Non-Governmental Organizations Committee Recommends Economic and Social Council Grant Special Status to 14 Entities, Postpones Action on 53 Others

ECOSOC/6843-NGO/855
30 May 2017
27th & 28th Meetings (AM & PM)

Non-Governmental Organizations Committee Recommends Economic and Social Council Grant Special Status to 14 Entities, Postpones Action on 53 Others

The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today recommended that the Economic and Social Council grant special consultative status to 14 organizations — including four new applicants and 10 groups whose applications had been deferred from previous sessions — while also postponing its consideration of 53 other applications.

In addition, the Committee took note of a total of four requests from organizations seeking to change their names and postponed its consideration of one such request.  It also took note of the request by one organization — the International Chamber of Commerce — to withdraw the general consultative status granted to it in 1946.

During an afternoon question-and-answer segment, the Committee heard presentations by the representatives of three organizations seeking consultative status, with Committee members posing a number of queries relating to their structure, funding and activities.  It deferred its consideration of all three organizations pending their submission of written responses to additional queries from members.

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.

The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 31 May, to continue its session.

Name Change Request Deferred from Previous Sessions

The Committee took note of one organization’s request to change its name, which the Committee had previously deferred:

Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute Inc. (special status, 2014) to C-Fam, Inc.

New Name Change Requests

The Committee took note of three new requests for name changes:

Fondation Suisse Maroc pour le développement durable (special status, 2010) to Fondation VIMANIS;

Stichting West European Confederation of Maritime Technology Societies (special status, 2016) to Stichting Confederation of European Maritime Technology Societies; and

The Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance (special status, 2012) to the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance.

It deferred one new name change request — that of ZOA Vluchtelingenzorg (special status, 2012) to Stichting ZOA — as the representative of Turkey requested more information about whether the group had received Government or intergovernmental funding for the activities carried out under its new name over the last three years.

Withdrawal of Status

The Committee took note of the request by one organization, International Chamber of Commerce (general status, 1946), to withdraw its consultative status.

New Applications for Consultative Status

Taking up new applications from non-governmental organizations requesting consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, the Committee recommended special consultative status be granted to the following eleven organizations:

Institute of Sustainable Development (Iran);

Rebirth Charity Society (Iran);

Sadakatasi Dernegi (Turkey);

Saudi Green Building Forum (Saudi Arabia);

Int’l Centre for Women Empowerment and Child Development (Nigeria);

Alliance internationale pour la défense des droits et des libertés (France);

Fondation Alkarama (Switzerland);

Fundación Acción Pro Derechos Humanos (Spain);

International Centre for Development Initiatives (ICDI) (United Kingdom);

Pirate Parties International Headquarters (Belgium); and

Womens Voices Now Inc. (United States).

It postponed its consideration of requests for consultative status from the following 23 organizations pending their responses to questions posed by Committee members:

Engineering Association for Development and Environment (Iraq) — as the representative of Turkey requested more information about the organization’s planned activities in her country.

International Charitable Foundation “Alliance for Public Health” (Ukraine) — as the representative of the Russian Federation requested more details on the organization’s projects related to opioid substitution therapy and combating HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and hepatitis.

Iraqi Al-Amal Association (Iraq) — as the representative of the Russian Federation said some of the group’s responses “did not quite add up” regarding its status as a national organization working exclusively in Iraq, as it had also described work carried out by a number of its members in Europe and other countries in the Middle East, including Lebanon and Syria.

People’s Right to Information and Development Implementing Society of Mizoram (PRISM) (India) — as the representative of India requested information about the group’s involvement with Human Rights Watch as well as in a recent United Nations event in Nepal.

Public Aid Organization (Iraq) — as the representative of Turkey asked the group to further clarify its planned workshops on women’s rights, including dates, audience, focus and format.

Research Society of International Law (Pakistan) — as the representative of India asked why the organization updated and renewed its national registration every year, and whether its secretariat also changed annually.

The Union of Non-Governmental Associations “The International Non-Governmental Organization “The World Union of Cossack Atamans” (Kazakhstan) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked the group to provide detailed information about its stated goal of creating an “autonomous republic” on part of the Russian Federation’s territory.

Alliance to Renew Co-operation among Humankind (Belgium) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked the group to explain which non-governmental organizations it had met with in his country in July 2015, and for what purpose.  The representative of Iran also requested more information about the group’s relationship with a particular partner organization as well as its meetings with United States Congress on matters related to the fight against terrorism.

Arab Center for the Promotion of Human Rights (United States) — as the representative of India, referring to the group’s assertion that its only source of funding was the Open Society Foundation, asked whether it undertook any projects or activities on that Foundation’s behalf.

Commonwealth Medical Trust (United Kingdom) — as the representative of South Africa asked for more details about the organization’s work in South Africa, including a list of the organizations in that country to which the group provided information.

Congres mondial Amazigh (France) — as the representative of South Africa asked the group to clarify how it carried out its work in the area of human rights protection and promotion without engaging with the States concerned.

Peace Research Institute Oslo (Norway) — as the representative of Cuba asked the organization for more details on the investigations it had carried out in Latin America.

Salam for Democracy and Human Rights (United Kingdom) — as the representative of Pakistan asked whether the organization had any direct engagement with the Government of Bahrain.

Soulforce, Inc. (United States) — as the representative of Nicaragua asked for more details on how to engage with the organization on its activities outside the United States.

Turkiye Diyanet Vakfi (Turkey) — as the representative of Greece asked for a list of countries in which the organization carried out its charitable religious services.

Associación Red de Mujeres Afrolatinoamericanas, Afrocaribeñas y de la Diáspora (Nicaragua) — as the representative of Nicaragua requested more information on the group’s planned pilot programme in Latin America, and the representative of Venezuela asked the organization whether it worked in conjunction with some of the 30 Governments listed on its application.

The International Center for Supporting Rights and Freedoms (Egypt) — as the representative of Cuba asked the group to clarify discrepancies between the financial details listed in in the organization’s support documents and the budget outlined in part 3 of the application.  He also asked how the group selected its legal cases, given the fact that 100 per cent of its funding came from the National Endowment for Democracy.

American Jewish World Service, Inc. (United States) — as the representative of Nicaragua requested a list of the group’s partner organizations, in particular in her country and El Salvador.

Fondation Cordoue de Genève (Switzerland) — as the representative of China asked for more information on the group’s programme known as “Transforming Conflicts in the Humanitarian Field” including a list of the regions and countries in which it was carried out.

International Women’s Peace Group Corporation (Republic of Korea) — as the representative of China asked the organization to correct errors on its website and to provide clarification regarding its expenditures.

Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V. (Germany) — as the representative of China asked the group to correct erroneous references to “Taiwan” and “Tibet” on its website.

Scholé Futuro (Italy) — as the representative of Cuba requested the organization to provide more information on the projects it had carried out in her country and the local partners with which it had engaged.

Stichting CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality (Netherlands) — as the representative of Nicaragua asked the organization for more information about the funding it received from the Government of the Netherlands.  The representative of the United States said the organization had already answered that question and drew attention to it in the group’s recent responses.  In response, the representative of Nicaragua said some elements of the organization’s funding and independence remained unclear, and again reiterated her question while also asking for a list of the group’s current projects.

Deferred Applications

Turning to the list of applications for consultative status deferred from previous sessions, the Committee recommended that special consultative status be granted to the following three organizations:

Association M’zab revention routière et développement (Morocco);

Creators Union of Arab (Egypt); and

Family Planning Association of Bangladesh (Bangladesh).

It postponed its consideration of the following 29 previously deferred applications:

AMPHTS (Syria) — as the representative of the United States drew attention to the organization’s use of a version of the United Nations logo in its application materials, asking whether it had received the necessary permission.  Adding that the organization had included images of the flags of the United States, Brazil and the United Kingdom, she also requested information on the group’s connection to those countries.

Aleradah & Altageer National Society (Bahrain) — as the representative of Pakistan asked the group to provide further clarification on its “Bill of Rights”.

Danjuma Atta Eye Foundation (Nigeria) — as the representative of Azerbaijan requested the group provide further information about an eye care centre it had built.

Emperor Gaza International Foundation (Ghana) — as the representative of South Africa requested the group for more information about the partners who would provide funding for its planned complex to support persons with disabilities.

Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation (Iran) — as the representative of the United States requested additional information regarding the organization’s sources of funding given to families in need.

Mkokoteni Aid Development Organization (Kenya) — as the representative of South Africa requested more information on the organization’s regional work and also more detail on the projects listed in their previous response.

National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (India) — as the representative of India requested more information regarding whether the organization was registered within India.

Pak Special Persons Welfare Society (Pakistan) — as the representative of Pakistan requested information regarding how much funding the organization had raised and when it intended to begin the project detailed in its previous response.

Yay Gender Harmony (Indonesia) — as the representative of Cuba requested more information on the group’s funding sources and to clarify discrepancies in the funding information previously provided by the organization.

Arab-European Center of Human Rights and International Law (AECHRIL) (Norway) — as the representative of India requested an explanation as to how the organization engaged with Arab States to persuade them to ratify and implement human rights treaties.

Association pour la défense des droits de l’homme et des revendications démocratiques/culturelles du peuple Azerbaidjanais-Iran (France) — as the representative of Iran requested that the organization provide a list of reliable media outlets that were regularly using the term “North Azerbaijan”.

Assyrian Aid Society of America Inc. (United States) — as the representative of Turkey requested information as to whether the organization coordinated its activities with the authorities of the countries of operation.

Bureau international pour le respect des droits de l’homme au Sahara Occidental (Switzerland) — as the representative of Burundi requested more information on the organization’s work to protect economic and cultural rights.

Centre Zagros pour les Droits de l’Homme (Switzerland) — as the representative of Iran requested a list of the online training courses and reports that the organization had prepared.

Global Embassy of Activists for Peace Corp. (United States) — as the representative of China questioned whether the organization possessed legal registration in all the countries in which it was operating.

Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (Denmark) — as the representative of Turkey requested more information about the organizations activities and fundraising in the support of the rule of law and the fight against terrorism.

Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (United States) — as the representative of Iran requested a list of the legal documents the organization intended to translate and distribute in the Persian language.  The representative of the United States recalled that the organization had applied for accreditation since January 2010 and had responded to more than 60 questions from the Committee, many of which were redundant.  She expressed concern that the organization’s application, which her country strongly supported, was being blocked for political purposes.  The representative of Iran said that the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center was in no way a non-governmental organization, but rather an attempt of one country to interfere in the affairs of another sovereign country.

Jerusalem Institute of Justice (Israel) — as the representative of Cuba requested an updated list of all members of the organization’s Executive Board.

Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, Inc. (P-FOX) (United States) — as the representative of Israel requested more information as to whether the organization collaborated with a multitude of faiths.  The representative of the Russian Federation expressed concern that the organization’s application had been under consideration for such a long period of time.

Right Livelihood Award Foundation (Sweden) — as the representative of the Russian Federation questioned whether the organization was fully aware of the history and activities of the White Helmets in Syria, which had received an award from the Right Livelihood Award Foundation.  The representative of the United States expressed concern about the political nature of the question posed by the Russian Federation.  The representative of the Russian Federation emphasized that several countries used non-governmental organizations for political purposes and that perhaps the Committee could transmit the question to the organization, noting that the United States did not join consensus on that question.  The representative of the United States said her delegation would not disassociate itself from any questions sent by the Committee, and stressed that if the Russian Federation wished to send the question on its own behalf, then it should do so.  The representative of the Russian Federation said light must be shed on the situation and the truth must be exposed.

Solidarity for Peace and Reunification of Korea (Republic of Korea) — as the representative of Burundi requested more details about the group’s activities, beyond the list that had already been provided by the organization.

Universal Rights Group (Switzerland) — as the representative of India questioned whether the organization planned any projects to build upon resolution 1618 (2005) and the Istanbul Process.

White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, Inc. (United States) — as the representative of Nicaragua requested a list of the countries in Latin America in which it worked and a list of projects it had carried out in the region.

“SEG” Civil Society Support Center NGO (Armenia) — as the representative of Azerbaijan requested more information on the organization’s project related to local self-governing bodies.

World Without Genocide (United States) — as the representative of Turkey requested information regarding the activities the organization aimed to carry out in the second half of 2017 as well as 2018.

Akhil Bharatiya Human Rights Organisation (India) — as the representative of Pakistan requested that the organization specify in which areas it intended to undertake research projects.

Al-Marsad, The Arab Centre for Human Rights in the Golan Heights (Occupied Syrian Golan) — as the representative of Israel requested that the organization elaborate on its relationship with the International Federation for Human Rights.  The representative of the Russian Federation expressed concern that the organization’s application had been under consideration for 12 sessions.  The representative of Iran noted that he supported the position expressed by the Russian Federation, while the representative of Israel stressed that his delegation had no intention of politicizing the work of the Committee.

Association Concerning Sexual Violence against Women (China) — as the representative of Burundi requested more information regarding the organization’s crisis centres.

Diplomatic Mission Peace and Prosperity (Albania) — as the representative of Greece requested a list of the projects and activities carried out in 2016 and 2017.

Gulshan-e-John (Pakistan) — as the representative of Pakistan requested details on the shelters it was currently operating for the victims of domestic violence.

Interactive Discussion

The representative of Centre universitaire de droit international humanitaire (Switzerland) noted that there was some confusion regarding the organization’s name, which he sought to clarify, particularly with regard to its relationship with the University of Geneva.  The content of all its publications represented the opinions of the authors, and the organization sought to disseminate independent research according to academic standards.

The representative of Turkey requested further information be provided in writing regarding the organization’s participation in the Human Rights Council in 2015 and 2016 and further information regarding the financial contributions the group received from other international organizations.

Responding, the representative of the Centre universitaire de droit international humanitaire said that it was able to participate in the Human Rights Council due to its affiliation with the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute.  Regarding financial contributions from other organizations, he noted those contributions were relatively small and were earmarked for specific research efforts.

The representative of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V. (Germany) noted that his organization was associated with the Christian democratic movement in Germany and had more than 80 offices around the world, including its newest office in New York, which focused specifically on the work of the United Nations.  In response to a previous question, he stressed that his organization viewed Taiwan and Tibet as integral parts of China.

The representative of the Russian Federation asked about the criteria used by the group when it came to publicizing information on its website, while the representative of China expressed concern that there was still misuse of United Nations terminology on the organization’s website.  The representative of Cuba asked whether the organization was affiliated or worked with any political party.

Responding, the representative of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V. said that it did not censor any findings that it put on its website.  He also noted that the organization’s funding came from German Parliament and was shared among six different political foundations.  Further, he underlined that it was affiliated with the Christian Democratic party and Angela Merkel sat on the organization’s board.

The representative of Global Peace Foundation (United States) said that it had a small headquarters in Washington, D.C., but its focus was primarily in its field work.  It was registered as a non-profit organization in the United States and had no religious or political affiliation.  The group worked in 24 different countries and was focused on promoting a culture of service among young people.

The representative of China underlined that the organization had listed Taiwan as a country on its website and requested the group correct that terminology before the Committee considered its application.

For information media. Not an official record.