Get involved Vol 23, No. 05 - May 2019

Want to amplify the voices of civil society at the UN? Apply for ECOSOC consultative status!

The world is facing a number of pressing global challenges that need our urgent attention and action – from poverty, hunger, rising inequalities to the serious threat of climate change. No country nor organization can take on these immense tasks alone – we need all hands on deck. Is your NGO interested in getting involved in addressing the many demands of our time and to have a stake in UN deliberations? Then apply for ECOSOC consultative status! Deadline is 1 June 2019.

Ever since its inception in 1945, the United Nations has been actively engaged with NGOs and has recognized the importance of partnering with them to advance the organization’s ideals and help support its work. In 1946, only 41 NGOs were granted consultative status by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). But this number has grown and today, 5161 NGOs enjoy this status with the Council. These organizations are represented all over the world and work in many different areas including with education, health, poverty eradication, human rights, gender equality and indigenous issues.

Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, NGOs also play an important role as partners on the ground, helping the international community deliver this ground-breaking agenda. This fact was also recognized by UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Liu Zhenmin at a recent Civil Society Forum when he reiterated UN DESA’s “commitment to a genuine partnership with civil society in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”.

“No one has all the answers, but one thing we do know is the importance of partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders. Governments, civil society, academia, and the private sector need to work together to promote sustainable development,” Mr. Liu said.

Consultative Status is a formal relationship between non-governmental organizations and the United Nations to allow NGOs to participate in the work of the UN. ECOSOC is the only main entry point into the UN system for NGOs with a formal framework for NGO participation.

So, what are the benefits for NGOs having this status? NGOs that are accredited with ECOSOC can participate in many events, including, but not limited to, regular sessions of ECOSOC, its functional commissions and its other subsidiary bodies. They may:

  • Attend official meetings;
  • Submit written statements prior to sessions;
  • Make oral statements;
  • Meet official government delegations, UN officers and other NGO representatives;
  • Organize and attend parallel events that take place during the session;
  • Participate in debates, interactive dialogues and panel discussions.

The NGO Branch of UN DESA is inviting all interested NGOs that are willing to work in close collaboration with ECOSOC, to apply for consultative status. 1 June 2019 is the deadline to submit applications that will be reviewed during the following year. Read more about how to apply here .

The NGO Branch is also inviting interested NGOs to join an online webinar meeting about the application process on 3 May 2019 from 11 am to 12:30 pm EDT. Register here for this session.

For more information:

Apply for ECOSOC consultative status now in order to be considered by the 2020 NGO Committee
How to apply for ECOSOC consultative status
Webinar and information session on application process on 3 May 2019 (in English)

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