22 January 2008


22 January 2008
Economic and Social Council
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Committee on NGOs

3rd & 4th Meetings (AM & PM)

committee on non-governmental organizations approves 17 applications

for consultative status, defers action on 16 others


The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations continued its session today, recommending 17 for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, 15 for special status and 2 for roster status, while deferring decisions on 16 organizations.

While making some headway in reviewing the 103 applicants seeking consultative status for the first time, the Committee also had before it four requests for reclassification and 135 new quadrennial reports submitted by organizations classified in the general and special categories.

The 19-member Committee 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 with general and special status can attend meetings of the Council and circulate statements of a certain length.  Those enjoying general status can, in addition, speak at meetings and propose items for the Council’s agenda.  Non-governmental organizations with roster status can only attend meetings.

Recommended today for special consultative status were:

-- Pos Keadilan Peduli Umat (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.12), a national organization founded in December 1999 and based in Indonesia, with a vision of being the most reliable institution in developing independence, and a mission to make efficient use of rescue, rehabilitation and empowerment programmes so as to develop independence;

-- CIRID (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.13), an international organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, and established in July 1996, which seeks to promote initiatives on dialogue for peace and synergies between partners pursuing that goal;

-- Colonie des pionniers de developpement (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.13), headquartered in Burundi and established in April 2001, is an international organization geared towards the advancement of women and youth in difficulties, the promotion of peace and a secure society, the fight against HIV and AIDS and protection of the environment;

-- Batani International Development Fund for Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East of the Russian Federation (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/ Add.15), an international organization based in the Russian Federation and established in August 2004, which aims to help the indigenous peoples of the north in protecting their rights by distributing information and educational activities, and encouraging participation by their representatives in political and economic life, both nationally and abroad;

-- Baltic Sea Forum (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.16), an international organization based in Hamburg, Germany, established in November 1993 with the aim of supporting economic, political and cultural cooperation and coalescence in the Baltic Sea region, enhancing cross-border cooperation in North, East and Central Europe and the entire Baltic Sea region;

-- Federation of Jain Associations in North America (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.17), a New York-based international organization that promotes charitable and humanitarian community-service activities in North America and worldwide, providing and promoting academic and cultural exchange and cooperation and fostering cordial relationships with interfaith and multi-faith organizations;

-- Action pour le developpement de l’agriculture et de la peche avec protection environmentale (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.19), a national organization headquartered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and founded in March 2003 with the aim of improving the living conditions of the agricultural population living on the banks of the Congo River in the areas of health, agriculture and fishing;

-- Talented Girl Students Trust (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.19), based in Islamabad, Pakistan, and founded in May 1984 as a national organization, its primary purpose is the promotion of female education, mainly among poor and destitute families belonging to tribal and obscurantist segments of Pakistani society, with a view to empowering women to act as catalysts of change;

-- Association “Les enfants de Frankie” (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.20), a national organization based in Monaco and founded in November 1997, which seeks to entertain and provide psychological, material and financial support to sick and disadvantaged children nationwide, working closely with social services, hospitals, children’s homes and more than 300 humanitarian organizations;

-- Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance Foundation (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.20), based in Cairo and established in June 1993 as a national organization seeking to incorporate women’s rights as part of human rights and to form legal advocacy groups aimed at realizing their commitment to the full implementation of international conventions by reforming oppressive and discriminatory laws in respect of women’s rights;

-- Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.1), a national organization headquartered in Abuja and founded in 1963, which exists to foster the bonds of friendship and promote cordial relations between all military families and their immediate communities throughout Nigeria;

-- Organisation pour la communication en Afrique et de promotion de la cooperation economique internationale (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.1), an international organization based in Geneva and founded in February 2003, seeking to promote global economic cooperation; protection of the human rights of disadvantaged groups; improvement of the living conditions of marginalized groups, particularly children and youth; promotion and sustained training of those groups; and attainment of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals;

-- Global Workers Justice Alliance (document A/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.2), a United States-based international non-profit organization that seeks to combat the exploitation of migrant workers by promoting portable justice for transnational workers through a cross-border network of advocates and grass-roots leaders; and

-- Council on Health Research for Development (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.3), a Geneva-based international organization founded in March 1993, whose mission is to enable the poorest countries to meet their health research objectives.

The Committee recommended roster status be granted to:

-- Asia Darshana (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.13), a national organization headquartered in Italy and founded in November 2002 with the aim of spreading the traditional ayurvedic medicine of yoga, meditation and peace in schools, the local National Health Service, hospitals, nurseries, retirement homes and cultural associations; and

-- Business Humanitarian Forum (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.4), a national organization based in Chatelaine, Switzerland, and founded in February 2003 to undertake economic development in developing and post-conflict countries through the creation of small and medium-sized enterprises.  It also seeks to improve working relationships between the private and public sectors.

Decisions were left pending on:

-- Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.18), a national organization headquartered in India and established in December 1999 to work on issues of the urban environment and poverty.  It seeks to create sustainable, replicable models based on the Millennium Development Goals that inform policymaking, particularly macroeconomic and microeconomic and environmental policies that safeguard the livelihoods and rights of the poor;

-- Kabbalah Centre (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.13), a London-based international non-profit organization established in October 1998 and dedicated to removing all forms of chaos, pain and suffering in the world by inspiring people through universal principles of responsibility, tolerance and human dignity;

-- Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.14), a national, independent, non-governmental, non-partisan and not-for-profit human rights advocacy organization headquartered in Uganda and established in December 1991 with the aim of ensuring that State practices and policies favour the observance of human rights;

-- International Sustainable Energy Organization (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.14), an international organization based in Geneva and established in 2003, which aims to promote sustainable energy worldwide and implement the Global Energy Charter for Sustainable Development, including through the web portal and cooperation with United Nations bodies such as the World Meteorological Organization;

-- Spirituality for Kids (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.14), an international organization based in London and established in May 2004 as a means to seek an end to suffering and chaos in the lives of children worldwide by giving them the tools of spirituality and resiliency;

-- Comitato Ev-K2-CNR (document E/C.2/2008/R.2), a national organization based in Bergamo, Italy, and founded in August 2001, seeks to provide specialized scientific support aimed at the sustainable development of high-altitude remote areas to ensure environmental conservation and quality of life for local populations by furthering scientific knowledge, transferring scientific results applied to sustainable management of mountain regions, pursuing capacity-building activities, and promoting cooperation in respect of local cultures and traditions;

-- Hunter College (document E/C.2/2008/R.2), a New York-based international organization founded in June 1982 and dedicated to strengthening the capacity of individuals, families, organizations and populations to address and resolve contemporary community and urban health issues and concerns;

-- International Federation of Liberal Youth (document E/C.2/2008/R.2), an international organization based in Brussels and founded in 1991 for liberal and student youth organizations to provide a forum for cooperation, exchange of resources and ideas, and intercultural learning between liberal youth organizations;

-- Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.1), a London-based international organization established in 1889, which seeks to promote the scientific development of engineering, science and technology across all marine-related disciplines, supporting and advising business and industry, academia, government and other professional bodies;

-- Sante de la reproduction pour une maternite sans risque (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.1), a national organization based in Niamey, Niger, and founded in October 1998, which aims to contribute to reducing the risk factors associated with maternity through prevention, early control of cases and social reinsertion.  It also seeks to combat violence against women and genital mutilation, and to promote the reproductive health rights of women and children;

-- Africa Humanitarian Action (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.2), a pan-African and global organization based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and founded in response to the 1994 Rwandan genocide.  It provides humanitarian assistance to alleviate human suffering, building on the strength of African people to solve African problems; and has supported more than 9 million people in 16 African countries to regain their health, dignity and well-being;

-- Fundacion para la Libertad (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.2), a national non-profit organization headquartered in Madrid and founded in March 2002, which seeks to defend human rights, fundamental freedoms and democratic principles within the Basque society threatened by terrorism;

-- Global Hand (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.3), headquartered in Hong Kong and established in December 2001 as an international organization, an online platform designed to facilitate public-private partnerships in response to disasters and development scenarios;

-- Women’s Business Development Center (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.2), a United States-based organization founded in 1999 with the aim of helping women establish themselves and grow in business; and

-- Youth of JAZAS (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.4), based in Belgrade, Serbia, and founded in January 1995 as a national organization of young people wishing to prevent, by the activities they implement, new HIV infections and provide support to people living with HIV and AIDS.

In accordance with established practice, the Committee allocated the final hour of today’s afternoon meeting to hearing replies from representatives of non-governmental organizations whose applications were under consideration during the current session.

After hearing responses by a representative of Geneva Infant Feeding Association (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/ Add.10), the Committee decided to recommend special consultative status to the organization, whose aim is to contribute to the realization of the child’s right to the highest attainable standard of health through appropriate and adequate infant and young-child nutrition, based on the recommendations of the World Health Organization.

Lastly today, the Committee took up consideration of an application from Federatie van Nederlandse Verenigingen tot Integratie van Homoseksualiteit (document E/C.2/2008/R.2/Add.5), established in September 1946 as a national organization working towards a society in the Netherlands, Europe and globally where lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people enjoy the same rights as other people, with the main goal of preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation or identity;

In the lengthy debate following review of that application, Egypt’s delegate requested that a copy of a letter be circulated among Committee members, which he had requested be sent in 1995 to an umbrella international organization -- International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA-World) -- concerning a questionnaire to determine whether the organization or its subsidiaries, including the organization under review, condoned paedophilia.  Several other delegates voiced their support for recommending special consultative status for the organization.

The Secretariat provided clarifications to the questions posed by the Egyptian delegation, detailing the application history of ILGA, including the fact that it had been granted consultative status with the Economic and Social Council in 1993, which was then suspended in 1994.

On a point of order, the delegate of the United Kingdom said ILGA’s application was not under consideration and questioned what bearing its history with the United Nations had on the application under review today.  ILGA-Europe, to which the organization also belonged, had been granted consultative status some two years ago.

The representative of Federatie van Nederlandse Verenigingen tot Integratie van Homoseksualiteit emphasized that her organization neither supported nor condoned paedophilia, adding that she would be willing to sign the questionnaire from Egypt “right here, right now”.  Her organization was autonomous and a member of ILGA-World.

Consideration of the application was deferred following a request by the Egyptian delegate that the organization’s replies be submitted in writing and that they include a list of its “leisure activities”.

He said his question had not been whether the organization would be willing to sign the questionnaire “right here, right now”, but why it had chosen to ignore the request for 12 and a half years to complete the questionnaire.  There were also additional questions by delegations, for which there was insufficient time to reply.

The Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. Wednesday, 23 January, to continue its work.

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