Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations Recommends Consultative Status for 5 Groups, Postpones Consideration of 43 Applications

ECOSOC/6424-NGO/696
1 June 2010

Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations Recommends Consultative Status for 5 Groups, Postpones Consideration of 43 Applications

1 June 2010
Economic and Social Council
ECOSOC/6424
NGO/696
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Committee on NGOs                                          

23rd & 24th Meetings (AM & PM)                               


Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations Recommends Consultative Status

 

for 5 Groups, Postpones Consideration of 43 Applications

 


The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) today recommended 5 entities for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council and postponed its consideration of 43 applications.


General, special or roster status is recommended in accordance with such criteria as the applicant’s mandate, governance and financial regime.  Organizations enjoying general and special status can attend meetings of the Economic and Social Council and circulate statements, while those with general status can, in addition, address meetings and propose agenda items.  Roster-status NGOs can only attend meetings.


The Committee recommended special consultative status for the following NGOs:


Khiam Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Torture, a national organization in Lebanon which documents the establishment and activities of health, psychological and physical treatment centres; and social, vocational and educational rehabilitation centres; and


Third World Network-Africa, a national organization in Ghana working for greater articulation of the needs and rights of marginalized people, and for fair distribution of resources and forms of ecologically sustainable development that can fulfil human needs.


The Committee recommended roster status for:


Assemblée des premières nations du Québec et du Labrador — a national organization in Canada which seeks to affirm the rights of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, while securing governmental recognition and greater financial autonomy for them — following a proposal by the delegation of Egypt;


Conseil en éducation des premières nations — an association of First Nations in Canada with the common goal of gaining full control of their education — after Egypt’s representative noted that its sister organization had also been recommended for roster status; and


Hope Medical Enterprises, Ltd. — an international organization with headquarters in the United Kingdom, working to empower women and young girls through education and counselling on medical and socio-cultural issues — after Egypt’s representative spoke about the scope of its activities.


Pending receipt of answers to delegates’ questions, the Committee postponed its consideration of applications submitted by:


International Institute of Security & Safety Management — an organization headquartered in India which promotes security and safety as integral parts of human and socio-economic development — as China’s delegation requested a written commitment to use correct United Nations terminology;


Isfahan Minority Rights and Development — a national organization in Somalia striving to improve the country’s human rights situation — after Burundi requested clarification on its activities relating to poverty elimination, and Egypt’s inquiry about its legal status, given Somalia’s current security situation;


Jananeethi–A People’s Initiative for Human Rights — a national organization in India which aims to make justice a tangible experience for the poor and marginalized –- as Pakistan’s delegate requested more information on its research;


Krityanand UNESCO Club Jamshedpur — an Indian national organization working to popularize the aims and purpose of the United Nations system, and promote international understanding, peace and tolerance through education, science, culture and mass communication — after Pakistan’s representative requested more information on its relationships with Government entities;


Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre — an international organization based in India which provides impoverished people in the country’s remote regions, with such humanitarian services as free education, health care and housing for poor or homeless children, the sick, the handicapped, the elderly and underprivileged women — after Pakistan requested more information on its partnerships with Government officials, receipt of Government funds, and their subsequent impact on its goals and decision-making process;


Nagkakaisang mga Tribu ng Palawan — a province-wide federation of indigenous peoples in Palawan, Philippines, which seeks to strengthen the spirit of indigenous interdependence, brotherhood and solidarity, while securing the freedom of indigenous peoples — after China’s delegate requested more information on its participation in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples;


Neda Institute for Scientific-Political Research — a national organization in Iran which seeks to collect all research studies undertaken on Middle Eastern political and social problems, and to set up a comprehensive archive of various aspects of the regional’s countries, including cultural, social, economic, political and military aspects —— after Egypt’s delegation, noting previous concerns, asked that the organization use appropriate language in responding to questions posed by the Committee.  The delegate also requested information on the NGO’s refugee projects and its relationship with the International Union of NGOs;


New World Hope Organization — a Pakistan-based international NGO striving to create awareness of education among deprived communities in order to develop better living standards for a bright future — as the delegations of China and India requested that it use correct United Nations geographical terminology and provide information on its activities in China and Pakistan;


Palpung Munishasan Dharmachakra Sangh — an India-based international organization dedicated to the welfare of others regardless of sect, caste, religion, race, gender or nationality — after Cuba requested more information on its partner organizations, Pakistan sought clarification of its membership policy, and China requested a written commitment to use correct geographical terminology;


People’s Life Centre — a national organization in India which seeks the establishment of a just social order based on human values such as love, justice, equality, brotherhood, peace and harmony — after Pakistan requested detailed information about Government support received;


Project Green Nigeria — a national organization working with rural farmers and development partners to reduce poverty in community households through sustainable agricultural development, food security, research and development, reducing farm losses and enterprise development — as Egypt’s delegate sought further clarification about its registration;


Redeem Africa Foundation — a national organization in Ghana supporting education and health care in remote districts and fighting for the rights of the poor and under-privileged, while also undertaking gender-sensitive initiatives to address sexual and reproductive health issue — after Egypt requested clarification on several questions, as well as an explanation of membership qualifications, including any restrictions on religious grounds;


SAHIL — a Pakistani national organization providing support for victims and their families through free legal aid and psychological counselling — after India’s representative questioned the preponderance of foreign donors and its ability to keep its decision-making process free of their influence;


Victorious Youths Movement — a national organization in Cameroon whose aims include fighting HIV/AIDS, conserving the environment, empowering youths and women to alleviate poverty, revitalizing agriculture and protecting human rights — as the Burundi’s representative asked about its activities in other countries;


Vivekananda Sevakendra-O-Sishu Uddyan — a national organization in India which seeks holistic and self-sustainable community development — after Pakistan’s representative requested more information about the decision-making process for projects already undertaken;


Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights — an international organization headquartered in the Philippines which works for women’s reproductive and sexual rights — after China’s representative requested more information about its activities in her country and its contributions to meetings that had taken place there, and Egypt’s representative asked about its perspectives on safe abortion, sexual health and reproductive rights, its expertise in political economy and other questions about the terminology used in its application;


Afromedianet — a France-based international network of leading journalists and independent experts specializing in human rights, development issues and humanitarian affairs in Africa — after Egypt’s delegate said it had not answered all the questions put to it and sought further explanations about its finances, and selection of participants in training courses, among other matters;


Agape International Spiritual Center of Truth — a United States-based international organization dedicated to recognizing, honouring and nurturing the dignity and uniqueness of all peoples — after China’s representative sought the meaning of “Action Agape”, Cuba’s delegate asked about financing and Egypt’s representative asked about its founding date and faith-based nature;


Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers — an international organization based in the United States, which advocates technically sound public policy positions that meet the consumer and societal need for clean, safe, efficient and affordable personal transportation — as China’s delegation expressed concern about the NGO’s nature and the representative of the United States requested clarification on its collaborations with environmental experts;


Asia Catalyst — an international organization headquartered in the United States which strives to support and promote the development of local NGOs that advance human rights, social justice and environmental protection in Asia — after China’s delegate requested more details about the technical assistance it provided to an organization in China;


Asia Center for Human Rights — a national organization in the Republic of Korea which aims to cultivate human resources to help establish a human rights protection mechanism and contribute to improving the human rights situation in Asia — after the observer of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea expressed serious doubts about its independence, given its relationship with the Citizen’s Alliance for North Korean Human Rights, and emphasized the anti-Democratic People’s Republic of Korea activities conducted by its leader, which ran counter to United Nations norms and standards;


The representatives of Cuba and China requested that the organization provide clear details about its affiliation with Citizen’s Alliance for North Korean Human Rights as well as a confirmation that the two were in fact distinct organizations.  Pakistan’s representative requested more information on its activities relating to the situation of refugees in Asia;


Assyrian National Congress — an international organization in the United States which sees itself as a global rallying point for the protection of the human rights of the ancient Assyrian people — after Egypt’s delegate and the observer for Syria sought an explanation as to why it had failed to mention that its previous application had been denied;


Additionally, Egypt’s representative requested further information about comments made regarding the support of all Assyrian communities, the observer of Syria asked whether the NGO conducted work on political issues, and Sudan’s delegate requested clarification about its activities regarding Assyrians in the Middle East and its relationship with an organization active in Iraq;


Australian Lesbian Medical Association — a national organization striving to provide support and advocacy for members, advance the visibility of lesbian health, and provide a network for lesbian doctors — after Qatar’s representative requested clarification of its views on the Yogyakarta Principles and same-sex parenting, and Egypt’s delegate asked requested additional information on its activities, finances, member contributions and view of “sexual identity”;


Child Helpline International — a Netherlands-based international organization striving to respond to children in need of care and protection, and to voice their concerns to policymakers and decision-makers by establishing a global network of children's help-lines, while supporting individual help-lines — as China’s delegate requested a summary of its participation in United Nations conferences.  The representative of the United Kingdom recommended consultative status for the organization underlining its “outstanding work for the well-being of children”;


Collectif des Familles des Disparu(e)s en Algérie — a national organization based in France which aims to find missing persons and shed light on the fate of all victims of enforced disappearances in Algeria — after Burundi’s representative asked about participants in conferences it organized, Cuba’s delegate asked about its activities in other countries, and Egypt’s representative asked why it considered itself exiled if it had a presence in Algeria, before requesting detailed responses to other questions;


Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association — a United States-based international organization that is committed to relieving physical, emotional and spiritual human suffering, and to helping protect the natural environment — after China’s representative requested information on other projects in that country besides earthquake relief, and Cuba’s delegate sought details about proposed projects with United Nations entities;


Ecocosm Dynamics, Ltd. — an international organization headquartered in the United States which seeks to reduce the rate of overall human consumption in the world, based on the assumption that it is the cause of the current global environmental crisis — after Egypt requested a detailed budget;


Erevna International Peace Center Inc. (EIPC) — a Cyprus-based international organization Cyprus working for conflict resolution by training mediators and conducting research on conflict-resolution methodologies — after Turkey’s representative asked the identity of the peace groups with which it had worked;


European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) — a Belgium-based international organization acting as a forum on renewable energy, representing the European renewable energy industry and research communities — after China’s representative requested that it use proper terminology for Taiwan, and Egypt’s delegate asked a range of questions;


European Window Film Association — an international organization based in Belgium that promotes window film products for use in cars and buildings — as Egypt’s representative asked about reported tax payments, financial losses described, the nature of its membership and its quest for consultative status with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO);


Forest Products Associations of Canada — a national organization that advances the lawful interests of forest-product companies and provides a forum for the discussion of industry issues — after Egypt requested information on its independence from member companies, profit-making activities and asked whether it had considered pursuing consultative status with UNIDO;


Freemuse-The World Forum on Music and Censorship — an international organization based in Denmark that advocates freedom of expression for musicians and composers worldwide — after Cuba asked about its participation in Alliance of Civilizations meetings, China’s representative sought its views on freedoms and restrictions, and Egypt asked for information on other areas;


Global Family for Love and Peace — a national organization in the United States, dedicated to building a harmonious world by sponsoring interfaith dialogue — after Cuba requested clarification of its relationships with other organizations and international documents on human rights, China’s asked about its participation in DPI/NGO conferences, Pakistan sought clarification of interfaith dialogue, and Egypt asked whether it had considered seeking status with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO);


High Atlas Foundation — an international organization headquartered in the United States which works to establish development projects in Morocco, designed and managed by local communities in partnership with Government and non-governmental agencies — after Cuba asked about its international activities, and Egypt and Pakistan sought clarifications on budgetary matters;


Human Rights House Foundation — a Norway-based international organization working to establish human rights centres around the world — after China sought information on educational programmes, Cuba asked about its criteria for selecting project countries, and Pakistan requested information about its national implementation plans;


Institute of Noahide Code—7 Laws for 70 Nations — a national organization in the United States which encourages the practice of the Seven Laws of Noah, according to the teachings of Rabbi M. M. Schneerson — after Cuba asked about its position on defamation of religions and the endorsement of the Noahide laws by the United States Congress.  Egypt asked about the NGO’s sustainability, relevance to the Economic and Social Council and whether it had considered seeking consultative status with UNESCO;


International Confederation of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul — an organization based in France which fights to alleviate poverty and promote social change, while enhancing local development capacities in 141 countries — after Cuba requested information on the impact of its assistance activities in Haiti, and on its partner organizations in Cuba.  Egypt requested its registration documentation and Pakistan asked for information on its activities in that country as well as further information on comments in its application; and


International Dalit Solidarity Network –- a Denmark-based organization striving for the elimination of caste-based discrimination worldwide — as Cuba asked about any contributions the organization had made to the 2009 United Nations Durban Review Conference, and its opinion on the adoption of the outcome document.  India’s representative requested more detailed responses to questions about its membership and activities.


The Committee postponed further consideration of applications, pending responses from the following NGOS:


Organisation Africaine des Experts, a Morocco-based international organization seeking to promote the collective interests of its members and improve shared skills and knowledge;


World Toilet Organization, a Singapore-based international organization which addresses the dysfunctional sanitation market for the poor by installing sufficient market infrastructure, and promotes ecological sanitation through recycling to prevent the pollution of waterways;


Christian Solidarity International, an international organization based in Switzerland which works for the defence of human rights in general, and religious liberty in particular, on the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;


European Foundation for Democracy, a national organization in Belgium that promotes universal human rights, freedom of conscience, individual liberty, and a plurality of peaceful ideas throughout the world; and


Great Tao Foundation of America, a national organization in the United States that disseminates the ethical principles of Tao to improve the lives of individuals and promote harmony and peace in the family and community, as well as at the national and international levels.


At the outset of the Committee’s interactive dialogue with NGOs, a representative of Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact — a Thailand-based organization seeking to enhance cooperation and solidarity among indigenous peoples across Asia — said there was no concrete international agreement on the definition of indigenous peoples, but noted that the United Nations used a working definition by Special Rapporteur José Martínez Cobo as well as the concept of self-identification.  In terms of the distinction between “tribals” and indigenous peoples, he pointed out that many countries claimed that not all tribals were considered indigenous.


Asked about the organization’s networking activities in different countries, he said it reached out to other organizations around the globe that shared its concerns.


A representative of Pew Charitable Trusts – a United States-based international organization serving the public interest by providing information, advancing policy solutions and supporting civic life — stressed the organization’s belief that all multinational corporations had a responsibility to comply with national and international laws, treaties and regulations.  In addition, Governments should maintain oversight and develop regulatory activities to prevent the over-exploitation of natural resources.  She called the Gulf of Mexico situation a “disaster caused by inappropriate planning”, saying that, in light of the situation, the organization had called for a complete moratorium on all future drilling until safeguards could be put into place.


Asked about the NGO’s relationships with contractors and consultants, she said she could provide a comprehensive list by tomorrow, adding that the NGO worked with contractors and consultants from Germany, Spain, Argentina and New Zealand, among others.


With regard to the organization’s application for consultative status, she clarified that only the Pew Environment Group — a department of the Trust — was currently applying for consultative status.  Asked about the group’s current and planned interactions with the United Nations, she highlighted oceans conservation efforts as a main focus.


Asked about the NGO’s activities to support developing countries in the area of fishing, she said it had undertaken a capacity needs assessment project and the current focus was on South Africa, though the organization hoped to expand into other countries in the future.  The information from the assessment would be shared with other organizations in order to stimulate more assistance and capacity building efforts, she added.


Lastly, a representative of WITNESS — a United States-based international organization which uses video and online technologies to open the world’s eyes to human rights violations — said the NGO hoped to share its expertise in new media and video in promoting human rights with the United Nations through participation in such forums as Envision:  Addressing Global Issues through Documentaries.


Asked about the NGO’s network partners, the representative explained that they were organizations or individuals with which the organization had worked previously but no longer maintained collaborations.


The Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. tomorrow, Wednesday 2 June, to continue its consideration of deferred applications.


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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.