salt Lake City next week, 26-28 August for the The United Nations Civil Societies Conference.

Thanks to Mayor Biskupski’s leadership and the volunteer efforts of many including numerous leaders in Salt Lake City’s non-profit community, this conference promises to be a showcase of Salt Lake City’s local actions and solutions for some of the most pressing issues facing the planet and its populations. Women of the World has contributed numerous volunteer hours in the planning of this conference and will have an exhibit in the public hall.

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Women of the World’s Founder and Executive Director, Samira Harnish, has served as a Co-Chairwoman in the planning of the Thematic Sessions of the conference. There will be 11 total thematic sessions touching on both global and local issues including: Climate Change, Technology, Infrastructure, Peaceful Societies, Education, and the role of civil societies. In addition to opening and closing ceremonies and speeches by world leaders and dignitaries, NGOs have the opportunity to conduct workshops, display their services at an exhibit, and have their voice heard in the outcomes document.

Samira was selected to speak on the Peaceful Societies Thematic Session Panel (Link to Livestream She is excited to be on this worldly and august panel, “I am honored to speak on behalf of the clients of Women of the World, women whose courage in the face of adversity, their striving to self-reliance, strengthens our resolve to ensure that peace is possible.”

Women of the World and the community of Salt Lake City have silently and consistently performed the actions that promote the accomplishment of the Sustainable Development Goals–the key milestones humanity will need to solve in order to overcome the existential threats to people and populations. This is acting locally. This is developing safe and inclusive communities that lend a helping hand to a neighbor in need and offer opportunities to self-reliance through our industry and our humanity. This is the reason that Salt Lake City is the first city in the United States away from the U.N. Headquarters in New York to host the Civil Societies conference.

Our global problems are solvable, but it will take all of us. It will take a commitment to working with one another, of giving a helping hand to those in need, and of executing on the best plans of scientists and those in civil society that are on the ground and helping when and where they are needed. Furthermore, it will take leadership and foresight from those in city, provincial, and national government to help people choose the path “not because it is easy, but because it is hard.” Finally, the United Nations’ continued benchmarking of the existential problems and long-term but well-delinated path to their solution is the essential vision humanity needs to combat chronic issues.

The Civil Societies Conference is the premier event in the civil society calendar at the United Nations. It typically attracts more than 3,000 participants representing over 700 civil society organizations from over 100 countries. Each Conference focuses on a different United Nations topic of interest related to the work of civil society and NGOs. This international forum also brings together senior United Nations system officials, prominent international civil society organizations, academicians, public opinion makers and international media to discuss issues of global concern.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which are an urgent call for action by all countries — developed and developing — in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth — all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests. Women of the World is eager to contribute to the discussion and outcomes around these critical challenges, as the global civil society community converges in Salt Lake City.

The 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference


26 – 28 August 2019

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Salt Palace Convention Centre (100 S W Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101)


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