Continuing its regular session for 2016, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today recommended 10 organizations for special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council and deferred action on the status of 24 others.
The 19-member Committee considers applications for consultative status and requests for reclassification submitted by non-governmental organizations. Once an application has been reviewed and approved by the Committee it is considered recommended for consultative status. Organizations which are granted 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 requested further information from the candidates about, among other items, details of their respective organizations’ activities, 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. on Wednesday, 3 February, to conclude its regular session.
Special Consultative Status
The Committee recommended that the Economic and Social Council grant special consultative status to the following 10 organizations:
Martial Arts Academy (France);
Business and Professional Women Voluntary Organization (Sudan);
Human Rights Sanrakshan Sansthaa (India);
Azerbaijani American Cultural Association, Inc. (United States);
Behinderung und Entwicklungszusammenarbeit e.V. (Germany);
Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation (Bulgaria);
Days for Girls International (United States);
Engineers Without Borders — USA, Inc. (United States);
Kirkon Ulkomaanavun Säätiö (Finland);
Plan International (United Kingdom);
The Committee postponed its consideration of the following 24 non-governmental organizations:
The Next Century Foundation (United Kingdom) — as the representative of Turkey asked for a list of countries in which the organization worked and for a list of local partners.
The RINJ Foundation (Canada) — as the representative of Turkey asked for more information about the group’s “helpline” and the representative of South Africa requested more information about its projects in Africa.
Coordination Waï (Eveil) relative à l'unité nationale et la lutte contre l'esclavage (Mauritania) — as the representative of Mauritania said the response provided by the organization was insufficient. The representative of the United States then asked for a translation of the materials provided from the organization; however, the representative of Mauritania asked members to respect the rules and regulations of the Committee, saying that once a ruling had been made it should be final. The representative of South Africa said he shared the Mauritanian delegate’s concerns.
International Human Right Organization (Pakistan) — as the representative of Pakistan asked for more details about the organization’s office in his country.
Insamlingsstiftelsen Kvinna till Kvinna (Sweden) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked whether the organization’s regional office covered only Georgia and Armenia and no other countries. The representative of Iran asked the group to respect United Nations terminology when referring to the “Persian Gulf”.
Dalit Welfare Organization (Nepal) — as the representative of India asked for more information about the group’s affiliate groups and for clarification regarding the international organizations that provided it with funding.
FESTHES “Festival Pour la Santé” (Togo) — as the representative of South Africa asked for more information regarding the group’s funding and requested its latest financial statements. The representative of Israel asked whether the Committee could consider new ways of dealing with translations in future sessions, while the representative of the United States reminded delegates that French was a working language of the Committee. The representative of Mauritania proposed deferring the organization’s application until the Committee’s resumed session. The representative of the United States said the South African delegate had posed a question that should be transmitted to the organization during the present session.
Asociación Pro-Bienestar de la Familia Colombiana “Profamilia” (Colombia) — as the representative of Nicaragua asked for more information about the youth programmes the organization had carried out in countries in Latin American countries.
Campanha Latino-Americana pelo Direito à Educação (Brazil) — as the representative of Nicaragua asked for more information about the organization’s upcoming activities.
Liberia Youth Initiative for Peace and Sustainable Development, Inc. (Liberia) — as the representative of South Africa said the organization’s response did not answer the question posed to it. She asked for disaggregated information about the group’s grants and for information about the organization’s work with the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Kuki Organization For Human Rights Trust (India) — as the representative of Iran asked about the organization’s work with the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues during the years 2014 and 2015.
Article 36 Limited (United Kingdom) — as the representative of Nicaragua asked which United Nations bodies the organization had worked with and how it was able to do so without accreditation.
Assyrian National Congress (United States) — as the representative of Turkey asked the organization about a past question regarding countries that broadcast Assyrian satellite television. In addition, the representative of South Africa pointed out a discrepancy in the organization’s response and asked it to clarify its position. The representative of the United States offered a clarification about that discrepancy.
Collectif des Familles de Disparu(e)s en Algerie (France) — as the representative of South Africa asked the organization to provide a list of its planned activities for 2016 and the countries in which they would take place. The representative of Sudan asked whether the group planned to expand its work to the regional level.
European Muslims League (Switzerland) — as the representative of China asked the organization about its activities in 2015.
Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction (United Kingdom) — as the representative of South Africa sought more information about the group’s participation with the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals, and asked whether it had any related projects planned.
International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc. (United States) — as the representative of India asked whether the organization had affiliations with any groups in his country and about the selection criteria for its members.
Mouvement de la Paix (France) — as the representative of China asked the group to state its position on the “question of Tibet”.
National Secular Society (United Kingdom) — as the representative of Sudan asked for a list of the organization’s activities, in particular on the African continent. In addition, the representative of China asked the group for a statement of its position regarding the “question of Tibet”.
Oromia Support Group in Australia Inc. (Australia) — as the representative of Sudan asked the group to respond to its previous questions. The representative of South Africa asked what, in concrete terms, the organization was doing to address human rights concerns in Ethiopia, as well as whether it had any relationship with the African Union.
Public Interest Advocacy Centre Ltd. (Australia) — as the representative of Turkey asked the organization about its plans regarding a “change of country focus”.
Rural Development Institute (United States) — as the representative of South Africa asked why the organization did not intend to become accredited with the African Union. To that, the representative of the United States said the organization had, in fact, worked with the African Union through the Land Policy Initiative. The representative of South Africa responded that it did not make sense for organizations which worked in Africa not to be accredited with the African Union. The representative of the United States again stressed that the group had stated clearly that it did work with the African Union.
The Chair then asked the South African delegate whether he could rephrase his question. Responding, the representative of South Africa said the group did not intend to have any relationship with the African Union structures, and that he did not need to rephrase the question. The representative of the United States disagreed with the transmittal of the question in its current form, as she said the group had already answered the question.
A representative of the Secretariat then took the floor to clarify the question that would be transmitted to the organization.
The representative of the United States said the Committee could not move forward with the question as it stood, as it was not a rule that organizations needed to be accredited with the African Union in order to receive consultative status with the Economic and Social Council. The representative of South Africa again stressed that he would be “stunned” to hear that an organization working on rural issues in Africa would not be ready to become accredited with the African Union.
Committee Chair Jorge Dotta (Uruguay) then suspended the meeting for five minutes while delegations discussed their positions on the matter.
As the meeting resumed, the representative of South Africa said that, as a compromise, he could instead ask the organization whether it planned to become accredited with the African Union in the future. The representative of the United States then offered another formulation of the question, which the Committee accepted.
A representative of the Association for Human Rights and Solidarity with Oppressed People (Turkey) said that the organization was created in 1991 and had 25 branches in his country. It never received Government funding, and relied on private donors and voluntary contributions. Its work focused on human rights violations and issued certificates for students completing courses on human rights. The representative of South Africa sought clarification about a project in “Central Africa” and wondered if that meant the Central African Republic. He also asked what “creatures” meant when its application referred to the protection of the environment, and sought answers in writing about its relations with “many foundations” and requested updated financial statements.
The Committee deferred the application.
A representative of Stiftung Wissenschaft Und Politik (Germany) said the institution provides advisories to the German Parliament through papers of independent researchers it hired. The issues those researchers covered expanded to global issues tackled by the United Nations. The representative of China pointed out two articles on the organization’s website incorrectly referred to “Taiwan” as a country. The representative of Cuba asked if the statute of the organization had changed since it covered international issues. The representative of Iran sought more information on the group’s work on the security situation in Asia. The representative of the Russian Federation pointed out that the papers published on the organization’s website reflected the positions taken by the Government of Germany and the European Union in general, and asked if the organization planned to reduce Government funding.
The Committee deferred the application.