The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today concluded substantive work of its 2015 regular session with the presentation of the body’s draft report, which will be finalized for adoption next week.
The 19-member Committee vets applications submitted by non-governmental organizations, recommending general, special or roster status with the Economic and Social Council, 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.
At the outset, the Committee discussed two pending applications. The representative of Sudan called for a roll-call vote on the status of The Global Network of Human Rights and Development (Norway).
In explanation of position before the vote, the representative of the United States said that his delegation would vote against granting a special consultative status to that organization and urged other members to follow suit. He said that the entity had not answered questions posed on 4 February, and should clarify information that an official of the United States Department of Defense would participate in its upcoming event.
In a vote of 15 in favour, 2 against (Israel and United States) and 2 abstentions (Greece and Turkey), the Committee granted the status to the organization.
Action on the status of Freedom Now (United States) was postponed to the next session as the delegate of Azerbaijan requested that the group make corrections regarding its information about human rights activists imprisoned in his country. He noted that they were in prison because they committed crime. The delegate of Sudan expressed support for Azerbaijan’s statement, requesting a response in writing from the entity. The representative of the United States said it would seek consultative status for the organization in the next session, as it had answered 45 questions and done important work by defending human rights defenders.
The Committee’s report on the current session (E/C.2/2015/L.1), which was presented by Rapporteur Farid Jabrayilov (Azerbaijan), would be finalized through informal consultations.
The Committee is scheduled to adopt the report on Friday, 13 February.