24 January 2002


Press Release

Committee on NGOs

47th Meeting (AM)


A Tunisian woman's organization and an information technologies organization were recommended for the broadest "general" consultative status with the Economic and Social Council this morning as the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) continued its resumed 2001 session by considering requests for reclassification.

In all, the Committee considered four new applications and three deferred from its previous session.  It recommended a total of four reclassifications, deferring another and leaving two pending.

Of the four new applications considered, the “Union Nationale de la Femme Tunisienne” and “World Information Transfer” were recommended for elevation from special to general consultative status.  A special status, up from roster, was recommended for the “Foundation for Democracy in Africa”, while the application of the "Friends World Committee for Consultation" was left pending.  It is requesting reclassification from special to general consultative status.

Among the three previously deferred applications, a special consultative status was recommended for “International PEN”, which was the next step above the roster status it had held.  The application of the “International Association of Charities” was deferred pending further clarifications.  The application of the “Armenian Relief Society” for an upgrade in status was denied since it was decided to be at the appropriate consultative level.

In considering the application of the writers' organization, “International PEN”, the representative of Cuba recalled that the application for reclassification had been deferred pending receipt of further information about activities in Cuba.  Satisfied with the information received, the decision to recommend special status for PEN was made after a brief exchange of views on whether the organization's activities were broad enough to meet the standards for that status.  Taking part in that exchange were the representatives of India, Tunisia, Senegal, Germany, Algeria, United States, China and the Russian Federation.

Also this morning, the application of "Refugees International" was left pending.  It is requesting special consultative status while already enjoying roster classification.

The previously deferred applications for reclassification of consultative status are contained in document E/C.2/2001/CRP.7.  The new applications are contained in document E/C.2/2001/R.3.  The “Refugees International” application is contained in document E/C.2/2001/CRP.5.

The 19-member Committee makes recommendations on requests for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council and also for reclassifications of status.  Three classifications are possible:  roster, special and general.  Non-governmental organizations with roster status are authorized to participate in Council meetings.  Those with special status may also circulate statements while those with general status may, in addition, speak at meetings and propose agenda items.  Non-governmental organizations with either special or general status submit quadrennial reports on activities supporting the work of the United Nations.

Also speaking this morning were the representatives of Romania, Turkey, France, Sudan, Pakistan, Bolivia and Ethiopia.

The Committee will meet again at 3 p.m. today to take up its consideration of pending matters, including reports and applications for either consultative status or reclassification of status.

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For information media. Not an official record.