Recommendation of Non-Governmental Organization for Status with Economic and Social Council Refuted as Committee Winds Down Resumed Session

30 May 2012
ECOSOC/6518-NGO/758

Recommendation of Non-Governmental Organization for Status with Economic and Social Council Refuted as Committee Winds Down Resumed Session

30 May 2012
Economic and Social Council
ECOSOC/6518 NGO/758
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Committee on NGOs

30th Meeting (AM)

Recommendation of Non-Governmental Organization for Status with Economic

 

and Social Council Refuted as Committee Winds Down Resumed Session

 

Viet Nam Observer Objects to NGO with ‘Dark Aims, Ill Will and Illegal Acts’,

Following Consensus Decision by Committee; In All, 128 Groups Referred to Council

The non-governmental organization Kmer Kampuchea-Krom Federation is utterly unqualified to be granted consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations heard today as it began the process of winding down its 2012 resumed session.

Begun on 21 May, the session recommended a total of 128 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for consultative status with the Council, Kmer Kampuchea-Krom among them.  “With its dark aims, ill will and illegal acts, it would not contribute to the work of the Council but would bring serious damage to the reputation of the Committee and ECOSOC and disruption to their work,” said the representative of Viet Nam who addressed the Committee as an observer concerning its 22 May decision to recommend special consultative status for the organization.

He accused the organization of having carried out many politically motivated acts such as slandering, inciting and undermining the national unity of Viet Nam.  He said those actions violated Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31, which provides that an NGO granted consultative status must not engage in unsubstantiated or politically motivated acts against States Members of the United Nations incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter.

Describing the Kmer Kampuchea-Krom Federation as a “foreign-based” organization that did not represent the ethnic Kmer people in Viet Nam but instead advocated and promoted secession in the territory of Viet Nam, the representative urged the members of the Committee to take appropriate action to prevent it from getting the status it sought with the Council.

Several representatives took the floor to explain that they had not had full information at the time they had made the decision to recommend the organization and promised to support the request by Viet Nam when the matter came before the Council.  Among them, the representative of the Russian Federation, who said that any NGO that submitted a request to the Committee should “absolutely” meet the requirements of the relevant resolutions.  If its activities did not fit or were not in line with the United Nations Charter, then it should not be granted status.  Cuba’s delegate similarly pledged support for the request when the matter came up in the Council, while Venezuela’s speaker said the Committee should receive the necessary information from Member States when considering applications.

On the other hand, however, the representative of the United States said that, while she had listened carefully to the information presented by the representative of Viet Nam, she did not believe that it was appropriate for the Council to overturn a consensus decision that had been made by the Committee.  Her country had looked very closely at the information presented by the organization in its application and that was why it had joined the decision to recommend it.

Also today, the Committee recommended the removal of 22 organizations from consideration for failing, after three reminders, to respond to questions from the Committee, after their applications had been deferred.

The Committee also approved proposed dates for its 2013 session.  The regular session would take place from 21 to 30 January and then on 8 February, while the resumed session would be convened from 20 to 30 May and on 7 June.

Of the 128 organizations for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council during its current resumed 2012 session, 126 were recommended for special consultative status and two for roster status.  The recommended applicants included 70 new ones and 58 that were deferred from previous sessions of the Committee.

Their areas of interest cut across regions and included such fields as health care, HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, space exploration, indigenous issues, agricultural development, humanitarian affairs, conflict prevention, religious affairs, sports, model United Nations and sustainable livelihood.

In addition:  rural women’s empowerment, post-conflict Somalia, private-sector promotion in developing countries, support for peace and tolerance education among youth, participation in civic life in the context of Jewish values and American pluralism, poverty reduction among the elderly in Nigeria, and poverty eradication among people with disabilities in the Pacific region.

Also throughout the session, the Committee reviewed scores of quadrennial reports from NGOs, recommended several reclassifications, and took note of name change requests, as well as requests for the withdrawal or reinstatement of consultative status.  In other actions, it voted to block the proposed closure of an application for consultative status of an organization alleged to have terrorist ties, giving the NGO a chance to respond to those concerns.

The Committee will meet again on 8 June to adopt its report.

Background

The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations met today to continue its consideration of new applications for consultative status and new requests for reclassification and to also take up other matters related to the review of the work of the Committee as it continued its resumed 2012 session.

Removal of Organizations from Committee Consideration

The Committee first took up the question of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) whose applications had been deferred but which had not responded to questions from the Committee despite three reminders.  It recommended that all 22 organizations be removed from the list under consideration by the Committee.

The representative of Pakistan and China made procedural statements.

Special Consultative Status

The Committee then heard a statement by the representative of Viet Nam who spoke as an observer concerning the Committee’s decision on 22 May to recommend special consultative status for the organization Kmer Kampuchea-Krom Federation.

The representative told the Committee that non-governmental organizations had become important actors in people’s lives, both at the national and international levels and that the nearly 1,000 foreign NGOs working in his country contributed to mutual understanding and to its socio-economic development.  Viet Nam, however, wanted to officially register its protest over the application for consultative status by the Kmer Kampuchea-Krom Federation.  Its stated aim of seeking freedom and justice for the Khmer people in Viet Nam constituted a grave offence to a sacred national value of the Vietnamese people.  The Vietnamese nation was a family of 54 ethnic groups, including Kmers, living together for generations in one whole territory in unity and mutual assistance in the cause of national construction and defence.  Without national unity, the Vietnamese people would not have been able to overcome the many daunting trials in the country’s history.  The Constitution prohibited all acts of ethnic discrimination and the State implemented a policy of inclusive development.

The Kmer Kampuchea-Krom Federation, he said, was a foreign-based organization, which did not represent the ethnic Kmer people in Viet Nam, but advocated and promoted secession in the territory of Viet Nam, as revealed in the NGO’s official website.  Statements made by its leaders inciting the establishment of an independent country and a government for the ethnic Kmer people in Viet Nam advanced Kmer Kampuchea-Krom Federation’s dark politically motivated objectives.  That was a serious violation of the spirit, purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, including the principle of respecting the territorial integrity and political independence of States.  That was also a serious violation of paragraphs 2 and 57 of Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.

Additionally, he said, the organization had carried out many politically motivated acts such as slandering, inciting and undermining the national unity of Viet Nam.  Those acts violated paragraph 57(a) of resolution 1996/31, which provided that to have a consultative status with the Council, a non-governmental organization must not engage in unsubstantiated or politically motivated acts against Member States of the United Nations incompatible with the purposes and principles of the United Nations.  The NGO was utterly unqualified for consultative status with the Council.  With its dark aims, ill will and illegal acts, it would not contribute to that body’s work, but would bring serious damage to its reputation and to that of the Committee, and disruption to their work.  He, therefore, urged Committee members to take appropriate action to prevent the organization from getting consultative status with the Council.

The representative of Pakistan regretted that the Committee members had not been aware of the facts presented before taking decision on the application.  He had taken due note of the statement and of the specific allegations of secessionist activities of the organization in Viet Nam.  That information would be sent to his capital, and Viet Nam’s request would receive due and careful consideration, which would enable Pakistan to take appropriate action in the Economic and Social Council.

The representative of Cuba said that she had also taken note of the statement.  The Committee had not had all the necessary information at the time a decision was taken.  Cuba supported the request by Viet Nam to present the matter to the Economic and Social Council and would act appropriately on the matter in that forum.

The representative of the Russian Federation said that any organization that submitted a request to the Committee should absolutely meet the requirements of the relevant resolutions.  If its activities did not fit or were not in line with the United Nations Charter, then that organization should not have the status it requested.  His country would be acting on that basis when the Council acted on the application.

The representative of India welcomed the new information presented by the Vietnamese delegation and said that his country would support Viet Nam’s position on the matter in the Council, where, he believed, the appropriate decision would be taken.

The representative of Venezuela said that she had taken note of the information provided by Viet Nam and stressed that the Committee should be able to receive information from Member States to help it reach decisions on applications.  Viet Nam could count on Venezuela’s support when the Council took action.

The representative Nicaragua similarly welcomed the information and agreed it would be important when the Council took a decision.

The representative of the United States said she had looked very closely at the information presented by the organization in its application and that was why the delegation had joined the consensual decision to recommend granting it status.  Her delegation had also carefully listened to the information presented by the representative of Viet Nam.  The United States did not believe that it was appropriate for the Council to overturn the consensus decision made by the Committee.

The representative Turkey said that he had taken due account of the objection by Viet Nam and that that objection would be communicated to his capital.  Turkey was sure that the Council would take the new facts into account when making its decision.

Tentative Summary

Chairman MARIA PAVLOVA TZOTZORKOVA ( Bulgaria) informed the Committee that tentative results of the session showed that 128 organizations were recommended to be granted status by the Economic and Social Council, including 126 for special consultative status and two for roster status.  The status of 75 organizations had been withdrawn and those of 208 others had been suspended for non-submission of quadrennial reports.

The Committee then turned its attention to its provisional agenda and documentation for the 2013 session.  Ms. Tzotzorkova informed the members that the proposed dates for the 2013 regular session were from 21 to 30 January and on 8 February, while those for the resumed session were from 20 to 30 May and on 7 June.

The Committee approved the proposed dates for the 2013 session.

Next, Committee Rapporteur, YONI ISH-HURWITZ ( Israel) introduced the Committee’s report, explaining that it was still in “skeleton form”, but that the substantive details would be entered in time for the Committee’s 8 June meeting.  Committee members would be notified about informal consultations, which were set to take place early next week, to finalize that report.

The representative of Turkey said his country was only concerned with certain issues, which were known and which he wanted underlined.

Committee Chairman TZOTZORKOVA ( Bulgaria) then suspended the resumed session and adjourned the meeting.

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