Following an amendment on the review of working methods and other related matters, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today adopted the report of its 2016 May-June session, during which it recommended to the Economic and Social Council 188 organizations for consultative status and deferred 235 for further consideration at its regular session in 2017.
In addition, the Committee’s final report (document E/2016/32, Part II) recommended that the Council reclassify the status of four organizations and reinstate the consultative status of 81.
The Committee also recommended that the Council take note of the quadrennial reports of 336 organizations, and 15 requests for change of name. It closed the applications of 39 candidates for their failure to respond to queries over the course of two consecutive sessions, and suspended for one year the consultative status of 158 groups with outstanding quadrennial reports. It also recommended the withdrawal of consultative status of 85 others.
It decided not to grant consultative status to following two organizations: Committee to Protect Journalists, Inc. and Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights.
Today’s outcome text was introduced by Rapporteur Farid Jabrayilov (Azerbaijan).
The 19-member Committee, elected on the basis of equitable geographical representation, has been a standing body of the Economic and Social Council since its establishment in 1946. It 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.
Before the adoption, some delegates raised concern about the recommendations for improving the working methods. The representative of India said the issue had been taken up only in informal meetings, underscoring the need to discuss in a formal setting. Similarly, the delegate of the Russian Federation emphasized that the inability to take a decision resulted in a pile of work. It was unfortunate that the problem had affected the report’s preparation.
Others discussed the statements by non-governmental organizations.
The representative of China, drawing attention to paragraph 56, suggested deleting the text “in support of a letter on behalf of 230 civil society organizations from 45 countries”. As it was the first time that a non-governmental organization had delivered a general statement, the Committee must reduce its coverage on the report, he stressed. Joining him, Cuba’s delegate described the sequence of paragraph 52, 54 and 56 as problematic, and suggested a change.
The representative of Greece, responding, expressed support for the decision to include statements in the report. Deleting that part from paragraph 56 would be problematic as the sentence would lose its meaning, he stressed.
Israel’s delegate, echoing that sentiment, rejected that the report was biased or negative. The report had presented the amount of work carried out throughout the session, he said, expressing his delegation’s readiness to adopt the text.
Also speaking were representatives of Venezuela and the United States.