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The Social Forum of the Human Rights Council

The Social Forum is a subsidiary body of the United Nations Human Rights Council. It serves as unique space for open and interactive dialogue between the representatives of Member States, civil society, including grass-roots organizations, and intergovernmental organizations on issues linked with the national and international environment needed for the promotion of the enjoyment of all human rights by all.

Youth attend Peace Bell Ceremony / United Nations - New York
- © UN Photo / Paulo FilgueirasThe Social Forum meets once a year. The Chairperson-Rapporteur is appointed for each Forum by the President of the Human Rights Council from candidates nominated by regional groups. In setting the theme and focus of discussion for each Forum, the Human Rights Council underlines the importance of coordinated efforts at national, regional and international levels for the promotion of social cohesion based on the principles of social justice, equity and solidarity as well as of addressing the social dimension and challenges of the on-going globalization process, including based on sharing best practices.

The Social Forum is open to the participation of representatives of States Members of the United Nations and all other interested stakeholders, such as intergovernmental organizations, different components of the United Nations system, especially mandate holders of thematic procedures and mechanisms of the human rights machinery, regional economic commissions and specialized agencies and organizations, as well as representatives designated by human rights national institutions and non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, and shall also be open to other non-governmental organizations whose aims and purposes are in conformity with the spirit, purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, including newly emerging actors, such as small groups and rural and urban associations from the North and the South, anti-poverty groups, peasants’ and farmers’ organizations and their national and international associations, voluntary organizations, environmental organizations and activists, youth associations, community organizations, trade unions and associations of workers, as well as representatives of the private sector, on the basis of arrangements, including Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31 of 25 July 1996 and practices observed by the Commission on Human Rights, through an open and transparent accreditation procedure, in accordance with the rules of procedure of the Human Rights Council, while ensuring the most effective contribution of these entities.