The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today recommended 14 organizations for special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council and deferred action on the status of 34 others.
The 19-member Committee vets applications submitted by non-governmental organizations, 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 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.
Action on a number of applications was postponed because Committee members wanted more information from the candidates about, among other things, details of their respective organizations’ projects, partners, expenditures, sources of funding and relationship with United Nations system actors.
The Committee also took note of name changes and the reinstatement and withdrawal of several organizations.
The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations will meet again at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 4 February, to continue its session.
Special Consultative Status
The Committee recommended that the Council grant special consultative status to the following 14 organizations:
Association "Paix" pour la lutte contre la Contrainte et l'injustice (Mauritania);
Association pour la Défense des Droits de Développement Durable et du Bien-être Familial (Rwanda);
International Volunteer Organization for Women Education Development (Ghana);
Mongolian Family Welfare Association (Mongolia);
Nigerian Network of Women Exporters of Services (Nigeria);
The Well Being Foundation (Nigeria);
Association Africa 21 (Switzerland);
Canadian Pugwash Group (Canada);
Count of Monte Alea Foundation Inc. (United States);
Dóchas — The Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations (Ireland);
EIVHGI - Europäeischer Interessenverband Handel-Gewerbe–Industrie (Austria);
RARE (United States);
Shia Rights Watch Inc. (United States); and
New Progressive Alliance (United States).
The Committee deferred consideration of the following 34 organizations:
Development Generation Africa International (Nigeria), as the representative of the United States had a question about that group’s income and projects.
Disease Management Association of India (India), as the representative of Pakistan said that the organization’s website link detailing its projects was not working and sought clarification about its financial transactions.
Healthy Start Initiative (Nigeria), as the delegate of the United States requested names of the organization’s executive body members and sought further information on its past activities.
Heavenly Shower of Peace Church of God (Nigeria), as the delegate of the United States, noting that the organization’s website was under construction, sought information on how the group could contribute to the work of the Council.
Human Rights Sanrakshan Sansthaa (India), as the representative of India sought more information on that organization’s activities.
Kaushalya Gramodyog Sansthan (India), as the representative of Pakistan requested that the organization explain how it could sustain activities when it was running a deficit, which was large in proportion to its expenditures.
India Water Foundation (India), as Nicaragua’s delegate asked for more information on that group’s activities.
Insan Dost Association (Pakistan), as the representative of Pakistan said the organization did not satisfactorily answer questions regarding administrative cost, plans to improve its efficiency and its income.
Martina Centre for Sustainable Development (Nigeria), as the representative of the United States said that, as the group had no website, his delegation requested more information about its participation in the Organization’s activities, including a project with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Peace and Life Enhancement Initiative International (Nigeria), as the representative of the United States requested that the organization submit an updated financial statement in order to verify improved financial performance.
Rajasthan Samgrah Kalyan Sansthan (India), as the representative of Pakistan requested that the organization provide a better explanation of its deficit and an updated financial statement.
Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled (India), as the representative of Pakistan sought more specific information on that group’s interventions and projects in empowering women and a plan to increase funding for a midday meal programme for students.
Shivi Development Society (India), as the delegate of Pakistan requested a better explanation of how the organization could contribute to the Council, and India’s delegate sought details on that group’s relationship with the Government.
Sukalyan Welfare Society (India), as Nicaragua’s delegate requested that the organization answer questions posed on 30 January.
Support to Deprived Peoples (Pakistan), as the representative of Uruguay sought details about “flood relief effort”, and India’s delegate requested reconciliation of financial statements.
Takal Welfare Organization (Pakistan), as the representatives of Nicaragua and India asked if the group planned to extend activities to another continent.
Engineers Without Borders - USA, Inc. (United States), as Nicaragua’s delegate requested clarification on whether the organization was national because it had carried out projects in other countries, seeking information on activities and local partners in Nicaragua.
European Muslims League (Switzerland), as the representative of Israel said that the group was registered in Italy and Switzerland, but provided a certificate from Italy only, requesting the presentation of a certificate from Switzerland.
IDEAS Centre (Switzerland), as Cuba’s delegate sought further information on that group’s future activities and projects, as well as an explanation on how it could manage its deficit without affecting its activities.
International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc. (United States), as Nicaragua’s delegate requested more information on that group’s specific programmes, future activities and local partners in her country.
Korea Human Rights Foundation (Republic of Korea), as China’s delegate sought further information on that group’s activities in the Republic of Korea.
Queensland Association of Independent Legal Services Inc. (Australia), as Iran’s delegate asked about “legal aid funding” from Governments and which “disadvantaged” groups were being helped.
Stichting Basug (Bangladesh Support Group) (Netherlands), as China’s delegate sought more information on the organization’s activities and asked it to elaborate on mechanisms for development.
USC Canada (Canada), as Nicaragua’s delegate, recalling that the organization had indicated that it would start activities in Nicaragua, sought an update on that plan.
World Alliance of Peoples' Organisations (United Kingdom), as India’s delegate sought details on that group’s relationship with two organizations it worked with.
Egyptian Judges' Club (Egypt), as Turkey’s delegate was interested in knowing the budgetary implications of future projects on that group’s surplus.
Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights Association (Egypt), as Turkey’s delegate asked the organization to specify which international organizations contributed to that non-governmental entity.
Federal Lezghin National and Cultural Autonomy (Russian Federation), as Azerbaijan’s delegate asked the group to explain how it could remain impartial, given that some of its board members were Government officials and parliamentarians. He also pointed out an inconsistency about the date of its establishment in the application.
International Association of Independent Journalists Inc. (Canada), as Venezuela’s delegate sought clarification on the meaning of “amateur” journalists.
International Center for Work and Family (Spain), as Cuba’s delegation asked the group to explain how its objectives were implemented in the Latin American region, while Uruguay’s asked if the organization had any project in Uruguay.
Trakya Kalkinma Dernegi (Turkey), as Greece’s delegation sought clarification about a discrepancy regarding that group’s relationship with the Government, details about its plan to establish operations in Greece, and whether its website would be available in English or other languages, not just in Turkish.
On other matters, Cuba’s representative, speaking in her national capacity, voiced concern that some of the organizations for which the Committee took note of their quadrennial reports yesterday held a politically motivated position against Cuba. Those organizations should follow a United Nations resolution on consultative status with the Council.
The delegate of the United States requested clarification as to whether Cuba’s statement would be transmitted to the non-governmental organization in question.
The Committee Chair explained that Cuba’s delegate made a statement in her national capacity, not as a member of the Committee. Therefore, it would not be transmitted to the organizations, but would be included in the report of the Committee.
The representatives of Sudan, Nicaragua and China supported Cuba’s statement.
The delegate of the United States said that the non-governmental organizations in question should be able to freely carry out activities at the United Nations.
Israel’s representative supported the statement made by the United States.
The Committee also took note of the following four name changes:
World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities (Wfsa) to World Forum on Shooting Activities (Wfsa);
Americans for UNFPA, Inc., to Friends of UNFPA, Inc.;
Family Planning Association, I.R. Iran to Family Health Association of Iran (FHA);
International Presentation Association of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Special 2000) to International Presentation Association.
The Committee, however, postponed action on name-change requests for the following six organizations:
Syriac Universal Alliance (SUA) to World Council of Arameans (Syriacs) (WCA), as the representative of Turkey asked if the organization’s head office had relocated to the Netherlands from Sweden.
Doha International Institute for Family Studies and Development (DIIFSD) to Doha International Family Institute (DIFI), as China’s delegate said that the organization listed Taiwan as a separate country and asked it to correct the mistake to follow United Nations terminology. Uruguay’s delegate said she could not find the organization’s website to obtain information.
InnerCity Mission of Christ Embassy to the InnerCity Mission for Children, as China’s delegate said that the organization listed Taiwan as a separate country and asked it to correct the mistake to follow United Nations terminology.
International Catholics Organisation of the Media to the International Christian Organisation of the Media (ICOM), as China’s delegate said that the organization listed Taiwan as a separate country and asked it to correct the mistake to follow United Nations terminology.
Berlin Civil Society Center — convening-capacity building-research gGmbH to International Civil Society Centre — convening-capacity building-research gGmbH, as Uruguay’s representative said that she could not find the last three organizations’ websites.
Suzanne Mubarak Women’s International Peace Movement (Special 2007) to End Human Trafficking Now, as China’s delegate said the group listed Taiwan as a separate country and asked it be corrected to follow United Nations terminology.
The Committee then took note of the reinstatement of the following organizations:
Asociación de Antiguas Alumnas del Colegio Madres Irlandesas;
Associação Brasileira de Gays, Lesbicas e Transgeneros;
General Arab Women Federation;
International Council of Management Consulting Institutes, Inc.;
International Federation of Non-Governmental Organizations for the Prevention of Drug and Substance Abuse;
Network of Women's Non-Governmental Organizations in the Islamic Republic of Iran;
Relief International (2008-2011); and
War Resisters International.
Further, the Committee took note of the withdrawal of the following two organizations as they had been dissolved:
International Holistic Tourism Education Centre; and
Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development.
During the ensuing question and answer session, a representative of Managing Committee of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (India) said it had corrected a technical error. China’s delegate welcomed the correction while Pakistan’s delegate asked about the entity’s deficit. The group’s representative said that it was linked to a university that ranked No. 16 in the country in terms of financial stability. The Committee deferred action on the application of the organization.
A representative of Center for Constitutional Rights Inc. (United States) said that the entity was established in 1996 by lawyers who had supported the civil rights movement in the South. Its work related to assisting prisoners in Guantanamo and returnees from the Iraq war, among many other things. The representatives of Guinea, Sudan and China asked questions regarding its revenue sources, its focus on the South, its work in Africa, and its cooperation with the International Criminal Court. The group’s representative said that the entity was financially stable as its income came primarily from donations from 3,000 individual donors and many well-established foundations, as well as attorney fees. She said the organization no longer focused on the South, and its activities spanned across the United States and other regions. The Committee deferred action on the application of the organization.
The Committee Chair had ended discussion on the organization as allotted time had expired.
A representative of The Palestinian Return Centre Ltd. (United Kingdom) said it received questions from Israel and Morocco from the Foreign Ministry of the United Kingdom. He said that the deficit had been narrowed, and provided details of its activities in 2014 and plans in 2015. He said he would also provide answers in writing to the questions posed.
Sudan’s delegate lodged an official complaint about how the Chair handled the interactive dialogue on the previous organization, pointing out that the Chairperson had granted some organizations more than 40 minutes, but did not allocate sufficient time for that entity. Regarding the organization under consideration, Sudan’s delegate sought more information on its activities in Europe. Iran’s representative asked if the organization had undertaken any legal activities. The organization’s representative explained how it worked with British parliamentarians, and said its work stayed with the social and media fields and did not entail the legal sphere.
The representative of the United States countered Sudan’s complaint, noting that the Chair had been asked by the Committee to be rigid about time allocation.
Sudan’s delegate proposed that the Committee take a decision and grant the special consultative status to the organization while its representative was here. It was supported by the delegates of Iran, Mauritania and Guinea.
Israel’s delegate said that his Government never posed questions to the organization outside the Committee and proposed that action be deferred until it received written answers from the organization.
The Committee deferred action accordingly.