The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today recommended 32 organizations for special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, and deferred action on 30 others.
Action on many applications was postponed because Committee members wanted more information from the candidates about, among other things, details of their respective organizations’ projects, partners, expenditures and sources of funding.
The 19-member Committee vets applications submitted by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), recommending general, special or roster status on the basis of such criteria as the applicant’s mandate, governance and financial regime. Organizations enjoying general and special status can attend meetings of the Economic and Social Council and issue statements, while those with general status can also speak during meetings and propose agenda items. Organizations with roster status can only attend meetings.
The Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. on 22 May to continue its session.
Special Consultative Status
The Committee recommended that the Economic and Social Council grant special consultative status to the following organizations:
Afri Network for Env. & Econ. Justice Ltd/Gte (Nigeria)
All Christians Welfare Association (Pakistan)
Cameroon Association for the Defence of the Victims of Accident (Cameroon)
Center for Health, Human Rights and Development Limited by Guarantee (Uganda)
Charter of Union of legal persons in the form of Association “Internet Association of Kazakhstan” (Kazakhstan)
Club des Jeunes Aveugles Réhabilités du Cameroun (Cameroon)
Foundation for Amity and Nation Solidarity (India)
Foundation for Released Prisoners (Central African Republic)
Generation Initiative for Women and Youth Network (Nigeria)
Grupo de Mujeres de la Argentina - Foro de VIH, mujeres y familia (Argentina)
Labour, Health and Human Rights Development Centre (Nigeria)
Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil Conselho Federal (Brazil)
The Bible Hill Youth Club (India)
The InnerCity Mission of Christ Embassy (Nigeria)
Yemen Family Care Association (Yemen)
Allied Rainbow Communities International (Canada)
British Columbia Civil Liberties (Canada)
Clefsdufutur.org-ONG-CDF.org-Groupe G6 (France)
European Humanist Federation (Belgium)
FN Forbundet (Denmark)
Human Life International, Inc. (United States)
IDEAS for Us (United States)
International Career Support Association (Japan)
Korea Differently Abled Federation (Republic of Korea)
Lebanese American Renaissance Partnership, Inc. (United States)
Mobility International USA (United States)
OIPA – Organizzazione Internazionale Protezione Animali (Italy)
Operation Mercy (Sweden)
Reseau International des Droits Humains (Switzerland)
Strategic Alignment of Like Minds Inc. (United States)
The Ford Foundation (United States)
The International Coalition of Historic Site Museums of Conscience (United States)
The Committee postponed consideration of the following organizations:
Active Help Organization (Pakistan) — as Pakistan’s delegate asked the organization not to use abbreviated terms in its application;
ELA-Equipo Latinoamericano de Justicia y Género (Mexico) — as Nicaragua’s delegate sought more information on its current projects in the region;
HAQ: Centre for Child Rights (India) — as India’s delegate was not satisfied with its answer to previous questions;
International Green Economy Association (China) — as China’s delegate sought further information on its projects in that country and asked what Governments it collaborated with;
Nigerian Diaspora Youths Movement for Peace and Development International Organization (Nigeria) — as the representatives of China and Cuba asked for more information on its membership in China and Cuba. Israel’s delegate asked her Chinese counterpart to clarify her question. China’s delegate said the organization had members in China and wanted to know how they operated;
Shah Maqeem Trust (Pakistan) — as Pakistan’s delegate asked if the organization had members abroad;
Skyian Welfare Organization (Pakistan) — as Pakistan’s delegate requested that the discrepancy in its financial statement be explained for greater transparency;
Sonke Gender Justice Network (South Africa) — as China’s delegate asked a question on its spending;
The Akshaya Patra Foundation (India) — as China’s delegate asked how it maintained its non-profit nature when its income was double that of its expenses and how it maintained its independence when it received a large portion of its funds from the Government. The representative of the United States said China’s first question must be reformulated because it was not uncommon for non-profit organizations to have reserves. The Secretariat proposed language accepted by both delegates;
The F W de Klerk Foundation Trust (South Africa) — as China’s delegate asked that terminology regarding Taiwan Province of China remain consistent with United Nations standards;
Advocates for International Development (United Kingdom) — as China’s representative said that the organization referred to Taiwan Province of China as a country and asked that it follow the United Nations standard terminologies;
Asia Center for Human Rights (Republic of Korea) — as Cuba’s delegate asked if the organization worked with refugee organizations in regions outside Asia;
Boy With a Ball Ministries (United States) — as Nicaragua’s delegate asked if the organization had contacts in her country;
Center for Media & Peace Initiative (United States) — as Nicaragua’s representative asked about the purpose of its planned conference in Uganda;
Earth Charter Associates Ltd. (United States) — as Nicaragua’s representative asked for clarification over the organization’s membership and countries in which it operated;
Institute for Human Rights & Business Limited (United Kingdom) — as China’s representative asked for clarification of its human rights activities;
International Falcon Movement – Socialist Educational International (Belgium) — as Morocco’s representative asked for more information on the organization’s activities in North Africa;
Korean Bar Association (Republic of Korea) — as China’s representative asked if the organization participated in the Economic and Social Council’s March meeting and if so, what activities it participated in;
Let’s Break Through, Inc. (United States) — as China’s representative sought clarification over whether its books were balanced;
North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity (Republic of Korea) — as China’s representative asked how its revenue was spent;
Peace and Hope International (United States) — as Nicaragua’s representative asked about its recent projects and the criteria for selecting countries where it was active;
Peer Consultants, P.C. (United States) — as China’s representative asked about its projects in China and their priority areas;
Stichting War Child (Netherlands) — as Sudan’s representative asked for information in writing about the organization’s activities in Sudan, whether it had offices registered with the Khartoum authorities, and its refugee-related activities in the Arab region;
Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests (United States) — as Sudan’s representative asked about its partners in Arab countries and its activities in Africa;
The Equal Rights Trust (United Kingdom) — as the Russian Federation’s representative asked if its purpose was to promote coloured revolutions in post-Soviet States;
Mittetulundusuhing Fenno-Ugria Asutus (Estonia);
Convention of Independent Financial Advisors (Switzerland);
The Institute of Development Studies (United Kingdom) — as China’s representative sought more information on its “Rising Powers” project;
The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (United Kingdom) — as China’s representative asked that the organization delete an erroneous reference to Tibet on its website;
The Leadership Foundation (United States) — as Venezuela’s representative asked about its civil society partners in his country.
Belgium’s delegate requested a roll call vote for Allied Rainbow Communities International (Canada) when a question was raised by his counterpart from Morocco regarding the universality of civil, cultural, economic and political rights for people with certain sexual orientations. The Russian Federation’s representative asked that Belgium withdraw its request as it broke from the Committee’s consensus-based working method and there was no need to rush for a decision on the application submitted just a year ago. The representatives of Morocco and Sudan supported the position of the Russian counterpart. A delegate from Canada, in his capacity as an observer, made a comment supporting the granting of special consultative status to the organization.
The Secretariat proceeded to voting, but the representatives of Morocco and Sudan insisted that the Russian Federation’s motion be considered before moving forward. A representative from the Office of Legal Affairs explained that Belgium’s request for a vote stood and Committee members could only take the floor on a point of order once the voting started.
The Secretariat resumed the voting procedure, announcing that 14 votes were cast, with 7 in favour (Turkey, United States, Venezuela, Belgium, Bulgaria, Israel, Peru), to 6 against (Sudan, China, Morocco, Mozambique, Russian Federation, Senegal), with one abstention (India). Allied Rainbow Communities International (Canada) was thus recommended to be given special consultative status.
Pakistan’s representative said he had not been allowed to vote even though he had been seated before the vote was closed. The Committee Chair explained that, under the rule of procedure for a roll call vote, a delegate must be at their seat when their name was called.
India’s delegate sought clarification on the role of the Office of Legal Affairs in voting and expressed concern over the involvement of the Office in the voting procedure.
Sudan’s delegate said it rejected the voting results and procedure in their entirety as it was not conducted fairly. Pakistan’s delegate had the right to vote as he had taken his seat before voting was closed.
The Chair said she abided by the rule of procedure, which existed to conduct business fairly.
Morocco’s delegate said he shared the same concern as expressed by his Indian counterpart.
Russian Federation’s representative said he voted against it because it would set a bad precedent. He asked the Office of Legal Affairs to show a legal instrument for not giving Pakistan the right to vote.
Venezuela’s representative said he voted for it in line with its national policy against any discrimination for all people.
Israel’s delegate said she voted in favour as the organization would contribute to the work of the Economic and Social Council.
Sudan’s delegate posed the same question as his Russian counterpart to the Secretariat.
China’s delegate said the diversion of opinions was normal and Committee members should resolve differences through dialogue. The Committee should be careful about resorting to a vote.
Pakistan’s delegate asked that the rule be made clear for future reference.
A representative of Mittetulundusuhing Fenno-Ugria Asutus (Estonia) said it worked to establish contacts and cultural ties between the Fenno-Ugria peoples of the world residing in Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Russian Federation and other countries.
Asked about the content of the organization’s website, its financing and how it guaranteed political independence of its activities, he said the organization’s staff worked to ensure information was derived from reliable, accurate sources. Although partially financed by the Government, it was an independent umbrella organization; only 4 of its 46 members were Government ministries or divisions.
The representative of the Russian Federation asked about its projects with Russian partners.
The NGO representative presented the Russian delegate a wall calendar illustrating the organization’s work in the Russian Federation and other countries.
Action on its status was postponed.
A representative of the Ford Foundation (United States) said the organization was well endowed, with $12 billion. By United States law, it must give away 5 per cent of its assets annually. Its website had a grant database detailing all of the grants made. The organization’s assets did not sit at the Ford Foundation’s headquarters. They were deployed worldwide to good end.
The organization was granted special consultative status.
A representative of the Convention on Independent Financial Advisors (Switzerland) said it represented more than 1 million small and medium-sized enterprises worldwide. It had been active during the General Assembly’s sixty-sixth, sixty-seventh and sixty-eighth sessions. It also was working with the Global Compact and the Economic and Social Council. In 2008 the organization had deposited with the United Nations the Charter of Investors’ Rights.
The representative of Israel asked why the organization wanted to be reclassified from special consultative status to general consultative status.
In response, the NGO representative said the entire financial system must be reformed because it impacted all segments of the economy. Therefore, general status was more appropriate than special status, as the upgraded status would enable it to work more closely with the Assembly and the Economic and Social Council.
The representative of India asked it to respond in writing about why it wanted upgraded status.
Action on its status was postponed.
* The 16th through 19th Meetings were not covered.