Committee on Non-Governmental Organization Recommends Special Consultative Status for 35 Groups, Defers Action on 46 Applications

ECOSOC/6922-NGO/874
25 May 2018
25th & 26th Meetings (AM & PM)

Committee on Non-Governmental Organization Recommends Special Consultative Status for 35 Groups, Defers Action on 46 Applications

The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations recommended 35 entities for special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council today, the fifth day of its resumed session, while deferring action on the status of 46 others.

It postponed action on a number of applications as Committee members sought additional information from the candidate organizations concerning such issues as funding, project status and partnerships.

This afternoon, the Committee held a question-and-answer session, during which it heard from four non-governmental organizations, deferred action on two of them — pending written responses to delegates’ questions — while recommending special consultative status for the other two.

The 19-member Committee vets applications submitted by non-governmental organizations, recommending general, special or roster status on the basis of the applicant’s mandate, governance and financial regime.  Organizations with roster status can only attend meetings of the Economic and Social Council.  Those enjoying special status can attend meetings and issue statements, while those with general status can speak during meetings and propose agenda items.

The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations will meet again at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 29 May, to continue its resumed session.

Interactive Discussion

The representative of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (Ireland) said that his organization, based in Dublin and receiving no Government funding, worked in 12 countries in the Middle East for the protection of human rights defenders.  In response to a question posed earlier in the resumed session by Pakistan’s delegate, he said “OSF” was the Open Society Foundation.  He went on to say that the only way to defeat terrorism in the Middle East was to support human rights.

The representative of Nicaragua asked for additional details about the organization’s objectives and goals.

The NGO’s representative said its work was to enhance the protection of human rights defenders as they carried out their daily work to promote one or more of the rights mentioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  It also worked with various mechanisms of the United Nations, including the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, as well as other institutions.

The representative of Pakistan requested more information about its partner organizations.

The NGO’s representative said it was a member of three international networks — IFEX, based in Canada; the International Federation for Human rights, based in France; and the CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation, based in South Africa.

The representative of China sought clarification about the roles of the NGO’s advisory board and co-directors.

The NGO’s representative explained that the advisory board was in charge of policy and strategy, while the executive staff carried out the day-to-day work.  The two sides met annually to discuss strategy.

The representative of Pakistan asked whether IFEX was funding programmes or only carried out technical cooperation with the NGO.

The NGO’s representative said that IFEX was not a donor, but his organization did undertake joint projects with it.

The representative of Cuba asked about funds received from the National Endowment for Democracy and any projects undertaken with that group.

The representative of Sudan asked how the NGO guaranteed the impartiality of its work.

The Committee then postponed its consideration of the NGO’s application.

The representative of the Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice (Russian Federation) said she would welcome questions.

The representative of the Russian Federation noted that AFEW International was among her organization’s donors and asked for clarification.

The NGO’s representative said that AFEW International was a Dutch non-governmental organization working on HIV issues in Eastern Europe.

The representative of the Russian Federation asked if it was a Russian organization.

The NGO’s representative said it was not Russian, it was Dutch.

The representative of the Russian Federation said that a project financed by that organization was called “Beyond Resistance” and requested that the NGO provide more details in writing.

The NGO’s representative said that the project’s objective was cooperation with United Nations human rights organizations, as well as collecting and analysing data and preparing reports for various United Nations mechanisms, as she had discussed in previous Committee sessions.

The Committee then postponed consideration of the NGO’s application.

The representative of Reprieve (United Kingdom) described his organization as a London-based legal action charity that focused on the death penalty and counter-terrorism policy.  It investigated, educated and litigated, and it planned to contribute to the work of the Economic and Social Council and subsidiary bodies by sharing its expertise.

The representative of Cuba thanked him and wished him good luck.

The Committee then granted the organization special consultative status.

The representative of 28. Jun (Canada) said his organization had received no questions from the Committee, and that its application had been deferred from the previous session.

The Committee then granted the organization special consultative status.

Requests for Special Consultative Status

The Committee recommended that the Economic and Social Council grant special consultative status to the following 35 organizations:

The Small Earth Nepal (Nepal);

Vishnu Dayal Shiksha Samiti (India);

Chin Human Rights Organization (Canada);

EURORDIS European Organisation for Rare Diseases (France);

Faithful Covenant Foundation (United States);

Friends of Angola (United States);

Global Dialogue Foundation Australia Limited (Australia);

Global Forum for Media Development (Belgium); 

Global Network of Sex Work Projects Limited (United Kingdom);

Global Utmaning (Sweden);

Hamkkehaneun Sarangbat Corporation (Republic of Korea);

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team United States Incorporated (United States);

Insamlingsstiftelsen Kvinna till Kvinna (Sweden);

International Association of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (Belgium);

Jeunesse Etudiante Tamoule (France);

NIGH World (Canada);

Nepperhan Community Center, Inc. (United States);

Nonprofit Partnership “Strategic Partnership with the Islamic World” (Russian Federation);

ORGANISATION AIDE ET ACTION INTERNATIONAL (Switzerland);

Operation HOPE Inc. (United States);

Organisation Internationale pour l’Avancement politique des Africaines (L’OIAPA) (Canada);

Otro Tiempo México, Asociación Civil (Mexico);

Perkins School for the Blind (United States);

Presbyterian Women in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Inc. (United States)

Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, Inc. (United States); 

Right Livelihood Award Foundation (Sweden);

Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (United States);

The Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Foundation Inc. (United States);

The Dame Jane Foundation (New Zealand);

Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation Inc. (United States); 

The Simons Foundation (Canada);

The Task Force for Global Health Inc. (United States);

Word of Life International, Inc. (United States);

Reprieve (United Kingdom); and

28. Jun (Canada).

The Committee postponed consideration of the following 44 organizations:

Transnational Anti-Organized Crime Intelligence Group Inc. (Philippines) — as the representative of Venezuela asked that it elaborate further on the deficit appearing on its financial statement.  He also asked that it clarify its claim that it had advisory status with the Economic and Social Council.  The Committee Secretary said the candidate organization did not have consultative status; it had previously said so on its website and on paper documents, but had been asked by the Legal Affairs Department of the United Nations to cease doing so.  Perhaps it had added those references again, he suggested.  The representative of the Russian Federation requested that it elaborate on the statement in its application that it had a memorandum of understanding with agencies of the Government of the Philippines.

West Papua Interest Association (Indonesia) — as the representative of Iran asked that it provide valid registration in the country in which it undertook its activities.  He also asked that it clarify how it was able to attend meetings of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues with a large delegation when it had limited resources of about $100.  The representative of South Africa sought asked for details on how it could have attended the Permanent Forum without accreditation.

Women Information Network (Nigeria) — as the representative of Nicaragua ask that it clarify its reference to the United States Consulate-General in Lagos as an international organization from which it had received funding.

Wynad Social Service Society (India) — as the representative of India asked about the kind of activities it had undertaken with funding from Save a Family Plan of Canada.

Arab-European Center of Human Rights and International Law (Norway) — as the representative of India asked for details on its members, including whether they included private sector groups.

Association canadienne pour le droit et la vérité (Canada) — as the representative of Iran asked that it define its geographic scope and explain the criteria or mechanisms it used to validate the cases and reports that it received.

Bahrain Center for Human Rights (Denmark) — as the representative of Cuba requested a breakdown of the funds that it said it had received from the National Endowment for Democracy and the Sigrid Rausing Trust, including amounts and the projects for which they were used.

Cercle Martin Buber (Switzerland) — as the representative of Turkey requested a list of all its partner organizations, both national and international.

Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights (Republic of Korea) — as the representative of China asked that it explain how it could assess and guarantee the objectivity of the information it received from defectors from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea without visiting that country.

Congres mondial Amazigh (France) — as the representative of Burundi, stating that it appeared to be a commercial organization, requested that it explain the ways in which it sought to ensure respect for the political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Amazigh [Berber] people.

Database Center for North Korean Human Rights (Republic of Korea) — as the representative of Iran requested information about its high administration costs, which accounted for 50 per cent of its expenditures, and the impact that had on its activities.

Dream Touch for All (Republic of Korea) — as the representative of Venezuela requested an update of its financial statement and its projects.

Drug Reform Coordination Network Inc. (United States) — as the representative of Cuba asked for more information about its projects and programmes relating to the work of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (France) — as the representative of Turkey requested more information about its seminars and training to combat online hate speech.

Electronic Frontier Foundation, Inc. (United States) — as the representative of China, noting that its application stated that it fought illegal surveillance, asked for details.

Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (Denmark) — as the representative of Nicaragua requested the results and participation for January thus far with the meetings it held in the countries mentioned in its response in 2018.

Federal Bar Association (United States) — as the representative of China asked that it name a few of the United Nations initiatives for promoting the administration of justice on which its application said it would focus its efforts.

Federal Lezghin National and Cultural Autonomy (Russian Federation) — as the representative of Azerbaijan — stating that the organization’s application and website were full of lies about his country, and warning against initiating inter-ethnic strife between Lezghins and Azerbaijanis — requested that it elaborate on the references it had made to Caucasian Albania.

Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) Limited (Ireland) — as the representative of Pakistan asked for elaboration regarding an organization — identified simply as “OSF” in its 2016 audited financial report — had made a significant financial contribution, and the project for which the funds were used.

International Child Rights Center (Republic of Korea) — as the representative of Iran requested more detailed information on the seven cross-regional round table on 10 April.

Jerusalem Institute of Justice (Israel) — as the representative of Mauritania asked that it detail how it intended to contribute to the work of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.  He also requested some examples of the current issues on which it intended to organize side events.

Kaleidoscope Human Rights Foundation Ltd. (Australia) — as the representative of Nicaragua asked for a list of projects carried out since 2016.

Lawyers for Justice in Libya (United Kingdom) — as the representative of China asked for a progress report on its planned projects in the area of human rights for women.

Legal Action Worldwide (Switzerland) — as the representative of Sudan requested that it rectify a discrepancy in its response of 2 February 2018 regarding the number of countries in which it carried out projects.

Mangfoldhuset (Norway) — as the representative of Azerbaijan requested a list of its partner organizations in various parts of the world and for details of work carried out with them.

Namati Inc. (United States) — as the representative of Iran asked how it would deal with the large deficit between the organization’s expenditure and its income.

Norsk organisasjon for reform av marihuanalovgivningen (Norway) — as the representative of Cuba asked if the NGO undertook any projects aimed at the prevention of drug use.

Peace Development Fund (United States) — as the representative of Cuba, noting that the organization had more than 1,600 individual donors, requested a breakdown of their nationalities and the amounts they had contributed.

Peace Islands Institute Inc. (United States) — as the representative of Azerbaijan requested detailed information regarding its ongoing and planned activities for 2018 and 2019.

Reproductive Health Matters (United Kingdom) — as the representative of Nicaragua asked whether it currently had projects with the World Health Organization (WHO).

Salam for Democracy and Human Rights (United Kingdom) — as the representative of Nicaragua asked whether the group was planning to expand to other continents, such as Latin America.

Sex & Samfund (Denmark) — as the representative of Nicaragua requested a list of the international organizations cooperating with it.  The representative of Uruguay asked that the Committee reiterate the question it had put to the organization on 5 February.

Solidarity for Peace and Reunification of Korea (Republic of Korea) — as the representative of Burundi, noting that all its 3,100 members were in the Republic of Korea, asked whether the NGO had any members from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as well.

Stichting CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality (Netherlands) — as the representative of Nicaragua asked to hear more about which organizations it worked with in Indonesia.

Stichting Mama Cash (Netherlands) — as the representative of the Russian Federation requested a list of the foundations funding most of its projects.

Stichting Pro Papua (Netherlands) — as the representative of India requested details of its current and planned activities, as well as additional information on its partnership with the International Coalition for Papua.

The First Community Christian Pentecostal Church of God, Inc. (United States) — as the representative of Cuba, noting that the NGO described itself as “international” yet its staff all lived in the United States, requested details about its projects, including the countries in which they were being undertaken.

The International Center for Supporting Rights and Freedoms (Switzerland) — as the representative of India requested more information about the nature of its partnerships, including any funding arrangements, with the National Endowment for Democracy, the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, and Front Line Defenders.  She also asked for the objectives and findings of a fact-finding mission it had undertaken in the southern provinces of Morocco.

Trocaire (Ireland) — as the representative of Nicaragua requested a list of its partner organizations and projects in her country.

United Sikhs (United States) — as the representative of India sought clarification of its membership rules, as well as a list of affiliated organizations and activities jointly undertaken with them.

White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, Inc. (United States) — as the representative of Pakistan requested that it elaborate on the projects it was undertaking in his country.

“SEG” Civil Society Support Center NGO (Armenia) — as the representative of Azerbaijan asked how the NGO carried so many activities involving so many objectives and targets given its meagre financial resources.

“İqtisadi və Sosial İnkişaf Mərkəzi” ictimai birliyi (Azerbaijan) — as the representative of China asked that it name a few of the neighbouring countries in which it undertook activities.

Association Concerning Sexual Violence against Women (China) — as the representative of Burundi asked about the progress made in 2016 through 2018 in the area of changing relevant laws and practices.

For information media. Not an official record.