Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been partners of the Department of Public Information since its establishment in 1947. The official relationships between DPI and NGOs date back to 1968. Through NGOs efforts to disseminate information about issues on the UN’s agenda, DPI seeks to reach people around the world and help them better understand the work and aims of the United Nations. NGOs provide the United Nations with valuable links to civil society. They play a key role at major United Nations conferences and are indispensable partners for UN efforts at the country level.
Currently there is a global network of over sixteen hundred NGOs associated with DPI. Association with DPI requires having effective information programmes in place and the ability and means to disseminate information about the work of the United Nations.
Non-governmental organizations make a contribution to the work programmes and goals of the United Nations by serving as experts, advisers and consultants to governments and the Secretariat. As advocacy groups, they espouse UN themes and implement plans of action, programmes and declarations adopted by the United Nations.
DPI and NGOs work together as strategic partners to provide accurate, impartial, comprehensive, timely and relevant information to the peoples of the world on the aims and activities of the United Nations in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
In addition, NGOs have a partnership with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Almost twenty nine hundred organizations have consultative status with ECOSOC.