Continuing its 2019 regular session, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today recommended 35 organizations for special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council and deferred action on the status of 67 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 respective organizations’ activities, partners, expenditures and sources of funding. Also, China’s representative noted that several organizations, in their applications or on their websites, referred erroneously to Taiwan as a country, not as a province of China, and requested corrections.
In other business, the Committee recommended the reclassification of two NGOs from special consultative status to general status — Lazarus Union (Austria) and the International Human Rights & Anti-Corruption Society (Nigeria) — and deferred action on a similar request from a third organization.
The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations will meet again at 10 a.m. on Thursday, 24 January, to continue its session.
Special Consultative Status
The Committee recommended that the Economic and Social Council grant special consultative status to the following organizations:
Agencia Internacional de Cooperación y Desarrollo (Peru);
Al-Gusor Al-Raidh Social Development Organization (Yemen);
Association Ma’onah for Human Rights and Immigration (Yemen);
Concern for Human Welfare (India);
Confederation of Indian Healthcare Foundation (India);
Youth Initiative Against Unlawful Emigration (Nigeria);
AIVL — Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League Incorporated (Australia);
Association Consortium pour les Aires et Territoires du Patrimoine Autochtone et Communautaire (APAC) (Switzerland);
Avocats sans Frontières Québec (Canada);
Churches n One Accord (United States);
Georgetown University (United States);
Seek the Peace (United States);
The American Pakistan Foundation (United States);
“SEG” Civil Society Support Center NGO (Armenia);
“İqtisadi və Sosial İnkişaf Mərkəzi” ictimai birliyi (Azerbaijan);
Andean Information Network (Bolivia);
Association du développement communautaire en Mauritanie (Mauritania) ;
Association for Reconciliation and Development through English (Burundi);
Association pour la Diffusion des Droits Humains aux Peuples Autochtones (Humanitarian Law Agency) (Cameroon);
Citizen Association H.E.R.A. Health Education and Research Association (The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia);
Global Interfaith WASH Alliance India (India);
International Association of World Peace Advocates (Nigeria);
Legal Advice Centre (Kenya);
People’s Cultural Centre (India);
Public Aid Organization (Iraq);
Regional Centre for International Development Cooperation Limited (By Guarantee) (Uganda);
Shrushti Seva Samiti (India);
South Saharan Social Development Organisation (Nigeria);
The Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka);
Alternative Perspectives and Global Concerns (Canada);
Asia Initiatives Inc. (United States);
Association Duval (France); and
Association canadienne pour le droit et la vérité (Canada).
The Committee postponed consideration of the following organizations:
Blue Cross & Blue Crescent Society (India) — as the representative of Pakistan asked for more information about its financial status and projects, as its application indicated no expenditures on projects;
Drug Free Pakistan Foundation (Pakistan) — as the representative of India requested details about its funding from international organizations and the planned activities undertaken with that funding;
Earth (India) — as the representative of India asked for details about its sources of income and its projects and activities in the area of corporate social responsibility;
International Organization for Educational Development (India) — as the representative of India requested clarification of the statement in its application that it is an “organization having Special Extraterritorial Status”;
Public Organization “Institute for the Study of Dependencies, Drug Policy Issues and Monitoring the Drug Situation” (Ukraine) — as the representative of the Russian Federation requested more specific information about its financial situation, including administrative spending;
Shuhada Organization SO (Afghanistan) — as the representative of China asked it to correct erroneous references to Taiwan, a province of China, on its website;
The Legal Center for Women’s Initiatives Sana Sezim (Kazakhstan) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked for details about its decision-making, management selection and accountability to members;
American Center for International Labor Solidarity (United States) — as the representative of Cuba asked for details about its planned projects in 2019 and as the representative of China asked that it correct erroneous references to Taiwan and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on its website;
Avaaz Foundation (United States) — as the representative of Pakistan asked for details about its projects in 2019, including those it plans to operate in his country;
Churches for Middle East Peace (United States) — as the representative of Israel requested details about its projects in the greater Middle East region;
Conflict Dynamics International, Inc. (United States) — as the representative of Sudan asked whether the organization has the necessary permission and paperwork to operate legally in his country;
Darfur Women Action Group (United States) — as the representative of China asked for information about its projects and expenditures, and as the representative of Sudan requested details about its funding sources;
Democracy Reporting International (Germany) — as the representative of China questioned its description of Taiwan as a country and requested more information about its financial and decision-making independence, given that 75 per cent of its funding is from Governments;
ESCR-Net – International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Inc. (United States) — as the representative of China said the organization, in its application, did not use the correct terminology for Taiwan province and the Tibet Autonomous Region;
Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini (Italy) — as the representative of China requested that it clarify its reference to Taiwan as a country;
Fundación Alianza por los Derechos, la Igualdad y la Solidaridad Internacional (Spain) — as the representative of China said the organization did not use correct terminology when referring to the Tibet Autonomous Region;
Global Coalition for Peace and Security Inc. (United States) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked for details about its planned activities in his country;
Global Rights for Women (United States) — as the representative of Cuba requested details about a training session on violence against women that it conducted in Florida, attended by several people from Latin American and the Caribbean, including Cuban nationals;
Health Limited (United Kingdom) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked how the organization selects its senior leadership, and as the representative of Nicaragua requested an updated list of projects;
Humanitarian Tracker (United States) — as the representative of the Russian Federation, noting that the organization’s income and expenditure figures are identical, asked for details about its financial situation;
National Committee on American Foreign Policy, Inc. (United States) — as the representative of Cuba requested more details about its relationship with other organizations, and as the representative of China asked that erroneous references to Taiwan on its website to be corrected;
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Inc. (United States) — as the representative of Cuba requested details about its projects related to the Sustainable Development Goals and, in particular, the work it carries out with Governments;
Sheikh Abdullah Al Nouri Charity Society (Kuwait) — as the representative of India requested details of its activities in her country, including details of any local partner organizations;
Stichting Iranian Center for International Criminal Law (Netherlands) — as the representative of the Russian Federation requested details about its financial situation, as its application states that it has no administrative expenditures;
The Bar Human Rights Committee (United Kingdom) — as the representative of China asked for details about its private sector funding;
Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime (Switzerland) — as the representative of China asked that it correct erroneous references to Taiwan on its website, and as the representative of Turkey requested an explanation of how it maintains its independence, given that it receives 80 per cent of its income from Governments;
Universal Soul Love (United States) — as the representative of China asked that it correct an erroneous reference to Taiwan contained in an interview appearing on its website;
Všį “Žmogaus teisių apsauga” (Lithuania) — as the representative of the Russian Federation requested details about its international activities, including its partners;
Al-Shafa’a Humanitarian Organization (Iraq) — as the representative of Sudan requested more information on how it plans to implement the projects listed in its application, given its limited budget;
Arab Program for Human Rights Activists (Egypt) — as the representative of Cuba requested details about its planned activities for 2019;
Associación Red de Mujeres Afrolatinoamericanas, Afrocaribeñas y de la Diáspora (Nicaragua) — as the representative of Pakistan requested an update on its planned activities;
Association mauritanienne d’appui aux nécessiteux (Mauritania) — as the representative of Sudan asked for details about its investments;
Cairo Foundation for Development and Law (Egypt) — as the representative of Pakistan requested an updated financial statement and details about the sources of its international funding;
Club des Amis de la moughataa de Moudjeria (Mauritania) — as the representative of Libya asked that it explain a 50 per cent increase in its administrative expenditures;
Coordination Waï (Eveil) relative à l’unité nationale et la lutte contre l’esclavage (Mauritania) — as the representative of Sudan asked about its position on legislation recently adopted by the Government of Mauritania that criminalizes discrimination, hatred and slavery;
Engineering Association for Development and Environment (Iraq) — as the representative of Turkey asked for more information about its project database;
Family Policy Institute (South Africa) — as the representative of Nicaragua asked in which countries it carries out its work in the area of cultural renewal;
Formation Awareness and Community Empowerment Society (FACES) Pakistan (Pakistan) — as the representative of Pakistan requested more details about its peacebuilding projects, including their location and results;
Goringhaicona Khoi Khoin Indeginious Traditional Council (South Africa) — as the representative of Sudan requested that the organization respond to part 2 of the question raised by the Committee last year;
HUJRA Village Support Organization — as the representative of Libya requested clarification of its work as implementing partner with the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), as well as the results of its work in 2017 and 2018;
International Association of Justice Watch (Iran) — as the representative of Turkey requested details about its meetings and workshops for Iranian students on civil, criminal and public rights over the last two years, including the source of funding, the number of participants and the results of those projects;
International Human Rights Organization Pakistan (Pakistan) — as the representative of Turkey requested an update about its work in Pakistan with displaced persons camps;
International Non-Olympic Committee (India) — as the representative of India asked for more details about its promotion of non-Olympic sports, including its role and the outcomes;
International Youth Council – Yemen Chapter (ICY) (Yemen) — as the representative of Nicaragua asked the organization to explain the form of its participation in meetings of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP);
Justice Centre Hong Kong Limited (China) — as the representative of Pakistan requested a breakdown of the charitable services and advocacy projects which accounted for 71 per cent of its expenditures;
Komitet pravnika za ljudska prava (Serbia) — as the representative of China asked whether the organization conducts work in other countries of the region;
Kurdistan Institute for Human Rights (Iraq) — as the representative of Libya requested its financial accounts for 2017 and 2018 as well as a list of its activities in 2017;
Ligue Mauritanienne pour l’appui aux initiatives associatives (Mauritania) — as the representative of Libya asked for detailed examples of the support it provides the initiatives cited in question 4 of its application;
Lion Damien Club (South Africa) — as the representative of Cuba requested more detailed information about recent projects focused on migrants and refugees;
Organisation Attawassoul pour la Santé, la Femme et l’Enfant (Mauritania) — as the representative of Libya asked for more details about the structure of its executive office;
Pak Special Persons Welfare Society (Pakistan) — as the representative of China requested more information about its projects for persons with disabilities;
SOS EXCLUS pour la protection et l’épanouissement de la famille, de l’enfant et des personnes vulnérables (Mauritania) — as the representative of Sudan asked about the status of its advocacy work in the area of human rights;
SUS Urgence (Mauritania) — as the representative of Libya requested the names of all executive committee members;
Safe Care Trust International (Pakistan) — as the representative of Pakistan asked for examples of the projects it is undertaking with the country’s anti-narcotics force, from which it receives funding;
Sensitization Centre (Ghana) — as the representative of Nicaragua requested more details about the projects it has undertaken with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA);
Social Services Trust (India) — as the representative of India asked for the latest composition of its executive board, as well as the numbers of its organizational members and individual members, including the names of the former;
Southern African AIDS Trust (Association incorporated under Section 21) (South Africa) — as the representative of Nicaragua requested information about its recent projects;
The F W de Klerk Foundation Trust (South Africa) — as the representative of China requested that it correct an erroneous reference to Taiwan on its website;
The New Woman Foundation (Egypt) — as the representative of China requested more information about its role in the formulation and advocacy of new laws in Egypt;
The Voice Society (Pakistan) — as the representative of Pakistan requested details of any projects undertaken with local and provincial governments;
Women Information Network (Nigeria) — as the representative of Nicaragua requested more information about its funding;
YOUTHLEAD (Jeunes Leaders) (Togo) — as the representative of Sudan requested clarity how the organization will achieve its planned activities with a limited budget;
Asociacion Enraizados en Cristo y en la Sociedad (Spain) — as the representative of Cuba requested more detailed information about the number of subscribers it has and the countries in which they are located;
Alianza Americas (United States) — as the representative of Cuba requested more details about recent projects in the Caribbean relating to migration;
During a question-and-answer period in the afternoon, NGO representatives faced questions posed by the Committee.
A representative of the organization ESCR-Net — International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Inc. (United States) said his group works across 75 countries, already engaging constructively with parts of the United Nations. Addressing a remark by China’s delegate, he said ESCR-Net has removed from its website references or links to Taiwan and Tibet.
The representative of Nicaragua asked about the format of its work, involvement in Central American countries and how ESCR-Net determines if members are registered in their respective countries. The Russian Federation’s delegate asked for details in writing on litigation cases and projects on women’s rights. China’s representative requested the NGO to respond to its queries in writing. The representative of the United States asked on two different occasions why an answer provided verbally should also be requested in writing, to which China’s delegate replied twice that he would prefer the answer in writing, and further, that the website still contains mistakes. The representative of United States asked for clarification from the NGO if the requested changes had been made.
Replying, the representative said ESCR-Net will review the website to ensure no errors exist. To other questions, he said members include those in Central America, Mexico and Guatemala. Collective work occurs through thematic working groups on issues such as economic policy and human rights. Some activities engage constructively in United Nations processes such as the Sustainable Development Goals. On membership, a thorough application process includes interviews, reference checks, board approval and a two-month trial period.
The Committee then decided to defer the organization’s application.
A representative of the organization Universal Soul Love (United States), explaining that the group is a humanitarian organization aimed at protecting the environment, respecting gender equality and other related principles, said activities include a talk radio show. Answering a query about the mention of Taiwan, he said there was no such reference on the website now.
The representative of China expressed hope that the group will continue to adhere to the one-China policy and use United Nations terminology.
The Committee then decided to recommend the organization’s application for consultative status.
A representative of the organization Research Society of International Law (Pakistan) said his group is the result of battling against the odds and fostering hope to succeed in addressing such challenges as terrorism, climate change, governance and human rights at a time when a trust deficit persists between his country and the international community. Founded in 1993, the goal is to build greater awareness of international law at the local level. Its mandate is to provide unbiased legal analysis and its work includes training stakeholders and conducting studies on a range of issues. It has also established a centre that engages with domestic actors to ensure compliance with international human rights law and members routinely lecture at universities.
The representative of India asked for updated details on the NGO’s membership framework and on the new management changes and decision-making process. She requested the latter details in writing.
Replying, the NGO representative said the membership framework is “on pause” as his group is focusing on its core mandate. In terms of details on management changes, he said he will respond in writing.
The Committee then decided to defer the organization’s application.
A representative of the organization The Audrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice (Russian Federation) invited Committee members to aske questions.
The representative of Russian Federation asked for details about the general assembly of the founders, the governing body’s decision-making process and the criteria for electing the foundation’s president. He requested also a list of projects carried out in 2018, including their content and donors. The representative of Nicaragua asked if the group’s outreach programmes have been effective and if other countries could benefit from such activities.
Replying, the NGO representative said her group’s efforts are focused in Moscow and include reaching out to vulnerable communities to help them access social or medical services in the city. Turning to queries from the Russian Federation’s delegate, she said her group is not a membership organization, but a foundation. The governing assembly consists of the founders. As such, donors cannot become members of the governing assembly. Regarding decision-making, she said all those contributing to the work of the organization can provide their feedback. As her group works in the field of HIV prevention, activities include those to reach vulnerable communities. The executive role is carried out by the president, who can be appointed by the founders. As with any executive role, it is an open position and those with the necessary qualifications can be appointed.
The Committee then decided to defer the organization’s application.