Economic and Social Council Elects Members to Seven Subsidiary Bodies, Adopts Decisions on Non-Governmental Organizations
The Economic and Social Council today elected members to seven subsidiary bodies and approved several draft decisions relating to non-governmental organizations, including one that will grant special consultative status to nine of them.
Adopted by a recorded vote of 24 in favour to 17 against, with 12 abstentions, the decision on “Applications of non-governmental organizations for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council” (document E/2023/L.6), grants special consultative status to the following non-governmental organizations: Arab-European Center of Human Rights and International Law; Bahrain Center for Human Rights; Coptic Solidarity Gulf Centre for Human Rights, Limited; International Dalit Solidarity Network; Interregional Non-Governmental Human Rights Organization “Man and Law”; The Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice; The Union of Non-Governmental Associations — The International Non-Governmental Organization “The World Union of Cossack Atamans”; and World without Genocide.
Introducing that text, the representative of the United States expressed concern about the work of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, and pointed out that it has deferred the applications of a large number of entities. Not agreeing with their views does not mean they must be punished by withholding accreditation, she said, adding that it is necessary to welcome more diverse organizations into consultative status.
The representative of the Czech Republic, speaking for the European Union, said the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations must not politicize its objectives. She expressed concern about the delays affecting a number of applications. Echoing that, the United Kingdom’s delegate expressed disappointment about the extensive misinformation that was spread ahead of today’s vote.
However, the representative of China said, prior to voting, that the text contains only the names of nine non-governmental organizations, as a result of which Council members, like doctors who have to diagnose a patient using nothing more than the patient’s name, cannot determine whether these groups fulfil the criteria for consultative status. Speaking after the adoption, he noted that with 17 countries voting against and 12 countries abstaining, a total of 29 countries did not agree with this draft decision.
The representative of the Russian Federation noted that the Committee in September decided to not provide consultative status to several organizations, including some of those included in the draft decision. The United States was not pleased with this, he said, calling the draft decision an attempt to violate the Committee’s rules, in a selective approach to bring in an organization that was close to Washington, D.C.
Oman’s delegate, speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, stressed the need to respect the accreditation process of the Committee. Several delegates, including the representatives of Bangladesh, India, Syria and Sri Lanka expressed concern that the draft decision seeks to undermine that body’s work by overturning its decisions in a summary manner. Speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, the representative of Indonesia said that the draft creates division rather than fostering unity.
The Council also adopted the decisions contained in the first part of the report of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations on its 2022 resumed session (document E/2023/32).
Through decision I as amended by the prior adoption, “Applications for consultative status, requests for a change of name and quadrennial reports received from non-governmental organizations”, it grants special consultative status to 173 non-governmental organizations; notes change of names and among others; and takes note of 308 quadrennial reports submitted by non-governmental organizations.
By the terms of draft decision II, the Council suspends, for a period of one year, the consultative status of 205 organizations with outstanding quadrennial reports, while draft decision III decides to reinstate the consultative status of 48 groups that submitted outstanding reports.
By the terms of draft decision IV, the Council decides to withdraw the consultative status of 168 organizations with continued outstanding quadrennial reports, and by draft decision V, it approves the dates and provisional agenda of the 2023 session of the Committee. While draft decision VI takes note of the present report, the terms of draft decision VII had the Council taking note of the addendum to the report of the Committee on its 2022 regular session.
Also adopted today was a decision on “Appointment of an additional member of the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Haiti” (document E/2023/L.5) by which the Council decides to appoint the permanent representative of Barbados to the United Nations as an additional member of the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Haiti. Speaking after its adoption, the representative of Canada said it will help to advance the work of the Ad Hoc Advisory Group.
Turning to various outstanding vacancies in its subsidiary bodies, the Council, in two rounds of voting by secret ballot, elected Pavel Pachta (Czech Republic) to the International Narcotics Control Board for a term beginning on 7 December 2022 and ending on 1 March 2025 to fill a vacancy arising from the resignation of Richard Muscat (Malta).
Other vacancies were filled by acclamation, including the election of Honduras, from the Latin American and Caribbean States, to fill the outstanding vacancy on the Commission on Population and Development, for a term beginning on the date of election and expiring at the close of the Commission’s fifty-ninth session in 2026.
It also elected Israel to fill the outstanding vacancy from the Western European and other States to the Commission for Social Development, for a four-year term beginning at the meeting of the Commission’s sixty-second session in 2023 and expiring at the close of its sixty-fifth session in 2027.
To the Commission on Science and Technology for Development, it elected Canada and France, for four-year terms beginning on 1 January 2023, to fill outstanding vacancies from Western European and other States.
To the Executive Board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), it elected Senegal and the United Arab Emirates, for three-year terms beginning on 1 January 2023.
Turning to the outstanding vacancies on the Programme Coordinating Board of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Council elected Belarus from among Eastern European States for a three-year term beginning on 1 January 2023 and Australia from among the Western European and other States, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Canada, to complete the term beginning on 1 January 2023 expiring on 31 December 2023.
The Council then elected Croatia, for the seat allocated to the Eastern European States, and the Republic of Korea, for the seat allocated to the Asia-Pacific States, to the Organizational Committee of the Peacebuilding Commission for two-year terms beginning on 1 January 2023 and expiring on 31 December 2024, or until they cease to be a member of the Economic and Social Council.
Making a statement after election, the representative of the United States dissociated from the election of Belarus to the Programme Coordinating Board of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.