Strengthening Multilateralism and core international principles for a rules-based order in a rapidly changing world – The importance of Civil Society contribution to the UN system Background


The 2022 EESC high-level mission to the US put a strong focus on the United Nations and the need for strengthening multilateralism and core international principles in a rapidly changing world. In this opinion the EESC will provide the EU institutions with a civil society perspective on the European contribution to safeguarding or rather restoring multilateralism and a rules-based order within the United Nations.

EESC member and rapporteur for the opinion Christian Moos said: Civil society's contribution is essential for finding and delivering solutions on the ground, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), fostering just transition and fighting climate change.

EESC member and co-rapporteur for the opinion Tanja Buzek stressed the immense diversity of UN action. "The UN needs to be reformed in order to be more effective and representative in finding global solutions, with strong contributions from the civil society", she said.

Key points

  • Civil society and social partners urge the EU to commit more than ever to strengthening the UN through fundamental reform;
  • To enhance the UN's ability to react efficiently to current global challenges, UN Member States in breach of the UN Charter or commitments under UN agreements or conventions should not be allowed to exercise full participation and voting rights;
  • To stabilise consensus on shared values and norms, UN governance has to become more representative, inclusive and effective;
  • The UN should further develop its integrated Civil Society Organizations System;
  • Better coordination within the EU is needed so that it speaks with a single voice and acts accordingly in all UN bodies and related institutions.

The full text of the opinion can be found here

Additional information

EESC section: External Relations Section (REX)

Opinion type: Own-initiative

Rapporteur: Christian Moos (Civil Society Organisations' Group-Germany)

Co-Rapporteur: Tanja Buzek (Workers' Group-Germany)

Reference: REX/571-EESC

Date of adoption by section: 16 November 2023

Date of adoption in plenary: 13-14 December 2023

Result of the vote: 194 in favour/8 against/ 17 abstentions

Millie Tsoumani, Press officer

Tel.:+32 2 546 9088, email: 

Ana Dujmović, Policy Officer, Administrator

Tel.:+32 2 546 8290, email:  

Work organisation