A Handbook for Civil Society

A Letter to The Diplomatic Council

“Working with the United Nations Human Rights Programme: a Handbook for Civil society” was launched in May 2006 with the aim to provide civil society with a comprehensive guide to OHCHR’s work, and to assist civil society in identifying areas of possible cooperation and partnership with OHCHR.

To access the handbook online please follow this link: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/AboutUs/CivilSociety/Pages/Handbook.aspx

To continue building on the success that it had so far, time has come now to review it and to produce an updated, more practical and user friendly handbook.

To this end, we are inviting you to participate in a 5 minutes survey, which will help us to assess how the handbook is being used, as well as to collect concrete suggestions on how it may be improved to further suit your needs and expectations.

The survey is available at the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BHDT2SJ

Active contribution to this survey would be greatly appreciated, as it will be essential to guide us towards further improving and fine-tuning this tool.

We will be grateful to receive your answers at your earliest convenience, and by 25 September 2017 at the latest.

The United Nations Civil Society Unit

The Diplomatic Council and The Bridging Principles join Forces

The Diplomatic Council and The Bridging Principles Announce Collaboration to Build Thriving Economies through Constructive and Respectful Intercultural Communications.

The Diplomatic Council and The Bridging Principles today announced their formal collaboration to work together in advancing international cooperation and promoting economic diplomacy worldwide.

Through this partnership, the Diplomatic Council and The Bridging Principles will be cooperatively hosting events and facilitating projects designed to enhance economic prosperity globally by increasing the capacity of businesses and governments to communicate productively and respectfully across cultural differences. When individuals and organizations can work more effectively together in this diverse yet globalizing world, opportunities for economic growth, increased geopolitical stability, and peace abound.

Leah Taylor Best, CEO for The Bridging Principles comments, “We are thrilled to be collaborating with the internationally applauded Diplomatic Council. It is an honor to work alongside an organization that shares our commitment to a more peaceful and prosperous world for all people through the development of thriving economies. In today’s challenging global political climate, partnerships like ours can be powerful agents for positive economic and social change. We look forward to sharing with the world about our upcoming events and joint projects as they develop.”

The Diplomatic Council is a global Think Tank and first-class membership network. Their vision is a thriving economy bringing prosperity to mankind is the one of the best guarantors for peace. Their mission is to establish a global network of highly respected personalities and corporations who assume responsibility for the world. The Diplomatic Council has Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. This status entitles the Diplomatic Council to attend UN sessions and make written and oral statements at international UN conferences and events, with the opportunity to globally support the interest of economic diplomacy. Visit www.diplomatic-council.org/ for more information.

The Bridging Principles is an international social purpose business that increases the capacity of individuals and organizations to bridge diversity and achieve their goals through their inclusive communication tools and their unique approach. Based upon foundational communication principles that all humans use, they provide organizations with a common, simple language that increases the functionality of diverse high-powered teams. Clients have included international businesses, international conferences, a United Nations anti-racism forum, health departments, educational institutions, organizations that support immigrants and refugees, First Nations across Canada, Indigenous communities, and more.

Sascha Zilger nominated new DC Business Ambassador

The Ambassadors’ Circle of the Diplomatic Council has nominated Sascha Zilger new DC Business Ambassador. The festive inauguration will take place on the occasion of the Diplomatic Council annual reception at the prestigious senate hall of the Vienna townhall on September 15. A full-blooded and exemplary entrepreneur, Sascha Zilger is honored and delighted to invite DC members to witness his inauguration.

Designated DC Business Ambassador Sascha Zilger mit den Botschaftern Vietnams, Thailands, Malaysias und der Phillippinen sowie seinem Wirtschaftsbotschafterkollegen Jamal Qaiser und weiteren DC Mitgliedern

Designated DC Business Ambassador Sascha Zilger with the ambassadors of Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, The Phillippines and Sri Lanka and his colleagues, DC Business Ambassador Jamal Qaiser, DC CEO to the UN Andreas Dripke, Secretary General Hang Nguyen and DC members. 

Highest-ranking position within Diplomatic Council

This position is the highest-ranking position a member can hold after the accredited diplomat. The DC Business Ambassador position includes a lifelong membership and is offered to dignitaries who combine economic success with social commitment in an outstanding way and who share the visions and values of the Diplomatic Council. DC Business Ambassadors are men or women who assume responsibility for society and act according. Sascha Zilger’s company, TwentyFourSeven Cosmetics, as the first enterprise, has expressed the wish to join the Alliance against Abuse which will be official launched during the Vienna reception.

Sascha Zilger celebrates his inauguration on the occasion of the DC annual reception at the prestigious senate hall of the Vienna city hall which is not open to the public.

DC Side Event at Geneva Peace Week

This year, the Diplomatic Council will organize its first side event at the Geneva Peace Week. Geneva Peace Week is a collective action initiative facilitated by the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, and the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform in collaboration with the Swiss Confederation.

The following speakers and topics are scheduled for the Diplomatic Council side event during the Peace Week:

  • DC Business Ambassador Jamal Qaiser, DC Commissioner for UN Affairs: DC Peace Strategy – How to mitigate conflicts if there is no quick solution
  • Thorsten Nowak, Chairman DC Safer Internet for Children: Crime prevention through collaboration between governmental and non-governmental organizations
  • Dr. Klaus-Ulrich Moeller, DC Commissioner for UN Affairs: The DC Code of Trusted Public Communication. How communication prevents crime and hate and contributes to peace.

Date: November 7, 9:15-10:30
Venue: Palais des Nations, Room IX, 1211 Genf, Schweiz
Participation free, only for DC members after registration 

Beyond the DC side event, DC members may attend further sessions organized during the entire Geneva Peace Week. This year’s core theme during the Peace Week is „Prevention Across Sectors and Institutions: What Pathways for Effective Implementation?“ and follows the priority of prevention measures of UN Secretary General António Guterres who made the following statement during the UN Security Council’s meeting in New York on January 10: “Prevention is not merely a priority, but the priority. If we live up to our responsibilities, we will save lives, reduce suffering and give hope to millions.”

Planet in Transition

On the occasion of the DC Planet in Transition Symposium and the subsequent DC E-Mobility Brunch, the Diplomatic Council Benelux Team introduced approaches, conceptions and solutions for a sustainable world economy. Both events took place during the 40th World Port Days in Rotterdam.

“Let´s make our planet the number 1 priority” (Dominique van Hemelrijck)

Dominique van Hemelrijck, in her main profession a specialist for priority management and Head of DC Benelux, provides the direction for the future: “Let´s make our planet the number 1 priority”. Amongst the speakers were Prof. Dr. jur. Helmut Maurer, EU Commission, DG ENV, Senior Expert, Nico van Dooren, Program Manager Port of Rotterdam Program “Energy Transition”, Francesca Miazzo – Co-founder Cities Foundation, Chris Heiligers – Co-owner EC Rent, Jouke Baarda, Sustainability Expert and F. Breeman, CEO BMW Rotterdam.

Sustainable economic system

Prof. Dr. jur. Helmut Maurer, representative of the European Union, gave a clear statement: “Lastest since World War II. it has become obvious that the world population will not grow linearly but exponentially which means consumption will increase accordingly. This development cannot come to any good because our planet is limited. Hence, the world economic system has to be adopted to this development and in light of the exponential growth, there is not much time left for action”.

New DC name tags – a recycled product

Bernard Merkx, Board member DC Benelux and Chairman of Waste Free Oceans Foundation, explains: “If a product can be manufactured from waste, it would be irresponsible to produce it with new materials.” Merkx surprised all guests with a new generation of 3D plastic name tags made of thrown-away PET bottles perfectly fitting the DC Status Cards.


The Diplomatic Council will support the Waste Free Oceans (WFO) and WWF event taking place in Hong Kong in October 2017. At this one-day event, domestic fishers will sail with their boats through the bay equipped with trawl nets and collect plastic out of the water which shall be used as manufacturing materials for new products. The new products can be sold by the fishers against payment. The target of this event is to encourage fishers to “fish for litter” with the benefit of earning money while at the same time protecting the fish resources and environment.

Club of Rome

In addition to the partnership with WFO and WWF, the Diplomatic Council is about to start a collaboration with the Club of Rome. Pierrick Fillon-Ashida, one of the nine board members of the Club of Rome, attended the DC Symposium. DC Benelux Advisory board member Patrick Crehan is named DC representative to the Club of Rome in Brussels.

“Make Waste to Products” (Bernard Merkx)

At the symposium, an App was introduced that offers textile, plastic, glas and other waste. Manufactures can easily purchase this “waste” to produce new goods.

Sustainability Program for Port of Rotterdam

Nico van Dooren, Director for Energy Transition of the Rotterdam Port, informed at the symposium that over 90% of the energy used for the operation of the port is fossile. He introduced the Port’s program “Pathway to a decarbonised Port” which includes various projects to convert to renewable energy.

“New approaches for sustainability” (Steef Korfker)

Steef Korfker, Chairman of the Diplomatic Council E-Mobility Forum, provided the official shuttle service during the 3-days world port days. Only electric cars were used for the shuttle. Korfker’s company NL Mobility is specialized in e-mobilty.

DC Tesla Brunch

The DC Benelux Team organized a cosy brunch the day after the symposium including an excursion with Tesla cars. During the ride, the group visited several universal power charger stations offered by NL Mobility. The stations can be used by e-cars of all producers – from BMW to Tesla. Steef Korfker points out: “We need an ecosystem for E-Mobility. The cars are on the market and the charging stations available. Now we have to build a cross-vendor infrastructure.”

Priorities for new ideas

“We need new ideas and business models which give high priority to sustainability”, says Dominique van Hemelrijck. Prof. Dr. Helmut Maurer agrees: “It must become rewarding again to produce goods that last long and are repairable instead of manufacturing cheap throw-away products”. “Our future lies in the combination of sustainable products, which after their long utilization cycle can be recycled and the transition from fossile to renewable energy”, explains Secretary General Hang Nguyen.

Alliance against Abuse

The Diplomatic Council, White IT child protection association and DC Mission Vienna have initiated an open Alliance Against Abuse in professional sport. The objective is to encourage companies, associations, organizations, civil societies and scientific organizations to join this initiative. Alliance Against Abuse will be formally kicked-off with the signing of an MoU on the occasion of the Diplomatic Council annual reception at the Vienna City Hall on September 15. At the invitation of Vienna’s Lord Mayor, the Diplomatic Council is organizing its reception at the prestigious senate hall for the second time this year.

Read more

Annual Meeting of DC Trusted Advisors

The Diplomatic Council Otto Schell Institute for Digital Transformation (DCOS Institute) was founded in March 2017. In April, DCOS started establishing a network of qualified digitalization advisors. In June, DCOS certified the first “DC Trusted Advisors for Digital Transformation”. On September 15, the annual meeting of trusted advisors will take place for the first time on the occasion of the senate hall reception at the Vienna town hall.

Guests are welcome 

The annual reception serves to recognize those advisors already certified as DC trusted advisors and provides a good opportunity for individuals interested in obtaining this DC quality seal. A DCOS principal and other DC trusted advisors are in Vienna to answer questions related to DCOS and the certificate.

SDG 2017 Report – Time for Action!

In adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, world leaders resolved to free humanity from poverty, secure a healthy planet for future generations, and build peaceful, inclusive societies as a foundation for ensuring lives of dignity for all.

This collective journey has at its heart a promise to leave no one behind. The 2030 Agenda is deliberately ambitious and transformational, with a set of 17 integrated and indivisible Sustainable Development Goals and targets to guide us. Crucially, it is a universal agenda, applying to all countries; even the richest have yet to fully ensure women’s rights, conquer inequality or safeguard the environment.

Implementation has begun, but the clock is ticking. This report shows that the rate of progress in many areas is far slower than needed to meet the targets by 2030.

Focused actions are needed to lift the 767 million people who still live on less than 1.90 US dollars a day, and to ensure food security for the 793 million people who routinely confront hunger. We need to double the rate at which we are reducing maternal deaths. We need more determined progress towards sustainable energy, and greater investments in sustainable infrastructure. And we need to bring quality education within reach of all; if all children in low-income countries completed upper secondary school by 2030, per capita income would increase by 75 per cent by 2050 and we could advance the fight to eliminate poverty by a full decade.

Gender inequality is still deeply entrenched, as manifested in the slow progress in women’s representation in political life, in decision-making within their own households, and in the violence, most often with impunity, that women and girls face in all societies. Young people continue to face alarmingly high rates of unemployment, and their voices are yet to be sufficiently included in the deliberations affecting their lives and futures.

More than 2 billion people are living in countries with excess water stress. Nine out of 10 city dwellers are living in cities where air pollution is a health hazard. Planetary warming continues unabated, setting a new record of about 1.1 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial period and contributing to an increased frequency of extreme weather events.

Sustainable development also depends fundamentally on upholding human rights and ensuring peace and security. Leaving no one behind also means reducing inequalities within and among countries, reaching those most at risk, and strengthening our resolve to prevent conflict and sustain peace.

This report provides a snapshot of our efforts to date. It stresses that high-level political leadership and new partnerships will be essential for sustaining momentum. It also underscores the need for reliable, timely, accessible and disaggregated data to measure progress, inform decision-making and ensure that everyone is counted.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development aims to improve the lives and future prospects of everyone, everywhere. Along with the “Sustaining Peace” resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and Security Council, the world now has, in its hands, roadmaps for reducing vulnerability, increasing resilience and averting armed conflict. Indeed, sustainable and inclusive development is both a goal in its own right and the world’s best form of prevention.

Our challenge now is to mobilize action that will bring these agendas meaningfully and tangibly to life. I call on Governments and stakeholders to recognize the gaps that have been identified in this report—in implementation, financing and political will—and to now join hands to fulfil this vision and keep this promise. For my part, I will do my utmost to make the United Nations itself more effective and efficient so that it can deliver coherent support on the ground, on one agenda. Together, we can make the full, transformative ambition of the 2030 Agenda a reality for all.

António Guterres
Secretary-General, United Nations

Cooperation for Pakistan

The Diplomatic Focus Magazine and the Diplomatic Council have entered into a strategic cooperation for Pakistan. The Diplomatic Council is a global think tank and business network in consultative status with the United Nations. Members include Prime Ministers, Ambassadors, Presidents, CEO’s of international corporations and global key influencers.

Membership benefits include

  • Invitations to high-level diplomatic and business events all over the world,
  • Access to a global network of diplomats and business network covering Asia, Europe, Africa and the US,
  • Participation in a global business community with more than 5 billion dollar deal volume,
  • Invitations to join UN conferences as a delegate of the Diplomatic Council,
  • Seal “Diplomatic Council Trusted Member” to indicate to the outside world the membership in a global network of trust.

DC Benelux announces DC Planet in Transition Symposium

JOIN US on 1st September 2017 @Wereldmuseum Rotterdam The Netherlands

Diplomatic Council Benelux has the pleasure to announce their “DC Planet in Transition” Symposium which will be organized on Friday 1st September 2017 at the Wereldmuseum during the start of the 40th Anniversary of World Port Days in Rotterdam.

The UN Sustainability Goals are giving the framework for the new ‘normal’ whereas the DC Benelux team is providing a platform for frontrunners into concrete local, regional and (inter-)national actions thereby aiming at horizontal multi-stakeholder co-creation.

The key note speakers at the symposium will address their views and share their concrete actions in the fields of social transition, energy transition and raw material transition:


  • Prof. Dr. jur. Helmut Maurer, EU Commission, DG ENV, senior expert
  • Mr. Nico van Dooren – Program Manager Port of Rotterdam Program “ Energy Transition”
  • Ms Francesca Miazzo – Co-founder Cities Foundation
  • Mr. Chris Heiligers – Co-owner EC Rent
  • Mr. Jouke Baarda – Sustainability expert
  • F. Breeman – BMW Rotterdam
  • Mrs Hang Nguyen, secretary general Diplomatic Council Global

Be part of the “DC Planet in Transition” and join us on September 1st and beyond.

Only limited seats available, so please register as soon as possible.

Venue :
Wereldmuseum (www.wereldmuseum.nl) Willemskade 25

Programme :
16.30-17.00 Welcome
17.00 – 19.15 Symposium “DC Planet in Transition”
19.15 – 21.30 Networking dinner

Your free sustainable transfer from selected hotels and points of departure to the venue and back will be organized by DC Benelux upon pre-registration.

Hotel recommendations (please announce : “Diplomatic Council” during your reservation)
Bilderberg Park Hotel (www.bilderberg.nl/parkhotel/rotterdam) Westersingel 70, NL 3015 LB Rotterdam