The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations recommended three organizations for special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council and deferred action on the status of 25 others, as it continued its 2015 regular session today.
It also recommended the reclassification of one group, the Convention of Independent Financial Advisors, from special to general consultative status, thereby allowing it to speak during meetings and propose agenda items.
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 a number of 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 and relationship with United Nations system actors.
In addition, the Committee took note of 143 quadrennial reports from various organizations.
Also today, the Committee postponed the election of Vice-Chair and remaining rapporteur to a later date.
The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations will meet again at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 3 February, to continue its session.
Special Consultative Status
The Committee recommended that the Council grant special consultative status to the following three organizations:
National Organization for Marriage Education Fund (United States);
World Assembly of Youth (Malaysia);
Beirut Institute (Lebanon);
The Committee deferred consideration of the following 25 organizations:
Freedom Now (United States) — as the representative of China asked about the organization’s “intensive training programmes”, and how it functioned with limited resources.
Taking the floor, the representative of the United States stressed that consideration of the organization had been pending since 2010, and more than 45 questions had already been posed to it. She asked that delegates come to the next session prepared to grant status to the group.
Geneva Institute for Human Rights (Switzerland) — as the representative of Sudan raised financial questions, namely, doubts about whether the organization was a for-profit entity, and asked how its resources were obtained and used.
Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD) (Norway) — as the representatives of the United States and Israel raised questions about the organization’s sources of funding and other financial matters.
Hokok Coalición Internacional Contra la Impunidad (Spain) — as the representative of Israel requested an updated financial statement for 2014.
Institute for Human Rights & Business Limited (United Kingdom) — as the representative of South Africa asked the organization to expand on its aims and purposes, as stated in its application.
International Dalit Solidarity Network (Denmark) — as India’s delegate queried a discrepancy regarding membership fees.
Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (United States) — as the representative of Guinea asked the group to provide further information on its activities and financial reports. The representative of Iran said that the organization’s responses to previous questions had not convinced her that it merited consultative status. She raised new questions about the group’s finances, requesting, in particular, a list of Governments from which it received funds.
The representative of China asked that the organization correct a reference to “Taiwan” on its website.
James Madison University (United States) — as China’s delegate raised a question about the organization’s work implementation and about future plans for the organization’s “comprehensive goals”.
Mittetulundusühing Fenno-Ugria Asutus (Estonia) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked for more information about projects funded by the Ministry of Culture of Estonia. He also asked with which other Government organizations the group consulted.
National Secular Society (United Kingdom) — as the representative of China said that her delegation had, in past queries, requested the organization to correct references to “Taiwan”. However, a similar error still existed in a 2014 report, and should be corrected.
Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, Inc. (P-FOX) (United States) — as the representative of Israel noted a deficit in the organization’s financial status, and asked for updated financial information.
Population Matters (United Kingdom) — as the Russian Federation’s delegate asked whether the organization took into account existing work from the United Nations system on matters related to population. The representative of China asked for details on United Nations events in which the group had taken part, and for it to correct references to “Taiwan” in its online articles.
Segretariato Permanente dei Premi Nobel per la Pace (Italy) — as the representative of China asked about the organization’s office and activities in Moscow, and questioned its position on Tibet.
Stichting Global Human Rights Defence (Netherlands) — as China’s delegate asked about planned activities in South Asia, as listed in the group’s application.
Stichting War Child (Netherlands) — as the representative of Iran asked for more information about the organization’s “intervention strategy”, as stated in its application. The representative of Cuba asked for more information about the group’s projects and plans for work in Colombia.
The Association for Trauma Outreach and Prevention Inc. (United States) — as the delegate of Turkey, noting that some work appeared to have been done by the organization in the Middle East, asked for a “full and accurate” list of activities carried out in 2014.
The Jewish Renaissance Foundation (United States) — as the representative of India asked about the status of the organization’s past missions and planned activities in India.
The Simons Foundation (Canada) — as the representative of China asked whether the organization had a mechanism to ensure the effectiveness of its funding of other groups. On its website, the group had mistakenly called Hong Kong a State, he added.
United Sikhs (United States) — as the representative of China raised concerns about articles on the organization’s website, which referred to the Dalai Lama, and hoped the group could reiterate its position on Tibet. The representative of India asked the group for more detailed financial information.
Virtual Activism Incorporated (United States) — as the representative of China asked for a list of the group’s member organizations.
Young Women's Christian Association of the United States of America (United States) — as China’s delegate objected to a reference to “Taiwan” and hoped the organization would correct the reference in line with United Nations terminology.
Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (YCSRR) (Canada) — as the representative of India asked for more information about the group’s activities in India. The representative of Iran asked for more information about a private foundation which provided the organization with funding, according to its application.
Youth of European Nationalities (Germany) — as the representatives of China and the Russian Federation asked for details about sources and amounts of the organization’s income.
Afrikaanse Forum Vir Burgerregte (South Africa) — as a number of delegations had questions they wished to have answered in writing.
Earth Charter Associates Ltd. (Costa Rica) — as the representative of South Africa requested a written list of the group’s activities in Africa.
The Committee decided to recommend the reclassification the status of one organization, Convention of Independent Financial Advisors-CIFA (Switzerland), from special to general consultative status.
The Committee referred a request for reclassification of consultative status of the World Council for Curriculum and Instruction (United States) — as the representative of China questioned the group’s income and expenditures.
Review of Quadrennial Reports
The Committee took note of the new quadrennial reports containing submissions by the following non-governmental organizations:
Report E/C.2/2015/2 — 15 non-governmental organizations: Africa Centre for Citizens Orientation 2010 – 2013; Afro Centre for Development Peace and Justice 2010 – 2013; Al-khoei Foundation 2010 – 2013; Alliance Defending Freedom 2010 – 2013; Americans for UNFPA [United Nations Population Fund], Inc. 2010 – 2013; Anti-Slavery International 2010 – 2013; Argentine Society of Pediatrics 2010 – 2013; Asian Institute of Transport Development 2010 – 2013; Asian Legal Resource Centre 2010 – 2013; Asociacion Civil Consorcio Desarrollo y Justicia 2010 – 2013; Assembly of First Nations - National Indian Brotherhood 2010 – 2013; Associacao de Mulheres Contra a Violencia 2010 – 2013; Association apprentissage sans frontieres 2010 – 2013; Association for Aid and Relief, Japan 2010 – 2013; Association of Medical Doctors of Asia, The 2010 – 2013.
E/C.2/2015/2/Add.1 — 15 non-governmental organizations: Action Aides aux Familles Demunies 2010 – 2013; Association internationale des droits de l'enfant en difficulté et dans la souffrance 2010 – 2013; Association pour la Formation et l'Insertion Sociale de l'Adolescent et de la Femme 2010 – 2013; Centre Europe - Tiers Monde - Europe-Third World Centre 2010 – 2013; Centre Féminin pour la Promotion du Développement 2010 – 2013; Collectif Senegalais des Africaines pour la Promotion de l'Education Relative a l'Environnement 2010 – 2013; Comité Catholique contre la Faim et pour le Déloppement 2010 – 2013; Comite National d'Action pour les Droits de l'Enfant et de la Femme 2010 – 2013; Fondation Suisse Maroc pour le développement durable 2010 – 2013; Generation recherche action & formation pour l'environnement 2010 – 2013; Ingenieurs du Monde 2010 – 2013; ONG Playdoo - Cote d'Ivoire 2010 – 2013; Presse Embleme Campagne 2010 – 2013; Secours populaire francais 2010 – 2013; Traditions pour demain 2010 – 2013.
E/C.2/2015/2/Add.2 — 15 non-governmental organizations: Associazione Comunita Papa Giovanni XXIII 2010 – 2013; Ayande Roshan Nokhbegan Foundation 2010 – 2013; Azerbaijan Women and Development Center 2010 – 2013; BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights 2010 – 2013; Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication 2010 – 2013; Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU) 2010 – 2013; Brazilian Foundation of America 2010 – 2013; Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation 2010 – 2013; Canadian Federation of University Women 2010 – 2013; Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network 2010 – 2013; Center for Policy Studies 2010 – 2013; Center for Public Health 2010 – 2013; Child Care Consortium 2010 – 2013; China International Council for the Promotion of Multinational Corporations 2010 – 2013; China Society for Human Rights Studies 2010 – 2013.
E/C.2/2015/2/Add.3 — 15 non-governmental organizations: Chinese People's Association for Peace and Disarmament, The 2010 – 2013; Chinese Young Volunteers Association 2010 – 2013; Commonwealth Human Ecology Council 2010 – 2013; Cooperation and Participation in Overseas NGOs 2010 – 2013; Dominican Leadership Conference 2010 – 2013; Dones per la Llibertat i Democràcia 2010 – 2013; Drug Free America Foundation 2010 – 2013; Eastern Regional Organization for Public Administration 2010 – 2013; Eastern Sudan Women Development Organization 2010 – 2013; Education International 2010 – 2013; Egyptian Association for Educational Resources 2010 – 2013; Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs 2010 – 2013; Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness 2010 – 2013; Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria 2010 – 2013; Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance 2010 – 2013.
E/C.2/2015/2/Add.4 — 15 non-governmental organizations: Family Africa 2010 – 2013; Family Planning Association, I.R.Iran 2010 – 2013; Family Research Council 2010 – 2013; Federation of National Representations of the Experiment in International Living, The 2010 – 2013; Free World Foundation 2010 – 2013; Friends World Committee for Consultation 2010 – 2013; Fundacion Eudes 2010 – 2013; Fundacion para Estudio Investigacion de la Mujer 2010 – 2013; General Confederation of Trade Unions 2010 – 2013; Global Afrikan Congress 2010 – 2013; Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women 2010 – 2013; Hawa Society for Women 2010 – 2013; Humanist Institute for Co-operation with Developing Countries 2010 – 2013; IFENDU for Women's Development 2010 – 2013; INTERSOS Humanitarian Aid Organization 2010 – 2013.
E/C.2/2015/2/Add.5 — 15 non-governmental organizations: Il Cenacolo 2010 – 2013; Imam Ali's Popular Students Relief Society 2010 – 2013; Imamia Medics International 2010 – 2013; International Association for Women's Mental Health 2010 – 2013; International Association of Lions Clubs 2010 – 2013; International Confederation of Childhood Cancer Parent Organisations 2010 – 2013; International Council of Chemical Associations 2010 – 2013; International Council of Societies of Industrial Design 2010 – 2013; International Council on Jewish Social and Welfare Services 2010 – 2013; International Federation of Settlements and Neighbourhood Centres 2010 – 2013; International Federation of Training and Development Organisations, Ltd. 2010 – 2013; International First Aid Society 2010 – 2013; International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission 2010 – 2013; International Health Awareness Network, Inc. 2010 – 2013; ISIS — Women's International Cross-Cultural Exchange 2010 – 2013.
E/C.2/2015/2/Add.6 – 14 non-governmental organizations: International Higher Education Academy of Sciences 2010 – 2013; International Investment Center 2010 – 2013; International La Strada Association 2010 – 2013; International Network for Sustainable Energy 2010 – 2013; International Psychoanalytical Association Trust 2010 – 2013; International Relations Students' Association of McGill University 2010 – 2013; International Society of Doctors for the Environment 2010 – 2013; International Union for the Scientific Study of Population 2010 – 2013; International Women's Year Liaison Group 2010 – 2013; Interregional Union of Life Help for Mentally Handicapped Persons "Sail of Hope" 2010 – 2013; Italian Association for Aid to Children 2010 – 2013; Jesuit Refugee Service 2010 – 2013; Jose Marti Cultural Society 2010 – 2013; Khiam Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture 2010 – 2013.
Regarding the quadrennial report of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication 2010 – 2013, the representative of China asked the organization for more information about its 16 global chapters.
E/C.2/2015/2/Add.7 – 14 non-governmental organizations: Kitakyushu Forum on Asian Women 2010 – 2013; Korea Freedom Federation 2010 – 2013; Korea International Volunteer Organization 2010 – 2013; Korean National Council of Women 2010 – 2013; Leonard Cheshire Disability 2010 - 2013 ; Liberians United to Expose Hidden Weapons 2010 – 2013; Maasai Aid Association 2010 – 2013; Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers 2010 – 2013; Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic, Inc. 2010 – 2013; Mennonite Central Committee 2010 – 2013; Miracle Corners of the World 2010 – 2013; Movimento Italiano Casalinghe 2010 – 2013; National Federation of International Immigrant Women Associations 2010 – 2013; National Rehabilitation and Development Center 2010 – 2013.
Regarding the quadrennial report of Kimse Yok Mu 2010 – 2013, the representative of Azerbaijan asked the organization for more information about its education programmes.
E/C.2/2015/2/Add.8 — 15 non-governmental organizations: Network "Earth Village" 2010 – 2013; New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council 2010 – 2013; Organization for the Solidarity of the Peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America 2010 – 2013; Oxfam International 2010 – 2013; Pacific Women's Watch (New Zealand) 2010 – 2013; Parliamentarians for Global Action 2010 – 2013; Physicians for Social Responsibility 2010 – 2013; Plan Sweden 2010 – 2013; Presbyterian Church (USA) 2010 – 2013; Rainforest Foundation 2010 – 2013; Real Women of Canada 2010 – 2013; Rissho Kosei-kai 2010 – 2013; Saint Petersburg Institute of Bioregulation and Gerontology of the North-Western Branch of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences 2010 – 2013; Samaj Kalyan Unnayan Shagstha 2010 – 2013; School Sisters of Notre Dame 2010 – 2013.
E/C.2/2015/2/Add.9 - 15 non-governmental organizations: Secure World Foundation 2010 – 2013; Shirley Ann Sullivan Educational Foundation 2010 – 2013; Sisters of Mercy of the Americas 2010 – 2013; Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (OSMTH) 2010 – 2013; Teresian Association 2010 – 2013; To Love Children Educational Foundation International Inc. 2010 – 2013; UNESCO [United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization] Association, Guwahati 2010 – 2013; Union de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba 2010 – 2013; United Nations Watch 2010 – 2013; United Network of Young Peacebuilders 2010 – 2013; Viva Rio 2010 – 2013; Wildlife Conservation Society 2010 – 2013; Women Organization for Development and Capacity Building 2010 – 2013; Women Power Connect 2010 – 2013; Women's Right to Education Programme 2010 – 2013.
E/C.2/2015/2/Add.10 — 5 non-governmental organizations: General Arab Women Federation 2009 – 2012; International Council of Management Consulting Institutes, Inc. 2009 – 2012; International Federation of Non-governmental Organizations for the Prevention of Drug and Substance Abuse 2009 – 2012; Network of Women's Non-governmental Organizations in the Islamic Republic of Iran 2009 – 2012; War Resisters International 2009 – 2012.
E/C.2/2015/2/Add.11 – 16 non-governmental organizations: Cause Première 2010 – 2013; Fondation Chantal Biya 2010 – 2013; Fondation Genereuse Developpement 2010 – 2013; Greenpeace International 2010 – 2013; Imam Al-Sadr Foundation 2010 – 2013; International Cooperative Alliance 2010 – 2013; International Environmental Law Research Centre 2010 – 2013; International Federation of Family Associations of Missing Persons from Armed Conflicts 2010 – 2013; Israel Women's Network 2010 – 2013; Kongres Wanita Indonesia 2010 – 2013; Mujer para la Mujer A.C. 2010 – 2013; National Association of Vocational Education of China 2010 – 2013; Netherlands Centre for Indigenous Peoples (NCIV) 2010 – 2013; Organization for Defending Victims of Violence 2010 – 2013; Pew Environment Group 2010 – 2013; Women's Welfare Centre 2010 – 2013.
E/C.2/2015/2/Add.12 — 3 non-governmental organizations: Asociacion de Antiguas Alumnas del Colegio Madres Irlandesas 2009 – 2012; Associacao Brasileira de Gays, Lesbicas e Transgeneros 2009 – 2012; Relief International 2008 – 2011.
Regarding the quadrennial report of the International Press Institute 2009 – 2012, the representative of China asked the organization for details of a meeting it had held with the United Nations.
E/C.2/2015/CRP2 — 0 non-governmental organizations.
A number of concerns were raised about the quadrennial reports contained in this document. Regarding the quadrennial report of Amnesty International 2008 – 2011, the representative of China asked about a new “special procedure” mentioned by that organization.
Regarding the quadrennial report of the Armenian Assembly of America 2007 – 2010, the representative of Azerbaijan said that the organization still had not responded to previous queries.
Regarding the quadrennial reports of Centrist Democratic International (1998 – 2001) and (2002 – 2005) the representative of Cuba said that past replies from the group did not sufficiently answer the questions posed.
Regarding the quadrennial report of Centrist Democratic International 2006 – 2009, the representative of China said that the organization had not sufficiently answered previous questions posed to it.
Regarding the quadrennial report of Freedom House 2007 – 2010, the representative of India asked for more information about a regional meeting held in the Asia Pacific. He also requested that the organization use correct United Nations terminology when referring to Kashmir.
Regarding the quadrennial report of Human Rights Watch 2009 – 2012, the representative of China asked for more details about meetings held for disabled children.
Regarding the quadrennial report of Reporters Sans Frontiers International - Reporters Without Borders International 2005 – 2008, Cuba’s delegate said that the organization had not responded to questions previously posed to it.
Regarding the quadrennial report of Reporters Sans Frontiers International - Reporters Without Borders International 2009 – 2012, the representative of China asked if the organization cooperated with UNESCO.
Regarding the quadrennial report of the Society for Threatened Peoples 2001 – 2004, the representative of Cuba said that the organization had not fully responded to a question previously posed to it. Regarding the quadrennial report of the same organization for the period 2005 – 2008, the representative of China asked the group to clarify its position on the rights of indigenous peoples.
During the afternoon’s question and answer session, a representative of the World Assembly of Youth, an international coordinating body of youth councils headquartered in Malaysia, said that the group acted as a bridge between youth and the United Nations. She noted that, in response to a question posed by a member of the Committee, the organization had removed a reference to Taiwan on its website.
Asked by the representative of Israel to elaborate on the group’s activities in 2014, the organization’s representative described four international events held during the year, as well as their subsequent outcomes.
The representative of China thanked the organization for responding to its request regarding the use of proper terminology.
Requested by the representative of India to elaborate on its educational wing, the World Youth Institute, the organization’s representative said that the institute provided free online training to its members. The representative of Burundi asked about sources of funding, to which the representative of the Institute replied that partner organizations paid member fees. In addition, the group received support from various Governments and United Nations agencies, private sector donations and other sources.
In response to a question by the delegate from Sudan, the non-governmental organizations representative reviewed her organization’s overall activities.
The Committee then decided to recommend granting special consultative status to the World Assembly of Youth.
A representative of the Beirut Institute said that her group was a think tank devoted to celebrating the diversity of the Middle East region. It worked to build constructive dialogue and promote forward thinking. She also described the group’s first upcoming international conference, to be held in Abu Dhabi.
The representative of Iran asked about the members of the organization’s board who were former Government figures, and how they impacted the group’s impartiality. To that, the non-governmental organization representative said that public figures were involved in the group’s board in order to widen its scope and involve the public.
Sudan’s delegate offered support to the organization’s activities, and asked about its work in Sudan. The non-governmental organization representative said that, as a start-up operation, her group did not yet have a presence in Sudan. The representative of Mauritania also offered his support and hoped that the group’s work would soon come to Mauritania.
The Committee then decided to recommend granting special consultative status to the Beirut Institute.
The Committee then turned to Afrikaanse Forum Vir Burgerregte, whose representative took the podium to answer questions. Asked by the delegate of South Africa about the group’s potential work with the United Nations and about its finances, the representative of the non-governmental organization said that he had previously answered both of those questions. The delegate then asked for a full written list of other groups with which the organization worked, and of conferences it planned to attend.
The non-governmental organization was also asked by representative of Sudan about its activities in his region, about its budget and prospective programmes and activities, and about cooperation with the South African authorities, and by the representative of Burundi it was asked about the organization’s primary aim of advancing democracy. The representative of Guinea asked about the group’s work to draw the attention of the international community to South Africa.
The representative of the non-governmental organization said that he would have to provide the requested information in writing. The Committee decided to defer its consideration of Afrikaanse Forum Vir Burgerregte.
A representative of Earth Charter Associates Ltd. — a network hub for sharing information about the Earth Charter document — then took the floor. Among other things, he stressed that the group’s affiliates were completely independent entities.
Venezuela asked which programmes were being conducted in Latin America and in Venezuela specifically. In response, the Earth Charter representative provided a number of examples. The representative of China then stated his hope that the group would continue to use the proper terminology when referring to Taiwan.
Asked by Sudan’s delegate about his group’s activities in Africa, the representative of the non-governmental organization said that it had many affiliates in Africa, many of whom were actively using the Earth Charter. South Africa’s representative then asked for a list of such activities in writing.
The Committee then deferred its consideration of Earth Charter Associates Ltd.’s application.