7/05/2001
Press Release
NGO/405



Committee on NGOs

2001 Session

2nd Meeting (PM)


NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION COMMITTEE DEFERS THREE APPLICATIONS


FOR CONSULTATIVE STATUS WITH ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL


The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations this afternoon deferred the applications of three non-governmental organizations for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council and closed its consideration of one application, as it continued its 2001 session.


Pending clarifications with regard to their membership, aims and activities and finances, the Committee deferred the applications of: E-Quality; Kitakyushu Forum on Asian Women Foundation; and the International Lesbian and Gay Association. 


Regarding the application to special consultative status of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), an international organization with the aim of promoting the human rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered individuals, a number of representatives raised questions about the organization’s representation by a lawyer.  China’s representative expressed discomfort with pursuing a dialogue in such a way.


Representatives also stressed that no organization could ratify or sign an international covenant or treaty, as the organization had claimed it had done with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  They also requested clarification about the organization’s offer to provide information on training on sexual orientation of United Nations staff.


As the organization’s status had been suspended in 1994 because of its links to organizations promoting pedophilia, the representative of Sudan said she was not persuaded by the organization’s answers to questions regarding its opposition to pedophilia.  The aims of the organization certainly gave some encouragement to pedophilia, she said.  Disagreeing with that view, Germany’s representative requested that Sudan provide proof that the organization promoted pedophilia, as that would be a decisive factor in his support. 


The representative of the United States noted that the issue of homosexuality was a divisive one in his country.  His delegation, nonetheless, felt that those represented by the organization were a minority discriminated against.  He believed the organization’s application should be treated like that of any other group.


While many Committee members supported the application of Kitakyushu Forum on Asian Women Foundation, concerns were raised about the revenue it received from contracts -- its main source of income -- as well as the nature of some of its

activities.  Concern was also raised regarding the membership and finances of E-Quality. 


Also this afternoon, the Committee closed its consideration of the application of the Consumer World Organization, which would be encouraged to re-apply for consultative status in the future.


The 19-member Committee, a standing body of the Economic and Social Council established in 1946, considers applications submitted by non-governmental organizations for consultative status and their requests for reclassification; considers quadrennial reports submitted by those organizations; implements the provisions of Council resolutions 1996/31 and the monitoring of consultative relationships; and considers other issues as requested by the Council. 


Non-governmental, non-profit voluntary organizations can be admitted into consultative status with the Council if they meet the requirements detailed in Council resolution 1996/31, regarding matters, including the organization’s activities, decision-making processes and resources.


Those non-governmental organizations with consultative status are classified under the "general", "special" or "roster" categories.  Non-governmental organizations with general status can propose items for the Council agenda, attend and speak at meetings and circulate statements.  Those with special status can attend meetings and circulate statements, while those on the roster can only attend meetings.  Organizations with general and special status must report every four years on their activities in support of the United Nations.


Statements were also made this afternoon by the representatives of Algeria, India, Pakistan, France, Russian Federation, Tunisia, Cuba, Bolivia, Colombia and Chile.  Also, the representative of Netherlands spoke in his capacity as observer.


The Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 8 May to continue its consideration of deferred applications for consultative status. 


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