The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today recommended that 22 organizations whose applications were deferred from previous sessions be granted special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, and further deferred action on the status of 65 others, as it continued its resumed 2021 session.

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 were 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 some applications was postponed pending responses to Committee members’ questions on matters related to the organizations’ activities, partners, expenditures and sources of funding, among other matters.

The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations will meet again at 10 a.m. on Friday, 3 September, to continue its resumed session.

Special Consultative Status

The Committee recommended that the Economic and Social Council grant special consultative status to the following organizations:

Society for Cognition of Science and Art for Quality Welfare, Sustainance, Livelyhood and Economic Development of the Poor (SCOSAQ) (India);

Solidarité des jeunes filles pour l’éducation et l’intégration socioprofessionnelle “SOJFEP” (Democratic Republic of the Congo);

Southeast Asia Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression Caucus (ASC), Inc. (Philippines);

The Individual Initiative for Human Rights (Lebanon);

The International Humanitarian Society for Development Without Borders (Lebanon);

Themis – Gender, Justice and Human Rights (Brazil);

United World Against Diabetes (India);

Women For a Change, Cameroon (Cameroon);

Women for Peace and Democracy — Nepal (Nepal);

Zeleni Polumjesec (Green Crescent) (Montenegro);

African Heritage Women in Education and Empowerment (United States);

Association Québécoise des Organismes de Coopération Internationale (AQOCI) (Canada);

Association Voix Libres (Switzerland);

Canadian Women’s Foundation / Fondation canadienne des femmes (Canada);

Conflict Dynamics International, Inc. (United States);

Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation (Netherlands);

Dynamique Gender ONGD International (Canada);

Every Casualty Worldwide (United Kingdom);

Global Center on Cooperative Security Inc (United States);

Human Rights Solidarity Organization (Switzerland);

International Medical Corps (United States); and

International Women’s Development Agency Inc. (Australia).

The Committee postponed action on the applications of the following organizations:

Somali Green Crescent Society (Somalia) — as the representative of the United States asked for sources of funding in 2020-2021 and what projects the organization supported;

Syrian Youth Council (Syria) — as the representative of the United States asked for a complete list of all the projects financed by Damascus and their timetable of execution;

The Gulmit Educational and Social Welfare Society, Hunza Gilgit (Pakistan) — as the representative of India noted the financial statement read “zero” and asked how the organization undertook its projects and their source of funding;

The New Woman Foundation (Egypt) — as the representative of Cuba sought information about the organization’s members and what each one can or cannot do;

The Voice Society (Pakistan) — as the representative of Pakistan asked for information on legal aid provided to individuals for the past five years, and ongoing projects for 2021;

The World Community Service Centre (India) — as the representative of Pakistan sought details on links to universities;

Transnational Anti-Organized Crime Intelligence Group Inc. (TAOC-IG) (Philippines) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked for details on countries the organization will work in, and potential joint activities with partners;

United Global Organization of Development (U-GOOD) (Pakistan) — as the representative of Pakistan requested information on recent and ongoing projects in the domain of peacebuilding;

Welfare Association Jared (Pakistan) — as the representative of Pakistan asked for further information on projects in the domain of environmental protection;

West Papua Interest Association (Indonesia) — as the representative of China noted its financial report 2018-2020 indicated a significant surge in funding, and asked it to explain the source;

World Federation of Free Trade Zones Co., Limited (China) — as the representative of the United States requested a detailed list of cases in which it provided mediation in free trade disputes and how it is compensated;

World Fund for Development and Planning (WFDP) (Kenya) — as the representative of the United States asked the organization for a detailed list of research or studies conducted in 2020-2021 and to explain its funding;

World Historic and Cultural Canal Cities Cooperation Organization (China) — as the representative of the United States asked for information on its on memorandum of understanding with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and when the final research project is due to be released;

Y4D Foundation (India) — as the representative of Pakistan sought details on how it is helping marginalized farmers;

Zhongguancun Belt and Road Industrial Promotion Association (China) — as the representative of the United States asked for details on a list of its branches in United States cities;

de Centre Idriss El Fakhouri des Etudes et de Recherches en Sciences Juridiques Oujda (Morocco) — as the representative of Nicaragua requested a detailed list of projects from 2020 to 2021, as well as financing and planned for 2022, and the representative of Nigeria also requested a list of all research projects in 2020;

General Union of Arab Experts (Morocco) — as the representative of China asked for its plans to contribute to United Nations activities;

Vishwa Manavadhikar Parishad (India) — as the representative of Pakistan asked the organization to share details on projects and funding for 2020-2021;

Arab-European Center of Human Rights and International Law (AECHRIL) (Norway) — as the representative of China asked about the nature of its membership;

Arabian Rights Watch Association (United States) — as the representative of China asked the group to explain its planned humanitarian arm for grassroots-based projects; and

Asociatia Romanian Women’s Lobby (Romania) — as the representative of Turkey asked for information on its structure and decision-making process.

The representative of Greece asked to revisit a previous application Zeleni Polumjesec (Green Crescent) due to technical difficulties he’d experienced.  In an ensuing discussion, multiple delegates discussed the procedural issues.  The representative of the Russian Federation said the Committee had previously agreed not to return to approved applications, and that the request would create a precedent.

The representative of Cuba said he can relate to feeling of the representative of Greece, but agreed the request on an exceptional basis would create precedent, as he was trying to offer a solution as he had been in that situation, but “we have rules”.

Representatives of Estonia and India also spoke, with the Chair stating there are strong precedents under the Economic and Social Council and an NGO has never been re-examined after it was gaveled.  He asked if the representative of Greece would request that the Committee vote on reopening the application, and if the Committee wished to overturn its decision.  The representative of the Russian Federation said the Committee must be clear on criteria for returning on a decision.  The Chair said any member could propose a vote, as there is no consensus in the room on revisiting the decision.  The Chair said the issue was in the hands of the delegation in question, and Greece’s representative said he would return to the Chair after further discussion with his delegation.

Association of Lawyers of Russia (Russian Federation) — as the representative of the United States asked for a detailed list of the members of each commission, their focus and published works; the Russian Federation’s delegate said composition of organizations had been discussed in the session and it was up to NGOs whether to disclose the information.  Specific persons can only be requested if they are in leadership, he said, asking asked for clarification from the Secretariat.

MARC-ANDRE DOREL, Officer-in-Charge for the Non-Governmental Organizations Branch at the Office of Intergovernmental Support and Coordination for Sustainable Development said the Committee does not ask for the identity of rank-and-file members, with the representative of the United States clarifying he did not ask for the names of rank-and-file, but commission members.  Mr. DOREL said the membership of subsidiary bodies cannot be requested.  The delegate of the United States said the rest of his question stands, repeating a request for credentials, focus and public works of each commission.

Association of Non-for-Profit Organizations to Facilitate the Drug Prevention and Socially Dangerous Behaviour “National Anti-Drug Union” (Russian Federation) — as the representative of the United States asked about its activities to promote and protect human rights, and domestically promote internationally recognized best practices for drug treatment;

Assyrian Aid Society of America Inc. (United States) — as the representative of Turkey requested more information about $70,000 in grants or contributions;

Autonomous Non-Profit Organization of promotion the development of international relations in the framework of the BRICS group “International Alliance of BRICS Strategic Projects” (Russian Federation) — as the representative of Estonia asked for a list of countries in which the group operates;

Autonomous non-profit organization humanitarian programs organization “Russian Humanitarian Mission” (Russian Federation) — as the representative of the United States requested details on assistance provided in 2020, on aid to civilians of Syria, types, regions or cities and the Governments with which it has worked;

Avocats sans frontieres France (France) — as the representative of Turkey sought specific details on projects in countries on four continents;

Bell Global Justice Institute (United States) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked for clarification on financial figures provided, as they differ on paper;

Brussels International Center for Research and Human Rights (Belgium) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked for clarification on its relationship with a Government;

Center for Military Human Rights Korea (CMHRK) (Republic of Korea) — as the representative of China requested details on its work with the Commission on the Status of Women in 2020;

Centre international pour la paix et les droits de l’homme (CIPADH) (Switzerland) — as the representative of China asked for planned activities in 2020-2021 and international conferences;

Committee for Justice (Switzerland) — as the representative of China sought information on how it assists victims of violations;

Congres mondial Amazigh — CMA (France) — as the representative of Libya asked for details on its contribution to regional conferences, especially in North Africa, funding from the past five years, and how its managers are chosen.  He also asked if the organization was registered by the Government to work in Libya;

Coppieters Foundation (Belgium) — as the representative of Turkey noted that the organization was affiliated with a certain political party and asked for clarification of its status and functions, and if it had to register with a different authority due to that affiliation;

Coptic Solidarity (United States) — as the representative of China asked about its alliances with other Coptic groups;

Database Center for North Korean Human Rights (NKDB) (Republic of Korea) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked whether the group participated in any official United Nations events, and their status there;

Democracy Reporting International gGmbH (Germany) — as the representative of Nicaragua sought details on training programmes linked to elections, and the Russian Federation’s delegate asked if the organization had voluntarily withdrawn its application — the Chair confirmed that it had;

Diakonia (Sweden) — as the representative of Nicaragua asked if donors decide which partners receive funds;

Eiropas demokrātijas attīstības centrs (Latvia) — as the representative of Estonia sought details on any Government grants received and their amounts;

Emberi Méltóság Központ (Hungary) — as the representative of Mexico asked the group to specify the proportion of income from other NGOs;

Eri-Platform (Belgium) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked why the NGO has such high salaries, with 47 per cent of its funds going to that 8-member group;

Ethiopian Genocide Committee 1935-1941, Inc. (United States) — as the representative of Turkey asked about the current stage of development of its documentary film project;

Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Switzerland) — as the representative of Bahrain asked about the contractual relationship with another group and funding;

Foreningen Tryggere Ruspolitikk (Norway) — as the representative of the Russian Federation sought details on a seminar it attended in New York in 2018;

Fundacja Otwarty Dialog (Poland) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked about its anti-corruption rules;

Global Alumni Alliance (Russian Federation) — as the representative of Estonia asked about its activities in Syria;

Global Minorities Alliance (United Kingdom) — as the representative of Turkey noted the organization is active in Asia and Africa, and asked if it is also active in the country it is established in, or the wider region;

Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, Inc. (United States) — as the representative of Pakistan sought details on its board members and their nationalities;

Hope Worldwide Pakistan (New Zealand) — as the representative of Pakistan sought details of financial assistance to refugees and vulnerable groups over past five years, and the categories;

Human Concern International (HCI) (Canada) — as the representative of the United States asked for information on a specific project;

Human Rights at Sea (United Kingdom) — as the representative of China asked for a breakdown of programme expenditures;

Humanitarian Tracker (United States) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked about methods used to maintain confidentiality of personal data, such as medical details, and regulations on information of the health of a third party;

INPUD Limited (United Kingdom) — as the representative of the Russian Federation requested details on the open-society fund and cost of projects;

Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) (Georgia) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked for information on conditions of selecting candidate for observatory board;

InterPride (United States) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked for a full list of countries where members work;

International Association for the Development of the Abaza-Abkhaz Ethnos “Alashara” (Russian Federation) — as the representative of Estonia asked the organization to correct use correct United Nations language in its application; and the representative of the United States requested a list of all project dates and funding in cooperation with Government;

International Association of Genocide Scholars, Inc., The (Australia) — as the representative of Nicaragua asked for details on use of literature to broaden understanding of genocide;

International Civil Society Action Network, Inc. (United States) — as the representative of Turkey asked for details on activities of 2019 and 2020; and

International Communities Organisation Limited (United Kingdom) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked which States the NGO has worked with.

The representatives of the United States and Cuba then discussed a procedural issue.

International Funders for Indigenous Peoples Inc. (United States) — as the representative of the Russian Federation requested clarification on an inconsistency on a website reference to his country;

International Legal Assistance Consortium (Sweden) — as the representative of Israel asked how it ensures impartiality from its Government;

International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations (INCLO) (Switzerland) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked if the Committee has a right to ask certain questions of the organization, as opposed to staff, and commented on a response;

International Society of Criminology (United States) — as the representative of China sought details on expenditure categories;

Inti Raymi Fund, Inc. (United States) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked what United Nations meetings the organization took part in; and

Islamic Medical Association of North America Inc (United States) — as the representative of China requested a list of overseas projects.

Interactive Discussion

During a question-and-answer session in the afternoon, two NGO representatives faced questions from Committee members.

The representative of Lanka Foundation Rights Organization said her organization aims for equal rights in Sri Lanka.  “We cannot change the world overnight,” she said, noting her organization’s work at the grass‑roots level, with volunteers in every small village, as well as national directors.  Her group aims to improve the life of every Sri Lankan, from “womb to tomb”, she said, through activities in areas such as health, education, wealth development and sanitation, as well as elephant-human conflict and child adoption.

The representative of China asked for clarifications regarding the administrative expenditure of the organization, which is twice as high as its expenses on products.

The representative of India asked for more information about the organization’s collaborative activities.

Responding, the organization’s representative noted that her group is doing many projects that are still going on.  Regarding funds, she said, “we don’t have any funds now”, but the members cover their own expenses.

The representative of China asked about the massive tree-planting project that had only a limited budget.

The organization’s representative offered to send more information through the portal.

Next, the representative of the Global Energy Association, introduced its work in the field of energy research and development.  This work is aligned with various Sustainable Development Goals, she said, noting that the organization’s researchers are working in the field of renewable energy and climate action.  Highlighting the film recently produced by the organization, “Clean Energy of the Far East”, she said it focuses on climate change in the Pacific Ocean.

The representative of the United States asked which United Nations entities the organization is cooperating with.

The organization’s representative spoke of its collaboration with the World Energy Council, as well as the United Nations Information Centre in Moscow.

The representative of the United States asked about the Clean Energy movie.

The organization’s representative said the film was co-produced with a Russian TV channel.  It’s also available on the YouTube channel of her organization, she said.

The representative of the United States asked how the organization would be bringing science expertise to the Economic and Social Council.

The organization’s representative said that the laureates of the Global Energy Prize, which is funded by her organization, include many scientists.

The representative of the United States clarified that the cooperation with the Council is currently a plan and not cooperation already accomplished.  He further asked about the organization’s sources of income, as well as its high membership dues.

The organization’s representative said the membership fee decision was made by the commercial companies who are part of the group, which also generates profit from interest rates.

The representative of the United States asked for information about the work the organization does outside the Russian Federation, as well as clarification on its relationship with Moscow.

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