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AD HOC COMMITTEE ON
AN INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION

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NGO Participation
Meetings of the Ad Hoc Committee : NGO Participation

Information Note for NGOs

Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Promotion and Protection of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities

Second Session of the Ad Hoc Committee, 16 to 27 June 2003

The second session of the Ad Hoc Committee established to consider proposals for a comprehensive and integral international convention to promote and protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities will be convened from 16 to 27 June 2003 at the United Nations Headquarters, in New York. The Committee was established in accordance with General Assembly resolution 56/168 entitled "Comprehensive and integral international convention to promote and protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities".

By this resolution, the General Assembly invited, inter alia, non-governmental organizations with an interest in the matter to make contribution to the work entrusted to the Ad Hoc Committee, based on the practice of the United Nations.

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Accreditation

By its resolution 56/510 the Assembly decided that accreditation of non-governmental organizations to the UN Ad Hoc Committee to consider proposals for a comprehensive and integral international convention to promote and protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities shall be granted to all non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council;

The Assembly also decided that other non-governmental organizations, not accredited previously to the Ad Hoc Committee, may apply to the Secretariat for such accreditation. In 2002, 9 NGOs were accredited to the Ad Hoc Committee, in addition to NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC.

Applications for accreditation of new NGOs should contain all the following information:

  1. The purpose of the organization;
  2. Information as to the programmes and activities of the organization in areas relevant to the Committee and its preparatory process and the country or countries in which they are carried out. Non-governmental organizations seeking accreditation shall be asked to confirm their interest in the goals and objectives of the committee;
  3. Confirmation of the activities of the organization at the national, regional or international level;
  4. Copies of the annual or other reports of the organization with financial statements, and a list of financial sources and contributions, including governmental contributions;
  5. A list of members of the governing body of the organization and their countries of nationality;
  6. A description of the membership of the organization, indicating the total number of members, the names of organizations that are members and their geographical distribution;
  7. A copy of the constitution and/or by-laws of the organization.

An application package including the above mentioned information should be sent by all NGOs, except those NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC or accredited to the Ad Hoc Committee during its first session. Owing to the time pressure, interested NGOs are encourage to send their applications by Express mail or by Email. Please note that the application package should be sent to the Chief of the NGO Unit Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD).

Voluntary Fund to support the participation of NGOs

By its resolution 57/229, the Assembly decided to establish a voluntary fund to support the participation of NGOs and experts from developing countries, in particular from the least developed countries, and invited Governments, civil society and the private sector to contribute to the fund. Please note that consideration will be given to applications submitted by accredited NGOs.

This page is aimed at facilitating participation of NGOs at the work of the Ad Hoc Committee. It includes:

  1. Resolutions of the General Assembly establishing the Ad Hoc Committee
  2. Resolution of the General Assembly on accreditation and participation of NGOs in the Ad Hoc Committee (General Assembly resolution 56/510 of 23 July 2002)
  3. Decision of the Ad Hoc Committee on modalities of participation of NGOs in the Ad Hoc Committee (of 1 August 2002, contained in 57/357, paragraph 8).
  4. Resolution of the General Assembly establishing the Voluntary Fund to support participation of NGOs and experts from developing countries (General Assembly resolution 57/229 of 18 December 2002).
  5. Pre-registration form for accredited NGOs only
  6. Online pre-registration form for accredited NGOs only
  7. Frequently asked questions
  8. For additional information

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Frequently Asked Questions

Accreditation and Pre-Registration

Q1. Our organization is interested in attending the second session of the Ad-Hoc Committee. What are the procedures for accreditation and to whom shall we direct our queries for application?

An accreditation package is necessary for NGOs that do not enjoy consultative status with ECOSOC. NGOs accredited to the Ad-Hoc Committee during its first session do not need to apply again. The application package should be sent to the NGO Unit, (DSPD). Applications should be received six week prior to the opening of each session. For the second session, applications should be sent to DSPD by 2 May 2003.

Q2. Representatives of my organization attended the first session of the Ad-Hoc Committee. Do we still need to apply for accreditation?

No. NGOs that attended the first session are in consultative status with ECOSOC or accredited to the Ad-Hoc Committee. These categories of NGOs meet the requirements for accreditation and need only to pre-register.

Q3. My organization enjoys consultative status with ECOSOC, but we have not received an invitation to attend meetings of the Ad Hoc. How can we pre-register?

The work of the Ad Hoc Committee is open to NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC and to other NGOs that are interested in disability related issues and the rights of persons with disabilities. Owing to the time pressure, invitations may have not been sent to all NGOs. This Information Note has been posted to mitigate the consequences of regular correspondence-related problems. Interested NGOs are invited to get in touch with the NGO Unit of DSPD. NGOs in consultative status that are interested in attending the second session of the Committee may also use the above-mentioned forms. They should indicate to us to which category (General, Special, Roster) they belong.

Q4. Can representatives of NGOs attend the second session of the Committee without pre-registration?

We generally encourage all organizations planning to participate in meetings organized by DSPD to pre-register. All NGO representatives, including those from organizations enjoying consultative status with ECOSOC and holding annual ground-passes, should pre-register and register at the site of the second session of the Ad-Hoc Committee. This is aimed at providing a proper planning of the meeting. In addition, it gives the Secretariat the opportunity to take appropriate measures regarding logistics and security concerns.

Some NGOs representatives hold annual ground-pass and do not generally pre-register or register to attend meeting organized at the United Nations. This prevents the Secretariat from having accurate records of attendance and, in the case security issues are at stake, may induce serious problems. NGO representatives in possession of valid ground-passes, as well as those requiring ground-passes for the session, are encouraged to pre-register one month before the opening of the session. In addition, they should register once at the United Nations. A registration desk is set at the visitor's entrance of the United Nations Building.

Participation

Q1. What are the criteria for selection of NGOs to address the Assembly?

In a decision contained in the report of the its first session (document A/57/357), the Ad Hoc Committee set modalities for participation of accredited NGOs in its work. The Ad Hoc Committee decided that representatives from accredited NGOs may participate in the work of the Committee by:

  • Attending any public meeting of the Committee;
  • Making statements, giving the availability of time, in accordance to with current United Nations practice;
  • When time is limited, selecting from among themselves spokespersons, on a balanced and transparent basis, taking into account equitable geographical representation of the diversity of NGOs;
  • Receiving copies of the official documents, as well as making written or other presentations. Written presentations shall note be issued as official documents except in accordance with ECOSOC resolution 1996/31. Furthermore, NGOs may make their material available to delegations in accessible areas designated by the Secretariat.

Q2. Participation of persons with disabilities

In its decision 56/474 of 23 July 2002, "Participation of persons with disabilities in the Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities," the General Assembly requests the Secretary-General to make, as needed and within existing resources, reasonable efforts to facilitate the participation by persons with disabilities in the meetings and deliberations of the Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities. Organizations needing special accommodation for their representatives are strongly encouraged to advise the Secretariat in advance. Reasonable accommodation to increase accessibility may be provided to the extent possible within existing resources.

Other concerns

Q1. Where do we get documents for the Ad Hoc Committee?

Hard-copy documents on the Assembly and the Ad Hoc available for distribution are also posted on the Website of the Division for Social Policy and Development: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/. In case you do not have access to the Internet, you may get in touch with the Division.

Q2. Will the United Nations help me with my visa to New York?

Arrangements for travel, including visa procedures, accommodation and transportation are the responsibility of NGOs. NGOs need to deal directly with representatives of the host Government. The United Nations will send a confirmation letter to accredited NGOs, once their representatives have completed the process of pre-registration. This confirmation letter may be used by representatives of NGOs to request a visa from the American authorities. If necessary, the Division for Social Policy and Development will assist in providing information regarding the status of NGOs at the request of American authorities. However, the United Nations cannot assume the responsibility of obtaining visas for individual representatives of NGOs.

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For additional information, please contact:

Mr. Yao Ngoran
Chief, NGO Unit
Division for Social Policy and Development
2 United Nations Plaza
Room DC2-1376
New York, NY 10017
Tel.: (212) 963 3175
Fax: (212) 963 3062
Email: ngoran@un.org

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United Nations, 2003-04
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Division for Social Policy and Development