Non-Governmental Organization Committee, Reviewing 564 Requests for Special Consultative Status, Recommends 170 Groups to Economic and Social Council
The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations this morning recommended that the Economic and Social Council grant special consultative status to 170 civil society organizations after examining a total of 564 requests and 317 quadrennial reports.
The 19-member Committee considers applications for consultative status and requests for reclassification submitted by non-governmental organizations. 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.
Among the 33 non-governmental organizations (NGO) rejected today, nine may have their files closed if the Council follows the recommendations of the Committee, which ruled on these cases after a vote.
The United States representative, requesting the votes, explained that each of the nine NGOs had been consulted on that process and given their approval for the procedure, with a negative vote being equivalent to the closure of the request of the NGO which has been the subject of a decision by a ballot. The Committee will recommend that the Council reject their request for admission to special consultative status, resulting in their files being definitively closed.
The nine NGOs are: Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) Limited (Ireland); International Dalit Solidarity Network (Denmark); Bahrain Center for Human Rights (Denmark); Coptic Solidarity (United States); Arab-European Center of Human Rights and International Law (AECHRIL) (Norway); The Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice (Russian Federation); The Union of Non-governmental Associations “The International Non-governmental Organization ‘The World Union of Cossack Atamans’” (Kazakhstan); Interregional non-governmental human rights organization “Man and Law” (Russian Federation); and World Without Genocide (United States).
In addition, the Committee also recommended to the Economic and Social Council the closure, without prejudice, of 60 applications that had not responded to the last three reminders by 7 September 2022.
The Committee also approved its provisional agenda and documentation for the 2023 session (E/C.2/2022/L.1), with the ordinary session to take place from 23 January to 1 February, as well as 13 February. The resumption of the session is scheduled for 15 May to 23 May and 5 June.
The 19 members of the NGO Committee will meet again on 15 September at 10 a.m. to examine the session report to be prepared by its Vice-Chair, Mine Ozgul Bilman (Türkiye).
Postponement of Consideration of Requests for Special Consultative Status
Adyan Association (Lebanon) – as the representative of Israel requested an exhaustive list of its financiers;
Arab Media Union (Egypt) – as the representative of India requested details of partners and activities;
Asia Pacific Transgender Network (Thailand) – as the representative of the Russian Federation asked that it clarify the status that allowed it to take part in the work of the Human Rights Council;
Association de l’Alliance Nationale des Chourafa Naciryiene et leurs cousins, chargés des affaires de la Zaouia Naciria (Morocco) – as the representative of Nicaragua requested a list of its partners for the past five years;
Habilian Association (Iran) – as the representative of the United States requested a detailed list of funds received by victims;
Instance démocratique pour la citoyenneté et les droits de l’homme (Morocco) – as the representative of China said it was awaiting details on the launch date of a report of the study on socioeconomic rights;
International Anti Terrorism Movement (India) – as the representative of Nicaragua asked if it had taken part in an event planned in New York in 2019 as mentioned in its action plan;
L’Ange Gardien (Benin) – as the representative of the Russian Federation asked if cooperation with its partners implies financial support from them;
Solidariteit/Solidarity (South Africa) – as the representative of the Russian Federation requested that it clarify the nature of the studies it claims to have carried out;
The Voice Society (Pakistan) – as the representative of Pakistan asked about discriminatory national laws the organization says it would like to change;
Zam Zam Foundation (Sri Lanka) - as the representative of Pakistan asked it to clarify whether it is engaged in profit-making activities;
Action League for Palestinians of Syria LTD (United Kingdom) – as the representative of China requested a list of partner research institutions and financial statements;
C.A.R.E Scandinavia - Citizens Against Radicalism & Extremism (Denmark) – as the representative of Israel requested details of its work for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and elsewhere;
Eduactive Società Cooperativa (Italy) – as the representative of Greece asked how the organization promotes the active participation of women in society;
European Foundation for South Asian Studies (Netherlands) – as the representative of China asked it to provide details on its cooperation with other partners, including memoranda of understanding;
Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organizations (Belgium) – as the representative of Israel requested details on its funding;
Fundació Josep Irla (Spain) - as the representative of Israel asked which NGOs provide its financing;
Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR) Limited (Ireland) - as the representative of Bahrain requested a list of organizations that have received grants from it over the past five years.
The United States representative noted that this NGO has filed its request since 2016 and is asked the same questions over and over again, and requested a vote on the request, in accordance with Article 59 of the Council rules of procedure. The Committee then rejected the NGO’s request by a vote of 10 against to 5 in favour, with 2 abstentions. The Committee therefore intends to recommend that the Council close the organization’s file.
International Dalit Solidarity Network (Denmark) – as the representative of India asked about the procedures for selecting NGO ambassadors and their role.
The representative of the United States then stated that this NGO is an example of what is not working in the Committee, since their request has been dragging on since 2008, requesting a vote.
The representative of India replied that the procedure for examining applications from NGOs must be carried out with due diligence and called on the members of the Committee to vote against. The Committee then rejected the NGO’s request by a vote of 10 against to 5 in favour, with 2 abstentions. The Committee will send a recommendation that the Council close the file.
The representative of the United States then lamented the politicization of the Committee’s work and its arbitrary decisions, recalling that the organization has been waiting for 15 years and that it has been targeted because of its work, condemning the misuse of Committee authority.
The representative of Pakistan requested that decisions be made by consensus.
International Human Rights Commission La Commission Internationale des Droits de l'homme Mezinárodní komise pro lidská práva - nadační fond, ve zkrácené formě IHRC - nadační fond (Czechia) – as the representative of Estonia asked how it can claim to have diplomatic representations while it is an NGO;
European Institute of International Law and International Relations (IEDI) (France) – as the representative of Cuba asked for details on its contribution to the work of the United Nations;
Panhellenic Union of Cappadocian Associations (Greece) – as the representative of Türkiye asked it to specify the procedures for choosing members of its Board of Directors;
SAM pour les droits et les libertés (Switzerland) – as the representative of Pakistan asked why its Board of Directors has two members instead of the three provided for by the statute;
The Conflict and Environment Observatory (United Kingdom) – as the representative of China requested the list of United Nations conferences in which it took part in 2020 and 2021;
US Council of Muslim Organizations (United States) – as the representative of Israel requested details on donations from the private sector;
Ukrainian Think Tanks Liaison Office in Brussels (Belgium) - as the representative of the Russian Federation asked to provide more details on its cooperation with Governments.
The representative of the United States then requested votes on NGOs whose requests have been pending for many years, specifying that those organizations had been consulted and had given their approval for that initiative.
In the ensuing votes, 10 Committee members voted against to 5 in favour, with 2 abstentions on the following NGOs: Bahrain Center for Human Rights (Denmark), Coptic Solidarity (United States), Arab-European Center of Human Rights and International Law (AECHRIL) (Norway), The Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice (Russian Federation), The Union of Non-governmental Associations “The International Non-governmental Organization ‘The World Union of Cossack Atamans’” (Kazakhstan), and Interregional non-governmental human rights organization “Man and Law” (Russian Federation). World Without Genocide (United States) was rejected by a vote of 11 against to 5 in favour, with 1 abstention. The Committee will therefore recommend that the Council reject the requests of these NGOs, whose applications will be closed.
After the votes, the representative of the United States expressed disappointment that the requests of these “credible NGOs” which do serious work had been rejected. She recalled that these NGOs have had their request postponed for at least four years, that they had no terrorist links, and that more NGOs from the North than from the South have their requests deferred.
The representative of Mexico considered that the organizations met the conditions for recommending the granting of special consultative status.
The representative of Cuba explained that the negative vote does not relate to the quality of the work of the NGOs, but to the rejection of the procedure undertaken to grant them status through a “selective process” imposed by the United States delegation. This selective exercise only seeks to question the composition of the Committee. He noted that the result was clear, as two thirds of Committee members rejected the initiative, further stating that other NGOs have long had their requests postponed by the United States’ delegation.
The representative of Pakistan noted that the Committee favours decision-making by consensus, also noting that delegations can questions NGOs to better understand the merits of their request.
The representative of Bahrain also explained that she voted against out of respect for Committee procedures.
The representative of the Russian Federation said that the United States initiative was another manifestation of its “double standards” policy, citing an NGO which has been rejected for seven years due to repetitive questions from the United States delegation.
The representative of China also explained that its vote reflected respect for United Nations procedure and the Committee, requesting that its work not be politicized.
The representative of India stated there is no reference to objective criteria in the Committee resolution for examining NGO applications, further stating said criteria must come from the entire the Committee rather than a single delegation.
The representative of the United States explained that the nine NGOs presented for vote are not the only ones meeting the criteria, and that the initiative was intended to shine a spotlight on these particular organizations in order to expose an unfair situation. The Committee does not always respect the directives of the Council, she stressed, with the proof being that last July, the Council had to reconsider the decisions of the Committee of NGOs.
The representative of Cuba said she found it “amusing” that the United States delegation decides what is credible or not.