11 MAY 2005

NGO Committee Recommends 15 Organizations for Consultative Status with Economic and Social Council; Defers 30 Applications, Closes One

NEW YORK, 10 May (UN Headquarters) -- The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today recommended 15 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), deferred 30 applications, and closed the application of one NGO.

The 19-member Committee uses various criteria to recommend general, special or roster status with ECOSOC, 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.

The Committee recommended special consultative status for:

-- Pasumai Thaayagam Foundation (Green Mother Land), a national, India-based organization working to conserve the glory of nature and its “greenery and gaiety”;

-- Swedish NGO Foundation for Human Rights, a national, politically independent and secular foundation supporting work for human rights;

-- Federation of American Scientists, a national, United States-based organization founded in 1945 by Manhattan Project scientists, which strives to ensure that advances in science are used to build a secure, rewarding, environmentally sustainable future for all people;

-- Kerala Rural Development Agency, a national organization from India that wants to empower the community through a participatory human development process;

-- European Solidarity Towards Equal Participation of People, an international, Belgium-based network of European NGOs working towards peace, justice and equality in a world free of poverty;

-- Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, an international, Netherlands-based organization that wants to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS;

-- Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE), a national organization from the United States which seeks to reduce crime through the reform of the criminal justice process;

-- Ecological Youth of Angola, a national organization aiming to protect and conserve the environment for young people and provide a better quality of life for Angolan communities;

-- Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Karnataka (AWAKE), a national organization from India that aims to empower women to take up viable and sustainable economic activities;

-- Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe, a national organization from the United States, aiming to provide health and human development services to all regardless of race, colour, religious creed, sex, physical attributes or nation of origin;

-- Ecologic Institute for International and European Environmental Policy, an international organization based in Germany that wants implementation and promotion of scientific research in the area of environmental policy and sustainable exploitation of natural resources;

-- World Russian People’s Council, an international organization based in the Russian Federation that wants to promote dialogue among civilizations, religions and cultures; and

-- Foundation for the American Indian, a national organization from the United States that aims to enhance the quality of indigenous peoples’ lives.

The Committee confirmed yesterday’s decision ad referendum to recommend special consultative status for Mata Amritanandamayi Math.

Roster status was recommended for Engine Manufacturers Association, an international trade organization, headquartered in the United States, representing manufacturers of internal combustion engines.  Representatives expressed the hope that the organization would function as an NGO within the United Nations, and not as a trade organization lobbying for its products.

The Committee closed the file on China Institute for Reform and Development, a national organization aiming to contribute to the process of China’s market-oriented reform, as the NGO had withdrawn its application.

The Committee deferred applications from:

-- World Sindhi Institute (WSI), an international organization based in the United States, aiming to elevate awareness of Sindh, Pakistan worldwide in order to improve the lives of Sindhis in Pakistan, as the representative of Pakistan wanted to know more about the organization’s activities relating to Baluchi people;

-- International Crisis Group, an international, Belgium-based organization, wanting to help Governments, international organizations and the world community at large prevent deadly conflict through high-quality advice and high-level advocacy, as the organization had not answered all questions posed;

-- Ambedkar Centre for Justice and Peace, an international organization based in the United States, focusing on the marginalized people of South-Asian countries, as India’s representative was disappointed with “sketchy” answers to questions posed and wanted more substantial information, especially regarding proselytizing;

-- World Council of Muslim Communities, Inc., an international organization based in the United States, which would like to induce NGOs to be more active in the development of international economic cooperation in trade and development, as no answers to questions posed had been received;

-- Indian Federation of United Nations Associations, a national, Indian-based organization that aims to promote the objectives and activities of the United Nations, because the representative of Pakistan asked for a more legible reply to questions posed;

-- Nirdhar Women and Child Development Organization, a national organization from India aiming at improving the situation of women in the fields of education, culture and technical knowledge, as the Committee had lost communication with the NGO;

-- World Assembly of Muslim Youth, an international organization based in the United States, working to promote economic and social development, because a United States criminal investigation against the organization’s offices in the country was on-going and would result in a trial this year;

-- Society for the Promotion of Youth and Masses, an India-based organization that wants to enhance human dignity by providing quality services within available resources, as no answers had been received to questions asked;

-- Maharashtra Foundation, an international organization headquartered in the United States working in the fields of women’s employment, education, rural development, watershed management, bridging the digital divide and sustainable development, as the representative of Pakistan asked what the meaning was of “donors’ pet projects”;

-- Stree Atyachar Virodhi Parishad, a national, women’s grass-roots organization based in India, working on women’s human rights issues, as it had not replied to questions since December 2003;

--  Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, a national organization in India that aims at preserving and conserving natural resources and cultural property, as Pakistan’s representative asked for more documentation;

-- Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid (CORDAID), an international organization based in The Netherlands aiming to alleviate poverty, as Cuba’s representative asked for a list of specific activities the organization carried out in Latin America and the Caribbean;

-- Vikas Samiti, an Indian-based national organization working for poverty alleviation, as the representative of Pakistan asked what message was conveyed by the NGO’s publications, which were in a local language;

-- Vali-Asr Rehabilitation Institute, a national Iran-based organization dedicated to rehabilitation of disabled children and adults, as it had not replied to repeated requests for information;

-- Ecumenical Coalition on Third World Tourism, an international organization based in Hong Kong, China, which challenges the negative impacts of tourism on society and environment and ensuring that tourism benefits would go to all members of society, as it had not replied to recent questions;

-- Social Alert, an international organization with headquarters in Belgium that wants to create networks among social, human rights and workers’ organizations, both from the North and the South, as Cuba’s representative asked what the NGO’s position was regarding people who, through illegal means, sought to change the political and economic organization of a State and were financed by foreign Governments;

-- Angel Foundation, an international organization based in the United States that helps children worldwide, especially in emergency situations, as India’s representative asked for more information about the NGO’s crisis-management centre in her country;

-- AIDS Action, a national organization from the United States dedicated to advocating for effective and sound HIV/AIDS policy and funding, as it had not replied to questions posed;

-- Sahara for Life Trust, an international organization based in Pakistan, striving for the betterment and promotion of health and education in remote and underdeveloped areas, because the representative of India wanted more information about the organization’s seminars;

-- Social Action Forum for Manav Adhikar, an Indian national organization working for the protection and promotion of human rights enshrined in India’s Constitution, as Pakistan’s representative asked more information regarding the organization’s activities;

-- New Millennium Peace Foundation, an international organization based in the United States, promoting harmonious coexistence and lasting world peace, as no replies had been received to questions asked;

-- Center for Human rights and Environment, a national organization in Argentina promoting sustainable development, as it had not replied to questions asked;

-- Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, a national organization working for the protection and promotion of human rights in Egypt;

-- Crime Stoppers International, Inc., an international, United States-based organization, striving to create an environment where citizens could anonymously offer information about crime, as Cuba’s representative reiterated a question about the organization’s activities;

-- General Union, a national organization from Japan which aims at providing all workers with an organization that protects their workers’ rights, because it had not answered questions despite several reminders;

-- All India Movement for Seva, Inc., a national organization that wants to transform and unite Indian society through service with care, as the representative of Pakistan intended to ask more questions;

-- Kashmiri American Council, a national organization based in the United States, which aims for international education and promotion of the principles of human rights and human dignity for all, as India’s representative needed more time to study the application;

-- S.M. Sehgal Foundation, a national organization from India that strives for integrated, sustainable development in India’s village communities, as Pakistan’s representative intended to ask more questions; and

-- Academy for Mobilizing Rural-Urban Action through Education, an Indian national organization that wants, among other things, accelerated realization of universal child rights and improvement in the situation of women’s rights, as it had not answered questions.

The Committee also deferred action on the Asian-Eurasian Human Rights Forum -- an international organization headquartered in India that tries to identify obstacles to the promotion and protection of human rights and to suggest remedial measures –- as Pakistan’s representative asked for written answers to questions a representative of the NGO had answered orally during the meeting, among other things regarding the correct United Nations terminology for “Kashmir”.

The representative of Asian-Eurasian Human Rights Forum said, among other things, that the NGO worked in the field of human rights and did not address political issues.  Working from the status quo in the disputed territory of “Kashmir”, it had, in 2003, brought to the attention of India’s Deputy Prime Minister a situation regarding the status of internally displaced persons.  He stressed that the organization was not only active in India, but also in Central Asian countries such as Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

At the end of the meeting, delegates expressed satisfaction with today’s proceedings, as the Committee had finished consideration of 48 applications deferred from former sessions.  The representative of the United States noted the importance of that, particularly in the current year of reform, during which voices had gone up to eliminate the Committee.  He hoped the forward movement could be sustained.

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 tomorrow, Wednesday, 11 May, at 10 a.m. to consider applications and requests for reclassifications, as well as other matters.

* *** *