28 January 2013
Economic and Social Council
ECOSOC/6556
NGO/766

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Committee on NGOs

11th & 12th Meetings (AM & PM)


Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations Approves 4 Applications,

 

Postpones 34 as It Begins Second Week of Session

 


Beginning the second week of its 2013 session, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) today added four groups to the more than 3,500 it has accredited since its creation in 1946, and postponed consideration of 34 applications, pending responses to questions posed by members.


The 19-member body recommends general, special or roster status on the basis of an applicant’s mandate, governance and financials, among other criteria.  Once accredited, NGOs can attend meetings of the Economic and Social Council and enjoy different levels of benefits, depending on their status.  Those with general and special status can speak during meetings, with the former also allowed to propose agenda items.  NGOs with roster status are more restricted and may only address meetings with the Secretary-General’s permission.


Recommended for special status today were the following non-governmental organizations:  Amuta for NGO Responsibility; European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights; International Family Forestry Alliance, Inc.; and the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Inc. Education Fund.


The Committee postponed action on applications submitted by the following NGOs:  Asia Catalyst; Asociación Española para el Derecho Internacional de los Derechos Humanos; Assyrian National Congress; AUA Americas Chapter Inc.; British Columbia Civil Liberties Association; Bureau international pour le respect des droits de l’homme au Sahara Occidental; Casa Generalizia della Societa’ del Sacro Cuore; Australian Lesbian Medical Association; Center for Global Nonkilling; Center for International Policy; Centre pour les Droits Civils et Politiques; Christian Solidarity Worldwide; Collectif des Familles des Disparu(e)s en Algerie; Conservation International Foundation; Defense Small Arms Advisory Council; Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association; and Dialogue Interreligieux Monastique.


Also deferred was action on the applications of the following:  the European Humanist Federation; F N Forbundet; Freedom Now; Geneva Institute for Human Rights; Global Network for Rights and Development; Homosexuelle Initiative Wien; Human Rights Foundation Inc.; Institute for Human Rights & Business Limited; The International Association of Genocide Scholars, Inc.; International Coalition against War Criminals; International Dalit Solidarity Network; International Federation of Liberal Youth; International Partnership for Human Rights; International Prison Chaplains; Iran Human Rights Documentation Center; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; and Lawyers for Lawyers.


During today’s meeting, delegations were largely divided over NGOs promoting gay and lesbian rights, such as the Australian Lesbian Medical Association and Homosexuelle Initiative Wien.  Several Committee members alleged that some of their fellow delegates were using a delaying tactic by asking repetitive questions about the NGOs, pointing out that some groups had clearly been more scrutinized than others and had become victims of discrimination.


During the ensuing question-and-answer session, Committee members asked about the activities of NGOs in a particular country or region, properties they had recently purchased, and for more detailed financial statements about contributions from Governments and the private sector.  Organizations were also asked to use correct United Nations terminologies in reference to Taiwan.


Participating in today’s proceedings were representatives of China, Pakistan, Israel, Cuba, United States, Bulgaria, Turkey, Morocco, Venezuela, Sudan, Belgium, Russian Federation, India, Italy and Turkey.


Representatives of Australia, Austria and Iran participated in their capacity as observers, as did a representative of the Holy See.


The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations will meet again at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 29 January, to continue its review of deferred applicants.


Special Consultative Status


The Committee recommended that the Economic and Social Council grant special consultative status to the following non-governmental organizations:


Amuta for NGO Responsibility — a national organization in Israel involved in human rights and the Arab-Israeli conflict;


European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights — an international organization in Germany engaged in strategic litigation to hold egregious abusers of human and civil rights accountable;


International Family Forestry Alliance, Inc. — an organization in Belgium promoting the development of family forests and policies to support them; and


Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Inc. Education Fund — a national NGO in the United States fostering respect for human life from conception to natural death.


Action Postponed


The Committee postponed its consideration of applications submitted by the following:


Asia Catalyst — a United States-based international organization promoting the development of local NGOs that advance human rights, social justice and environmental protection in Asia;


Asociación Española para el Derecho Internacional de los Derechos Humanos — an organization in Spain promoting teaching, training, research, development and implementation of international human rights law;


Assyrian National Congress — an international NGO in the United States working to protect the human rights of the ancient Assyrian people;


AUA Americas Chapter Inc. — a national organization aiming to raise public awareness and understanding of the Assyrian culture and people;


British Columbia Civil Liberties Association — a national organization in Canada working to preserve civil liberties and human rights;


Bureau international pour le respect des droits de l’homme au Sahara Occidental — a national human rights organization in Switzerland;


Casa Generalizia della Societa’ del Sacro Cuore — a faith-based international NGO in Italy seeking resources for the poor, as well as justice, peace, reconciliation and inclusion for all;


Australian Lesbian Medical Association — a national organization providing support and advocacy for the visibility of lesbian doctors and lesbian health;


Center for Global Nonkilling – an international organization in the United States promoting a world without killing and violence;


Center for International Policy — a national United States organization promoting transparency in the international financial system and in foreign policy on the basis of global cooperation, demilitarization and respect for human rights;


Centre pour les Droits Civils et Politiques — a Switzerland-based international organization promoting and monitoring implementation of all the rights set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;


Christian Solidarity Worldwide — a national organization in the United Kingdom promoting religious freedom and justice;


Collectif des Familles des Disparu(e)s en Algerie — a national organization in France defending the rights of forcibly displaced people and working to end human rights abuses in Algeria;


Conservation International Foundation — a United States-based international organization promoting a healthy prosperous world committed to global conservation and biodiversity;


Defense Small Arms Advisory Council — a national NGO in the United States fostering communication between its small-arms manufacturing member companies and Government agencies;


Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association — an international organization in the United States committed to relieving human suffering;


Dialogue Interreligieux Monastique — an international organization in the United States supporting interreligious dialogue and activities among Christian monastic communities;


European Humanist Federation — a Belgium-based international NGO promoting secularism and a humanist vision of cultural, social and ethical values through educational, scientific and cultural activities;


F N Forbundet — a national organization in Denmark seeking to influence internationally responsible political decision-making;


Freedom Now — a national organization in the United States working to free prisoners of conscience through legal, political and public relations advocacy;


Geneva Institute for Human Rights — a Switzerland-based international NGO training Arabs in human rights and the rule of law;


Global Network for Rights and Development — an international NGO in Norway supporting institutions active in development and human rights programmes;


Homosexuelle Initiative Wien — a national organization in Austria seeking to defend the human rights of gays and lesbians and to end discrimination based on sexual orientation;


Human Rights Foundation Inc. — a national organization in the United States promoting and safeguarding human rights in the Americas and elsewhere;


Institute for Human Rights & Business Limited — a United Kingdom-based international NGO seeking to raise corporate standards and strengthen public policy to ensure that companies’ actions do not contribute to human rights abuses; 


The International Association of Genocide Scholars, Inc. — an international organization in the United States seeking to further research and teaching about genocide, and to advance policy studies aimed at preventing it;


International Coalition against War Criminals — a Norway-based international organization striving to bring war criminals to justice, monitoring violations of international law and war crimes, and supporting the International Criminal Court;


International Dalit Solidarity Network — an international organization in Denmark seeking an end to caste-based discrimination around the world;


International Federation of Liberal Youth — an international NGO in Belgium providing an “umbrella” for liberal and youth organizations worldwide and a forum for cooperation and the exchange of ideas;


International Partnership for Human Rights — a national organization in Belgium promoting human rights;


International Prison Chaplains’ Association — an international organization in Sweden promoting freedom of religion for prisoners around the world;


Iran Human Rights Documentation Center — an international organization in the United States seeking to create a publicly accessible historical record of Iran’s human rights situation since the 1979 revolution;


John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation — a national organization in the United States supporting creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just and peaceful world; and


Lawyers for Lawyers — a national NGO in the Netherlands supporting lawyers who are hindered or threatened while practising law.


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For information media • not an official record