Committee on NGOs
5th & 6th Meetings (AM & PM)
Twenty-two more ngos recommended for consultative status
with Economic and Social Council
The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) today recommended 22 NGOs for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and deferred action on six applications. It also recommended that the status of one NGO be reclassified from special to general consultative status and closed the file on one application.
The 19-member Committee uses various criteria to recommend general, special or roster status with ECOSOC, including the applicant’s mandate, governance and financial regime. Organizations that have general and special consultative status can attend meetings of the Council and circulate statements of a certain length. Those with general status can, in addition, speak at meetings and propose items for the Council’s agenda, while NGOs with roster status can only attend meetings.
The Committee recommended that the Council grant special consultative status to:
-- Kuwait Information Technology, a national organization whose purpose is to contribute to scientific and technical progress in the application of computer technology in Kuwait and elsewhere;
-- Association pour la collaboration globale, an international organization based in France which strives to maintain or expand open, credible, professional dialogue on global social issues and wants, among other things, to help policy makers worldwide in their efforts to develop and evaluate an effective and evidence-based global drug policy;
-- ZENAB for Women in Development, an international organization, also based in the United States, aiming to improve the livelihood of vulnerable women, which can be achieved if women are empowered and gender equality is promoted;
-- Africare, an international, United States-based organization whose purpose it is to improve the quality of life in Africa by assisting families, villages and nations in food security and agriculture, as well as in health and HIV/AIDS;
-- Landmine Survivors Network, an international organization with headquarters in the United States, which was established to assist individuals, families and communities affected by landmines in recovering from trauma, fulfil their human rights and reclaim their lives;
-- Cooperativa Tecnico Scientifica di Base, a scientific not-for-profit international organization based in Italy whose aims are to contribute projects and statements to various United Nations processes and conventions in such areas as biological diversity, climate change, human rights and sustainable development, among others;
-- Foundation for the Refugee Education Trust, a Switzerland-based international organization which aims to facilitate and expand equal access to post–primary education for all, including girls, those with special needs and vulnerable youth;
-- Virtue Foundation, an international organization based in the United States, whose primary mission is educate the public regarding today’s most prevalent global issues from an ethical, moral and humanitarian perspective;
-- Kenya Tuitakayo, a national organization that aims for a Kenyan society that upholds practices and protects constitutionalism and democracy in which human rights are protected, gender equality is ensured, the interests of the disadvantaged are guaranteed and a sustainable, wholesome development is promoted;
-- National Women’s Justice Coalition, a national, Australia-based organization that works for a society that respects and protects basic human rights and without gender discrimination;
-- National Abortion Federation, an international organization based in the United States, working to enhance the quality and accessibility of reproductive health care, including abortion services, post-abortion care and family planning. A representative of the Observer Mission of the Holy See stated that no human right to abortion existed and that abortion contradicted the essence of the human rights to life. The United Nations did not support or promote abortion as a method of family planning, he said, and the Committee should, therefore, question its current policy on abortions to ensure that its activities did not erode the most fundamental human right to life;
-- African Community Resource Center, an international organization based in the United States, committed to the humanitarian vision of improving the quality of life in developing countries by providing equal access to resources, information and health interventions;
-- International Association of Science Parks, an international organization with headquarters in Spain, which aims to maintain and coordinate a worldwide network of professionals working in management of science and technology parks and business incubators;
-- Australian Reproductive Health Alliance, a national organization that wants to promote public support, both within Australia and internationally, for the improvement of the well-being and status of women and the development of reproductive health. The representative of the Observer Mission of the Holy See reiterated previous objections and queried the vagueness of the term “reproductive health”;
-- Huairou Commission: Women, Homes and Community, an international organization based in the United States, aiming to forge strategic partnerships to advance the capacity of grassroots women’s organizations worldwide to strengthen and create sustainable communities;
-- Sign of Hope e.V. – Hoffnungszeichen, a national, inter-denominational human rights and relief organization based in Germany;
-- Feminists for Life of America, a national organization trying to secure, through non-violent means, the basic human rights for all people, especially women and children, from conception until natural death. The representative of Germany, supported by Cuba’s representative, reiterated his concern that there should be a “level playing field” in the Committee regarding applications from organizations that dealt with reproductive rights. Moreover, he stressed, any NGO with consultative status should support the work of the ECOSOC; and
-- Korean Foundation for World Aid, an international organization based in the Republic of Korea, focusing on providing humanitarian assistance to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as well as helping other poor or war-torn countries around the world, such as Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Committee also continued its consideration of the Women’s Learning Partnership, which it had begun yesterday (see Press Release NGO/553), and recommended special consultative status for that NGO after its representative, Afaf Mahfouz, clarified the organization’s perception of “human security”, saying it had no opinion on policy-making, but worked with grass-roots organizations when invited.
Roster status was recommended for:
-- World Chlorine Council, an international organization based in the United States, which wants to respond more effectively to global concerns and issues surrounding the chlorine chemistry;
-- Council of Bureaux, an international organization based in the United Kingdom, which aims to support the free movement of motor vehicles across frontiers and the protection of victims of road traffic accidents through the provision of internationally recognized motor insurance documents and settlement of claims; and
-- Ecospirituality Foundation -- an international organization based in Canada that strives for protection of the cultural and spiritual heritage of indigenous peoples and supports and underlines actions against violation of their religious rights and sacred sites -- after the NGO’s representative, Giancarlo Barbadoro, answered questions raised by representatives of Chile, United States, India and Germany.
The Committee deferred action on Yad Sarah, a national organization from Israel that wants to enable people with special needs to continue to live among their families, in their homes and within their communities and to promote the concept of volunteerism. Most speakers supported a recommendation for consultative status, but Sudan’s representative raised questions about finances provided by governments and the organization’s work in Ramallah.
A representative of observer StateSyria also raised questions about the organization’s finances. The representative of the Observer for Palestine asked whether the organization’s headquarters was based in occupied East Jerusalem or in West Jerusalem, and if the organization carried out any activities in the illegal settlements in the occupied territories. The representative of observer StateNigeria also spoke. Speakers urged that a decision be taken during the current session.
The Committee also deferred action on a number of applications pending answers to questions raised by delegates. They are:
-- Engine Manufacturers Association, an international organization based in the United States, which represents manufacturers of internal combustion engines for all applications and wants to promote the general welfare of the internal combustion engine industry. Cuba’s representative queried how the organization could contribute to the work of ECOSOC. He also asked, in the context of the Kyoto Protocol, to what extent did the organization believe that its work could help to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions;
-- Humanitarian Foundation of Canada, an international, Canada-based organization whose goal is to alleviate poverty, chronic unemployment, disease, hunger, homelessness and their causes, in Canada and in less-developed countries, as the representative of the Russian Federation noted that the organization had mentioned Kosovo as a country, not as part of Serbia and Montenegro, and asked for a correction in that regard;
-- Charity Foundation for Special Diseases, a national organization in Iran that wants to help patients suffering from such diseases as Thalassaemia, haemophilia, diabetes, renal failure and cancer, as Germany’s representative wanted more information on the organization’s list of honorary members;
-- International Centre for Peace Studies -- an international organization based in India, whose activities include evolving frameworks to study conflict situations, conceptualizing the conflicts and developing strategies for peace-building to address such situations with an emphasis on human rights. Pakistan’s representative intended to ask the NGO more questions regarding its interactions with academic circles and think-tanks in its country of origin; and
-- Ambedkar Center for Justice and Peace -- an international organization with headquarters in the United States, which wants to empower the marginalized people of South Asian countries -- pending receipt of documents promised by the NGO’s representative, Mr. Varhade, who also addressed questions raised.
The Committee also recommended that New Humanity would be reclassified as an NGO with general consultative status. According to the application for reclassification, the NGO, formerly known as International Bureau of Economy and Work, had been granted special consultative status in 1987. The organization believed that reclassification to general consultative status was appropriate as that would appropriately reflect its relationship to the work of ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies. According to the NGO, it was a representative body that reached 2.7 million people in 125 countries, including 30 least developed countries, working in almost all the fields dealt with by the Council.
The Committee closed the file on the application of Association Internationale de Boxe Educative, as there had been no reply from the NGO to questions asked since December 2003.
The Committee members are Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, France, Germany, India, Iran, Peru, Pakistan, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sudan, Turkey, United States and Zimbabwe.
The Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. on Monday, 10 January, to continue consideration of new applications.
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