The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today recommended two United States-based organizations for special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, deferred action on four other candidates and closed the applications of 30, as it concluded the substantive work of its resumed session.
Recapping the session, Gizem Sucuoğlu (Turkey) said the Committee had recommended special consultative status to 101 of the new applicants and deferred action on 50 others. Fifty-seven organizations deferred from previous sessions were recommended for special consultative status, with 132 applications deferred again, one closed and two withdrawn. Also deferred were two new requests and one pending request for reclassification. Regarding the new quadrennial reports, the Committee took note of 91, and deferred two. Note was also taken of a previously deferred quadrennial report, but 33 others were again deferred.
Belgium’s delegate said she was pleased to see the higher approval rate, but expressed regret that the applications of many human rights organizations continued to be blocked by some delegations.
Tasked with vetting applications submitted by non-governmental organizations, the 19-member Committee recommends general, special or roster status on the basis of such criteria as the applicant’s mandate, governance and financial regime. Non-governmental organizations enjoying general and special status can attend meetings of the Economic and Social 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.
Rounding out today’s meeting, the Committee adopted the provisional agenda for 2015, approving dates for its regular session from 26 January to 3 February and 13 February, and for the resumed session from 26 May to 3 June and 12 June.
Committee Rapporteur, Ana Pena (Peru), introduced the draft report for the 2014 resumed session. The Committee will reconvene on Friday, 6 June, to adopt it.
Special Consultative Status
The Committee recommended that the Economic and Social Council grant special consultative status to two United States-based organizations: Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain Inc. and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
The Committee postponed action on the following applications:
Freedom Now (United States) — as China’s delegate asked the organization to provide the theoretical definition of prisoners of conscience;
International Dalit Solidarity Network (Denmark) — as India’s representative said his delegation was awaiting responses to its previous questions regarding the status of its projects;
Stichting Samenwerkingsverband IKV — Pax Christi (Netherlands) — as Sudan’s delegate requested more time to review its application;
Mittetulundusühing Fenno-Ugria Asutus (Estonia) — as the Russian Federation’s delegate sought details on the Conference on National Restoration it had held.
The Committee closed the application of Fundación Centro para la Apertura y el Desarrollo de América Latina (Argentina).
Cuba’s delegate said the organization carried out subversive activities in violation of the United Nations Charter, and therefore, should not be granted consultative status. The representative of the United States requested that the application be deferred to the next session, following which, Cuba’s delegate requested a decision on the application through a roll call vote.
The result of the vote on whether to grant status was 10 against (Burundi, China, Cuba, India, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sudan, Venezuela) to 3 in favour (Bulgaria, Israel, United States), with 3 abstentions (Belgium, Morocco, Peru).
Speaking in explanation of vote, Belgium’s delegate said he had abstained because not enough time had been given to review that application.
The Committee also closed the applications of the following organizations that had not responded to the last three reminders, as of 28 May:
Asia Catalyst; Network for North Korean Democracy and Human Rights; Himalayan Consensus Institute Limited; All India Dhanak Organisation; Asociación Internacional de Juristas por el Sáhara Occidental; Arab Center for the Development of the Rule of Law and Integrity; Climate Parliament; Center for Military Human Rights, KOREA; Database Center for North Korean Human Rights; Fundación Interamericana para el Desarrollo de la Gestión Social; Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurship Fundamentals Foundation; The Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children; Help Age India; Kitachosen Nanmin Kyuen Kikin; National Integrated and Development Association; Right for Women's Network; Confederazione Italiana Sindacati Lavoratori C.I.S.L.; Women Right and Development Centre; Gold Mercury International Limited; The Tandana Foundation Inc.; University of Worcester; Viešoji istaiga Žmogaus teisiu stebejimo institutas; Youth Network on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria; Maria and Liberdade Foundation; Science House Foundation; The Royal Society of Chemistry; Kelab Belia Subang Jaya; Gusenghwe Inc.; and Galdu Kompetansesenter for Urfolks Rettigheter.
The Committee will meet again on 6 June to adopt its report.