23 January 2007


23 January 2007
Economic and Social Council
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Committee on NGOs

3rd & 4th Meetings (AM & PM)




The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, in two meetings today, recommended 22 non-governmental organizations for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, as well as four reclassifications of consultative status, rejecting one request for reclassification.  It postponed a decision on 24 applications for consultative status and one request for reclassification.

A standing Committee of the Council, the 19-member body uses various criteria to recommend general, special or roster status with the Economic and Social Council, 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 non-governmental organizations with roster status can only attend meetings.

The Committee recommended that the Economic and Social Council grant special consultative status to:

-- Coalition for Community Participation in Governance, a national organization based in Jamaica, promoting the creation of a non-violent and strong civil society, with actively participating citizens;

-- World Federation of the Deafblind, an international organization headquartered in Denmark, aiming to improve the quality of life of deafblind people worldwide, with the objective of achieving their equal rights and equal opportunities in all areas of society;

-- Youth Awareness Environmental Forum, a national non-governmental organization based in Nepal trying to improve the livelihood and security of local people, to enhance environmental conservation and to raise awareness about the environment;

-- Bahrain Women Society, a national organization wanting to enable women to assume a leading role in human development;

-- Confederation fiscale europeenne, an international organization with headquarters in Belgium, which wants to safeguard the professional interests of tax advisers and to assure the quality of tax services provided by tax advisers;

-- National Committee for UNIFEM, Japan, a national organization that wants to support the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) by raising funds and promoting UNIFEM activities in Japan;

-- Association for Reproductive and Family Health, a national organization in Nigeria, aiming to enhance sexual reproductive health and rights of individuals and couples in Africa;

-- Euromontana, the European multisectoral association for cooperation and development of mountain territories, which has its headquarters in France;

-- China International Public Relations Association, a national organization aiming to inform the world about China and to encourage China to become better acquainted with the world;

-- Ramola Bhar Charitable Trust –- Project STOP (Stop Trafficking and Oppression of Children & Women), a national Indian organization aiming at the complete eradication of trafficking and the establishment of an egalitarian society through political, social and economic empowerment of women and children.   Pakistan’s representative stated that he had received the necessary clarifications asked for yesterday, and that he was satisfied with the answers;

-- Good People World Family, an international organization with headquarters in the Republic of Korea aiming to improve self-sustainability and eradicate extreme poverty through restoration of self-esteem in human beings on the principles of human dignity, equality and equity at the global level;

-- A Child Is Missing Inc., a national organization in the United States that wants to provide rapid response communication to local, national and international law enforcement agencies in order to facilitate the recovery of missing or abducted children and adults.  It also wants to educate children and communities about the dangers of abduction and about proper safety protocols;

-- Asociaci ón Mensajeros de la Paz, an international organization based in Spain, aiming to address the needs of society’s most disadvantaged groups in Spain and in several other countries;

-- Equidad de Genero:  Ciudadnia, Trabajo y Familia, A.C., a national organization based in Mexico, aiming to promote gender equity and equality through the development of gender-sensitive public policy proposals and the strengthening of women’s leadership and civil participation in the country’s political and social life;

-- Espace Afrique International, an international organization based in Switzerland, which wants to develop African expertise in general and the expertise of the African diaspora in areas such as health, education, culture and new technologies;

-- Korean Sharing Movement, a national organization from the Republic of Korea, aiming to provide development assistance and reduce poverty in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and to strengthen inter-Korea cooperation and reconciliation;

-- Child Development Foundation, a national non-governmental organization in the Sudan, promoting child rights and protection for war-affected groups;

-- International Planned Parenthood Federation, East and South East Asia and Oceania Region, an international organization with headquarters in Malaysia; striving to enable all women, children and men, to improve their health status and quality of lives, including meeting their reproductive and sexual health needs and rights;

-- Grupo de Informaci ón en Reproducci ón Elegida, a national organization in Mexico that wants to contribute to the recognition, respect and defence of reproductive rights, in particular abortion rights, upholding women’s free choice;

-- Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, a national organization from Poland with the mission of disseminating the ideas and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights documents.

Roster status was recommended for:

-- Fédération Internationale des Grossistes, Importateurs et Exportateurs en Fournitures Automobiles – FIGIEFA, an international organization with headquarters in Belgium, focusing on safeguarding free competition in the supply and distribution of replacement parts of vehicles and to prevent monopolies in the automotive aftermarket on the proposal of the United States; and

-- Korea Institute of Brain Science, an international organization based in the Republic of Korea, established to facilitate development of science, medical science and education in order to improve international health and contribute to the peacefulness of people.  During the interactive dialogue with the NGO representative this afternoon, questions were raised regarding finances, possible contributions to ECOSOC, and the work of the NGO in “brain-based peace education”.

The organization’s representative explained financial matters, saying the organization was now in a healthy financial state.  As for the “brain-based education”, he said the NGO had experience with establishing brain-based wellness and measuring such things.  It was possible to provide training to better connect brain and body and not immediately react to conflict situations.  Mankind had evolved with a stress response system, such as high blood pressure.  In chronic activation, that response system could promote ill-health and negative behaviour.  If that stress response system could be modified, people could be promoted to behave more peacefully.  That had been well documented, among other things among a group of 200 participants in New York in 2002.

Addressing a question posed by the representative of Pakistan, he said there were no side effects, such as dulling the emotions of compassion and happiness.  The intention of the programme was to empower people to use every aspect of their humanity in the most intelligent way.  One did not lose emotions, but one got the ability not to react to emotions.  How the NGO could contribute to the work of ECOSOC was a matter left to the Committee.

The Committee postponed consideration of the application from Ankara Foundation of Children with Leukemia -- a Turkish organization aiming to provide health services, educational and psychological supports for children with leukaemia or chronic blood disorders and their families -– as Turkey’s representative noted that the NGO first had to fulfil some national requirements.  For the same reason, on the request of China’s representative, consideration of the Chinese Society for Corrosion and Protection, a national organization which organizes voluntarily Chinese scientists and engineers working on corrosion and protection, was also postponed.

Also postponed was consideration of the International Trade Union Confederation, an international organization based in Belgium, with primary mission of promoting and defending workers’ rights and interests.  The application was the result of a merger between the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and World Confederation of Labour (WCL), both organizations with general consultative status with ECOSOC.  Colombia’s representative informed the Committee that his country had more information on this organization to consider.

Because People to People International -- an international NGO with headquarters in the United States, with the mission of promoting and enhancing peace and understanding between all nations, without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion -- had referred to Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China and Chinese Province of Taiwan as Asian countries in its reply to questions posed, China’s representative asked for corrections before agreeing to a recommendation;

More questions and clarifications were asked from People’s Life Center -- an Indian organization striving for the establishment of a just social order based on human values such as love, justice, equality, brotherhood, peace and harmony -- by the representatives of Egypt and Pakistan regarding the relationship between the NGOs activities and Islam.  A decision on the application was, therefore, postponed.

Cuba’s representative still had concerns about the independence from political parties of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs -- an international organization with headquarters in the United States, working to strengthen and expand democracy worldwide -- while China’s representative wanted to know if the organization had organized any activities in his country.  Consideration was postponed pending answers.

Regarding the application of The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights -- a national organization aiming to improve the situation for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people through working to end oppression and discrimination and by lobbying politicians and authorities to improve legislation -- Pakistan’s representative asked about the organization’s stance on paedophilia, while Egypt’s representative asked whether the NGO would be promoting the right to sexual relations with the same or opposite sex at the age of 15.

Students for a Sensible Drug Policy, an international organization based in the United States and committed to providing education on harms caused by the war on drugs was asked by Colombia’s representative if it did, in fact, advocate legalization of drug use.  Pending an answer, a decision on the application was postponed.

Consideration of Marijuana Policy Project Foundation -- a national organization in the United States, working to minimize the harm associated with marijuana by regulating the substance in a manner similar to alcoholic beverages -- was also postponed because Egypt’s representative, supported by Cuba, China and India, objected to the tone of the answer sent to questions posed (“I already answered a bunch of back-and-forth questions”) and wanted to resubmit questions.

Because delegates needed more time to study answers or more questions were asked, consideration was postponed on the applications from:

-- International Peacebuilding Alliance (Interpeace), an international organization with headquarters in Switzerland, which wants to assist societies in crisis or emerging from conflict to build lasting peace and to support the United Nations and the international community in their efforts to build peace and prevent conflict;

-- International Coalition for the Decade, an international organization based in France that wants to promote the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010), proclaimed by the General Assembly in resolution 53/25 of 10 November 1998;

-- Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights, a national organization promoting and protection human rights globally through education, advocacy and law reform;

-- European Centre for Law and Justice/Centre Européen pour le droit, le justice et les droits de l’homme, an international organization with headquarters in France that promotes freedom in the area of religion and speech in the international forum through the judiciary, legislative process and international institutions;

-- Asian Pacific Women’s Watch, an international organization based in Thailand that monitors the implementation of the United Nations Beijing Platform of Action, the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the Millennium Development Goals and any international and regional convention, agreement or action for the advancement of women;

-- Armenian Constitutional Right-Protective Centre, a national organization based in Armenia which aims to contribute to the development of the legal culture in Armenian society through scientific activity, education, information dissemination and advocacy;

-- Association Sahel Solidarité Action, a national organization in the Niger, promoting the human rights of the Touareg indigenous population;

-- Cercle de Recherche sur les Droits et les Devoirs de la Personne Humaine, a national organization in Cameroon that wants to promoted the concept and spirit of the duties of people in the world, as well as international standards on human rights;

-- International Human Rights Observer, a national organization in Pakistan that wants to educate the masses about their fundamental freedoms and rights;

-- Observer Research Foundation, a national organization in India which functions as a public policy think tank committed to research and study with a view to improve and influence public policies in a pointed, meaningful and unique manner;

-- American Sports Committee, Inc., an international organization based in the United States, aiming to promote many kinds of health and longevity exercises and programmes in order to improve the health standards and reduce medical expenses;

-- Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, a national organization in the United States dedicated to addressing social, moral and ethical concerns, such as human rights, freedom of religion, poverty issues, population and the family;

-- Asian Centre for Human Rights, an international organization with headquarters in India, aiming to advance human rights education and secure the observance of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights covenants and instruments in the Asian region;

-- International Harm Reduction Association, an international organization based in the United Kingdom, promoting the reduction of drug- and alcohol-related harm on a global basis in order to reduce the negative social, health, economic and criminal impacts of drug and alcohol use, as the representative of China wanted a written commitment to comply with the standardized terminology of the United Nations, although the representative of the United States expressed concern that it was a new request put to the non-governmental organization and despite an appeal from the Chairman; and

Join Together Society Korea, an international organization based in the Republic of Korea, providing assistance for sustainable livelihood and sustainable development of people in the Republic of Korea and abroad, because China’s representative needed more time to consider answers provided by the NGO representative during this afternoon’s interactive dialogue.

The Committee then turned to requests for reclassifications and recommended to the ECOSOC reclassification from roster to special consultative status of:

-- Foundation for Research on Technology Migration and Integration, an international organization based in Italy, aiming to provide a contribution for a more effective use of technological innovation by Governments;

-- Globus et Locus, a national organization in Italy, aiming to promote the analysis of globalization and its impact on the political and economic life, even though it had requested general consultative status, to which the representative of China objected;

-- International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation, an international organization based in Hungary, promoting sustainability of wild living biological resources as the guiding principle for achieving recognition of the global environment as a common concern for all; and

-- International Ocean Institute, an international organization with headquarters in Malta, working in the areas of sustainable development of ocean resources and space, as the United States, Dominica, Cuba and Egypt expressed support for a change of status because the NGO, among other things, did “amazing work regarding small island developing States”.

The Committee rejected the request of Fundación Intervida -- an international organization with headquarters in Spain, trying to alleviate the plight and to improve the living conditions of thousands of children and their families in some of the poorest regions of the world -– to move from special consultative status to general consultative status as Cuba’s representative noted that the NGO did not display the required characteristics for general status, as it did not yet have activities in broad array of areas in a majority of the world’s countries, as required by resolution 96/31.

A decision on the request of International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity, an international organization based in Belgium and a coalition of 15 Catholic development agencies to have its status changed from special consultative status to general status was postponed, as the representative of India enquired what the NGO meant with establishing an Economic and Security Council.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.