Concluding 2022 Regular Session, Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations Approves Draft Report, Recommends Consultative Status to 203 Entities
Concluding its 2022 regular session today, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations approved its draft report — as orally revised to reflect substantive disagreement among members on several matters — and recommended that the Economic and Social Council grant consultative status to a total of 203 organizations.
By the terms of two resolutions embedded in the draft report (document E/C.2/2022/CRP.40/Rev.1), the Council would note that the Committee considered 586 applications for consultative status put forward by non-governmental organizations during its regular session. Of those, members recommended to the Council that it grant consultative status to 203 organizations, and deferred 354 others for further consideration at its resumed session in 2022. They also recommended that the Council close without prejudice its consideration of 28 organizations after they failed to respond to the Committee’s queries for two consecutive sessions.
In addition, the Council would note that the Committee considered 690 quadrennial reports submitted by organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, taking note of 604 of them, and heard from 13 representatives of non-governmental organizations. It would further indicate that members decided to take note of the request by one non-governmental organization to withdraw its application for consultative status.
By the terms of paragraph 62 of the draft report — which was orally revised and inserted into the text today — the Council would take note of a discussion that took place this morning following a request by the Russian Federation to adjourn the Committee’s outstanding consideration of item 3a, “applications for consultative status and requests for reclassification deferred from previous sessions of the Committee”. That item remained open pending a previous request from the delegation of the United States that the Committee immediately vote on the status of five specific organizations, whose applications had already been deferred by the subsidiary body several times.
The representative of the Russian Federation objected to that request, and put forward his own motion to adjourn debate on item 3a, stressing that the Committee must strictly adhere to its rules of procedure. Moreover, he said, his delegation is “disturbed” by attempts by the United States to violate the rules. Spotlighting the right of Governments to receive sufficient information from the non-governmental groups being considered by the Committee, he noted that the delegations complaining of “partiality” and too many deferrals have themselves blocked some organizations for many years, which only confirms their policies of double standards. He therefore put forward a motion to postpone the Committee’s consideration of item 3a until after its 2022 regular session, and to move directly to consideration of the draft report.
Before the vote, the representative of China spoke in favour of that motion, agreeing that if the Committee were forced to vote on the status of the five deferred organizations — as requested by the United States — they would be making hasty decisions in an unjust manner. Describing such an approach as “highly politicized”, she pointed out that such a vote would mean that a small number of organizations favoured by certain Member States would enjoy privileges above others.
The representative of the United States then spoke against the proposed motion, noting that her delegation waited until the last meeting of the regular session “hoping that the Committee would act in good faith”. The five organizations on which her delegation requested a vote have answered the same questions posed by Committee members again and again, she said, stressing that some States are misusing the Committee’s rules of procedure to exclude certain organizations from the work of the United Nations. In principle, the United States objects to “no action motions”, such as the one put forward by the Russian Federation today, which disrespect other members. “The fact that we are in this position is a sad state of affairs for this Committee,” she stressed.
The representative of Estonia also spoke against the motion, expressing regret that the Committee had not yet been able to take action on the original proposal put forward by the United States. Voicing concern that such a trajectory only continues down the Committee’s current path of failing to fulfil its mandate, she said some members continue to defer the applications of some non-governmental organizations on an “unjustifiable basis”. Estonia supports the participation of diverse groups in the work of the United Nations, she added.
The Committee then approved the motion put forward by the Russian Federation by a vote of nine in favour (Bahrain, Burundi, China, Cuba, India, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Sudan) to six against (Brazil, Estonia, Israel, Greece, Mexico, United States) with one abstention (Türkiye).
The representatives of India, United States, Sudan and the European Union made general comments after the vote, with the latter acting in its capacity as observer.
The Committee then approved the draft report of its 2022 regular session, as orally revised.
Vice-Chair Alejandro González Behmaras (Cuba) delivered brief concluding remarks, thanking members for their constructive and efficient work over the course of the regular session.
The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations will hold its 2022 resumed session from 29 August to 15 September in New York.