11 January 2005

Committee on NGOs Recommends 7 Organizations for Consultative Status with Economic and Social Council, Defers Action on 11 Applications

Members also Note 68 Quadrennial Reports, Postpone Consideration of 4 Others

NEW YORK, 10 January (UN Headquarters) -- The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) today recommended seven NGOs for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council and deferred action on 11 applications. It also took note of 68 quadrennial reports, and postponed consideration of four others.

The 19-member Committee uses various criteria to recommend general, special or roster status with the Council, including the applicant’s mandate, governance and financial regime. Organizations that have general and special consultative status can attend meetings of the Council and circulate statements of a certain length. Those with general status can, in addition, speak at meetings and propose items for the Council’s agenda, while NGOs with roster status can only attend meetings.

Non-governmental organizations with general and special consultative status must submit a report to the Council every four years. The Committee can request a special report in certain instances, such as following receipt of a complaint from a Member State about the behaviour of an NGO during a meeting of a United Nations body to which it was accredited.

The Committee recommended today that the Council grant special consultative status to: Charity Foundation for Special Diseases, a national organization based in Iran which aims to help patients suffering from such diseases as thalassaemia, haemophilia, diabetes, renal failure and cancer; Asian Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Asia, an international organization based in the Philippines, which promotes partnership relations, facilitates human resource processes in rural areas and aims to mobilize expertise and resources for the strengthening of solidarity and kinship among Asian communities; Nonviolence International, an international organization based in the United States, which intends to provide assistance to individuals, organizations and governments seeking non-violent means to bring about social and political change; and Advocates for Youth, an international organization based in the United States, dedicated to creating programmes and advocating for policies that help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health.

Also recommended for special status were International Development Enterprises India, an international organization with the goal of assisting 150,000 smallholders overcome poverty by removing key constraints on smallholders and increasing agricultural production; Tarumitra, an India-based national organization working in the field of environmental protection and promoting a world view and spirituality that is earth-friendly; and International Justice Mission, an international, United States-based organization aiming to provide intervention to those suffering injustice and oppression who cannot rely on local authorities for relief.

The Committee deferred action on a number of applications pending replies to questions raised by delegates. They included Humanitarian Foundation of Canada, an international organization whose goal is to alleviate poverty, chronic unemployment, disease, hunger, homelessness and their causes in Canada and in less developed countries. The representative of the Russian Federation insisted once more that the organization, when mentioning Kosovo, refer to it as part of Serbia and Montenegro. Also deferred was the application of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, an international organization based in the United States, which intends to work in a variety of ways to promote economic and social development. Its application was deferred pending the outcome of an investigation by United States law enforcement agencies.

An application by the Swedish NGO Foundation for Human Rights, a national organization supporting individuals and organizations working to protect human rights in all parts of the world, was deferred after the Cuban representative queried the national character of the organization and asked if it intended to carry out human rights situations in its own, neighbouring or developed countries. It also deferred the application of the Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid, an international organization based in The Netherlands, which aims to alleviate poverty through direct poverty alleviation, civil society building, lobbying and advocacy, as some delegations intended to ask more questions. Also deferred was the application of Social Alert, an international, Belgium-based organization with the objective of defending and promoting the economic, social and cultural rights, as Cuba’s representative asked, among other things, how the organization was able to maintain its independence in light of the fact that it carried out activities requested by the Belgian Government.

Another deferral involved an application by the International Crisis Group, an international organization based in Belgium, which aims to help governments, international organization and the world community at large to prevent deadly conflict through high-quality advice and high-level advocacy. China’s representative wanted to know more about the organization’s relationship with Taiwanese authorities, about its project in North-East Asia and about its reference to “Taiwan” rather than “the Chinese Province of Taiwan”. The Committee also deferred an application by the Maharashtra Foundation, an international organization with headquarters in the United States, which contributes in the fields of women empowerment, education, rural-development, watershed management, bridging the digital divide and sustainable development in India’s Maharashtra region, as the representative of Pakistan posed questions regarding the organization’s finances. Also deferred was an application by Sahara for Life Trust, a Pakistan-based international organization striving for the betterment and promotion of health and education in remote and underdeveloped areas, as the Indian representative sought a response to questions posed during the Committee’s last session.

Another deferral involved an application by the Watson Institute for International Studies, an international, United States-based organization, supporting multidisciplinary research, teaching and public education in international affairs, as Cuba’s representative asked for more time to consider replies given to earlier queries. An application by the Fazaldad Human Rights Institute, a Pakistan-based national organization seeking to promote education in the field of human rights and to eliminate human rights abuse was deferred as India’s representative asked about the nature of work by foreign nationals on the NGO’s board. The Committee deferred an application by the Asian-Eurasian Human Rights Forum, an India-based international organization working in the human rights field, as Pakistan’s representative had asked previously for certain documents and had not received them.

The Committee took note of 53 quadrennial reports contained in documents E/C.2/29005/2 and Add.1 through 7.

It deferred consideration of the quadrennial report of Europe 2000 as Germany’s representative requested more specific information about the organization’s activities within the purview of the United Nations. It also deferred consideration of the report of the International Jurists Organization as Cuba’s representative asked about the organization’s understanding of the concept “human security” and what relation would exist, according to the NGO, between the concept and the principles of the United Nations Charter. The Committee also deferred consideration of the quadrennial report of the Armenian Assembly of America because Turkey’s representative wanted more specific information regarding the NGO’s activities. It also postponed consideration of the quadrennial report of the Transnational Radical Party until later in the session.

The Committee also took note of 15 quadrennial reports of which it had taken note “ad referendum” during the previous session pending the issuance of required documents. They are the reports of: Brothers of Charity; China Disabled Person’s Federation; Chinese Immigrants Services, Inc.; Croatian World Congress; Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung; General Confederation of Trade Unions; International Fellowship of Reconciliation; International Movement ATD Fourth World; International Union of Psychological Science; Ipas; Marangopoulos Foundation for Human Rights; Nigerian Centre for Research and Documentation; Parliamentarians for Global Action; Shimin Gaikous Centre; and Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.

The Committee members are Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, France, Germany, India, Iran, Peru, Pakistan, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sudan, Turkey, United States and Zimbabwe.

The Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. Tuesday, 11 January, to continue its consideration of deferred applications and take up consideration of deferred quadrennial reports.

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