The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations continued its resumed session today, recommending 75 organizations for special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council and deferring action on 43 others.
The 19-member Committee considers applications for consultative status and requests for reclassification submitted by non-governmental organizations (NGOs). 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.
Action on several applications was postponed because Committee members requested further information from the candidates about, among other items, details of their organizations’ activities, partners, expenditures and sources of funding. Also, China’s representative noted that the websites of several groups referred erroneously to Taiwan as a country, not as a province of China, and requested corrections.
In the afternoon, the Committee held an interactive dialogue with five NGOs — Beijing Volunteer Services Federation (China); National Youth Organization of Pakistan, Inc. (United States); Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (United States); The Islamic Relief Association for the Orphan and the Poor (Israel); and Family Policy Institute (South Africa) — during which it granted The Islamic Relief Association for the Orphan and the Poor (Israel) special consultative status.
The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations will meet again at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 21 May, to continue its session.
Interaction with Non-Governmental Organizations
A representative of Beijing Volunteer Services Federation, briefing the Committee on his organization’s work, said it promotes volunteerism both internationally and in his country, providing emergency responses and community service. Since 2007, he said, it has been working with the United Nations Volunteers programme to develop international exchange activities.
In the ensuing discussion, the representative of the United States asked for more information about the Beijing Volunteer Services Federation’s relationship with the Beijing Volunteer Services Foundation.
The representative of the group responded that the Federation and the Foundation are independent of each other but enjoy a collaborative partnership.
The representative of the United States asked again whether the Foundation dictates the Federation’s mission in any way, to which the group’s representative responded that the Federation applies to the Foundation for funding when necessary.
The representative of the United States then asked the group’s representative for more information about its work relating to the Organization’s Commission for Social Development.
To that, the representative of the group responded that it mobilizes local labour forces to provide community-based services, which also helps support the needs of the authorities.
The representative of the United States asked for more information about the group’s stated work in situations of natural hazards, to which its representative responded that it serves as an umbrella organization for 460 individual groups, some of which conduct humanitarian work.
The representative of the United States also asked for more information about the group’s “Go West Plan”, to which the representative responded that university students are encouraged to work in China’s poorer western regions to provide community support. The representative of the United States requested more information about that programme in writing, including details about its partner organizations.
A representative of the National Youth Organization of Pakistan, Inc., presenting his group’s work, said it was established in 2014 as a grass-roots bridge between the local immigrant community and the Pakistani and American communities. Its culture and language programmes, including Hindi and Urdu immersion programmes, began in Brooklyn and have now expanded to other cities in the United States, he said.
In the ensuing discussion, the representative of India pointed out that the organization’s website link is not operational. Noting that the group submitted a letter from the World Welfare Organization as part of its application, she asked for more details about its relationship with the latter.
Responding, the organization’s representative said the Pakistan-based World Welfare Organization, which enjoys consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, has provided his group with advice and guidance.
The representative of India then asked the representative for more detailed information about the organization’s existing and planned partnerships, to which he responded that many Pakistani community-related associations in New York have demonstrated their enthusiasm by engaging in the group’s work in small ways.
In that context, the representative of India asked the group to provide written responses drawing a clearer distinction between its two lists of partners.
The representative of the organization Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation then took the floor to present his group’s work, saying it seeks to promote the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Among other things, he said, it partners with other non-governmental organizations to promote fundamental human rights and contributes to the work of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Economic and Social Council’s high-level political forum and the various United Nations treaty bodies.
In the ensuing dialogue, the representative of China asked the organization’s representative to clarify his statement to the effect that his group has been a member of the United Nations Department of Public Information since 2015.
The representative of India, noting that the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation was described primarily as a research organization in its application, asked whether it has undertaken or published any original research and requested that it be provided to the Committee.
The representative of Cuba recalled that the Committee in 2016 decided to reject the Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation’s application for consultative status. He asked whether the organization has made any structural changes since that time, while also asking for more detailed information on its projects in Cambodia, Viet Nam, Thailand and elsewhere.
The representative of the Russian Federation asked for more detailed financial information to be provided in writing.
The representative of the organization, responding to those questions, said his group applied to work with the Department of Public Information in 2015, adding that he will provide more details in writing. To the representative of India, he said the group has not published any research but only conducts research work to use in the community. As for its rejection in 2016, he noted that organizations are eligible to reapply and underlined its continued commitment to United Nations work.
The representative of the Russian Federation noted that the group’s statute was altered in 2017 and requested more information on those changes.
The representative of Cuba asked the group to include a response to his earlier question in writing.
The representative of India, meanwhile, asked for more information about the organization’s members, their financial contributions and their influence on its mission and activities.
The representative of Nicaragua asked for a clearer explanation on the type of support the Department of Public Information has provided to the organization.
The representative of The Islamic Relief Association for the Orphan and the Poor, also providing a briefing on the group’s work, said it was established in 1996 to provide humanitarian support — as well as capacity-building, empowerment and equal opportunities — to marginalized and impoverished communities mainly in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Noting that it also provides occasional emergency services, he said it works on justice, human rights, psychological support and the indivisibility of rights. Every year, some 100,000 people benefit from its work, he said.
As no representatives wished to pose questions to that organization, the Committee decided to grant it special consultative status.
The representative of Family Policy Institute, describing his organization’s work, said it was established in 2008 in response to “alarming rates of family breakdown” in Cape Town, South Africa. It works with the Government and media and faith-based groups to support, strengthen and protect the family unit, which it sees as the most natural human unit. Citing a recent increase in human trafficking in South Africa, he said the Institute also works alongside partners to protect vulnerable women and children.
In the ensuing discussion, the representative of India recalled that the organization’s application refers to various invitations to participate in cultural activities in Kenya, Uganda and elsewhere, and requested more information on those.
The representative of Mexico asked for more details on the group’s work with international media outlets to raise awareness about human trafficking.
The representative of Israel, noting that the organization has described lobbying Government as one its core activities, asked for more information about its specific goals in that respect.
The representative of Cuba requested more information about the organization’s “social campaigns” which are broadcasted through television and radio programmes. Also citing the group’s income-generating activities, he asked whether those are only intended to sustain the organization or whether it has a profit-making goal.
To those questions, the representative of the organization said a comprehensive response will require more time and said he would provide answers in writing.
Requests for Special Consultative Status
The Committee postponed consideration of the following 43 organizations:
Syrian Youth Council (Syria) — as the representative of the United States asked the organization for information about its funding and activities;
Waste Management Society (India) — as the representative of India asked about the sources of its $5 million in grants and the projects carried out with those funds;
World Federation of Free Trade Zones Co., Limited (China) — as the representative of the United States asked about claims on its website of Economic and Social Council registration before it has received accreditation;
Youth Initiative for Drug Research Information Support and Education (Nigeria) — as the representative of India asked about projects funded with Open Society funding, and for reasons why administrative spending constituted 41 per cent of its budget;
Zhongguancun Belt and Road Industrial Promotion Association (China) — as the representative of the United States asked whether it has continued with the NGO Beijing International Dialogue, held in September 2017, and about the outcomes of that dialogue;
American Gays and Lesbians Foundation (United States) — as the representative of Burundi asked how the organization plans to carry out its activities with a budget deficit;
Assyrian Documentation Centre (United States) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked for clarity on its expenditures;
Centre d’étude et de prospective stratégique (France) — as the representative of China requested details about its administration fee;
Climate-KIC Holding B.V. (Netherlands) — as the representative of China requested the organization to use correct terminology on its website referring to the Taiwan Province of China;
Coptic Orphans Support Association (United States) — as the representative of Pakistan requested information about its activities in Egypt;
Darülaceze Vakfi (Huzur Sağlık Ve Eğitim Vakfı) (Turkey) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked whether it works outside of Turkey, and if so, where;
Dementia Alliance International (United States) — as the representative of China requested the organization to use correct terminology on its website regarding the Taiwan Province of China;
Dunya Yerel Yonetim ve Demokrasi (Istanbul Akademisi) Vakfı (Turkey) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked for a list of projects financed by the Government and about the sums received;
Emberi Méltóság Központ (Hungary) — as the representative of Mexico asked about its international projects and campaigns, and for a list of platforms — whether national or international — which it uses to carry out those activities;
European Interreligious Forum for Religious Freedom (France) — as the representative of China requested information about its participation in a side event organized by one particular group in Geneva in 2018, and about any other cooperation with that organization;
French Refugee Council (France) — as the representative of India asked about plans to expand its activities in countries outside where it currently functions, especially in Asia, and about plans for spending its excess income;
Gaia Education (United Kingdom) — as the representative of China requested it to correct terminology on its website regarding the Taiwan Province of China;
Gooddler Foundation (United States) — as the representative of Nicaragua requested details about its membership and in which countries it works, as it describes itself as international;
HERE-Humanitarian Exchange and Research Center (Switzerland) — as the representative of the Russian Federation requested a list of definitions for such acronyms as GPPI, MSFE, MSFG and OCHA;
Hope Worldwide Pakistan (New Zealand) — as the representative of India requested details about its private-sector funding and the related activities undertaken;
Humanity Unified International, Inc (United States) — as the representative of Nicaragua requested a list of countries in which it is attempting to roll out the project currently under way in Rwanda;
International Economic Organization World Distribution Federation (Republic of Korea) — as the representative of Turkey requested an updated list of members; the representative of the United States asked her counterpart from Turkey if she is requesting a list for all members of the organization, or rather, its governing body or executive board, to which Turkey’s representative clarified that she is interested in the group’s members;
International Interfaith Peace Corps, Inc. (United States) — as the representative of China asked how the organization carries out activities with a financial deficit;
National Youth Organization of Pakistan, Inc. (United States) — as the representative of India pointed out that the group listed no expenditures on projects or administration, and requested more details about its programmes and financials;
Organisation mondiale pour les femmes et les enfants (Switzerland) — as the representative of India requested more information about the organization’s financial plans;
Pangloss (France) — as the representative of Turkey requested more information about the organization’s members;
Peace Now (United States) — as the representative of Cuba cited discrepancies in the organization’s stated goals, specifically regarding its efforts to gather a specific number of signatures, and requested a full copy of its statute;
Rights and Resources Institute, Inc. (United States) — as the representative of Nicaragua asked the organization to provide a list of projects recently conducted, especially in Latin America;
Réseau des Droits Humains du Kurdistan (Kurdistan Human Rights Network) (France) — as the representative of Turkey asked for clarification on the sources of the organization’s income;
Social Progress Imperative, Inc. (United States) — as the representative of China asked for information about how the group operates despite its financial deficit;
Society of Social Psychiatry and Mental Health (Greece) — as the representative of Turkey asked for information about the impact of its projects on the local populations of Greece where it operates;
Solidarités International (France) — as the representative of China asked whether the organization carries out projects in Asia;
Stichting Youth for Road Safety (Yours) (Netherlands) — as the representative of China noted that an article on the organization’s website fails to use the correct terminology for the Taiwan province of China;
Tangata Group, Inc. (United States) — as the representative of China asked why the organization stated that it is accredited to participate in all future sessions of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, when such accreditation is in fact provided annually;
The Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (United States) — as the representative of China asked for more information about the group’s stated participation in an “interactive dialogue on the responsibility to protect” in 2017;
The Global Initiative to End all Corporal Punishment of Children Limited (United Kingdom) — as the representative of China said the organization made an erroneous reference to the Taiwan province of China on its website;
Treatment Action Group (United States) — as the representative of China said the group uses numerous incorrect references to the Taiwan province of China on its website;
Uluslararası Mülteci Hakları Derneği (Turkey) – as the representative of China asked for more information about the organization’s stated activities with an Economic and Social Council “member partner”;
Welcome Clubs International, Incorporated (United States) — as the representative of China said the organization made an incorrect reference to the Taiwan province of China on its website;
i-Smile International (Ireland) – as the representative of Nigeria asked the group to provide written information about its objectives, its budget, its partners and its stated support to “women in distress in foreign lands”;
Beijing Volunteer Services Federation (China);
Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation (United States); and
Family Policy Institute (South Africa).
The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations recommended that the Economic and Social Council grant special consultative status to the following 75 entities:
Telangana Jagruthi (India);
The Cosmos Foundation (Democratic Republic of the Congo);
The World Organization for Education, Sciences and Development (Tunisia);
Trauma Care International Foundation (Nigeria);
Tumuku Development and Cultural Union (Cameroon);
Uganda National NGO Forum (Uganda);
Union des jeunes citoyens d’Afrique (Senegal);
Union of Northwest Human Rights Organisation (Cameroon);
Union pour le Développement et la Coopération (Guinea);
Vicar Hope Foundation (Nigeria);
Watershed Organisation Trust (India);
West Africa Coalition for Indigenous People’s Rights (Nigeria);
Women and Youth Development Initiatives (Nigeria);
Women in Politics Forum (Nigeria);
World Federation of Acupuncture-Moxibustion Societies (China);
World Trade United Foundation Limited (China);
Youth Initiative for Drug Research Information Support and Education (Nigeria);
“Life & Business” Creativity Development Foundation (Russian Federation);
ABD Associació Benestar i Desenvolupament (Spain);
Asociación para la Prevención, Reinserción y Atención a la Mujer Prostituida (Spain);
Association pour le rayonnement du Mali — “Mali Yanga” (France);
Australian Federation of Disability Organisations Ltd (Australia);
Aydın Doğan Vakfı (Turkey);
BPW Spain (Federacion Internacional De Empresarias BPW (Spain) (Spain);
Bizchut, The Israel Human Rights Center for People with Disabilities, Charity (Israel);
Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Mezunu İş İnsanları Derneği (Turkey);
Bureau International des Containers et du Transport Intermodal BIC (France);
Canadian Network for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health / Réseau Canadien sur la Santé des Mères, des Nouveau-Nés et des Enfants (Canada);
Centre for Health Science and Law (Canada);
Centro internazionale sindacale per la cooperazione sviluppo (Italy);
Dream Doctors (R.A.) (Israel);
ELEM — Youth in Distress (Israel);
El Cantare Foundation (United States);
El Halev — The Organization for Martial Arts for Women in Israel (R.A.) (Israel);
Federacion De La Mujer Rural (Spain);
Fundacion para la Mejora de la Vida, la Cultura y la Sociedad (Spain);
Fundación Voluntarias Contra el Cancer, A.C. (Mexico);
Haitian Connection (United States);
Hope and Homes for Children (United Kingdom);
ILAN — Israel Association for Children with Disabilities (R.A) (Israel);
Imani Works Corporation (United States);
International Institute of Informatization and Public Administration named after P.A. Stolypin (Russian Federation);
Investment Migration Council (Switzerland);
Istituto Diplomatico Internazionale (Italy);
Japan Society for History Textbook Reform (Japan);
Karelian Republican Public Organization “Center for Support of Indigenous Peoples and Civic Diplomacy ‘Young Karelia’ (Molodaya Karelia)” (Russian Federation);
Kesher — The Home for Special Families (RA) (Israel);
Kuentai Non-Profit Organization (Japan);
Kuentai-USA (United States);
Kuu Tinaa (Switzerland);
Miss Caricom Int’l. Foundation CIP, INC (United States);
Muslim American Leadership Alliance (United States);
My Heart’s Appeal, Inc. (United States);
Northern Council for Global Cooperation (Canada);
OISAT-WASAT (Organisation internationale de solidarité d’amitié et de tolérance — World Association for Solidarity Tolerance (France);
Ofanim — non-profit association for the advancement of children and youths in Israel (Israel);
Organisation internationale des sciences chimiques pour le développement (Belgium);
Organisation internationale pour l’enfance (United States);
Pasifika Migrant Services Charitable Trust (New Zealand);
Project HOPE — The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc. (United States);
Rose Academies, Inc. (United States);
Social & Economic Action for Lebanon, Inc. (United States);
Stichting Ezidis (Netherlands);
Sustainability Literacy Test (SULITEST) (France);
Süreyya Eğitim Kültür ve Dayanışma Derneği (Turkey);
The Alchemical Nursery Project, Inc. (United States);
The Health Officers Council of British Columbia (Canada);
Transforming Africa Initiative (United Kingdom);
Unity Housing Company (Australia);
Voice of Specially Abled People Inc. (United States);
Voie éclairée des enfants démunis (France);
Women Entrepreneurship Platform (Belgium);
Women’s Fund for Peace and Human Rights (Japan);
World Roma Federation Inc. (United States); and
The Islamic Relief Association for the Orphan and the Poor (Israel).