Continuing Session, Non-Governmental Organizations Committee Defers Action on 33 Groups Seeking Special Consultative Status
The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations continued its 2023 session today, deferring action on 33 entities seeking special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council.
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 several applications was postponed because Committee members requested further information from the candidates about, among other items, details of their organizations’ activities, partners, expenditures and sources of funding.
The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations will meet again at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 1 February, to continue its session.
Special Consultative Status
The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations postponed action on the application for special consultative status of the following 33 organizations:
Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna (Italy)— as the representative of Türkiye asked about its cooperation with an organization that is in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council;
All India Council of Human Rights Liberties & Social Justice (India) — as the representative of Pakistan asked for details of which meetings it intends to attend if given consultative status;
Arab Media Union (Egypt) — as the representative of Israel asked for clarification regarding its financial relationship with its board;
Association de l’Alliance Nationale des Chourafa Naciryiene et leurs cousins, chargés des affaires de la Zaouia Naciria (Morocco)— as the representative of Algeria asked a question about financial sustainability given its high administrative expenditure;
Baghbaan (Pakistan) — as the representative of India asked for clarification regarding its increased income;
Fondation Youya pour promouvoir l'excellence en la jeunesse africaine (Morocco) — as the representative of Algeria asked for more details about the countries in which it operates;
Global Village Forum Chakwal c/o Shaheen Degree College Chappar Bazar Chakwal (Pakistan) — as the representative of India asked if it has an office and how it intends to carry out its activities and utilize its funds;
Green Camel Bell (China) — as the representative of United States asked for clarifications regarding the civil society organizations with which it works;
Lahore Educational and Welfare Society (Pakistan) — as the representative of India asked for confirmation about its website’s update so that the Committe can access more information;
Mwatana Organization for Human Rights (Yemen) — as the representative of Pakistan asked about its legal aid services;
OxYGen Foundation for Protection of Women and Youth Rights (Armenia) — as the representative of Türkiye asked a question regarding the discrepancy between its assets and expenditure for 2019;
Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness) (Lebanon) — as the representative of Israel asked about its work with refugees who have problems with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA);
Pusat Komas SDN. BHD. (Malaysia) — as the representative of Israel pointed to a gap between income and expenditure as listed on the organization’s application forum versus its financial statement;
United Global Organization of Development (U-GOOD) (Pakistan) — as the representative of Pakistan asked which Sustainable Development Goal the organization is working on;
ALQST Human Rights (United Kingdom) — as the representative of Bahrain asked for clarification on funding it has received from the European Union, including if it was earmarked funding;
American Medical Women's Association, Inc. (United States) — as the representative of China asked for an update on its activities and how they contribute to the work of the Economic and Social Council;
Associazione Luca Coscioni per la libertà di ricerca scientifica (Italy) — as the representative of China asked for details regarding its events on narcotics control;
Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Switzerland) — as the representative of Israel asked for its 2021-2022 financial statement;
Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (Denmark) — as the representative of Israel asked a question regarding its relationship with funding organizations;
Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organisations (Belgium) — as the representative of Israel raised a point of order about the time required to look through recently received responses and asked about the organization’s relationship with the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe;
Fundació Josep Irla (Spain) — as the representative of Georgia asked for more information on projects carried out with partner organizations;
Gazze Destek Association (Türkiye) — as the representative of Israel asked for a list of countries it operates in and projects therein;
International Center for the Study, Prevention and Treatment of Multigenerational Trauma Inc (United States) — as the representative of Cuba asked if this report could be considered later;
Muslim Hands (United Kingdom) — as the representative of Israel asked about the organization’s relationship with an official belonging to Hamas;
National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs of Japan (Japan) — as the representative of China asked about its participation in the work of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women;
Rescue: Freedom International (United States) — as the representative of India asked for information regarding a certain project and for details on a certain framework utilized by the organization;
SKT Welfare (United Kingdom) — as the representative of China asked for information regarding its partnership with several United Nations agencies;
The Conflict and Environment Observatory (United Kingdom) — as the representative of China asked for information regarding its work with, and contributions to, certain United Nations agencies;
The Humanitarian Forum (United Kingdom) — as the representative of Israel asked whether the organization’s website will be reactivated in the foreseeable future;
The International Center for Supporting Rights and Freedoms (Switzerland) — as the representative of Nicaragua asked for information regarding its affiliations with other associations and details on its board of governors;
The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) (United States) — as the representative of Nicaragua asked for information regarding its cooperation with other organizations; and
Türkiye Gençlik Vakfi (Tügva) (Türkiye) — as the representative of Armenia asked for details on certain curricula used by the organization.
During the subsequent interactive dialogue, the representative of the Coppieters Foundation said that his organization has two kinds of members. The first — “full-fledged members” — have voting rights, propose candidates for the organization’s board of directors, approve its budget and plan of work, conduct oversight and receive publications in advance regarding its planned events and initiatives. The second category — “associate members” — have no voting rights, but they receive publications about its activities and projects. He expressed hope that the responses provided facilitate the granting of special consultative status.
The representative of Türkiye asked how grants received from the European Parliament are used.
The representative of the Coppieters Foundation said that such funds are used for the organization’s general operations and that the board of directors decides, in an independent manner, how funds will be allocated for projects. He added that his organization’s links to the European Parliament do not impact its operations.
The representative of Türkiye asked for legal documents — translated into English if possible — relating to the organization’s change of status from a non-profit organization to a “political foundation at the European level”.
The representative of the Coppieters Foundation said that a translation can be provided and that the change in legal status was related to a new standard at the European level. He added that all of his organization’s economic activity is audited and published on its website.
The representative of Türkiye said his delegation looks forward to receiving the relevant documents and responses in written form.
The Committee then deferred action on the application.
The representative of Baghbaan next took the floor, stating his organization works in Pakistan for social development, poverty reduction, clean drinking water and education. As for how its funding increased, he said that funds were used to help 4,400 families considering the harsh winter conditions and the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that his organization has also helped 4,100 orphan students. He also said that information about the organization’s donor funding is uploaded online, along with its other responses to the Committee’s questions.
The representative of India pointed out that certain links on the organization’s website are not operational, asking for this to be remedied and for an audited financial report for 2022.
The representative of Baghbaan said the website will be updated and the financial report will be uploaded within the next few hours.
The Committee then deferred action on the application.
The representative of the International Center for the Study, Prevention and Treatment of Multigenerational Trauma Inc. then took the floor, stating that the funding the organization received from Richard Rockefeller was neither associated with the Rockefeller Foundation nor attached to any ideology. It was given out of recognition of the organization’s free provision of knowledge on this subject. The organization has the richest library in the world in this regard and, with the help of that funding, created the only database instrument in the world able to conduct needs assessments in this area. This is provided free of charge, and the organization works with people in many different countries and in 15 languages. Further, it plans to have capability in all languages, including cultural and idiomatic ones because, when talking about trauma and suffering, language, culture and religion can all be involved to ask relevant questions in a manner that is authentic to those responding. She added that the organization has published, for free, three books “for and on behalf of the United Nations” on how the United Nations system and the Charter of the United Nations are dedicated to preventing the suffering of succeeding generations.
The representative of Cuba asked for details regarding projects the organization has undertaken in Brazil, Honduras and Mexico.
The representative of China asked what contributions the organization has made to United Nations agencies seeking to develop model legislative provisions to support and protect the rights and needs of victims of terrorism. He also asked how the organization intends to protect and promote the human rights of Indigenous people in the context of self-determination.
The representative of Eritrea asked how the organization determines the countries in which it will operate.
The Committee then deferred action on the application.
At the close of the meeting, the representatives of Pakistan, Türkiye and Cuba sought clarification regarding the substance of the Committee’s 1 February meeting, to which the Chair responded that the Committee will consider the skeleton report.