Press Releases

                                                                                                    NGO/531
                                                                            13 May 2004

    NGO Committee Recommends 10 Organizations for Consultative Status with Economic and Social Council

    Defers Decision on 11 Others; Closes File on One Application

    NEW YORK, 12 May (UN Headquarters) -- The 2004 regular session of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) today recommended consultative status with the Economic and Social Council for 10 NGOs and deferred a decision on 11 applications. It closed the file on one application.

    The 19-member Committee on NGOs makes recommendations to the Economic and Social Council on a non-governmental organization’s status in relation to the Council using a variety of criteria, including applicant mandate, governance and financial regime.  Those with roster status can attend meetings; those with special status can attend meetings and circulate statements; and those with general status can attend meetings, circulate statements and propose items for the Council’s agenda.

    During a morning and afternoon session, the Committee recommended special consultative status for:

    -- Front Line: International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, an international organization based in Ireland, aiming to provide assistance and support to human rights defenders working in difficult conditions around the world;

    -- Global Foundation for Democracy and Development, an international organization based in the Dominican Republic, dedicated to addressing such global, regional, and local issues as sustainable human development, globalization, technology, democracy, corruption and trade;

    -- International Federation of Multimedia Associations, an international organization based in Canada, with the objective of developing a seamless international network of associations and organization working in the Internet and multimedia industry;

    -- Legal Advisory Office for Popular Organizations, a national organization based in Brazil, aiming to contribute to the democratization process of the Brazilian State and society; and

    -- Collectif des organizations des jeunes solidaire du Congo-Kinshasa, a national organization based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which wants to foster the socio-economic advancement of young people and to enable them to participate in decision-making in areas that affect their future.

    Roster status was recommended for Alliance Toward Harnessing Global Opportunities Corporation, an international organization based in the United States, aiming to establish the means by which the youth of the world may embrace global opportunities, after that NGO’s representative answered questions regarding its membership, its scholarships, and its intended activities with various Economic and Social Council bodies and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

    Roster status was also recommended for the International Association of Safety Professionals, an international organization based in the Untied States, which, among other things, provides workplace safety training and assists workers in financially disadvantaged countries in obtaining safety equipment.

    Pending issuance of the relevant documents, the Committee recommended “ad referendum” special consultative status (meaning, a decision could be reversed during the current session) for:

    -- Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, a national organization based in Ottawa, which advocates of the rights and interests of Aboriginal people living outside reservations, after its representative stressed the organization’s independence from the Federal Government of Canada; and

    -- Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief, a national organization based in Turkey.

    The Committee recommended ad referendum roster status for Dar El-Insan Association, a national organization based in Lebanon, which emphasized the importance of education to the process of development in society.

    The file was closed on the application of Asian Bankers Association, an international organization providing its members a venue for an exchange of views and information on banking opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region, as the organization, established in 2003, did not comply with Council resolution 1996/31, which stipulates that an organization must be established for a minimum of two years in order for it to have consultative status.  Moreover, Committee members observed, the organization seemed to be an association for bankers with only commercial interests.

    The Committee deferred action on:

    -- Sign of Hope, a national, interdenominational human rights and relief organization based in Germany, centring its work around providing help for the oppressed worldwide -- pending answers to questions regarding its status as a national organization and its financial resources and expenditures.  Questions were also raised, among other things, about criteria the organization used in selecting countries for the organization’s work in the human rights field, and about local government officials being member of its board;

    -- International Development Enterprises India, an international organization based in India with the goal to assist 15,000 smallholders in overcoming poverty -- to provide Committee members more time to study the NGO’s replies to questions asked;

    -- EarthRights International, an international organization based in the United States, which promotes and protects human rights and the environment -- pending an answer to questions raised regarding the NGO’s support for sanctions;

    -- Citizen’s Movement for Environment Justice, a national organization based in the Republic of Korea aiming, at the realization of environment justice and of a sustainable society -- as the representative of China posed questions regarding available technical and human capacity of the NGO to carry out monitoring of transboundary pollution and its activities in China;

    -- NGO Health Committee, an international organization based in the United States, with the purpose of promoting worldwide cooperation on issues of health.  Consideration was postponed until a representative of the organization could be present to answer questions;

    -- Vali-Asr Rehabilitation Institute, a national organization based in Iran, dedicated to the rehabilitation of disabled children and adults, especially in cases of a neurological deficit or mental retardation -- as the NGO had not answered questions previously asked;

    -- Bischoefliches Hilfswerk Misereor, a national organization based in Germany, aims, in its capacity as the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Germany, at promoting development, fighting worldwide poverty and liberating people from injustice -– as questions were raised about its finances, its relationship to the Catholic Church of Germany and its relationship with the German Government;

    -- Foundation for the Child and the Family, an international organization based in Greece that focuses on the welfare of children and their families, including programmes targeted on peace, well-being, education, health, security and culture -- pending answers to questions regarding projects in Africa and Syria;

    -- Ecumenical Coalition on Third World Tourism, a national organization based in Hong Kong, addressing the consequences of tourism and its impact on society and environment -- as questions were raised about its finances;

    -- All India Shah Behram Baug Society, an international organization based in India dedicated to scientific and educational research -- pending a question about its structure to be submitted by Pakistan.  The NGO’s representative answered other questions about its structure and activities, and promised to correct reference to “the Republic of China” into “the Chinese Province of Taiwan”; and

    -- Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, an international organization based in the United States that promotes world peace through interreligious dialogue and harmony -- as additional questions were asked about activities in Cuba and China. The NGO’s representative clarified issues about membership categories and agreed with the Chinese representative that a reference to Taiwan should have been a reference to the Chinese Province of Taiwan.

    Current members of the NGO Committee are Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, France, Germany, India, Iran, Peru, Pakistan, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sudan, Turkey, United States and Zimbabwe.

    The Committee will meet again tomorrow, Thursday, 13 May, at 10 a.m. to continue its consideration of new applications.

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