United Nations

A/AC.251/2


General Assembly

 Distr. GENERAL
19 June 1996
                                       ORIGINAL: ENGLISH


GENERAL ASSEMBLY
AD HOC COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE OF THE
  GENERAL ASSEMBLY FOR THE MID-TERM
  REVIEW OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE
  UNITED NATIONS NEW AGENDA FOR THE
  DEVELOPMENT OF AFRICA IN THE 1990S
Organizational session
New York, 20 and 21 June 1996


               INFORMATION NOTE ON PARTICIPATION OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL
               ORGANIZATIONS IN THE MID-TERM REVIEW OF THE UNITED
               NATIONS NEW AGENDA FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF AFRICA IN
                                   THE 1990s


Background

1.   According to paragraphs 21 and 41 of the United Nations New Agenda
for the Development of Africa in the 1990s and paragraph 6 of General
Assembly resolution 50/160 of 22 December 1995, non-governmental
organizations are partners in the implementation of the New Agenda.

2.   Though a large number of non-African non-governmental
organizations interested in African development have been accredited
by the Economic and Social Council in accordance with the provisions
of Council resolution 1296 (XLIV) of 23 May 1968, many local African
non-governmental organizations involved in activities related to the
priorities of the New Agenda have no consultative status.

3.   Paragraph 100 of the report of the Secretary-General on the
general review of arrangements for consultations with non-governmental
organizations of 26 May 1994 (E/AC.70/1994/5) states that
participation of non-governmental organizations in international
conferences convened by the United Nations are determined on a case-
by-case basis by the organ convening a given conference, directly or
on the recommendation of the preparatory body for the conference. 
These rules generally cover the criteria for both accreditation and
participation, and although the rights of non-governmental
organizations to attend and participate have varied from one
conference to another, the recent trend has been towards greater
flexibility in granting non-governmental organizations access to
international conferences.

4.   Furthermore, according to the above-mentioned report, relevant
non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the
Economic and Social Council may be given an opportunity to address
briefly the Preparatory Committee in plenary meeting and its
subsidiary bodies.  Other relevant non-governmental organizations may
also ask to speak briefly at such meetings.  If the number of requests
is too large, the Preparatory Committee will request that the
non-governmental organizations form themselves into constituencies,
with each constituency speaking through one spokesperson.  Any oral
intervention by a non-governmental organization should, in accordance
with normal United Nations practice, be made at the discretion of the
Chairman and with the consent of the Preparatory Committee (ibid.,
annex I, para. 3 (i)).

5.   Finally, the report mentions that relevant non-governmental
organizations may, at their own expense, make written presentations in
the official languages of the United Nations during the preparatory
process, as they deem appropriate.  Those written presentations will
not be issued as official documents unless they are in accordance with
the United Nations rules of procedure (ibid., annex I, para. 3 (j)).

Facts

6.   Since the International Conference on Popular Participation in the
Recovery and Development Process in Africa, held in Arusha, Tanzania,
in 1990, the emerging role of non-governmental organizations in
Africa's development process has been acknowledged.  The Secretary-
General officially reaffirmed this role during the second meeting of
the Panel of High-level Personalities on African Development, held at
Rome in April 1993.  The Tokyo Declaration on African Development
adopted at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development
in October 1993 also stressed the need to enhance cooperation efforts
with local non-governmental organizations and other institutions of
civil society which play constructive roles for African development.

7.   On this basis, the relationship and cooperation between the Office
of the Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed
Countries and non-governmental organizations have evolved through
constant consultation on priority issues of the New Agenda and through
the preparatory mechanisms for important intergovernmental processes,
including the Brainstorming Workshop on non-governmental organizations
and African development, held in New York on 16 and 17 January 1995;
the parallel event to the high-level segment of the Economic and
Social Council on "Priority Africa, a policy dialogue among
development actors", held at Geneva on 3 July 1995; the United Nations
International Workshop on the Informal Sector and Development, held in
June 1995; and subsequent meetings.

Participation of non-governmental organizations

8.   Several non-governmental organizations have been part of this
ongoing consultation and are planning to participate in the mid-term
review in September in an organized and coordinated way.  First, they
will publish a report that will serve as background information to
delegates to the Ad Hoc Committee.  They are also planning to hold a
two-day meeting prior to the meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee to
finalize a statement as a contribution to the work of the Ad Hoc
Committee.  A list of non-governmental organizations presently
involved in the preparation of the mid-term review of the New Agenda
is available upon request.

Decision of the organizational session

9.   The organizational session may, therefore, wish to consider
appropriate modalities for the participation of non-governmental
organizations in the mid-term review of the New Agenda and in the work
of the Ad Hoc Committee.


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