Non-Governmental Organizations Committee Recommends 7 Groups for Special Status with Economic and Social Council, Postpones Action on 75

ECOSOC/6841-NGO/853
25 May 2017
23rd & 24th Meetings (AM & PM)

Non-Governmental Organizations Committee Recommends 7 Groups for Special Status with Economic and Social Council, Postpones Action on 75

The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today recommended 7 entities for special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, while deferring action on 75 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 deferred as Committee members requested additional information from the candidates regarding funding, countries of operation and the ability to remain impartial and independent when a bulk of grants derived from Government sources.  In the afternoon, the Committee held a question-and-answer session, during which it heard from one non-governmental organization.  The Committee did not grant status to any non-governmental organization, and deferred action on 31 others.  During that session, members of civil society were given the opportunity to present their non-governmental organizations and answer questions posed by Members.  The non-governmental organizations whose applications were deferred were asked to respond to questions in writing.

The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations will meet again at 10 a.m. on Friday, 26 May, to continue its session.

Special Consultative Status

The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations recommended that the Economic and Social Council grant special consultative status to the following seven organizations:

Stichting Samenwerkingsverband IKV-Pax Christi (Netherlands);

The Nigerian Council Inc (United States);

The World Academy of Art and Science (United States);

Viešoji įstaiga “Trust in Development” (Lithuania);

Youth for a Better World, Inc. (United States);

Alliance des Avocats pour les Droits de l’Homme (France);

Comité des observateurs des droits de l’homme (France);

The Committee postponed consideration of the following 75 organizations:

Solidarity for Peace and Reunification of Korea (Republic of Korea) — as the representative of Burundi requested additional information of its activities.

The Simons Foundation (Canada) — as the representative of Turkey requested additional information of projects and funding sources.

USA Refugees & Immigrants, Corp. (United States) — as the representative of Sudan requested additional information of its international projects.

Universal Rights Group (Switzerland) — as the representative of India requested additional information of its work with Governments from whom it received funding.

White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, Inc (United States) — as the representative of Nicaragua requested information about its activities in other countries.

Women Living under Muslim Laws-International Solidarity Network (WLUML) (United Kingdom) — as the representative of Pakistan requested additional information on its views on homosexuality laws.  The representative of the United States said the question seemed like a diversion from the criteria set up to vet applications.  She requested additional clarification.  The representative of Pakistan, rephrasing the question, requested information on how existing legislation in some Muslim countries impacted the group’s work within the context of sexual rights.

Women’s Freedom Forum, Inc. (United States) — as the representative of Iran requested additional information of its work with the United Nations.

Womens Voices Now Inc. (United States) — as the representative of Iran requested additional clarification regarding its views on religion.

World Association for Sexual Health (United Kingdom) — as the representative of Nicaragua requested an updated and future list of projects.

World Without Genocide (United States) — as the representative of Turkey requested additional information on its activities.

“SEG” Civil Society Support Center NGO (Armenia) — as the representative of Azerbaijan requested additional information on whether it conducted projects in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Akhil Bharatiya Human Rights Organisation (India) — as the representative of Pakistan requested an updated list of its research projects.

Al-Marsad, The Arab Centre for Human Rights in the Golan Heights (R.A.) (Occupied Syrian Golan) — as the representative of Israel requested a list of its partners.

Ambedkar Center for Justice and Peace (India) — as the representative of India requested specification on criteria to become a member.

Association Concerning Sexual Violence against Women (China) — as the representative of Cuba requested additional information on its crisis centres and whether it addressed issues beyond rape.

Diplomatic Mission Peace and Prosperity (Albania) — as the representative of South Africa requested additional clarification on how it intended to carry out its stated objective to democratize developing countries.

Family Policy Institute (South Africa) — as the representative of South Africa requested additional information on its work and asked whether it had considered African Union consultative status.

Global Campaign for Education (South Africa) — as the representative of South Africa requested additional clarification on its partners and supporters.

Gulshan-e-John (Pakistan) — as the representative of Pakistan requested additional information on what services it provided to victims of domestic violence.

International Human Right Organization (Pakistan) — as the representative of Pakistan requested additional clarification of its use of terminology.

International Non-Olympic Committee (India) — as the representative of India requested additional detail of one of its initiatives.

International Non-Olympic University (India) — as the representative of India requested additional information of its degrees and diplomas and whether it was a member of the Indian Association of Universities.

Pak Women (Pakistan) — as the representative of Pakistan requested additional information of its projects and cost expenditures.

Pakistan International Human Rights Organization (Pakistan) — as the representative of Pakistan requested additional clarification regarding a budgetary discrepancy.

RESDAL Red de Seguridad y Defensa de América Latina Asociación Civil (Argentina) — as the representative of Venezuela requested additional information of its publications.

Social Services Trust (India) — as the representative of India requested updated details of grants and funds.

Society without Violence Non-Governmental Organization (Armenia) — as the representative of Azerbaijan requested additional information and details of its projects.

Swadhikar (India) — as the representative of India requested details of funding.

The Arab Council for Supporting Fair Trial (Egypt) — as the representative of Cuba requested additional information of its work with national institutions.  The representative of South Africa requested whether it worked with and in regional countries.

The F W de Klerk Foundation Trust (South Africa) — as the representative of South Africa requested additional information on its work with the Centre for Constitutional Rights and why the Centre had not applied for Economic and Social Council consultative status rather than the Foundation.

The New Woman Foundation (Egypt) — as the representative of the Russian Federation requested clarification on finances and projects.  The representative of India also requested further information on income sources.  The representative of the United States pointed out that the answer to the first question was contained in the application.  The representative of the Russian Federation, rephrasing the question, requested additional details of upcoming projects and their sources of income.

The Voice Society (Pakistan) — as the representative of Pakistan requested information on how it ascertained and confirmed the veracity of its facts.

VOICE (Vietnamese Overseas Initiative for Conscience Empowerment) (Philippines) — as the representative of Cuba requested additional information of its projects.

V‐Day Karama (Egypt) — as the representative of India requested information on whether its activities in other countries were legally registered with those respective Governments.

West Papua Interest Association (Indonesia) — as the representative of Iran requested an updated certificate of registration.

Anti-Corruption Foundation (Russian Federation) — as the representative of the Russian Federation requested whether it partnered with the organization “Open Russia” and with the “Open Russia” movement and if it had received funding from those sources.

Asia Center for Human Rights (Republic of Korea) — as the representative of China requested additional details of its projects.

Bahrain Center for Human Rights (Denmark) — as the representative of the Russian Federation requested additional clarification on its work with Governments.

Center for Constitutional Rights Inc. (United States) — as the representative of China requested details of its activities in Asia and the Middle East.

Center for Democracy and Technology (United States) — as the representative of China requested additional information on its work.

Center of Political Analysis and Information Security (Russian Federation) — as the representative of the Russian Federation requested clarification on funding and partners.

Christian Solidarity International (CSI) (Switzerland) — as the representative of Sudan requested a list of countries which make donations to country programmes and another list of its non-governmental organization partners.

Congrès National des Arméniens Occidentaux (CNAO) (France) — as the representative of Turkey requested an updated list of its partners, income sources and expenditures.

Coptic Solidarity (United States) — as the representative of Venezuela requested additional information of its meetings with Security Council mandated missions.

Dansk Flygtningehjælp (Denmark) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked the organization to provide more detailed information on its projects in 2016 and 2017 in Syria working with the Syrian authorities or with its authorization, as well as the names of local partners.

Database Center for North Korean Human Rights (NKDB) (Republic of Korea) — as the representative of Cuba asked what kinds of contacts the organization had with institutions and academics in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in order to carry out its study plan.

Diakonia (Sweden) — as the representative of China asked the group to elaborate its position on the “Taiwan province of China” and whether it recognized it.

Electronic Frontier Foundation, Inc. (United States) — as the representative of China asked the organization to make corrections on its website to refer to the “Taiwan province of China”.

European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Limited (Belgium) — as the representative of Cuba asked for clarification about the location of its offices, as well as its funding.

Fair Trials International (United Kingdom) — as the representative of China asked for more information on the organization’s activities in Asia and the Middle East.

Federal Lezghin National and Cultural Autonomy (Russian Federation) — as the representative of Azerbaijan asked for the organization’s latest financial report.

Global Forum for Media Development (Belgium) — as the representative of Cuba asked for clarification on whether the organization still had an office in Jordan given that they were applying as an organization from Belgium.  He also requested more information on the event they held with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in May 2016.

Global Network of Sex Work Projects Limited (United Kingdom) — as the representative of Mauritania asked what projects it carried out with United Nations agencies and entities.

Global Peace Foundation (United States) — as the representative of China asked for its position on Tibet.

Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) Limited (Ireland) — as the representative of Pakistan asked for more detail on a resolution it was working on with Member States to be presented at the General Assembly.

Hokok Coalición Internacional Contra la Impunidad (Spain) — as the representative of India asked for a list of countries in which the group had filed complaints.

Inimõiguste Instituut (Estonia) — as the Russian Federation asked if the organization believed it was possible to cooperate with persons that practised terrorist methods of addressing complex issues.  The representative of Estonia expressed her support for the group, noting it dealt with the protection of human rights in Estonia and around the world.

International Association of Genocide Scholars, Inc. (Canada) — as the representative of China asked the organization to update its list of members and asked if they have members from Asian countries.  The representative of Israel said that individual names could not be requested.  The representative of China said that it would like a list of members from different countries, not specific names.  The representative of Israel said that the list of countries was in front of them.  The representative of China said that as the list was from 2014, it would like an updated version, and would like to know if there were more members from Asian countries.

International Dalit Solidarity Network (Denmark) — as the representative of India asked for details regarding the group’s side events on caste-based discrimination, as well as the sources of funding and a list of partners holding those events.

International Gulf Organization FZ-LLC (Switzerland) — as the representative of Iran asked if the organization had conducted any projects on politics and the promotion of democratic values.

Interregional Non-governmental Organization “Committee against Torture” (Russian Federation) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked the group to provide information on whether it had carried out projects with resources or funding by Open Society, the MacArthur Foundation and similar organizations.  The representative of the United States said that the Committee could ask for more information about the project but not the names of people on the ground.  The representative of the Russian Federation said that the names of individuals were not needed, but he requested not just the name of a project but complete information about the project, as certain States were attempting through non-governmental organizations to advance their own policies.

Jeunesse Etudiante Tamoule (France) — as the representative of Turkey asked for more details of the organization’s activities with academic institutions.

Mittetulundusühing Fenno-Ugria Asutus (Estonia) — as the representative of the Russian Federation requested that the organization provide fresh information for 2016-2017 on projects within a territory of the Russian Federation.  The representative of Estonia said the group was doing admirable work and should be recommended for consultative status.  The representative of the Russian Federation referred back to the non-governmental organization Inimõiguste Instituut discussed earlier, and called it an institute for manipulating human rights as there were over 80,000 persons in Estonia who were “Stateless”.  On Mittetulundusühing Fenno-Ugria Asutus, he said that a number of non-governmental organizations used the issue of indigenous people to “break apart” the foundations of societies.  The representative of the United States said that it would be unfortunate if the work of the group was politicized.  The question that the Russian Federation asked had been answered in 2014, she said, and asked if the delegation would withdraw its question.  The representative of the Russian Federation asked to receive information for 2016-2017 and did not wish to withdraw his question.  The representative of the United States said that the Russian Federation was confusing the work of two groups rather than focusing on the one at hand.

Muslim Hands (United Kingdom) — as the representative of Israel asked for more information on its work with an organization called Mother Helpage.

NDLH International Network of International Diplomacy, International Law and Human Rights (Norway) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked the organization to provide more detailed information regarding its structure and the distribution of work between the headquarters in Norway and its branches in other countries.

NK Watch (Republic of Korea) — as the representative of Cuba requested further information on the funding of particular projects by various donors.

Peace Brigades International (United Kingdom) — as the representative of China requested further information about the organization’s current field projects and other initiatives it intended to undertake in the future.

Presbyterian Women in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Inc. (United States) — as the representative of the United Kingdom asked for more information on various projects on building inclusive communities with a specific example.

Sex & Samfund (Norway) — as the representative of Nicaragua asked how their projects were conducted in countries where their projects ran contrary to those countries social values.

Stichting Pro Papua (Netherlands) — as the representative of India asked what were the organization’s objectives with regard to indigenous populations.

Syrian American Medical Society Foundation (United States) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked how the organization was able to arrange for the shipment of 127 medical supplies to Syrian territory, and with which United Nations bodies it coordinated its efforts.  The representative of Iran asked whether the group was still active in Government-controlled parts of Syria, and if not, why not.  The representative of the United States drew the Committee’s attention to a previous answer given by the organization, and was giving medical help while working with the United Nations and did not work in Government-controlled areas.  She asked whether that answered Iran’s question.  The representative of Iran said that he was not satisfied with the response.

The Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice (Russian Federation) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked that the organization provide at least two reports to the Russian Federation, for example their reports to UNESCO.

The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) (United States) — as the representative of Cuba asked whether the group had worked in Bolivia and if so, could they specify the kinds of projects and whether they had worked with local partners.  The representative of the United States said that the website had a map outlining where the group worked, and it did not work in Bolivia.  The representative of Cuba requested the organization answer the question.

US Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (United States) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked the organization to provide a detailed list of funding sources.  The representative of the United States said that the information had already been provided.  The representative of the Russian Federation asked what period that data was for, so that he could clarify the situation.  The representative of the United States said that it covered 2014-2015 and projected for the year 2016.  The representative of the Russian Federation asked for actual figures in 2015 and 2016.  The representative of the United States said that she did not understand why those figures were needed.  The representative of the Russian Federation said he had the right for information and reiterated his request.  The representative of the United States asked the Russian Federation to stop politicizing the Committee.

United Sikhs (United States) — as the representative of India asked whether the organization had received an invitation to participate in the International Sikh Conference.

The representative of the United States said only seven non-governmental organizations out of 86 had received consultative status today, and asked the Chair to confirm that.  The Chair agreed on those statistics.

The representative of Cuba said that perhaps it was a matter of translation but he heard from the representative of the United States that the Committee had “blocked” non-governmental organizations.  He said that the Committee did not “block” but rather asked for clarification from organizations.

Interactive Discussion

The representative of Coptic Solidarity referred to an earlier question from the representative of Venezuela, who wanted to know which countries (that were also members of the Security Council) the non-governmental organization had met with in 2014.  She said that in 2014 Coptic Solidarity had met with the United States, the Russian Federation, Italy (as the President of the European Union) and France to talk about its activities.

The representative of South Africa asked if the organization had any relationship with the Government of Egypt.  She said it was a complicated relationship, and asked the previous president to a Coptic Solidarity event but he was unable to attend.

The representative of Pakistan asked for a written reply regarding the list of participants at an international conference scheduled to take place in June in Washington, D.C.

For information media. Not an official record.