NGO Committee Approves 22 Applications, Defers Action on 31 as Third Day of Session Concludes

22 May 2013
ECOSOC/6578-NGO/772

NGO Committee Approves 22 Applications, Defers Action on 31 as Third Day of Session Concludes

22 May 2013
Economic and Social Council
ECOSOC/6578 NGO/772
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Committee on NGOs

21st & 22nd Meetings (AM & PM)

NGO Committee Approves 22 Applications, Defers Action on 31

as Third Day of Session Concludes

Continuing to vet dozens of applications before it, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today recommended special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council for 22 organizations — 17 from the global North and 5 from the South — and deferring action on 31 applications.

The 19-member Committee recommends that the Council grant general, special or roster status, in accordance with such criteria as the 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 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can only attend meetings.

Recommended for special status were the following NGOs from the North:  Asociacion HazteOir.org; Le Collectif des Femmes Africaines du Hainaut; Montage Initiative, Inc.; NeuroCare Ethiopia; Observatorio Regional para la Mujer de América Latina y el Caribe; Per Ankh, Inc.; Reforestamos México, A.C.; Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) Limited; streetfootballworld gGmbH; Suomen YK-liitto Ry; Support Home of God (SuhoG); The BARKA Foundation; The Institute of Economic Strategies; The Sustainable Development Institute; The Vance Center; Turkiye Isadamlari ve Sanayiciler Konfederasyonu; and U.S. Azeris Network.

Also recommended for special status today were the following organizations from the South:  Access Bangladesh Foundation; Family Educational Services Foundation; Peopleís Development Initiatives (PDI); Shushilan; and the World Kabaddi Federation.

The Committee postponed action on applications from the following NGOs:  AFD International Belgium; African Rights Initiative International; Al-Dameer Association for Supporting Prisoners and Human Rights; All India Dhanak Organisation; Allied Rainbow Communities International; ANPAM Associazione Nazionale Produttori Armi e Munizioni Sportive e Civili; Asociación Internacional de Juristas por el Sahara Occidental; Association Internationale Soufie Alawiyya; Basic Health Organization; Common Era, LLC; Curia Generalizia Agostiniana; Database Center for North Korean Human Rights; Down Syndrome International; Grupo de Mujeres de la Argentina — Foro de VIH, mujeres y familia; Islamic Research and Information Artistic & Cultural Institute; Kasheer Foundation; Korea Center for United Nations Human Rights Policy; La Palabre-Het Palabre; Mindanao Land Acquisition, Housing and Development Foundation, Inc.; Nehru Foundation for Development-Centre for Environment Education Society; Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum; Rassemblement des frères unis pour le développement soci-culturel (RAFUDESC-BENIN); Reach Out (REO) “N.G.O.”; Rehabilitators; Results Educational Fund, Inc.; Society for Human Rights and Prisoners Aid; Stichting Eurad (Europe Against Drugs); The Akshaya Patra Foundation; The Foundation for Development Cooperation Ltd.; The InnerCity Mission of Christ Embassy; and the World Association for al-Azhar Graduates (WAAG).

At the outset of the meeting, the representative of Israel expressed concern that during the consideration of one group yesterday, several issues had been raised in the context of political statements rather than constructive questions.

Responding, the representative of Sudan said it was impossible not to politicize an application that was political in nature.

The representative of Cuba said the Committee was made up of States that had a right to express their views about organizations, especially if it meant clarifying whether an NGO was meeting its obligations.  While such views often veered into political matters, it was also an opportunity to conduct dialogue.

Her counterpart from China agreed, saying that the question-and-answer sessions provided opportunities for constructive dialogue.  The Committee’s goal was to consider applications by NGOs, and thus Member States had the right to raise questions and express their views.

The representative of the United States agreed with her colleague from Israel that the Committee’s goal was not to “bring in line NGO views with our own views”, but rather to encourage other NGOs to express their views in line with the guidelines of the United Nations.

The representative of Morocco said each country had the right to engage with allegations made about it by NGOs, especially on controversial matters that attempted to politicize the Committee’s work.

During their interactive dialogue with NGOs seeking accreditation, Committee members posed questions about, among other things, financial details, the proportion of funding going to actual projects, and existing relationships with the United Nations.

Several delegates questioned Allied Rainbow Communities International, which focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights, about its funding and activities at the United Nations.

The representative of the Russian Federation, in reviewing the application of Allied Rainbow Communities International, noted a trend whereby individuals defending traditional values in Western Europe were “under attack”, adding that they were sometimes fired or kicked out of school.  He requested that the organization post a statement on its website protecting traditional rights.

A representative of the NGO, emphasizing that universal human rights were at the group’s core, said she was less concerned about the Russian delegate’s position on whether “being gay was all right or not” than about who was targeted and why, and how States could provide safety.  All people were entitled to human rights and many in so-called traditional and indigenous communities often defined themselves as LGBT, engaging in same-sex relations.

The Committee decided to postpone the group’s accreditation as several delegations requested written responses to questions.

It also decided to postpone the application from the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights, as delegates requested further information on maintaining objectivity when funding was provided by the Government.  The representative of Cuba sought to know the extent to which did the organization worked for the Government, and the extent to which it maintained objectivity.

The NGO’s representative said it received no funds from the Government and they were in fact “trouble-makers” for it.

Also participating in today’s exchanges were representatives of China, Pakistan, Israel, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Special Consultative Status

The Committee recommended that the Economic and Social Council grant special consultative status to the following NGOs:

Access Bangladesh Foundation — a national organization aiming to advocate appropriate policies and legislation for the employment of persons with disabilities;

Asociación HazteOir.org — a Spain-based international organization seeking to promote citizens’ participation in politics;

Family Educational Services Foundation — a Pakistan-based national organization seeking to enhance the quality of life and education of the disadvantaged, with a particular focus on deaf children and youth;

Le Collectif des Femmes Africaines du Hainaut — A France-based national organization aiming to integrate women from sub-Saharan Africa into the development of both the host society and the country of origin;

Montage Initiative, Inc. — an international organization based in the United States aiming to help women and girls through mentoring, microfinance and other support;

NeuroCare Ethiopia — an international organization based in the United States working for the advancement of neurological medical services and education; and training of physicians and health professionals;

Observatorio Regional para la Mujer de América Latina y el Caribe AC — a Mexico-based national organization working to provide care and support to women and marginalized groups;

Peopleís Development Initiatives (PDI) — an India-based national organization seeking to overcome economic, legal, social and gender-based inequalities;

Per Ankh, Inc. — a national organization in the United States promoting holistic living arts and sciences that support cultural heritage, artistic preservation and community restoration initiatives;

Reforestamos México, A.C. — a national organization in Mexico working to promote forest sustainability;

Shushilan — a national organization in Bangladesh promoting equality and safeguarding the interest of socially disadvantaged people, especially coastal communities;

Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) Limited — a United Kingdom-based international organization working to transform the lives of women and girls though education, gender equality and empowerment;

streetfootballworld gGmbH — an international organization based in Germany aiming to strengthen the worldwide network of organizations using football to help young people overcome challenges like poverty, disease and lack of education;

Suomen YK-liitto Ry — a national organization in Finland working to inform the public about the principles, goals and activities of the United Nations around the world;

Support Home of God (SuhoG) — an international organization in the United Kingdom seeking to eradicate poverty in rural communities of Africa by promoting justice and providing health facilities to children and elderly poor;

The BARKA Foundation — an international organization in the United States working to create a culture of peace through grass roots, community-led sustainable development in Burkina Faso;

The Institute of Economic Strategies — a national organization in the Russian Federation promoting social responsibility and global partnership for peace and prosperity in business, government and society;

The Sustainable Development Institute — a national organization in the United States that seeks to research sustainable development, educate individuals and consult with Governments and corporations on their policies;

The Vance Center — a national organization in the United States seeking to strengthen democratic transitions by engaging lawyers to advance the rule of law in countries undertaking legal and institutional reform following civil conflict;

Turkiye Isadamlari ve Sanayiciler Konfederasyonu — a Turkey-based national organization working to share business capacities with communities abroad;

U.S. Azeris Network — a national organization in the United States that emphasizes the interests of Azerbaijani-Americans; and

World Kabaddi Federation — a national organization in India aiming to unite all Kabaddi organizations and to use Kabaddi sport in promoting peace, harmony, understanding and cooperation.

Postponed

The Committee postponed its consideration of applications submitted by the following:

AFD International Belgium — an international organization that denounces human rights abuses — as China’s representative requested additional information on funding, and her counterpart from Pakistan sought further clarification on its participation in United Nations conferences.  Furthermore, the representative of Morocco requested additional details regarding incongruities in the group’s budget, specifically its low travel budget.

African Rights Initiative International — an international organization in Ghana working with communities to create a better platform for development by tackling the root causes of poverty — as China’s representative requested further clarification about its registration as a corporation and its financial statements.

Al-Dameer Association for Supporting Prisoners and Human Rights — a national organization in Gaza seeking to contribute to respect, protection and promotion of the rule of law and civil and political rights — as the representative of Israel requested further clarification regarding its claim that it participated in the Economic and Social Council through another NGO that did not enjoy consultative status.

All India Dhanak Organisation — a national organization aiming to promote the rights of the poorest and most suppressed — as the representative of Bulgaria sought further clarification regarding marriage support for girls, and her counterpart from India requested additional information on an audited copy of its most recent financial statement.

Allied Rainbow Communities International — an international organization in Canada that conducts research and disseminates information in connection with the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people internationally — as Pakistan’s delegate requested a list of partner organizations, while her counterpart from Morocco sought more information on its budget.

The representative of the Russian Federation said he had noted a trend whereby individuals defending traditional values in Western Europe were “under attack”, adding that they were sometimes fired or kicked out of school.  He requested that the organization post a statement on its website protecting traditional rights.

ANPAM Associazione Nazionale Produttori Armi e Munizioni Sportive e Civili - a national organization in Italy that organizes conferences on the economic and social interest of the firearms, ammunition and explosives sector — as Venezuela’s delegate requested further clarification on how it dealt with the negative impact of the firearms trade on development.  The representative of Cuba requested more information on its international activities.

Asociación Internacional de Juristas por el Sahara Occidental — an international organization in Spain seeking to defend human rights in Western Sahara and the cause of Saharan prisoners, while denouncing violations by Morocco in the Territory’s occupied areas, and investigating the disappearances of hundreds of Saharans since the start of the war in 1975 — as Morocco’s representative pointed out that two questions had been raised previously and asked why he had only received the answer to one.  The representative of Senegal requested that the NGO leave aside political concerns that were better left to the Security Council and the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization).  He also requested further information on the affiliated NGOs funding 51 per cent of its budget.

Taking the floor for the second time, the representative of Morocco said it was unfortunate that NGOs attacked the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Member States.  In looking at the application, it appeared that the group was following a “winding course” that was not usual to the United Nations.  The Committee was not the appropriate forum to discuss Security Council resolutions and the legal status of Member States, he stressed.  The NGO talked about occupation, which meant it was using outdated language.  As for self-determination, he referred to the recent Security Council resolution welcoming Morocco’s laudable efforts to arrive at a settlement of the dispute.  He asked about the NGO:  “Who does it benefit and who are they working for?”  It claimed to be an international NGO, but it only focused on Morocco.  He then requested additional information on its activities and budget.

Association Internationale Soufie Alawiyya — a France-based international organization working for the rapprochement of cultures and civilizations — as the representative of China requested that its use the correct terminology in referring to Tibet.

Basic Health Organization — an international organization in the United States aiming to eradicate cervical cancer and improve women’s health in Latin America and the Caribbean — as China’s delegate said it needed to correct the terminology regarding Taiwan Province of China on its website.  His counterpart from Nicaragua requested more information on the group’s activities in Central America.

Common Era, LLC — a national organization in India aiming to carry on business activities in line with the sustainability of healthy living — as the representative of Nicaragua requested further clarification on the income for its administrative expenditures.

Curia Generalizia Agostiniana — an international organization in Italy seeking to work closely with the deprived and marginalized — as the representative of Venezuela requested further information on its budget and expenditures.

Database Center for North Korean Human Rights — a national organization in the Republic of Korea aiming to investigate, analyse and accumulate concrete information on human rights violations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — as China’s representative sought more information on how it maintained its impartiality while receiving funding from the Government.  The Russian Federation’s representative requested a list of its projects.

Down Syndrome International — an international organization in the United Kingdom seeking to provide information, support and resources to people with Down syndrome, their families and caregivers — as China’s delegate expressed outstanding concerns regarding its terminology on Taiwan Province of China;

The representative of Israel said it was important to support and advance NGOs dealing with disabilities, especially to promote their participation in the upcoming high-level meeting on disability and development.

Grupo de Mujeres de la Argentina-Foro de VIH, mujeres y familia — an international organization in Argentina working to combat injustice and improve the welfare of vulnerable communities within the penal system — as the representative of Venezuela requested further information on the types of countries with which it worked.  Her colleague from the Russian Federation sought more information on its cooperation with penitentiary systems.

Islamic Research and Information Artistic & Cultural Institute — an international organization in Iran working to create an academic and research network amongst different Islamic educational institutions — as the delegate of Israel requested additional information on the countries in which it operated and a list of partner institutions.

Kasheer Foundation — a national organization in India seeking to bring about change through creativity, and with a focus on Kashmir — as India’s representative requested additional financial information.

Korea Center for United Nations Human Rights Policy — an international organization in the Republic of Korea aiming to expand domestic understanding of international human rights standards — as China’s representative requested additional information on how the group ensured its independence despite taking Government funding.  Her counterpart from Cuba asked about other countries in which the NGO was active.

La Palabre-Het Palabre — a national organization in Belgium contributing to the development of women and children and defending their fundamental rights through education — as the representative of Pakistan requested more information on the organization’s affiliates, while the delegate from India sought clarification regarding the discrepancy between its income and expenditure.

Mindanao Land Acquisition, Housing and Development Foundation, Inc. — a national organization in the Philippines that conducts research on land acquisition and development for rural and urban poor communities — as the delegate of China requested clarification on its relationship with the Dalai Lama, its position on Tibet and additional information on its activities in other regions or countries.

Nehru Foundation for Development-Centre for Environment Education Society — a national organization in India working to improve public awareness and understanding of the environment with a view to promoting conservation — as a representative of Pakistan requested further clarification on how it ensured its independence while receiving Government funding.

Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum — a national organization aiming to mobilize and organize fishing communities dependent on the coast, rivers and lakes — as the representative of India requested elaboration of its regional networks.

Rassemblement des frères unis pour le développement socio-culturel (RAFUDESC-BENIN) — an international organization in Benin aiming to promote and protect human rights — as the delegate of China asked when its website would become available.

Reach Out (REO) “N.G.O.” — a national organization in Cameroon supporting underprivileged groups on health issues and poverty eradication — as the representative of Pakistan requested elaboration on its education and counselling programmes.

Rehabilitators — a national organization in Pakistan aiming to rehabilitate divorced and separated women and to establish safe homes for women without shelter — as the representative of India requested further information on its expenditures.

Results Educational Fund, Inc. — an international organization in the United States working to end poverty by helping individuals to exercise personal and political power — as the representative of India requested more information on the gap between its expenditure and income.

Society for Human Rights and Prisoners Aid — a national organization in Pakistan, working to raise awareness about human rights — as the delegate of China requested more information on its sources of finance and its cooperation with other international organizations.

Stichting Eurad (Europe Against Drugs) — an international organization in Belgium that aims to promote prevention and recovery from addiction — as the representative of the Russian Federation sought clarification on its affiliates and whether its work with the Commission on Narcotic Drugs would contribute to the Economic and Social Council.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation — a national organization in India aiming to end hunger among school children — as China’s delegate sought written clarification on the issue of Taiwan Province of China.

The Foundation for Development Cooperation Ltd. — an international organization in Australia aiming to alleviate poverty in developing Asia-Pacific nations — as the delegate from Nicaragua requested clarification on its income and expenditure.

The InnerCity Mission of Christ Embassy — a national organization based in Nigeria aiming to break the cycle of child poverty — as China ’s delegate requested it correct its terminology on Taiwan Province of China.

The World Association for al-Azhar Graduates (WAAG) — a national organization in Egypt aiming to lay the foundations for the moderate Azhari approach through the exchange of ideas — as Turkey’s delegate requested that it clarify its terminology with regard to the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq.  The representative of India requested further information on its activities in his country.

* *** *

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