|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Committee on NGOs
5th & 6th Meetings (AM & PM)
On Session’s Third Day, NGO Committee Recommends 15 Organizations for Special
Consultative Status with Economic and Social Council, Postpones Action on 45
The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations continued its consideration of new applications for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council today, recommending 15 more non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for special consultative status and postponing consideration of 45, owing to probes ranging from the political aspects underpinning a humanitarian organization’s work to how another monitored cases of international law violations and war crimes.
The 19-member Committee recommends to the Council general, special or roster status, in accordance with such criteria as the civil society 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.
Among those organizations granted special consultative status today following the often arduous process of application and scrutiny was the Korean Assembly for Reunion of 10 Million Separated Families, which drew a statement by the Republic of Korea’s Deputy Permanent Representative. Assuring Committee members of its “purely humanitarian purpose”, the delegate said the NGO had been committed to the suffering of separated families since its inception in 1983 and would contribute constructively to the Council’s work.
A national association aimed at upholding human rights from the Islamic perspective was the focus of another NGO admitted today; others sought to change the way the world thinks about AIDS; help society to address longevity and population ageing; foster collaboration among radio amateurs; and create a toxin-free world. Note was taken of the withdrawal of an application by Act of Life Inc.
In other business, the Committee elected by acclamation Yoni Ish-Hurwitz ( Israel) as one of its Vice-Chairpersons.
The Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. Thursday, 2 February, to continue its work.
Special Consultative Status
The following were recommended for special consultative status:
Pesticide Action Nexus Association — a national organization based in Ethiopia, which aims to contribute towards efforts geared at creating a toxin-free world by working in sustainable and mission-based partnership with all concerned stakeholders.
Amizade Ltd. — an international United States-based NGO aimed at empowering individuals and communities through worldwide service and learning, boasting a 15-year record of cooperating with communities on service that local individuals and organizations define and direct.
International Longevity Centre Global Alliance, Ltd. — an international United States-based NGO, which aims to help societies to address longevity and population ageing in positive and productive ways, typically using a life course approach, highlighting older people’s productivity and contributions to family and society as a whole.
International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN) — international United States-based organization of more than 700 public-interest NGOs working together for the elimination of persistent organic pollutants, on an expedited yet socially equitable basis, with a mission that includes achieving a world in which all chemicals are produced and used in ways that eliminate significant adverse effects on human health and the environment.
IRESC International Radio Emergency Support Coalition — an international United States-based NGO with the main aim of fostering efficient collaboration between radio amateurs, extending friendships across the world and providing international emergency communication in times of need, when all else fails.
Korean Assembly for Reunion of 10 Million Separated Families — a national NGO based in the Republic of Korea with the purpose of helping separated Korean families in both the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea to find ways to trace the fate and whereabouts of their families living totally incommunicado for more than 60 years in the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea to exchange mail, meet and visit with each other and, ultimately, to be reunited.
Following an announcement by the Chair that an exchange would take place in the afternoon with a representative of the NGO, the representative of the Republic of Korea took the floor, informing the Committee that the NGO had been established in 1983 with the purely humanitarian purpose of helping separated families in the peninsula. It was well known and, since its inception, had been committed to addressing the suffering of separated families, whose situation was one of the most painful in the peninsula today. The NGO would contribute constructively to the Economic and Social Council, and he reiterated his Government’s request that it be granted status.
The representative of Venezuela noted that a representative of the NGO was present for an interactive exchange with the Committee and stressed that the Committee’s rules should be uniformly applied. A discussion ensued with the Committee Chair and the representatives of Israel, Pakistan, and Morocco on that point, with the Chair concluding that sufficient time was indeed needed to review the responses of each NGO, but she understood that it was possible to act when each Committee member was ready and, in this particular case, nobody had objected. She said the matter could be further explored when members discussed the Committee’s working methods in informal consultations.
Kuwait Association for the Basic Evaluators for Human Rights — a national association aimed at upholding human rights from the Islamic perspective, and defending those rights against any infringements, by utilizing all means available through awareness, constructive interaction with community and in coordination with the authorities concerned, in a manner dependent on wisdom.
The Salamander Trust — an international organization based in the United Kingdom aimed at challenging, catalysing and transforming the way the world thinks about AIDS, by seeking to support the rights of marginalized people and raising awareness about underlying issues through engaging with health and legal professionals, United Nations staff, parliamentarians, the media and the public at large.
Vojensky a spitaini Rad svateho Lazaro Jeruzalemskeho – Bohemia — a national organization based in the Czech Republic, which describes itself as an international community of Christian knights devoted to ecumenical spirituality, unostentatious charity and chivalry tradition; a centuries-old fellowship bound by noble ideals of caring for the poor and sick.
World Barua Organization (WBO) — a Geneva-based group that aims to promote the rights of the Barua people of Bangladesh, and in particular, their right to freedom of religion, expression and conscience.
Yakutia ? Our Opinion — an organization that works to protect the rights of citizens in the Russian Federation and ensure that the laws and policies governing those rights are in line with international legal norms. It also aims to raise awareness about and protect the interests of the multinational people of Yakutia and the Russian Federation.
Agence pour le Developpement Integre au Congo — an organization based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with the chief stated aim of fighting against poverty, the spread HIV/AIDS and ensuring the protection of vulnerable groups, including persons with disabilities.
Solidarite Agissante pour le Developpement Familial (SADF) — a Kinshasa-based organization working to reduce poverty and hunger. It is committed to promoting socio-economic growth and development towards alleviating the suffering of poor families.
Voice of Change International — a Ghana-based organization that aims to develop and empower women and girls, including women and girls with disabilities, and protect their rights, as enshrined in the United Nations standards rules for equalization of opportunities and other international bodies.
Tomorrow’s Peacekeepers Today, Ltd. — an international United States-based organization, which works to train volunteers for use by the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security by providing the cultural, ethical, security and logistical training required to meet the standards dictated by international law.
Action on the following was postponed pending responses to previously posed questions:
The Royal Society of Chemistry — an international NGO based in the United Kingdom self-described as the largest professional body in Europe for advancing the chemical sciences and traces its origins back to the establishment of The Chemical Society in 1841, in Burlington House, London. Its vision is to be the foremost organization in the world at promoting and developing the chemical sciences for the benefit of society.
Singapore Institute of International Affairs — a national NGO aimed at promoting interest in and public awareness of contemporary issues of international politics and regional security through international conferences, workshops, seminars and public lectures; and facilitating contacts among the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and wider international community of scholars, policy and opinion makers, interested in international issues and problems of regional security.
World Welfare Association — a national organization based in Pakistan with the aim of establishing a democratic society that will be fundamentally based on equality, tolerance and justice where every individual has a right to get basic necessities of life.
Al-Mahdi Institute — an international NGO based in the United Kingdom, established in the mid-90s with a twofold aim of providing high-level Islamic studies to students residing within Europe and to serve the needs of the Muslim communities.
Catholic Fund for Overseas Development — a national organization based in the United Kingdom, which promotes long-term development, responds to emergencies, raises awareness of poverty, speaks out on behalf of poor communities, and promotes social justice.
Center for International Policy — a national United States-based NGO with a mission to promote a United States’ foreign policy based on international cooperation, demilitarization and respect for human rights.
Child Rights Information Network - CRIN – an international NGO based in the United Kingdom aimed at building a global network for children’s rights. They press for rights, not charity, and advocate for a genuine systemic shift in how Governments and societies view children.
Forest Stewardship Council AC — an international Mexico-based organization that promotes the environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests.
ICT for Peace Foundation — a Swiss-based national organization, which aims to enhance the performance of the international community in crisis management through the application of information and communications technology — technologies that can facilitate effective and sustained communication between peoples, communities and stakeholders involved in crisis management, humanitarian aid and peacebuilding.
International Public Organization “Sovereign Knightly Order of Christ the Saviour” — an international NGO based in Ukraine with a mission to, among others, revive and establish Christian and human values, noble and knight rates, and the spirit of knight traditions; as well as to strengthen humanist principles of society, protect and defend civil rights and liberties, launch charitable activities and deepen relations with other Orders.
JustWorld International Inc. – a United States-based NGO, which acts as a catalyst for positive change in the developing world by working with local partner organizations to provide basic education, nutrition, health, hygiene, and vocational programmes for children in impoverished communities in Honduras, Cambodia, Guatemala, Brazil and Senegal.
KARP — a national NGOin the Republic of Korea with the primary objective to assist and advocate ”Korea’s 50+” in adapting their lifestyles as they age, by working both on a personal- and a global-level information exchange and clearing house on matters concerning ageing, legislation, and regulatory issues that affect the quality of life of seniors in the country.
Management Sciences for Health, Inc.—an internationalUnited States-based NGO composed of more than 2,200 people from 74 nations, with a mission to save lives and improve the health of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people by closing the gap between knowledge and action in public health.
Mines Action Canada — a national coalition of Canadian non-governmental organizations committed to the goal of eliminating the serious humanitarian, environmental and development consequences of landmines, cluster sub-munitions and other explosive remnants of war.
National Forum “Alternatives, Practice, Initiatives” — an international NGO aimed at assisting and supporting the Bulgarian society on social development, democratization and civil integration, reinforcement of efforts for peace, human rights, economic prosperity, stability and promotion of civil and human values.
Network for North Korean Democracy and Human Rights – a national organization based in the Republic of Korea aimed at promoting North Korean human rights and democracy and raise awareness internationally, including protecting the rights of North Korean immigrants living abroad.
Somali Women Civil War Survivors — a national United States-based NGO aimed at achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in post-conflict is Somalia.
Stichting Spanda — based in The Hague and self-described as a transnational NGO aimed at development and cooperation in the areas of culture, education, health and environment, microfinance and research for the sustainable advancement of peace, knowledge and understanding.
Action on the following was postponed after new questions were posed:
TrustAfrica — an international NGO based in Senegal, which seeks to strengthen African initiatives that address the most difficult challenges confronting the continent. It currently focuses on three critical areas: securing the conditions for democracy; fostering African enterprise and achieving broadly shared prosperity; and cultivating African resources for democracy and development.
The representative of Morocco sought further clarification on the application.
Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD) — an international Norwegian-based NGO aimed at enabling the institutions that are working in the field of development and human rights to establish international partnerships with various sectors, especially the United Nations.
The representative of Israel said it appeared that the signatory and author of the organization’s written responses was also listed as the executive or managing director of two other organizations, namely, an international organization against war criminals and a Scandinavian human rights NGO. She asked this NGO to explain the relationship between the three and how one person could manage senior roles in each.
Hands of Love Group System Inc. — an international United States-based NGO self-described as a “watchdog type” organization whose aim and goals are “to be an assist vehicle by providing various in-print input to other NGOs, world Governments, as well as other relevant parties, in regard to the issues of the poor, sustainability, conflict resolution, culture conflict and better understanding of important world issues”.
The representative of Belgium indicates that the application states the organization presently uses the Internet, but the delegation cannot find a website, so could the NGO provide a link?
The representative of Cuba requested a list of terms on which the provided information was based and for a description of the clients — whether they were NGOs, Governments or other stakeholders.
IDP Foundation, Inc. — a United States-based international organization, which primarily supports programmes devoted to improving the present and future quality of life for people and organizations in need.
The representative of Pakistan asked for clarification of some aspects of the application. For example, the NGO said it was international, yet it did not indicate that it was working in any particular country except for a few schools in Ghana. How and where was it operating, and where did it intend to operate?
International Association for Advancement of Space Safety — based in the Netherlands, it is self-described as having the vision to work as an independent association of experienced space safety professionals for the common goal of promulgating good safety practices, harmonizing space safety regulations and standards at the international level and sustaining the intrinsic value of the safe use of space.
The representative of China asks whether the organization was non-profit or for profit and about the specific content of contracts.
The representative of Venezuela noted the organization’s important scientific work and observer status with the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, but said she was trying to understand its response when it said it had been granted consultative status in that Committee, with the anticipation that it would apply to and be granted status with the Economic and Social Council.
The Secretariat said there was no consolidated roster of all United Nations entities with which NGOs had relationships or status, so that information could only be obtained from the particular NGO.
International Coalition against War Criminals _ICAWC — NORWAY — a Norwegian-based international organization aimed at supporting international justice; following up on war criminals and bringing them to court; monitoring cases of violation of international law and war crimes; supporting the International Criminal Court documentation of war crimes; and working on the development of international law on war crimes.
The representative of Israel posed a similar question to the one she had asked earlier, namely, how the NGO’s director could be head of two other organizations.
The representative of Sudan asked for an example of a project in which the NGO was monitoring international law cases. Also, how did it support ICC documentation, and in what ways could it contribute to the Economic and Social Council? He also asked if the NGO was claiming a role as a think tank or task force for the development of international law.
The representative of the United States asked about information that the NGO functioned under another name that was affiliated with Hamas, a known terrorist organization. She also asked for a further explanation on what was meant when it listed receipt of €3,000 from “militants and ‘HM’”.
Living Bread International Church Inc. — an Israeli-based international NGO, which provides a vehicle for the operation of a church and for the initiation and administration of a wide range of charitable, educational, religious, scientific and literary projects.
The representative of Israel asked about its certificate of registration.
Organisation Technique Europenne du Pneumatique et de la Jante ADF — a Belgian-based international organization designed to set up a competent body for dealing with technical aspects of tyres, solid tyres, rims and valves in Europe of the relevant manufacturers, and, among other things, to establish common engineering dimensions, load/pressure characteristics together with their tolerances, and operational guidelines.
The representative of Pakistan said much clarification was still needed as to how the NGO could contribute to the Economic and Social Council’s work.
The representative of Belgium, careful to state it was not replying on the NGO’s behalf, said an Economic and Social Council-related body was the Economic Commission for Europe, which dealt with road traffic safety issues.
The Secretariat concurred, but the representative of Pakistan said the question should be clarified by the NGO.
Peace Operation Training Institute Inc. — a United States-based international organization dedicated to providing globally accessible and affordable distance-learning courses on peace support, humanitarian relief, and security operations to men and women working to promote peace worldwide.
The representative of the Russian Federation asked for clarification about the political aspects of the organization’s work in the humanitarian, security and peace fields, as well as how it intended to contribute to the Economic and Social Council.
Public Health Institute — an international United States-based NGO dedicated to improving the health, well-being and quality of life for people around the world and guided by the belief that health is a fundamental human right and that just societies ensure equitable health outcomes for everyone.
The representative of China asked the NGO to correct its terminology concerning the Taiwan province of China.
Rural Women Empowerment and Life Improvement Association — a national NGO based in Japan aimed at improving rural life and advancing the status of rural women; its scope was not limited within Japan, but extended to the international arena, and through international development cooperation especially with developing nations, it aimed to contribute to the empowerment of rural women worldwide.
The representative of China indicated a similar problem with the terminology and put the question to the Secretariat as to whether the applications could be vetted on this matter, so as to increase efficiency and save time.
The Secretariat said all applicants were reminded to use United Nations terminology, but staffing constraints in the branch made it impossible to screen each and every website.
Scalabrini International Network, Inc. — a Belgian-based international migration network with a mission to safeguard the dignity and the rights of migrants, refugees, seafarers, itinerants and people on the move, through centres of research and study, social service centres for migrants and refugees, shelters, senior centres, orphanages, medical clinics, kindergartens, schools, vocational centres, missions, cultural centres, parishes and social service centres for mariners.
The representative of China again raised the point about terminology.
The Peacemaker Corps Foundation — a United States-based national NGO with a mission to facilitate and support peace and tolerance education among the youth of the world.
The representative of Pakistan asked a series of questions about the budget.
The representative of Kyrgyzstan wanted to know how the NGO planned to contribute to the Economic and Social Council.
Virtual Activism Incorporated — an international United States-based organization aimed at strengthening non-governmental organizations’ effectiveness and outreach through internet access and presence. The target is the most marginalized NGOs in the global community, with particular attention to women’s organizations.
The representatives of China, Cuba, and Nicaragua had a series of questions about the organization’s partners and how it worked.
Women Deliver, Inc. — an international United States-based NGO, which believes that maternal health is a human right, and, in that, it works globally to generate political commitment and financial investment in fulfilling Millennium Development Goal 5 — to reduce maternal mortality and achieve universal access to reproductive health.
The representatives of Pakistan and China asked for more details on the organization’s by-laws and governance structure.
The representative of Belgium spoke in defense of the organization and clarified the organization and sought to clarify its governance structure.
The representative of the United States said the governance structure was “relatively clear”.
World Future Council Foundation — a global forum working to protect the rights of future generations, which is composed of 50 renowned personalities who form a global voice highlighting our responsibilities as citizens of the Earth. The Council is a registered organization in Hamburg, Germany, where its head office is located. Additionally, it has staff working in Brussels, London, Washington and Johannesburg.
The Young Men’s Hebrew Association of the City of New York — operating in Manhattan as the 92nd Street Y, the Association promotes individual and family development and participation in civic life within the context of Jewish values and American pluralism. The 92nd Street Y reaches out beyond its core constituency of American Jews to serve people of diverse, racial, religious, ethnic and economic backgrounds, seeking partnerships that leaven its programmes and broaden its influence.
Withdrawal of Application
It was noted that Act of Life, Inc. had requested that its application be withdrawn.
When the Committee turned to take up applications of four organizations that had submitted requests to reclassify their status, several members were concerned that those groups had not also included in their submissions reasons for the reclassification requests.
Postponing action on the requests, the Committee decided to ask all four organizations to present explanations regarding their requests for reclassification. Further, the representative of Morocco suggested that perhaps the Committee could hold a discussion on the rules of procedure on this matter. Those groups were: The Geriatrics Care Foundation of Pakistan; International Federation of Translators; World Council for Curriculum and Instruction; and World Heart Federation.
Applications Deferred In Previous Sessions
The Committee also took up a number of applications that had, for various reasons, been deferred during earlier sessions and action on all was postponed.
After questions posed by the representative of Morocco regarding certification documentation, the Committee postponed action on the application of the Arab Penal Reform Organization, an independent organization headquartered in Cairo which works towards reforming penal codes and prison laws in the Arab region. It also trains activists in the Arab region on writing shadow reports submitted to the Human Rights Council for consideration during Universal Periodic Review sessions.
The Committee also postponed action on Asian-Eurasian Human Rights Forum — a New Delhi-based organization promoting the aims of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights throughout that region — when Pakistan’s delegate asked for further clarification about the group’s certification documentation.
Action was also postponed on the application of the Calcutta-based Association for Social and Environmental Development — which aims to protect biodiversity through raising public awareness and promoting research and civic action to that end — pending response to questions posed by Pakistan’s delegate regarding the focus of its environmental projects.
The Committee also postponed action on the application of the Association togolaise pour les Nations Unies — a small Lome-based group that works to promote the broad aims of the United Nations - after the representative of Pakistan asked for more information about its finances and how they were dispersed.
The Committee also postponed action on the application of Baidarie – a Pakistan-based group working to promote and protect human rights, especially rights of women and children, and to provide credit to individuals, groups or community organizations for poverty alleviation — because it had not provided answers to any questions posed by the Committee.
Action was postponed on the application of the Business and Professional Women Voluntary Organization — Sudan — an organization based in Khartoum which works to empower women to rise out of poverty and ensure that their voices were heard when decisions were made regarding policies that affected them and their families — owing to questions by Sudan’s delegate regarding its non-profit status, its area of operation and its documentation certificate.
When the Committee turned to its interactive segment with NGO representatives, it heard first from a member the Coalition Mondiale Contre la Peine de Mort, which works to achieve universal abolition of the death penalty. It brings together likeminded international, national, local or regional civil society groups to achieve this objective.
Belgium’s delegate asked what the organization did in the United States and its representative said it focused chiefly on the application of the death penalty in that country. Working with the families of persons on death row and law enforcement officials that were against the death penalty, the group had organized in 2010 what she said was the first abolitionist conference in San Francisco.
The representative of China’s delegate explained that capital punishment was an issue which drew varied opinions among — and even within — countries, and he asked the representative how her organization balanced its abolitionist work with national policies and laws. In response, she told the delegate that, while the group chiefly focused on the abolition of the death penalty, it also worked with national authorities to improve prison conditions, especially for death row inmates. She assured the Committee that her organization was always willing to work with national authorities on any issues.
To a question posed by the representative of Burundi — who wondered why the information included in the organization’s packet cited its work against “the death penalty in Africa” when not all countries on the continent retained capital punishment, she acknowledged that Burundi and other countries in the Great Lakes region and elsewhere had abolished the practice. She added that some of the information included with the application was outdated.
The Committee turned next to the organization Tomorrow’s Peacekeepers Today, Ltd., which works to train volunteers to help alleviate the logistical shortfalls in both the international aid and the United Nations system by contracting properly trained volunteers on Security Council-mandated peacekeeping missions to build, maintain and service infrastructure needs in the field. It focuses on the cultural, ethical, security and logistical training required to meet the standards dictated by international law.
The delegate of the Russian Federation noted that the organization appeared to collaborate not with the Economic and Social Council, but with the General Assembly’s First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) and, therefore, wondered why it needed consultative status. That group’s representative said that it aimed to ensure that global humanitarian instruments, treaties and charters were respected by peacekeepers, following on the adage: “who is watching the watchers”.
The Committee recommended special consultative status for the group.
Next, the Committee considered the New York-based group Women Deliver, Inc., which works globally to generate political commitment and financial investment in fulfilling Millennium Development Goal 5 — to reduce maternal mortality and achieve universal access to reproductive health.
Asked by the delegate of Kyrgyzstan to expand on the organization’s work, its representative said that the group was particularly concerned about the number of women who died during childbirth or from complications with pregnancy. She said the group convened a global conference every three years. The next such gathering would be held in Kuala Lumpur in 2013, and she hoped that some 3,500 groups would come together to press Governments to work harder to improve the health and health-care conditions of women and girls.
Finally, the Committee heard from a representative of the Chamber of Computer Logistics People Worldwide which promoted the fundamental principles for building a just, sustainable global society towards youth education in the twenty-first century.
That groups’ representative said that the India-based international organization worked to reduce illiteracy and to promote efforts to curb drop-out rates. Its charter was drawn from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Declaration on Higher Education for the Twenty-First Century, as well as a host of human rights instruments and treaties. He said the group had participated in several United Nations-backed conferences and seminars in India and elsewhere.
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