Press Releases

    NGO/541
                                                                            27 May 2004

    NGO Committee Recommends Consultative Status with Economic and Social Council for Five Organizations, Defers Action on Applications of 12 Others

    NEW YORK, 26 May (UN Headquarters) -- The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) today recommended five organizations for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), closed the file on two applications and deferred action on 12 others.

    The 19-member Committee uses various criteria to recommend general, special or roster status with ECOSOC, including the applicant’s mandate, governance and financial regime.  Organizations that have general and special consultative status can attend meetings of the Council and circulate statements of a certain length.  Those with general status can, in addition, speak at meetings and propose items for the Council’s agenda, while NGOs with roster status can only attend meetings. Non-governmental organizations with general and special consultative status must submit a report to ECOSOC every four years.

    Non-governmental organizations with general and special consultative status must submit a report to ECOSOC every four years.  The Committee can request a special report in certain instances, such as after receipt of a complaint from a Member State about the behaviour of an NGO during a meeting of a United Nations body to which it was accredited.

    The Committee recommended special consultative status for:

    -- Alliance for Marriage, a United States-based national organization that promotes the strengthening of the institution of marriage, after Germany’s representative, noting the NGO’s aggressive advocacy against gay and lesbian rights, appealed to the Committee to be tolerant of application from other NGOs with a different stance on the issue;

    -- Arab Commission for Human Rights, an international organization based in France that promotes human rights and fundamental freedoms; and

    -- China Care and Compassion Society, a national organization based in China aiming, among other things, to care for the physical and mental health of individuals and protecting the rights of disadvantaged people.

    Pending the issuance of relevant documents, the Committee recommended ad referendum special consultative status for Finnish Youth Cooperation -- ALLIANSI, a national organization based in Finland, which offers educational services to local youth workers and organizations.

    Roster status was recommended for Mulchand and Parpati Thandhani Foundation, a United States-based organization, whose mission is “to support empowerment as a process aimed at changing the forces which present barriers/obstacles to women, girl children and other disadvantaged masses”.

    The Committee had earlier recommended ad referendum special consultative status to Vivat International, an international organization based in the United States aiming to promote cooperation with the United Nations, pending clarifications sought by Cuba.  As Cuba had now received those clarifications, the Committee removed the “ad referendum” clause from that recommendation.

    The Committee deferred action on applications from:

    -- Action contre la faim, an international organization based in France aiming to combat hunger throughout the world in emergencies and post-crisis situations, as the representative of the Russian Federation needed more time to study the NGO’s replies to questions posed;

    -- International Centre for Peace Studies, an international organization based in India engaged in, among other things, peace education and creating awareness of human rights and refugee issues, as Pakistan’s representative posed new questions;

    -- Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, an international organization based in India mandated to bring about the practical realization of human rights in Commonwealth countries, as Pakistan’s representative needed more time to study answers provided to questions posed;

    -- International Crisis Group, an international organization based in Belgium aiming to help governments, international organizations and the world community at large to prevent deadly conflict through high-quality advice and high-level advocacy, as China’s representative needed more time to study information provided;

    -- Advocates for Youth, an international organization based in the United States dedicated to help young people make informed and responsible decision about their reproductive and sexual health, as Sudan’s representative asked questions regarding its facilitation for access to contraceptives;

    -- Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, a national organization based in India dedicated to the preservation of the cultural and natural heritage of India, because Pakistan’s representative asked for more clarification on government influence on the organization;

    -- African Community Resource Center, an international organization based in the United States committed to improving the quality of life in developing countries by providing equal access to resources, information and health interventions, as Sudan’s representative needed instructions on how to deal with the NGO’s illegal border-crossings into Sudan;

    -- Nonviolence International, an international organization based in the United States seeking to assist individuals, organizations and governments in finding non-violent means to bring about social and political change, as China’s representative wanted clarification on the NGO’s position regarding Tibet;

    -- National Abortion Federation, a United States-based professional association of abortion providers, which provides the most up-to-date continuing education in safe methods of abortion technique and related patient services, pending further clarifications about its national or international status;

    -- One World International, an international organization based in the United Kingdom aiming to harness the democratic potential of the Internet to promote sustainable development and human rights, as China’s representative wanted more clarification on the NGO’s use of the terminology “Hong Kong” and “Taiwan”;

    -- World Assembly of Muslim Youth International, Inc. (WAMY), an international organization aiming to promote economic and social development, combining normative, analytical and operational activities, pending a corrected application affirming that its headquarters is based in Saudi Arabia; and

    -- World Council of Muslim Communities, Inc., an international organization based in the United States aiming to promote economic and social development, as India’s representative had not received answers to questions regarding its activities.

    The Committee decided to close the file on Federation of Ijaw Communities, an international organization representing an ethnic group in the oil-producing southern part of Nigeria, as in an earlier meeting the representative of Nigeria had said the group sought to destabilize the country and “take hold” of oil production. 

    The Committee also closed the file on African Hebrew Organization, an international organization based in Nigeria, aiming to protect the interests of the various African Hebrews and to promote peace in Africa.  Nigeria’s representative had in an earlier meeting objected to the organization, as its very existence was questionable. Germany’s representative, however, noted that, in his opinion, the organization did exist and that its research was not objectionable in any way.

    In previous meetings, the Committee had taken note ad referendum of several quadrennial reports, pending issuance of the relevant documents.  As document E/C.2/2004/CRP.2/Add.7 had been published, the Committee today removed the “ad referendum” clause for the quadrennial reports of Charitable Society for Social Welfare; International Association of Penal Law; Médecins sans frontières; and World Human Dimension.

    The Committee members 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 at 10 a.m. on Thursday, 27 May.

    * *** *