IDENTIFY THE WAYS IN WHICH NON STATE ACTORS ESPECIALLY NGO INFLUENCE INTERNATIONAL RELATION
Civil societies or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have emerged as an important force on the world stage since the 1980s, to help in the process of decision-making. Many of these non-state actors were established with the aim of influencing policy makers and shaping political perspectives. The arena of NGO action has expanded rapidly from local and national settings to the international level. The issues they are championing vary from education, public health provision, human rights abuses, relief work, welfare services and poverty to environmental protection. The role that these non-state actors played had been very influential in creating a path to conclude multilateral agreements which legally bonded state parties to commit themselves according to their pledge. Thus, it is suffice to say that NGOs played a role in the global engagement and chart international relation of states in the modern world.
The influence of these independent groups has been known to exist through an approach called the NGO diplomacy. It has become an international tradition in multilateral decision making via democratization or the process of democracy. However, there has been little knowledge about how these groups had influence international relation. In many occasion, political leaders make decisions on issues collectively based on recommendations. One classic example was the 1971 Founex Report on Development and Environment published by a group of NGOs which impacted the Stockholm Conference. By producing such report with detailed suggestion and clear advice to political leaders just prior to the formal multilateral forum on pollution and environmental issues, NGOs made very significant contribution in framing the whole outcome of the conference. The rest, as the saying goes, is just history. AIM
This paper will attempt to identify the ways on how NGOs influence international relation by analysing on the venue that these groups can participate in and the issues that they advocate ranging from globalisation, social, development and environmental.
The scope of this paper is as follows:
The term non-governmental organisation gained its reputation in 1945 after the end of World War II when it was used in the United Nations (UN) Charter to clearly distinguish between governmental and private organisations. Based on the UN Regulation of 1966/3, NGO is defined as any international organisation which is not established by a governmental entity or international agreement. By definition, NGOs covers sectional groups such as business organisations, international, national or sub national bodies. Hence, the term has acquired a much wider application and is generally used to refer to various cause groups concerned with a wide range of issues.
There are also other definitions of NGO by academic scholars. According to Steinberg (2003), NGO is defined as autonomous no-profit and non-party or non-affiliated organisations that promote a particular cause in the interest of the public. Betsill and Correl (2009) define NGO as an organisation that (1) is not formed by intergovernmental agreement, (2) has expertise or interests relevant to the international institution, and (3) expresses views that are independent of any national government. The two scholars also pointed out that their definitions are consistent with how the term is used in the United Nations, which also do not encompass political parties, organisations that advocate violence and not supporting UN objectives. At the moment, there are more than 3000 NGOs accredited to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
As a partial conclusion, in order to be considered as an NGO, the particular organisation must be...
References: Sibanda, H. “NGO Influence On National Policy Formation in Zimbabwe”. Institute for Development Research; IDR Reports, Vol. 11, No. 2, 1994
 Sibanda, H. NGO Influence On National Policy Formation in Zimbabwe; Institute for Development Research; IDR Reports, Vol. 11, No. 2, 1994
 Covey, J.G
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