28 May 2013
Economic and Social Council
ECOSOC/6581
NGO/775

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

Committee on NGOs

27th & 28th Meetings (AM & PM)


NGO Committee, for Third Time in its History, Recommends

 

Special Consultative Status to Gay Organization

 


As Second Week Commences, Members Approve Four Applications, Defer 48


For the third time in its history, and the second time in its current session, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations recommended special consultative status to a gay civil society group, as it continued to put under scrutiny the dozens of applications before it — approving special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council for four organizations and deferring action on 48 applications.


The Committee approved the Austrian organization, Homosexuelle Initiative Wien for special consultation status following a vote of 9 in favour to 6 against, with 2 abstentions.  However, during ensuing discussions, the representative of Venezuela stressed that her country’s position on procedural methods had not changed, particularly with “forcing people” to take positions.  As well, Sudan’s representative stated that the Committee had again “totally diverted from standing practices”.  A more “give and take” approach was needed in order to achieve consensus.  Rushing to action when it came to certain non-governmental organizations (NGOs) was setting a precedent.


Still, the representative of the United States said that it was a “monumental achievement” to approve consultative status for an organization that had been deferred since 2007.  Bulgaria’s delegate also pointed out that the decision illustrated the Committee moving away from past “discriminatory practices”.  Rather, such approval, which had been a rare event, was now demonstrating the establishment of a new pattern with regard to civil society groups in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.


During their interactive dialogue with NGOs seeking accreditation, Committee members posed questions about, among other things, methodologies, financial details and the proportion of funding going to actual projects.


The 19-member Committee recommends that the Council grant general, special or roster status, in accordance with such criteria as the applicant’s mandate, governance and financial regime.  Organizations enjoying general and special status can attend the Council’s meetings and circulate statements, while those with general status can, in addition, address meetings and propose agenda items.  Roster-status NGOs can only attend meetings.


Recommended for special consultative status were the following NGOs:  Global Wind Energy Council; Homosexuelle Initiative Wien; Institute for Practical Idealism; and Lawyers for Lawyers.


The Committee postponed action on applications from the following NGOs:  Assyrian National Congress; Center for International Policy; Centre pour les Droits Civils et Politiques (Centre CCPR); Child Rights Information Network (CRIN); Clean Energy Council Limited; Collectif des Familles de Disparu(e)s en Algerie; Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association; Dialogue Interreligieux Monastique; European Humanist Federation; FN-forbundet; Fondation Alkarama; Geneva Institute for Human Rights (GIHR); Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD); Institute for Human Rights & Business Limited; International Association of Genocide Scholars, Inc.; International Dalit Solidarity Network; International Federation of Liberal Youth; International Prison Chaplains' Association; International Space University; Jewish Voice Ministries International; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Muslim Aid; National Secular Society; Network for North Korean Democracy and Human Rights; Organizzazione Internazionale Protezione Animali (OIPA); Peace X Peace TR; Peoples Development Organization (PDO); Population Matters; Scandinavian Institute for Human Rights (SIHR) Norway; Second Amendment Foundation; Segretariato Permanente dei Premi Nobel per la Pace; Stichting Global Human Rights Defence; Equal Rights Trust; The Ford Foundation; International Coalition of Historic Site Museums of Conscience; International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons; Jewish Renaissance Foundation; Simons Foundation; Un Ponte Per…; United Hatzalah (NP); United Sikhs; Virtual Activism Incorporated; Women's Division of the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church; Women's Information Center; World Council for Curriculum and Instruction; World Future Council Foundation; Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (YCSRR); and Zala briviba.


Also participating in the session’s exchanges were the representatives of Belgium, China, Cuba, India, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Peru, Russian Federation, Senegal and Turkey.


The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations will meet again at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 29 May, to continue its review of new applications and requests for reclassification.


Special Consultative Status


The Committee recommended that the Economic and Social Council grant special consultative status to the following NGOs:


Global Wind Energy Council — a national organization based in Belgium aiming to promote wind power as one of the world’s leading energy sources;


Homosexuelle Initiative Wien — a national organization based in Austria working to promote the human rights of gays and lesbians and combat all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation, after a recorded vote of 9 in favour (Belgium, Bulgaria, India, Israel, Nicaragua, Peru, Turkey, United States and Venezuela) to 6 against (China, Morocco, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Senegal and Sudan), with 2 abstentions (Kyrgyzstan and Mozambique), and Burundi and Cuba not present;


Institute for Practical Idealism — an international United States-based organization aiming to promote peace by strengthening civil society; and


Lawyers for Lawyers — an international organization based in the Netherlands aiming to enable lawyers worldwide to practice law in freedom and independence.


Postponed


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


Assyrian National Congress — an international organization based in the United States working to protect the human rights of the Assyrian people — as the representative of Venezuela requested an official financial document and further information on its activities and source of funding.  The representative of the Russian Federation requested updated information on current projects.  The representative of Cuba requested further clarification on its activities and funds.  Her counterpart from Sudan requested further information on its activities in North Africa.


Center for International Policy — a national United States-based organization aiming to promote a foreign policy based on demilitarization and human rights — as the representative of China requested specific details on finances and further clarification of its relationship with the United States Government.


Centre pour les Droits Civils et Politiques (Centre CCPR) — an international organization based in Switzerland aiming to promote respect of human rights — as the representative of China requested it correct its terminology regarding Tibet and Taiwan Province of China.


Child Rights Information Network (CRIN) — an international United Kingdom-based organization aiming to advocate a shift in how Governments and societies view children — as the representative of China requested it correct its terminology regarding Tibet.


Clean Energy Council Limited — an Australian national organization aiming to advocate the development and deployment of all clean energy technologies as the representative of China requested it correct on its website terminology regarding Taiwan Province of China.


Collectif des Familles de Disparu(e)s en Algerie — a national organization based in France aiming to find the missing and to shed light of all victims of enforced disappearances in Algeria — as the representative of Morocco requested further clarification on its website and finances.  His counterpart from Sudan requested additional information on the partners with whom it worked in Algeria.


Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association — an international organization based in the United States aiming to serve humanity by working to relieve various forms of human suffering — as the representative of China requested further detail on its activities.


Dialogue Interreligieux Monastique — an international United States-based organization aiming to help Christian monastic communities become involved in interreligious dialogue — as the representative of China requested clarification of its position on Tibet.


European Humanist Federation — an international Belgium-based organization aiming to promote secularism and a humanist vision of cultural and ethical values — as the representative of Pakistan requested additional details of administrative expenditures.


FN-forbundet — an international Denmark-based organization working to take a critical and constructive stance to questions relating to the United Nations — as the representative of Venezuela requested additional information and reasons for the length of time the organization took to apply for consultative status.


Fondation Alkarama — an international organization based in Switzerland aiming to promote and protect human rights in the Arab world — as the representative of China requested further clarification of its members and financial statements.


Geneva Institute for Human Rights (GIHR) — an international Switzerland-based organization aiming to train Arabs in the field of human rights — as the representative of Sudan requested further information on criteria on which individuals are chosen to participate in training programmes.


Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD) — an international Switzerland-based organization aiming to enable institutions working in development and human rights — as several delegations requested written responses to questions.


Making a general statement, the representative of Syria commended the organization’s report on the condition of Syrian refuges and the sexual violence perpetrated against women in refugee camps and pledged cooperation with the Network in an effort to deal with the humanitarian crisis in her country.


Institute for Human Rights & Business Limited — an international organization based in the United Kingdom seeking to raise corporate standards and strengthen public policy — as the representative of China requested it correct its terminology regarding Taiwan Province of China.


International Association of Genocide Scholars, Inc. — an international organization based in the United States seeking to further research the causes and consequences of genocide, and advance policy studies on prevention of genocide — as the representative of Sudan requested further information of its collaboration with various international organizations, including the International Criminal Court.  The representative of Turkey requested further information of its work with universities and whether there was a quota in regards to specific nationalities.


International Dalit Solidarity Network — an international organization based in Denmark aiming to contribute to the elimination of caste-based discrimination — as the representative of India requested information on funding sources and the specific activities and projects carried out upon receipt of funds.


The representative of Belgium said that it was one of the oldest applications on the list and that more than 60 questions had been posed to it.  He expressed hope that the Committee would soon grant it consultative status.


International Federation of Liberal Youth — an international organization based in Belgium aiming to serve as a forum for cooperation and intercultural learning between liberal youth organizations — as the representative of China requested it correct on its website terminology regarding Taiwan Province of China.  The representative of Cuba requested an updated member list and which countries the organizations were from.


International Prison Chaplains' Association — an international Sweden-based organization aiming to promote human rights, especially freedom of religion, for prisoners all over the world — as the representative of China requested it correct on its website terminology regarding Tibet.


International Space University — a national organization aiming to provide interdisciplinary educational programmes to students and space professionals in an international, intercultural environment — as the representative of China requested it correct on its website terminology referring to Taiwan Province of China.


Jewish Voice Ministries International — an international organization based in the United States aiming to support Jewish or Israelite communities worldwide — as the representative of Cuba requested further clarification on contradictory information in its application from a previous session.


John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation — a national organization based in the United States aiming to support creative people and effective institutions committed to a more just world — as the representative of China requested it correct on its website terminology regarding Taiwan Province of China.


Muslim Aid — an international organization based in the United Kingdom aiming to serve humanity, in particular victims of natural disasters and people in abject poverty — as the representative of Israel requested further information on its partnerships, as well as any relationship with an umbrella organization.


National Secular Society — an international United Kingdom-based organization aiming to provide greater freedom for religion and belief, and non-discrimination — as the representative of China requested additional information of its funds.  The representative of Sudan requested further information of its activities in North Africa and the Middle East.


Network for North Korean Democracy and Human Rights — a national organization based in the Republic of Korea aiming to promote North Korean human rights and democracy — as the representative of China requested further information on its work with other NGOs.


The representative of Venezuela requested further information on whether there was constructive dialogue with the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with regard to the cases it was dealing with.


Organizzazione Internazionale Protezione Animali (OIPA) — an international Italy-based organization aiming to defend animals and prevent any type of animal mistreatment — as the representative of China requested further information on specific activities in his country.


Peace X Peace TR — an international organization based in the United States aiming to strengthen women's capacity and promote gender equality — as the representative of China requested it correct on its website terminology regarding Tibet and Taiwan Province of China.


Peoples Development Organization (PDO) — a national Pakistan-based organization aiming to promote harmony and justice through participatory advancement — as the representative of India requested further information on its work in the region.


Population Matters — a national organization based in the United Kingdom aiming to raise awareness of the damaging environmental, social and economic impacts of population growth — as the representative of Morocco requested further clarification on its application.


Scandinavian Institute for Human Rights (SIHR) Norway — an international organization based in Norway aiming to promote human rights, especially in the Middle East — as the representative of Turkey requested further information on its work with another non-governmental organization.


Second Amendment Foundation — a national United States-based organization aiming, through public education programmes and legal action projects, to defend the right to keep and bear arms — as the representative of Venezuela requested further clarification on its educational activities and the role of its sponsors.


Segretariato Permanente dei Premi Nobel per la Pace — a national organization based in Italy aiming to organize the work of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates and organize the relative thematic sessions — as the representative of China requested further information on types of activities carried out with funds from the Italian Government.


Stichting Global Human Rights Defence — an international organization aiming to address severe and extensive human rights violations of certain ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities — as the representative of China requested further information on types of activities carried out in Bangladesh and Nepal.


The Equal Rights Trust — a national organization based in the United Kingdom aiming to combat discrimination and promote equality as a fundamental human right and a basic principle of social justice — as the representative of China requested it correct on its website terminology referring to Taiwan Province of China.


The Ford Foundation — an international organization based in the United States aiming to strengthen democratic values and reduce poverty and injustice — as the representative of Venezuela requested further information on its projects in Latin America.


The International Coalition of Historic Site Museums of Conscience — a United States-based organization aiming to provide entry points for new audiences to use history and memory to explore, connect and get involved in human rights and social justice issues — as the representative of China requested it correct terminology referring to Tibet and further information on its criteria of what it features on its website.


The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons — an international organization aiming to campaign for a ban on the use of uranium in conventional weapons — as the representative of China requested it correct on its website terminology referring to Tibet and Taiwan Province of China.


The Jewish Renaissance Foundation — an international organization aiming to serve for economically and socially vulnerable persons and families — as the representative of Sudan requested further information on its past activities; while his counterpart from Cuba requested further information on activities in Haiti.


The Simons Foundation — a national Canada-based organization aiming to advance positive change through education in disarmament and international law — as the representative of Turkey requested an updated list of expenditures.


Un Ponte Per… — a national organization based in Italy aiming to promote solidarity initiatives in favour of Iraqi people who suffered from war — as the representative of Turkey requested further detail of its activities.


United Hatzalah (NP) — a national Israel-based organization aiming to provide trained and equipped first-responders — as the representative of Cuba requested further clarification on its material included in the application.


United Sikhs — an international United States-based organization aiming to empower under-privileged and minority communities and individuals — as the representative of India requested financial statements from the last two years and further elaboration on the issue of disarmament.


Virtual Activism Incorporated — an international organization based in the United States aiming to strengthen NGO effectiveness and outreach through internet access and presence — as the representative of China requested information on whether the organization had plans to conduct activities in his country, noting that the Ford Foundation provided nearly all of its funding, whether it had any autonomy.  The representative of Cuba requested further information on activities carried out in the Middle East.


Women's Division of the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church — a national organization based in the United States aiming to foster spiritual growth, develop leaders and advocate for justice — as the representative of China requested it correct its terminology referring to Hong Kong and provide an updated financial statement.


Women's Information Center — a national Georgia-based organization aiming to improve the political, economical and social conditions of women — as the representative of China requested further clarification on its status as a national organization.


World Council for Curriculum and Instruction — an international United States-based organization aiming to engage in dialogue on education and social issues — as the representative of China requested it correct its terminology regarding Taiwan Province of China.


World Future Council Foundation — a national organization in Germany aiming to provide a global forum to protect the rights of future generations — as the representative of China requested it correct its terminology regarding Tibet.


Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (YCSRR) — an international Canada-based organization working to promote sexual reproductive rights — as the representative of China requested information of specific projects carried out in his country.  The representative of Sudan requested further information on whether its work protected youths from paedophilia.


Zala briviba — a national organization based in Latvia aiming to develop a society in which people live in harmony with each other and their environment — as the representative of China requested it correct its terminology regarding Tibet.


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For information media • not an official record