The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today recommended 41 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 was 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, work to combat terrorism and views on sexual and reproductive rights.
The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations will meet again at 10 a.m. on Monday, 27 January, to continue its session.
Special Consultative Status
The Committee recommended that the Economic and Social Council grant special consultative status to the following 41 organizations:
Hope Foundation NGO (Democratic Republic of the Congo);
Human Touch India (India);
Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (South Africa);
Jamaicans for Justice Limited (Jamaica);
Jssor Youth Organization (Iraq);
Kuchlak Welfare Society (Pakistan);
Operation ASHA (India);
Pakistan Youth Organization (Pakistan);
Rassemblement des frères unis pour le développement socio-culturel (RAFUDESC - BENIN) (Benin);
Reach Out (REO) “N.G.O.” (Cameroon);
Safe Society (India);
Sairam Population Research Trust (India);
Sewa Development Trust Sindh (Pakistan);
Students’ Relief Society (India);
The Women’s Welfare Trust (India);
United Nations of Youth Network (Nigeria);
World Shelter Organisation (India);
WWT (Wespak Welfare Trust) (Pakistan);
Zanjireh Omid International Charity Institute (Iran);
ANPAM — Associazione Nazionale Produttori Armi e Munizioni Sportive e Civili (Italy);
Association Internationale Soufie Alawiyya (France);
Basic Health International (United States);
Club des Jeunes Aveugles Réhabilités du Cameroun (Cameroon);
Conservation International Foundation (United States);
Defense Small Arms Advisory Council (United States);
DMW — Diplomaten für internationale Verbindungen von Mensch & Wirtschaft e.V. (Germany);
EarthGame (United States);
EG Justice (United States);
Frankfurt School of Finance and Management gemeinnutzige GmbH (Germany);
Gargar Foundation for Development (United Kingdom);
Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (United States);
Harm Reduction Coalition (United States);
IBUKA-Mémoire et Justice-Section Suisse (Switzerland);
Institute for Economics and Peace Limited (Australia);
Institute for Multicultural Counseling and Education Services, Inc. (United States);
International Alliance of Patients' Organizations (United States);
International House (United States);
International MotherBaby Childbirth Organization Inc. (United States);
International Space University (France);
International Voice of Justice (United States);
The New York Fertility Research Foundation, Inc. (United States);
The Committee postponed consideration of the following 21 organizations:
Kasheer Foundation (India) — as the representative of Pakistan requested that the organization use the correct United Nations terminology;
Swadhikar (India) — as the representative of India requested a detailed breakdown of the organization’s funding sources;
The InnerCity Mission of Christ Embassy (Nigeria) — as the representative of China requested that the organization use the correct United Nations terminology;
Yemen Family Care Association (Yemen) — as the representative of Morocco asked the organization to clarify its position and activities on reproductive rights;
Youth Foundation of Bangladesh (Bangladesh) — as the Secretariat would reach out to the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh following a note verbale from the Mission indicating that the NGO was not registered with the national authorities;
Action on Armed Violence (United Kingdom) — as the representative of Morocco requested more information on the organization’s partnerships with entities that work in Western Sahara;
Allied Rainbow Communities International (Canada) — as the representative of Sudan requested more information on the other NGOs that the organization partners with;
British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (Canada) — as Venezuela’s representative wanted more information on its activities and the populations it sought to help; Nicaragua’s representative sought more information on its activities in Latin America. The representatives of Cuba and Belgium also spoke during the exchange.
Child Rights Information Network — CRIN (United Kingdom) — as China’s delegate asked the organization to clarify its position on Tibet;
Collectif des Familles de Disparus en Algerie (France) — as Sudan’s representative asked for examples of the organization’s cooperation with local Algerian authorities, while Pakistan’s representative asked about its registration in Algeria since it had activities there. The representatives of the United States and Belgium, however, said the organization had already answered repeated questions since 2009 and that it had already met the Committee’s requirements of showing proof of an established headquarters and being operational for two years;
Foundation for Released Prisoners (Cameroon) — as India’s delegate said there was no explanation of activities;
Global South Watch (Cameroon) — as the representative of India noted that there was not enough information on how the organization administers itself. The representative of Cuba questioned if the organization had projects in Latin America, and if so, in which countries;
Database Center for North Korean Human Rights (Republic of Korea) — as the representative of Cuba requested that the organization specify the types of projects it undertakes and provide more information on its relationship with donor organizations;
Earth Charter Associates Ltd. (United States) — as the representative of Nicaragua requested more information regarding in which countries the organization had international membership;
European Humanist Federation (Belgium) — as China’s delegate asked whether the organization had carried out projects in that country;
F N Forbundet (Denmark) — as the representative of Nicaragua requested more information on the countries the organization had worked in. The representative of Morocco requested more information on its projects;
International Falcon Movement — Socialist Educational International (Belgium) — as Nicaragua’s delegate sought information about its projects in Latin America and the other organizations with which it worked;
International Mediation Institute Stichting (Netherlands) — as Cuba’s delegate requested details about the 27 countries in which it worked and about the projects it carried out in Latin America;
Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (United States) — as the Russian Federation questioned the independence and objective nature of the organization, and asked why it had stopped publishing annual reports after 2010. The United States delegate, however, asked how responses to those questions would allow the organization to contribute to the Economic and Social Council, and said the criteria for accreditation did not require organizations to be objective. Iran’s delegate, taking issue with countries that created and funded artificial organizations for political purposes, rejected the organization. Also speaking in the discussion were the representatives of Israel, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, Sudan and Pakistan;
Ambedkar Centre for Justice and Peace (India) — as questions were posed during the interactive dialogue (see below).
The World Association for al-Azhar Graduates (WAAG) (United Kingdom) — as questions were posed during the interactive dialogue (see below).
A representative of New York Fertility Research Foundation, Inc. (United States) said his organization worked to end female genital mutilation, which had been performed on 140 million women around the world, causing trauma, urinary and vaginal problems, and long-term tremendous psychosomatic trauma, among other ailments. The representatives of India and Pakistan sought information on the organization’s other activities, and asked whether it provided in-vitro fertility services and pre-selection of gender.
The representative said the organization addressed all issues of infertility, including in-vitro fertilization. It checked to see if embryos were healthy; if not, and if it was the wish of the respective parents, defective embryos were given to stem-cell research. Regarding pre-selection of gender, he said the organization worked to support a fair balance of the male and female population in countries, and offered embryos to stem cell research of the surplus gender to achieve such a balance. To the Israeli representative’s question about the organization’s activities in developing countries, he said it had fertility centres in Tehran and Dubai.
The Committee granted special consultative status to the organization.
A representative of Ambedkar Centre for Justice and Peace (India) said his organization worked to empower marginalized parts of society and support the Millennium Development Goals in many areas. It was committed to raising the standard of living for poor Indians and believed all people were born equal in terms of dignity and rights. As to the Israeli representative’s question about the organization’s United Nations-related activities, he said some of its members had participated in such events since 2000, although the organization itself was not established until several years later. To the Cuban representative’s question about which countries hosted the organization’s programmes, he said the entity focused almost exclusively on promoting programmes in India.
To the Indian representative’s request for clarification on the organization’s relationship with a non-governmental organization registered in the United States with the same name, he said his operated completely independent from that one, although from time to time, it did consult the latter for advice.
Action on the organization was postponed.
A representative of The World Association for al-Azhar Graduates (WAAG) (United Kingdom) said it was an educational institution with students from more than 100 countries. It advocated common human values and a moderate concept of Islam, assisted the poor with socioeconomic projects, and endeavoured to combat terrorism and violence and the use of religion for terrorist purposes. It worked with organizations in Egypt and elsewhere, as well as with research centres and universities in the United Kingdom, Germany and elsewhere. The representatives of Sudan, Pakistan and Morocco supported the organization and its application. Israel’s representative asked for more information on its efforts to combat terrorism and violence, and with which Governments and organizations it worked.
The organization’s representative said it had held several conferences on the misuse of religion to justify violence and workshops in Cairo and London on interreligious dialogue. Israel’s delegate asked that its questions be answered in writing. Pakistan’s representative said it was clear the organization was an academic institution and had already proven it’s openness to other religions.
Action on the organization was postponed.