The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today recommended nine organizations for special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, and deferred action on 33 others.
Action on many applications was postponed as Committee members requested 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 Friday, 23 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:
Union des Nations pour l'Enseignement, la Science Universelle et les Droits de l'Homme (Switzerland)
World Future Council Foundation (Germany)
Pure in Heart — America Inc (United States)
Global South Watch (Cameroon)
Initiative for Change-IFC (Pakistan)
Ray of Hope (Pakistan)
Vivegam Godfrey (India)
Asociacion Espanola para el Derecho Internacional de los Derechos Humanos (Spain)
Association des Populations des Montagnes du Monde (France)
The Committee postponed consideration of the following organizations:
United Hatzalah (Israel) — as Nicaragua’s delegation sought clarification on one of the two questions sent to the organization on 28 January. Israel’s delegate said the question was answered and that, if it was sent again, she would disassociate herself from that action. Pakistan’s delegate said the question should be answered “yes” or “no”. India’s delegation said that questions were sent on behalf of the Committee; no member should disassociate itself from that practice. Nicaragua’s delegate agreed with her Indian counterpart and asked who the organization’s local partners were in Panama and Brazil;
Women Living under Muslim Laws - International Solidarity Network (United Kingdom) — as China’s delegate asked how the organization worked with a Hong Kong partner. Morocco’s delegate raised an issue of non-governmental organizations answering questions to specific countries, not to the Committee as a whole. He went on to seek details of the organization’s activities and case studies in Europe and North America. The representative of the Secretariat explained that all the questions were sent to non-governmental organizations on behalf of the Committee without mentioning the names of countries that posted those questions, but those entities could find out which countries asked those questions through press releases published by the Department of Public Information. The representative of the United States stressed the importance of press releases to the Committee. Israel’s delegate proposed that the Secretariat make it clear that answers should be provided to the Committee. Morocco’s delegate said he had no problem being mentioned in press releases, but felt that practices needed to be harmonized between the Committee and the Department. India’s delegate felt that United Nations press releases should not identify countries that posed questions. Belgium’s delegates disagreed, saying that the Department’s coverage of open meetings was important for the sake of transparency and accountability. Names of countries should be reflected in press releases. Morocco’s delegate also highlighted the need to correct the practice of challenging the questions asked. Cuba’s delegate requested the Secretariat to ensure that questions were asked on behalf of the Committee;
Youth of European Nationalities (Germany) — as China’s delegate asked about future plans regarding its cooperation with China;
Zaka Rescue and Recovery (Israel) — as Nicaragua’s delegate sought more information on its activities and partners in Latin America;
African Rights Initiative International (Ghana) — as China’s delegate requested that the organization correct wrong information about China’s policy;
Al-Dameer Association for Supporting Prisoners and Human Rights (Israel) — Israel’s delegate said she saw two different names for the organization and asked when and why the name was changed if that was the case;
Al-Marsad, The Arab Centre for Human Rights in the Golan Heights (Israel) — Israel’s delegate sought the breakdown of expenditures, including projects and other expenses;
All-Ukrainian Association of Civil Organizations "Union of Armenians of Ukraine" (Ukraine) — as Turkey’s delegate pointed out that the organization had ambitious activities over the next two years with a small budget and asked if they had another source of funding;
Ambedkar Center for Justice and Peace (India) — as India’s delegate sought clarification on its relationship with the United States-based organization of the same name;
APMM Company Limited (Hong Kong) — Senegal’s sought details on its activities in the last few years;
Business and Professional Women Voluntary Organization — Sudan (Sudan) — Sudan’s delegation raised a question about its non-profit nature and sought more details on commercial shops rented out;
Fundación CADAL — Centro para la Apertura y el Desarrollo de América Latina (Argentina) — as Cuba’s delegate said that the organization did not respect her country’s internal affairs, Nicaragua’s delegate said it violated the United Nations principles and Venezuela’s delegate said it politically attacked certain Latin American countries. Sudan’s delegate supported the previous speakers. The Russian Federation’s delegate said that the organization used State resources to attack other countries’ Governments. The United States’ delegate sought clarification if her Cuban counterpart requested the closure of the application. Cuba’s delegate clarified that it was not recommending the granting of special consultative status to the organization. The representatives of Nicaragua, Venezuela and Senegal supported Cuba, as did observers from Bolivia and Ecuador. Cuba’s delegate requested that a decision be made by the end of the session;
India Media Centre (India) — as China’s delegate asked the organization to clarify its position on Tibet, and Senegal’s delegate asked if it planned to acquire further resources to carry out its strategy;
International Human Rights Commission Relief Fund Trust (Pakistan) — as India’s representative asked for clarification on the nature of its association with United Kingdom-based International Human Rights Commission;
Islamic African Relief Agency (IARA) (Sudan) — as the United States representative asked if it had plans to send a letter to the United States Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control with evidence that it was not or no longer involved in terrorism activities and request its removal from the United States list of organizations involved in terrorism;
Islamic Research and Information Artistic and Cultural Institute (Iran) — as Israel’s representative asked for clarification over its balance sheet and a detailed breakdown of its specific donations;
Kasheer Foundation (India) — as Pakistan’s representative asked about its plans to carry out activities in Pakistan’s Kashmir region;
National Women’s Welfare Society Darwha, Distt. Yavatmal (India) — as Pakistan’s representative asked for more details about it work with schools and how it contributed to the work of the Economic and Social Council;
New Era Educational and Charitable Support Initiative (Nigeria) — as China’s representative asked what its youth training projects had achieved;
New World Hope Organization (NWHO) (Pakistan) - as India’s representative asked about its members in Pakistan;
Palpung Munishasan Dharmachakra Sangh (India) — as China’s representative asked it to use the correct United Nations terminology regarding Taiwan;
Rehabilitators (Pakistan) - as India’s representative sought more information about its financial supporters;
Sheikh Eid Bin Mohammad Al Thani Charitable Association (Qatar) – as Israel’s representative asked how it planned to contribute to the work of the Committee on the Rights of the Child. But Sudan’s representative said the organization had merely expressed interest in the Committee, not a firm commitment to contribute to the work of the Economic and Social Council’s subsidiary bodies. In the interest of consensus, Israel’s representative withdrew her question. The United States representative asked in which countries the organization was active and for clarification over whether it charged an annual membership fee;
Swadhikar (India) — as India’s representative sought clarification on its registration certificate in India, which lacked an address;
The Kuki Organization For Human Rights Trust (India) — as China’s representative sought clarification over where the organization was registered;
The World Association for al-Azhar Graduates (WAAG) — as India’s representative asked for clarification over its office location;
Treatment & Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture (State of Palestine) — as Israel’s representative asked for details on its partners in Gaza and whether those partners reported on the situation in prisons in Gaza;
West Africa Centre for Peace Foundation (Ghana) — as China’s representative asked if it only worked in Ghana;
The International Association of Genocide Scholars, Inc. (Argentina) — as Turkey’s representative asked how it established its members as scholars;
African Rights Initiative International (Ghana) — as China’s representative asked how well the organization understood China’s policy of association;
Action on Armed Violence (United Kingdom) — as Morocco’s delegate sought clarification about its office in El-Aaiún and asked how it was able to obtained partnerships with the United Nations Mine Action Centre and other United Nations bodies when it did not have Economic and Social Council status;
AFD International Belgium (Belgium) — as China’s representative asked why its website linked to news articles by a separatist when the organization claimed it respected China’s state sovereignty, and Morocco’s representative asked for clarification on its intention to officially register in Morocco;
Asia Journalist Association (Republic of Korea) — as Cuba’s representative sought more information about its contracts;
A representative of the Kuki Organization for Human Rights Trust (India) said his organization was legally registered in India and the registration certification had been respected in the other countries in which it operated.
The representative of Sudan asked about the organization’s registration status in all the countries in which it was active and asked for copies of those certificates.
In response, the non-governmental organization representative said his organization was headquartered in India, but also worked in Bangladesh and Myanmar, where its registration was also respected.
The representatives of the United States and Belgium said the organization had answered the question satisfactorily and it should be granted status without the need for more questions.
The representative of India asked the organization to explain in writing what mechanism or mode of interaction was used to carry out its activities in countries other than India.
In response, the non-governmental organization representative said he already answered the same question in writing in March, but the representative of India said the response was not sufficient as it referred more to political issues rather than registration.
China’s delegate requested that the Committee reopen the application of Coordination des Associations et des Particuliers pour la Liberté de Conscience (France), which had been granted special consultative status. He said he had a question to that organization but inadvertently posed it to Droits de l'Homme sans Frontières — Human Rights Without Frontiers (Belgium). He said the mistake was technical in nature because the screen did not properly display the name of the organization under review. India’s delegate supported the reopening of the case. The representatives of Belgium and the United States expressed concern that reopening an application would set a bad precedent.