NGO Branch

A Time for Global Action

The NGO Branch supports the work of the Committee on NGOs of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the intergovernmental body responsible for granting consultative status with ECOSOC to non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

There are currently 5,451 (NGOs) in active consultative status with (ECOSOC) [list]. Information regarding applications for consultative status, participation in meetings and events at the United Nations, accreditations and other matters is currently available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic.

The DESA NGO Branch is the focal point within the UN Secretariat for non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and for NGOs seeking status. Our aims are the following:

  • Support to NGOs: Informing you in a timely fashion on events and opportunities to collaborate with the United Nations.
  • Intergovernmental Support: We service the Committee on NGOs, which meets twice a year to discuss accreditation of NGOs to the UN Economic and Social Council.
  • Conference registration: We facilitate participation of NGOs to most of the intergovernmental processes taking place at United Nations headquarters and beyond. Each year, some 7,000 NGO representatives participate in those events in New York alone.
  • Technical assistance: With support from the UN Development Account, we carry out limited capacity-building activities with civil society organizations.

Our Branch is part of the Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination (OESC), a division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) of the United Nations.

Inside DESA, we assist in facilitating NGO registration to the many subsidiary bodies of ECOSOC, such as Commission for Social Development, the Rio+20 Conference, the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the Commission for Population and Development, the Commission on Sustainable Development, the UN Forum on Forests, and the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Beyond DESA, we work with the UNOG NGO Liaison Unit in Geneva, the Commisison on the Status of Women serviced by UN-Women, UN-NGLSDPI NGO RelationsOHCHROffice for Disarmament AffairsUNAIDS, the Office of the President of the General Assembly, and other UN agencies and programmes.

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