The aim of the Civil Society and Outreach Unit (CSOU) of the Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) is to create greater awareness and strengthen the involvement of civil society in the work of the United Nations on social development issues as it relates to the mandate of DSPD.
To promote this aim, CSOU coordinates the participation of NGOs and other civil society organizations in Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in the work of intergovernmental bodies.
How to Apply for Consultative Status?
- Profile Registration
- Add your organizational profile to the DESA database, check first to see if your organization has a profile to avoid duplicates.
- Login here with your existing profile.
- Contact DESA if you do not know your login details.
- Please register here.
- Online Application: Questionnaire + Summary + Supporting Documents
- After your profile registration is accepted, your organization has to submit the application containing the online questionnaire, summary and supporting documents in English or French only.
- To submit application, login here and click on the Consultative Status tab to start filling out the application.
- Here is a copy of the questionnaire and hints to fill it out.
- Supporting documents (Supporting documents can be uploaded by using the Documents tab)
- Copy of constitution/charter and/or statutes/by-laws and amendments to those documents (pursuant to paragraph 10 of ECOSOC resolution 1996/31).
- Copy of certificate of registration. According to resolution 1996/31 an organization “should attest that it has been in existence for at least two years as at the date of receipt of the application by the Secretariat”. Please provide a copy of the registration paper or, if your country does not require registration, please provide other proof of existence.
- Copy of most recent financial statement and annual report.
- Optional: Copy of examples of your publications and recent articles or statements.
- Optional: Organization chart (if available).
- NGO Branch screening of applications
- Completed applications must be received by June 1st of the year before the NGO wishes to be considered for recommendation by the Committee. For example, complete applications (which include a completed questionnaire and all the required supporting documentation) submitted to the NGO Branch by 1 June 2015 will be taken up by the Committee on NGOs in the year 2016. Applications received between 2 June 2015 and 1 June 2016 will be taken up in the year 2017.
- The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations
- The Committee meets twice a year to decide which NGOs applying for consultative status it will recommend to the ECOSOC Council. During its Session, the Committee may ask questions to the NGO. Such questions are sent to the NGO by the Secretariat and should be replied by the NGO as fast as possible in order to help the Committee make a decision and avoid getting deferred to future sessions. The Committee recommendations are published in a report and submitted to the next ECOSOC meeting for final approval.
- ECOSOC Final Decision
- When the Council finally approves the Committee recommendation to grant consultative status to an NGO, official notification is sent by the Secretariat.
CSOU facilitates interactions between civil society entities and other bodies served by the Division including the:
- Commission for social development (CSocD)
- UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII)
- Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (COSP)
- Open Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWGA)
- And other events serviced by the Division
How can NGOs and Civil Society representatives get involved in our work?
Commission for Social Development (CSocD)
- The sessions of the Commission for Social Development tend to take place in February each year. Participation in the CSocD is ONLY open to NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC (General, Special and Roster). Online pre-registration tends to begin in late October or November and closes approximately 2 weeks before the session starts.
- NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC can pre-register up to 10 representatives to attend the sessions as observers.
- Those who wish to engage with CSocD can:
- Submit written statements on the Commission’s priority theme around 30 October.
- Apply to host side events related to the Commission’s priority theme.
- Request to make oral presentations.
- For more further assistance, please review the FAQ section and or contact email@example.com
- Learn more about the work of CSocD.
UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII)
- The sessions of the UNPFII tend to take place in April or May. Participation in the sessions of the Permanent Forum is open to NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC, Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations (IPOs) and Academic Institutions. Online pre-registration tends to begin in February and closes approximately 2 weeks before the session starts.
- All registered participants who wish to engage with UNPFII can:
- Make oral presentations at the forum depending on availability of time.
- Submit written statement. Please contact the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum to discuss the possibility of submitting such a report. The deadline for these reports/statements is 31ST January of each year.
- Learn more about the work of UNPFII.
Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (COSP)
- The sessions of the Conference of States Parties tend to take place in June each year. Participation is open to NGOs accredited by the Conference of States Parties. NGOs that have consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) or were accredited to the Ad Hoc Committee on the Convention are already accredited to the COSP. All other NGOs wishing to participate in the Conference MUST apply for accreditation. The online pre-registration tends to begin three months before the session starts.
- Prior to the opening of each session, civil society organizations convene a civil society forum.
- Learn more about the work of COSP.
Open Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWG)
- The sessions of the Open Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWG) tend to take place in July each year. Participation is open to NGOs accredited by the OEWG.
- Accreditation is the formal process by which NGOs are allowed to participate in the work of the OEWG. Accreditation is granted to organizations and not to individuals. NGOs in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) are automatically accredited to the OEWG. However, they should pre-register online for each session. All other NGOs must apply for accreditation in order to participate in the sessions of the Open-ended Working Group. Accreditation to the OEWG need only be done once and applies for all sessions.
- The UN Secretariat reviews applications against criteria outlined in paragraphs 44-45 of ECOSOC resolution 1996/31, and provides a list of NGOs seeking accreditation to States members of the OEWG no later than two weeks prior to the second session and four weeks prior to following sessions of the OEWG to receive their comments.
- NGOs wishing to be accredited to the Open-ended Working Group MUST follow the steps listed on the OEWG website.
- The OEWG adopted a draft decision entitled “Modalities of participation of non-governmental organizations in the work of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing”. In this regard, the OEWG decided:
- To invite relevant intergovernmental organizations and other entities that have observer status with the General Assembly to participate in its work;
- That accreditation of non-governmental organizations to the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing shall be granted to all relevant non-governmental organizations enjoying consultative status with the Economic and Social Council;
- That other relevant non-governmental organizations, not falling within the above categories, may apply to the Secretariat for such accreditation, and that their applications should contain all the information on the competence of the organization and the relevance of its activities to the work of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing, as specified in paragraph 44 of Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31 of 25 July 1996, and in respect of those applications;
- To keep in mind the principle of equitable geographical participation of non-governmental organizations in the work of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing;
- That the arrangements outlined above shall in no way create a precedent for other open-ended working groups of the General Assembly.”
- Full text available here: A/AC.278/2011/2
English | Français | Español | Русский | عربي | 汉语
- The online pre-registration tends to begin in May and closes approximately 2 weeks before the session starts. Each year, NGOs and civil society organizations in consultative status with ECOSOC can participate by pre-registering up to 10 Representatives. Accredited NGOs to the OEWG can pre-register up to 5 Representatives.
- Learn more about the work of the OEWG.