Press Releases

     
    For information only - not an official document.
      UNIS/PI/226
    26 January 2001
     

    Thirty-Two Non-Governmental Organizations Approved for Association
    With Department of Public Information

    NEW YORK, 25 January (UN Headquarters) -- On 17 January, the Department of Public Information (DPI) Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) selected 32 applicants from 13 countries for association with the Department, which brings the number of NGOs associated with DPI to 1,672. The Department also decided to terminate the association of one organization that consistently violated the terms of association.

    The newly associated organizations include one from Africa, nine from Asia and the Pacific, seven from Europe, one from the Middle East, one from Latin America, and 13 from North America. These organizations work on a wide range of issues, including human rights, education, children, youth, women, ageing, economic and social development, sustainable development and environment, labour, health care, humanitarian relief, peacekeeping, disarmament and law.

    All the organizations conform to the principles of the United Nations Charter, operate solely on a not-for-profit basis and demonstrate a long-standing involvement with United Nations issues. In addition, they have well-developed information programmes to reach large or specialized audiences and have demonstrated the commitment and means to disseminate information about the United Nations. This information dissemination capacity is a unique criterion for association with DPI.

    Among the newly associated NGOs, 21 are from developed countries (12 from the United States, two each from France and Italy and one each from Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan and Spain), 10 from developing countries (seven from Pakistan and one each from Iran, Madagascar and Mexico) and one from a country with economy in transition (Russian Federation).

    For the first time, organizations from Madagascar and Iceland joined the family of NGOs associated with DPI. Fianakaviana Sambatra (FISA) from Madagascar works to improve the health of the country’s population through distributing information on HIV/AIDS, reproductive health and family planning. The organization has been active for 35 years and cooperates closely with the United Nations Population Fund, the United States Agency for International Development and the European Union.

    An NGO from Iceland, Landvernd, National Association for the Protection of the Icelandic Environment, is an umbrella organization for more than 60 groups that are involved in the promotion of sustainable development and international cooperation in environmental protection. It organizes workshops and conferences and distributes information materials on such issues as climate change, ozone depletion, land degradation and desertification. Also it is actively involved in promoting environmental education for households.

    Association of seven organizations from Pakistan reflects the important role of the United Nations Information Centre in Islamabad, which actively seeks and identifies NGOs that contribute effectively to promoting United Nations values. Among these NGOs is the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC). The society bases its work on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and strives to raise awareness of children’s rights in Pakistan. The Society publishes an annual report "The State of Pakistan's Children", as well as other information materials that cover issues relating to child labour, juvenile justice, health and sexual abuse. The Society has been actively cooperating with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

    NGOs from developed countries are historically very active, and many of them work on promoting the goals of the United Nations Charter both in the developed and developing world. Movimiento por la Paz, el Desarme y la Libertad (M.P.D.I.) from Spain also operates in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. It has been working on a wide range of social and human rights issues, such as assisting and advising immigrants and organizing campaigns against racism and xenophobia, as well as providing humanitarian assistance and rehabilitation services.

    The Center on International Cooperation at New York University (USA), in cooperation with officials from government and intergovernmental agencies, as well as corporate and civil society leaders, seeks to clarify the economic, political, legal and institutional foundations of effective international cooperation. Like several other newly associated organizations, it focuses on international justice, humanitarian assistance, development aid and peace-building. The Center works closely with the United Nations and its agencies.

    The Committee also reviewed the case of an NGO from Colombia, Juventudes de la ONU – Youth of the UN, and decided that this non-governmental organization should be disassociated from the Department of Public Information. The Committee based its decision on the reports of activities by persons in leadership positions of Juventudes de la ONU that are inconsistent with the criteria for association with DPI. In particular, those actions include unauthorized use of the United Nations logo, misrepresentation of the organization’s relationship with the United Nations and inappropriate activities of certain members of the organization. The Committee also was concerned by the lack of control of the main office of the organization over leadership and activities of its national offices and use of its association with the United Nations for inappropriate political ends. Despite repeated warnings by the NGO Section and other UN offices, Juventudes de la ONU persisted in activities that reflected badly on the United Nations.

    The Committee also noted that other NGOs associated with DPI no longer maintain their commitment to disseminate information and raise public awareness about the purposes and activities of the United Nations and issues of global concern. The DPI/NGO Section is instituting a process of review of associated NGOs with regard to their compliance with the criteria for association. It will terminate the association status of those organizations that do not satisfy these criteria. The Committee expects that this process will result in decrease in the total number of NGOs associated with DPI. This measure will at the same time free resources to help NGOs improve their capacity to cover United Nations activities.

    Following are the organizations newly associated with DPI, listed alphabetically by region:

    Africa: Fianakaviana Sambatra (FISA) (Madagascar)

    Asia and the Pacific: Arts Council of Pakistan (Pakistan); DEEPP - Development, Education, Environment, Poverty Alleviation and Population Welfare (Pakistan); Lahore Association of NGOs (LANGOS) (Pakistan); Pakistan Rural Workers Social Welfare Organization (PRWSWO) (Pakistan); PATTAN Development Organization (Pakistan); Senior Citizens Foundation of Pakistan (Pakistan); Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) (Pakistan); Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research (Japan); United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) (Australia)

    Middle East: Association of Iranian Journalists (Iran)

    Europe: Ai. Bi. Associazione Amici dei Bambini (Italy); Association Francophone d’Amitie et de Liaison (France); International Telecommunication Academy (Russian Federation); Landvernd, National Association for the Protection of the Icelandic Environment (Iceland); Movimiento Por la Paz, el Desarme y la Libertad (Spain); Order of Discalced Carmelites (Italy); Pour la Non Violence (France)

    Latin America: Fundacion Cultural Baur, AC (Mexico)

    North America: Applied Research Center (USA); Association Francophone Internationale des Directeurs d’Etablissements Scolaires (AFIDES) (Canada); Center on International Cooperation (USA); Dayton Peace Accords Project (USA); ECPAT-USA (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) (USA); International Child Art Foundation (USA); New York Metropolitan Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolence (USA); Sister Fund (USA); South Bronx Mental Health Council (USA); State of the World Forum (USA); United Religions Initiative (USA); Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (USA); Zeta Phi Beta Sorority (USA)

    For further information, please contact the DPI/NGO Section, telephone: (212) 963-6842, e-mail: dpingo@un.org. The periodically updated directory of NGOs associated with DPI is also available on the Web site of DPI/NGO Section at: www.un.org/dpi/ngosection.

     
    * * * * *