INGOs are seen as a legitimising force in the global arena. This is so because they do not pursue national interests but are potentially advocates for affected groups worldwide. They put specific interests and issues on the agenda of international organisations. They raise awareness for important topics and feed them into the political process.
In diplomacy, INGOs are often active behind the scenes, participating, for example, in the drafting of international rules and norms. Especially when it comes to establishing standards for transnational corporations, INGOs are often invited based on the idea that they can and should ensure that civil-society demands are taken into consideration.