democracy¶ was lacking of detailed agreement on NGOs¶ rights and obligations within UN bodies and/or chambers. For example, do the NGOs votes or do they simply observe theongoing committee sessions as an external guest? The writer believes that such inquiryshould have been answered by Iqbal¶s paper at the first place but he did not manage to do so.On the other hand, the writer should applaud Iqbal¶s accomplishment in holisticallyelaborating the progress made by NGOs in the United Nations. The conferences were foundas a fertile ground for them in advocacy efforts because there is chance to pressure states andraise consciousness towards relevant issues. There was also reinforcement by some donor countries and United Nations agencies that increase their funds for civil society¶s participation in the mentioned conferences. It seems that civil society has an opportunity toexert influence at a global level to gain visibility and to access funding for this purpose.
The writer¶s expectation to find empirical data as well as comparison of progressmade by the United Nations before and after the NGOs are involved in their activities is not provided in Iqbal¶s paper. Instead, he claims that it is such µconsensus that civil society has been successful in gaining international attention and setting agendas than in getting result¶
without necessarily argues why. Finally, Iqbal concludes that µin shaping global governance,civil society still depends on state in determining their participation and global policymaking¶. This is a valid argument, yet the writer regrets his lack of elaboration and suggeststhat the whole paper would be more reasonable if the research question is altered into ³Whatare the developments to Non-governmental Organizations¶ role in the United Nations?´Assuming that Iqbal¶s conclusion is true, however, the next question would be ³Whydo these NGOs fail to conduct and carry their objectives within United Nations¶ bodies?´This unfortunate condition indeed does not happen without any reason. As also elucidated byJan Aart Scholte in ³Civil Society and Democratically Accountable Global Governance´,there are several apparent challenges that should be faced by civil society in imposing their role at global governance institutions, in this case the United Nations.
First, civil society faces the problem of resources. Although global internetcommunications have become relatively inexpensive for many associations, other groups lack of computers or face high user charges. Meanwhile air travel, conference calls and translation
Tabbush, Constanza, ³Civil Society in United Nations Conferences: A Literature Review´ in
Civil Society and Social Movements Programme Paper
, No. 17, (United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, 2005) page 6 as cited inMuhammad Iqbal Pirzada,
The United Nations and Civil Society: Legitimating Global Governance²Whose Voice?,
(London: ZedBooks, 2009) page 132
Jan Aart Scholte, ³Civil Society and Democratically Accountable Global Governance´ in
Government and Opposition,
(Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2004)