Continuing its regular session for 2014, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today recommended 76 organizations for special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, and deferred action on the status of 21 others.
The 19-member Committee vets applications submitted by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), recommending general, special or roster status on the basis of such criteria as the applicant’s mandate, governance and financial regime. Organizations enjoying general and special status can attend meetings of the Council and issue statements, while those with general status can also speak during meetings and propose agenda items. Organizations with roster status can only attend meetings.
Action on several applications were postponed because Committee members wanted more information from the candidates about, among other things, details of their respective organizations’ projects, partners, expenditures, sources of funding, and relationship with United Nations system actors.
The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations will meet again at 10 a.m. Thursday, 23 January, to continue its session.
Special Consultative Status
The Committee recommended that the Economic and Social Council grant special consultative status to the following 76 organizations:
Fundacion Migrantes y Refugiados sin Fronteras (Argentina);
Future Hope International (Ghana);
Gabasawa Women and Children Empowerment Initiative (Nigeria);
Global Civil Initiatives (Kyrgyzstan);
High Security Newplate Limited (Trinidad and Tobago);
House of Jacobs International (Nigeria);
Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (Singapore);
Huqooq-ul-Ebad Development Foundation (Pakistan);
Integrity and Transparency Promotion Initiative (Nigeria);
International Society for Small and Medium Enterprises (India);
Jesus Weeps over Africa (Democratic Republic of the Congo);
Jossour Forum des Femmes Marocaines (Morocco);
Khuwendo Kor (India);
Krishi Gyan (Togo);
La Brique (Togo);
Malaysian Relief Agency Foundation (Malaysia);
Mankind Welfare Organization (Pakistan);
MARUAH (Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism, Singapore) (Singapore);
Nation Builders Organisation (Nigeria);
Nazra for Feminist Studies (Egypt);
Neighbour Organization Nepal (NEO-Nepal) (Nepal);
North Indian Educational Trust (India);
Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) (Pakistan);
Participatory Rural Development Society (PRDS) (Pakistan);
Réseau national des ONGs des droits de l’homme (Democratic Republic of the Congo);
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (Malaysia);
Sindhica Reforms Society (Sindhica) (Pakistan);
Social Development & Management Society (India);
Solidarité pour le développement communautaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo);
Special Abilities Development Association (SADA) (Pakistan);
Stat-View Association (Guinea);
The Entrepreneurship Development Foundation for Women and Youth (Iran);
Tomorrow’s Women Development Organisation (Nigeria);
Union of Legal Entities “Eurasian Economic Club of Scientists” Association (Kazakhstan);
Voluntary Aid Association (India);
War Widows Association (India);
Women and Development Association in Alexandria (Egypt);
Women Empowerment and Human Resource Development Centre of India (India);
Women United for Economic Empowerment (Nigeria);
ACTIVE — Sobriety, Friendship and Peace (Pakistan);
All-Russian public organization “Russian Public Institute of Electoral Law” (Russian Federation);
Alut—The Israeli Society for Autistic Children (Israel);
American College of Sports Medicine (United States);
ANO “Organization” “Vector of Friendship” (Russian Federation);
Association Diogenis, Drug Policy Dialogue in South East Europe (Greece);
Association générale des intervenants retraités pour des actions bénévoles de coopération et de développement (France);
Association of NGOs of Aotearoa Incorporated (New Zealand);
Board of Certified Safety Professionals (United States);
Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (Georgia);
Centre de Formation et de Recherche pour le Développement (CFRD) (Belgium);
Community Alliances for Drug Free Youth (United States);
Disisleri Mensuplari Esleri Dayanisma Dernegi (Turkey);
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Market Women’s Fund (United States);
EquallyAble Foundation (United States);
EUROMIL EV (Belgium);
EveryChild (United Kingdom);
Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians (United States);
Féderation Européenne de la Manutention (Belgium);
Fondation d’Auteuil (France);
Fundación Alia2 (Spain);
Gender at Work (Canada);
INSHED — International Network for Standardization of Higher Education Degrees (Switzerland);
International Center of the Roerichs (Russian Federation);
Interregional non-governmental organization “Centre for Support of Indigenous Peoples of the North (CSIPN)” (Russian Federation);
iuventum e.V. (Germany);
Jana’s Campaign, Inc. (United States);
Love for Israel Relief Fund - The Fund for Advancing Social Projects (RA) (United States);
Mar Adentro de México A.C. (Mexico);
National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples Limited (Australia);
Africa Speaks (South Africa);
The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, Inc. (United States);
ONG Kala Geneve International (Switzerland).
The Committee postponed consideration of the following 21 organizations:
Generation Initiative for Women and Youth (Nigeria) — as Morocco’s delegate asked about the organization’s concept of — and efforts to — strengthen sexual and reproductive rights, as well as the rights of women and youth;
HAQ: Centre for Child Rights (India) — as India’s delegate asked for more information about activities and projects carried out between 2011 and 2013;
International Green Economy Association (China) — as Pakistan’s delegate asked for details about the organization’s “other expenditures”, which comprised the bulk of its spending;
Kelab Belia Subang Jaya (Malaysia) — as Cuba’s delegate asked for details about the Latin American countries in which the organization carried out projects and who its contacts were in those countries;
Labour, Health and Human Rights Development Centre (Nigeria) — as Nicaragua’s delegate asked about the organization’s projects, as there were no details included in its budget;
National Women’s Welfare Society Darwha, Distt. Yavatmal (India) — as India’s delegate asked if the organization received Government funds, as there appeared to be a discrepancy about that. He also asked for clarity about its relationship with the Global Environmental Facility, given that much of its work dealt with education;
Shah Maqeem Trust (Pakistan) — as India’s delegate asked how the organization would sustain its activities, given that the bulk of its funding comes from international organizations;
The Bahrain Young Ladies Association (Bahrain) — as Morocco’s delegate asked about a difference between income and expenditures and how the organization could finance its activities with a deficient budget. Cuba’s delegate also asked about the budget deficit;
The Bible Hill Youth Club (India) — as India’s delegate asked for clarification about a discrepancy in the date and year of the organization’s registration;
Women Right and Development Centre (Nigeria) — as Nicaragua’s representative asked about the organization’s budget and funds used in its projects;
Youth Network on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (Nigeria) — as Morocco’s delegate asked how the organization communicated with the 31 non-governmental organizations with which it worked;
African Hope Committee Inc. (United States) — as Cuba’s delegate asked for a list of countries in which it carried out projects, especially those in Latin America and the Caribbean;
Asia Journalist Association ( Republic of Korea) — as Cuba’s representative asked about the exact location of the organization’s five regional national chapters and in what other countries it planned to set them up. Prior that query, the Secretariat drew the Committee’s attention to a note verbale from the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea endorsing the organization’s application;
Cell of Alternative Youth Activities (Greece) — as Cuba’s representative sought clarification over its partners in the United States;
Sree Saraswathi Thyagaraja College (India) — as India’s delegate said the college functioned under a trust of a different name and asked the secretariat under which name the application was being considered. The NGO Branch member of the secretariat said this was not an unusual case, as other universities had set up a similar special unit. The registration said the Government had examined the proposal and allowed it to open an educational college under the name of Sree Saraswathi Thyagaraja College and that should satisfy the requirement for proof of existence;
Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (United States) — as Cuba’s representative asked about projects in the near future in Latin America and the Caribbean region;
Gold Mercury International Limited (United Kingdom) — as the Russian Federation’s representative asked about the financing of its projects;
IDPC Consortium (United Kingdom) — as Cuba’s delegate inquired about its funding, which mostly came from international organizations, and from Governments, and India’s representative noted that the organization said it was established in 2011, but that it had participated in United Nations events as early as 2009;
International Gender Policy Network (Czech Republic) — as Morocco’s representative sought clarification over whether the organization was national or international;
New York State Bar Association (United States) — as Cuba’s delegate asked how its academic and professional activities would contribute to the Council’s objectives;
General Forum of the Arabic and African Non-governmental Organization (Libya) — as Morocco’s representative asked about discrepancies in its expenditures and revenue, and whether the Forum was in fact based in Mauritania, and not Libya;
The Palestine Return Centre Ltd. (United Kingdom) — as a representative of the Secretariat said there was an issue over the Centre receiving and responding to information from a third party — the United Kingdom’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs — which had informed the Centre of questions from Committee members regarding its application for accreditation.
A representative of Africa Speaks said the organization had 10 offices throughout the continent and it had been formally endorsed by the African Union for consultative status. As to the question by Nicaragua’s representative on its expenditures, he said the income on its financial statements was derived from the diaspora community. Its expenditures included local income from its individual member countries.
The Committee then granted Africa Speaks special consultative status.
A representative of the New York Bar Association, a United States-based organization, said it had 140 years of history and influence in the United States legal profession, and it had chapters in 70 countries. As to the question of Cuba’s representative on how the Association’s activities would contribute to the Council’s aims, he said the entity constantly advised its clients on cross-border deeds, and taxation and anti-corruption. That required the expertise of lawyers in its global network with knowledge of local markets overseas. Its activities also applied to the Millennium Development Goals.
Cuba’s representative, noting that the Association had information on Cuba on its website, asked if it had carried out studies in or had planned projects for Cuba.
In response, the Association’s representative said he was not knowledgeable about specific projects in Cuba, but that the Association could respond in two or three days.
The Association’s application was deferred.
A representative of the General Forum of the Arabic and African Non-governmental Organization, a Libya-based organization, said it comprised 120 member organizations and was an observer in the African Human Rights Committee. Its primary aim was to maintain links between African and Arab organizations and the Arab League, unify African sustainable development efforts and seek Government funding for such efforts. Regarding a question over the discrepancy in its expenditures and income, he said several of its member organizations contributed $500; all other contributions were from Governments with which the organization had joint projects. It sought to establish a centre that linked some 500 organizations worldwide, with funding from the Libyan Government.
Morocco’s representative hailed the Forum’s efforts to aid African expatriates and immigrants, but said there was a certain imbalance between its revenues and expenses. Noting the Forum has spent revenue in Mauritanian currency, he asked whether its funds were in Mauritanian bank accounts and whether the Forum was in fact based in Mauritania, and not Libya.
The Committee then deferred the Forum’s application.
A representative of The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, Inc., a United States-based organization, said the Institute was based at the University of Indiana. It had been very United States-centric over the years, and was working to provide research-based information and policy decisions on sexual behaviour worldwide. It was not an advocacy organization; it worked to promote responsible sexual behaviour worldwide.
The Committee then granted the Institute special consultative status.
A representative of the Palestinian Return Centre Ltd., a United Kingdom-based organization, said it was established in 1966 and dealt exclusively with Palestinian refugees, providing training programmes in association with universities in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. It had brought members of the British Parliament to the Palestinian refugee camps and collaborated on projects with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
Israel’s representative asked about the Centre’s work with refugees other than Palestinian refugees, whether it respected Israel’s territorial integrity, what it thought of the Oslo Accords and the two-State solution, and whether it had a relationship with Hamas.
The Centre’s representative responded by saying there was no relationship between the Centre and Hamas. Regarding the Oslo Accords, the Centre did not take a stance as it exclusively dealt with refugee issues. It was not the Centre’s place or right to recognize or not recognize Israel, as the Centre was bound by and respected international law. As far as the Centre’s logo, he pointed to the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, which called for their return.
Morocco’s representative said contrary to what was in the Committee’s reports, his delegation had never asked the Centre a question.
The Centre’s representative said it had received a letter from the United Kingdom’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, saying there were two questions for the Centre from the representative of Israel and one from Morocco. A representative of the Secretariat said non-governmental organizations seeking accreditation should not receive or respond to information from third parties and, therefore, asked that the application be deferred.
The Committee decided to defer the Centre’s application.