Continuing Regular Session, Non-Governmental Organizations Committee Takes Note of 114 Quadrennial Reports, Considers Requests for Name Changes

ECOSOC/6960-NGO/884
29 January 2019
13th & 14th Meetings (AM & PM)

Continuing Regular Session, Non-Governmental Organizations Committee Takes Note of 114 Quadrennial Reports, Considers Requests for Name Changes

On the seventh day of its 2019 regular session, the Committee on Non‑Governmental Organizations today took note of 114 new and deferred quadrennial reports from various organizations, while postponing action on several others after delegates requested additional information from the respective applicants.

It also began consideration of several requests for name changes from several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, deferring action on two while postponing consideration of four others.

The 19-member Committee considers applications for consultative status and requests for reclassification submitted by non-governmental organizations.  Once an application has been reviewed and approved by the Committee it is considered recommended for consultative status.  Organizations which are granted 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 will meet again at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 30 January, to continue its session.

Review of Quadrennial Reports

The Committee took note of new quadrennial reports for the period 2014 to 2017 containing submissions by the following non-governmental organizations:

Report E/C.2/2019/CRP.26:  15 non-governmental organizations:  Operation Mercy; Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil Conselho Federal; Organisation internationale pour les pays les moins avancés (OIPMA); Organization for Defending Victims of Violence; Organization for the Solidarity of the Peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America; Oxfam International; Pace University; Pacific Women's Watch (New Zealand); Pan-African Women's Organization; Parliamentarians for Global Action;  Peace Boat; Peace Brigades International Switzerland; Personhood Education; Pew Environment Group; and Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Report E/C.2/2019/CRP.27:  15 non-governmental organizations:  Prahar; Presbyterian Church (USA); Public-Private Alliance Foundation; Raad Rehabilitation Goodwill Complex; Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini; Reach Out (REO) "N.G.O."; Real Women of Canada; Research and Development Centre, Nepal; Rissho Kosei-kai; Rooftops Canada; Russian Academy of Natural Sciences; Réseau Océan Mondial; Réseau des Organisations Féminines d'Afrique Francophone; Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Inc.; and Save the Climate.

Regarding Presbyterian Church (USA), the representative of China requested that it use, on its website, the correct United Nations terminology when referring to Taiwan.

Report E/C.2/2019/CRP.28:  15 non-governmental organizations:  School Sisters of Notre Dame; Secure World Foundation; Sewa Development Trust Sindh; Shirley Ann Sullivan Educational Foundation; Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc; Sihtasutus Eesti Inimõiguste Keskus; Sillamäe Lastekaitse Ühing; Sisters of Mercy of the Americas; Social Development Center; Soroptimist International of the South West Pacific; Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (OSMTH); SpellAfrica; Sree Saraswathi Thyagaraja College; Stichting Eurad (Europe Against Drugs); and Stichting Forest Peoples Programme.

Report E/C.2/2019/CRP.29:  15 non-governmental organizations:  Strategic Alignment of Like Minds Inc; Structural Analysis of Cultural Systems; Sudanese Women Parliamentarians Caucus; Sylvia Earle Alliance; Teresian Association; The Agatha Foundation Inc.; The Bible Hill Youth Club; The Children's Project, Inc.; The Entrepreneurship Development Foundation for Women and Youth; The International Automotive Lighting and Light Signalling Expert Group; The International Coalition of Historic Site Museums of Conscience; The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, Inc.; The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan; The Law Society; and The Rainforest Fund, Inc.

Regarding the Law Society, the representative of Turkey requested more details about its International Women and the Law programme and its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Report E/C.2/2019/CRP.30:  15 non-governmental organizations:  The World Justice Project; Third World Network-Africa; To Love Children Educational Foundation International Inc.; Tomorrow's Women Development Organisation; Transdiaspora Network, Inc.; UNESCO Association, Guwahati; Ukrainian Non-Governmental Socio-Political Association-National Assembly of Persons with Disabilities; Un Ponte Per…; Union de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba; United Methodist Women; United Nations Watch; United Nations of Youth, Network — Nigeria; Universal Esperanto Association; Universitas 21; and Verein zur Forderung der Volkerverstandigung.

Regarding United Nations Watch, the representative of Cuba requested that it elaborate on “other activities” it carried out during the reporting period in the sphere of racism and discrimination.

Report E/C.2/2019/CRP.31:  15 non-governmental organizations:  Vikas Samiti; Vivegam Godfrey; WWT (Wespak Welfare Trust); War Widows Association; Washington Office on Latin America; WaterLex; West Africa Network for Peacebuilding; Womankind Worldwide; Women Aid Collective; Women Empowerment and Human Resource Development Centre of India; Women Organization for Development and Capacity Building; Women Power Connect; Women United for Economic Empowerment; Women and Development Association in Alexandria; and Women's Intercultural Network.

Report E/C.2/2019/CRP.32:  14 non-governmental organizations:  Women's Right to Education Programme; World Federalist Movement; World Federation of Trade Unions; World Information Transfer; World Leisure Organization, Inc; World ORT Union; World Organization of the Scout Movement; World Shelter Organisation; World for World Organization; Young Adult Institute, Inc.; Young Women's Christian Association of Australia; Youth Afrique Leadership Forum; Youth Empowerment Alliance, Inc.; and Zala briviba.

Regarding the World Organization of the Scout Movement, World for World Organization and Young Women’s Christian Association of Australia, the representative of China requested that they use, on their websites, the correct United Nations terminology when referring to Taiwan.

Report E/C.2/2019/CRP.33:  8 non-governmental organizations:  All-Ukrainian Public Organization “Christian Rehabilitation Centers Association, for Drug and Alcohol Addicted People”; Center for Development of Civil Society; Zanjireh Omid International Charity Institute; Zomi Innkuan USA Inc.; Zoological Society of London; iuventum e.V.; stichting dance4life; and “Armenian Lawyers' Association” Non-Governmental Organization.

Regarding the Center for the Development of Civil Society, the representative of Turkey requested more information about its advocacy and educational services for refugees and national minorities.

Next, the Committee took note of the following deferred quadrennial reports submitted by non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Council, contained in document E/C.2/2019/CRP.4:  (COM) Club of Madrid 2011-2014; American Psychological Association 2012-2015; Amnesty International 2012-2015; Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development 2012-2015; Commission of the Churches on International Affairs of the World Council of Churches 2012-2015; Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative 2013-2016; Federacion de Asociaciones de Defensa y Promocion de los Derechos Humanos 2012-2015; Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine (FPU) 2013-2016; Freedom House 2007-2010; Freedom House 2011-2014; Habitat International Coalition 2013-2016; The Heritage Foundation 2011-2014; Homosexuelle Initiative Wien 2013-2016; Human Rights Watch 2013-2016; International Press Institute 2001-2004; International Press Institute 2005-2008; International Press Institute 2009-2012; International Press Institute 2013-2016; International Service for Human Rights 2011-2014; Lawyer for Lawyers 2013-2016; Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada 2013-2016; Open Society Institute 2013-2016; People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy 2012-2015; Reporters Sans Frontiers International — Reporters Without Borders International 2005-2008; Reporters Sans Frontiers International — Reporters Without Borders International 2013-2016; Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung — Gesellschaftsanalyse und Politische Bildung e.V. 2013-2016; Scholars at Risk Network 2013-2016; Simply Help, Inc. 2009-2012; Society for Threatened Peoples 2013-2016; Unitarian Universalist Service Committee 2009-2012; World Organisation Against Torture 2010-2013; and World Vision International 2012-2015.

Committee members posed questions related to several reports on that list.

Regarding the 2012-2015 report of Amnesty International, the representative of China asked the organization to elaborate on the amount of feedback it gets from Government when preparing its reports, and to cite some examples.

Regarding the 2012-2015 report of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, the representative of China said that, despite repeated requests from the Committee, the group is still not using the correct United Nations terminology for Taiwan on its website.  He asked that it take the Committee’s requests seriously.

Regarding the 2007-2010 report of Freedom House, the representative of China requested that it clarify its position regarding Taiwan and Tibet.

Regarding the 2011-2014 report of Freedom House, the representative of China requested that it responds to previous questions from the Committee regarding the use of the correct United Nations terminology for Taiwan.

Regarding the 2013-2016 report of Habitat International Coalition, the representative of China had a question on its reference to Hong Kong, to which the Secretariat official replied that the Committee will revert the query to the organization.

Regarding the 2013-2016 report of Human Rights Watch, the representative of China said the group is still not using the correct United Nations terminology for Taiwan on its website.

Regarding the 2001-2004 report of International Press Institute, the representative of China said the group is still not using the correct United Nations terminology for Taiwan on its website.

Regarding the 2005-2008, 2009-2012 and 2013-2016 reports of International Press Institute, the representative of China said the group is still not using the correct United Nations terminology for Taiwan on its website.

Regarding the 2011-2014 report of International Service for Human Rights, the representative of China requested information about the group conducts strategic litigation in North America and Europe.

Regarding the 2013-2016 report of Lawyer for Lawyers, the representative of China requested details about how the group carries out its global activities.

Regarding the 2013-2016 report of Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada, the representative of China requested that the group use the correct United Nations terminology for Taiwan.

Regarding the 2013-2016 report of the Open Society Institute, the representative of China requested that the group use the correct United Nations terminology for Taiwan.  The representative of the Russian Federation said the group responded to only one of two questions posed to it, to which a Secretariat official replied that the Committee would resend the query and request a reply.

Regarding the 2012-2015 report of People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, the representative of China requested that the group use the correct United Nations terminology for Taiwan.

Regarding the 2005-2008 report of Reporters Sans Frontiers International — Reporters Without Borders International, the representative of China requested that the group clarify its reference to Taiwan.  The representative of Mexico said he was struck by the point raised by his counterpart from China, asking where in the report the flagged reference appeared.  He requested the representative of China to be more specific.  The representative of China said the problem is on the group’s website, a point raised in past sessions to which the group had not responded.  The representative of Mexico said a question related to the website should be reviewed during consideration of the most recent quadrennial report. However, the report under consideration covers the 2005-2008 period, between 11 and 14 years ago.  Thus, he requested a focus on where that problem occurs in the report.

The representative of China said he would email the Secretariat official at a later time.  The representative of Mexico underscored his point that the report covers the 2005-2008 period.  The response to the query posed should be given in relation to the most recent report, which covers the 2013-2016 period.  The representative of China said that, during the 2005-2008 period, and the 2013-2016 period, the website used mistaken terminology regarding Taiwan Province of China.  The representative of Mexico said the question should have been focused solely on the report covering 2005-2008.  The representative of China clarified that during the two reporting periods, the group’s website mistakenly referred to Taiwan and his delegation thus had a right to raise any question in the manner he had done.

Regarding the 2013-2016 report of Reporters Sans Frontiers International — Reporters Without Borders International 2013-2016, the representative of China had raised concerns regarding the mistaken reference to Taiwan outlined during the Committee’s consideration of the group’s report covering the 2005-2008 period.

Regarding the 2013-2016 report of Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung — Gesellschaftsanalyse und Politische Bildung e.V., the representative of the Russian Federation asked why there is no mention in the report of the Commission for Social Development if the group’s stated aim is to promote economic and social development.

Regarding the 2013-2016 report of Scholars at Risk Network, the representative of China asked how the group provides assistance to scholars worldwide, and about the countries in which most of the scholars it assists are located.

Regarding the 2013-2016 report of Society for Threatened Peoples, the representative of China requested further details on projects related to the “MDGs”.

Regarding the 2009-2012 report of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, the representative of China asked how the group funds is projects in Asia.  The representative of Mexico asked for clarity on whether those projects took place in the period covered by the report, to which the representative of China replied that indeed they did.

Regarding the 2010-2013 report of the World Organisation Against Torture, the representative of China asked how the group maintains independence as it receives funds from Governments.

Regarding the 2012-2015 report of World Vision International, the representative of China asked how the group plans to carry out its campaign on child and maternal health.  The representative of Mexico said the most appropriate questions are for the period under consideration.  The group’s responses provided on 6 February 2018 and 22 May 2018 are the same, while the question posed on 9 February 2018 was somewhat different.  He asked for clarification.

Interactive Discussion

The Committee then turned to a question-and-answer session with a representative from the International Youth Committee.

The representative of International Youth Committee said she had traveled from the United Republic of Tanzania to New York, as youth have a great role to play in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  She said her organization had responded to all the Committee’s questions.  Turning to one in particular, she said her organization had conducted various activities, among them world youth conferences, in India in 2016 and Belize in 2017; another world youth conference will be held this year in Mauritius.  During such events, she educated youth about the Sustainable Development Goals and held a question-and-answer period.  Youth demonstrated their activities to achieve those Goals.  She requested consultative status from the Committee.

The representative of Pakistan asked about projects under way in his country.  The representative of India said the organization’s address listed in its registration certificate is different from the one on the form submitted to the Committee.  She asked where the organization’s headquarters is located.  The representative of Nigeria asked how the organization was able to recruit 30,000 members from so many countries, and further, about how these young people are deployed.  The organization’s budget also appeared to be quite small and he asked about its income and expenditure.

The representative of International Youth Committee replied that its members are honorary ambassadors.  It does not have an office in Pakistan, however there is an ambassador from Pakistan who can attend its meetings.  There are also no projects in Pakistan.  The organization’s new address is World Youth Complex, New Delhi 110029, India.  It does not have multiple offices.  In terms of deployment, young people register to be members, including through the organization’s online platform.  Concerning the budget, she said the organization partners with local governments, especially in preparing for world youth conferences.

The representative of India said her query has been only partially answered and requested a complete response in writing.  The representative of Nigeria requested an update to the report in order to fully answer his question.  The representative of Mexico, on the reference to cooperation with Governments, asked whether such cooperation takes the form of projects pursued jointly or whether Governments finance the projects.  He also asked whether the organization had moved to its new address in India and if there is a need to update its registration.  The representative of Cuba raised a question about article 7 of the organization’s founding document, noting that, to question 16, the organization referred to a new membership category.  However, that status does not feature in its founding document and he asked whether that document has been updated.  He also asked about the difference between full membership and local membership.

Name Change Requests

Turning to other business, the Committee took up requests from organizations with special consultative status wishing to change their names, as listed in document E/C.2/2019/CRP.5:  Appui aux femmes démunies et enfants marginalisés au Kivu to Dignité lmpact/Impact Dignity; Association of Third World Studies (ATWS) to Association of Global South Studies (AGSS); Building and Social Housing Foundation to World Habitat; Citizens United to Promote Peace & Democracy in Liberia to Partnership for Sustainable Development (PaSD); Fundacion Intervida to Fundación Educación y Cooperación (EDUCO); Initiative Féministe Européenne to Initiative Féministe EuroMediterraneenne IFE EFI; International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission to OutRight Action International; and Students' Care Service (Special, 2018) to SHINE Children and Youth Services.

Regarding the name change request from Appui aux femmes démunies et enfants marginalisés au Kivu to Dignité lmpact/Impact Dignity, the representative of China asked about the main idea of the letter submitted from the organization, to which a Secretariat official replied that the group obtained consultative status in 2015 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  It requested a name change as it had expanded its activities.

Regarding the name change request from Initiative Féministe Européenne to Initiative Féministe EuroMediterraneenne IFE EFI, the representative of China said the group changed its name in 2015.  It received its status in 2016, meaning that when it applied for status, the name had already been changed.  A Secretariat official replied that for an organization to obtain its status in 2016, it would have needed to submit its application before June 2015.  This group submitted its application well in advance of that date.  The representative of Turkey asked whether the organization could provide details on whether there has been a change in its focus or finances.

The Committee then postponed consideration of the following organizations:

Afrikaanse Forum vir Burgerregte (South Africa) — as the representative of India requested the names, dates, focus areas and outcomes of the organization’s projects, as well as about an initiative involving communities and safety matters, referred to in part two of its response;

Asamblea Permanente por los Derechos Humanos La Matanza (Argentina) — as the representative of Turkey requested details about activities carried out in 2018, including regarding funding, the number of beneficiaries and results achieved;

Association of Professional Social Workers and Development Practitioners (India) — as the representative of India, noting that it had signed memorandum of understanding with Punjab Energy Development, asked about the activities it would undertake in that regard;

Belarusian Fund of Peace (Belarus) — as the representative of the United States, referring to part 3 of its application, which notes that its budget is comprised of voluntary donations from the private sector, asked about the types of donors.

For information media. Not an official record.