Over 4000 NGOs gather for annual meeting in New YorkListen /
Representatives of civil society have been urged to help in pushing world leaders along the right path in tackling global problems.
The appeal came from the UN Secretary-General in a video message to welcome participants in this year's Annual UN Conference for Non-Governmental Organizations or NGOs.
Representatives of more than 4,000 NGOs have gathered in New York for this year's meeting under the theme "2015 and Beyond: Our Action Agenda".
They are discussing the way forward after the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by world leaders in 2000 to eradicate extreme poverty.
Ban Ki-moon said he is encouraged by what he called the "unprecedented show of interest" by NGOs.
"I depend on NGOs to push world leaders along the right path. You understand that sovereignty carries responsibility. You know that political power is a sacred duty. And you have grassroots influence that can make history. The United Nations is now poised to make monumental decisions for our world. The Millennium Development Goals have achieved unprecedented success, lifting more families out of poverty, putting more children in school and preventing more disease than any campaign ever." (32)
Ban Ki-moon thanked NGOs for contributing to these results and called on them to intensify progress.
Derrick Mbatha, United Nations