Press Releases

    NGO/560
    6 May 2005

    NGO Committee Recommends 28 Organizations for Consultative Status with Economic and Social Council

    NEW YORK, 5 May (UN Headquarters) -- Opening its 2005 resumed session, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today recommended 28 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and deferred six applications.  Pending issuance of the necessary documents, it recommended ad referendum consultative status for seven NGOs.  It also adopted its amended agenda and approved its programme and schedule of work.

    In her opening statement, the Committee Chairperson, Paimenah Hastaie (Iran), said that, among other things, the Committee had before it a large number of applications, including 84 new applications for status with ECOSOC, and 48 applications deferred from past sessions.  The Committee would also have to review three requests for reclassification, 12 deferred quadrennial reports and 45 new quadrennial reports, as well as complaints following incidents that had taken place at the sixty-first session of the Commission on Human Rights in Geneva.

    She said that throughout the United Nations, particularly in the area of economic and social development, 2005 was a time for taking stock and revisiting mandates and objectives, as well as reassessing the ways in which they were being pursued.  Bearing in mind the critical role assigned to NGOs in achieving the internationally agreed development goals, the Committee should also look at an organization in light of its potential as a contributing partner in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.  The Committee was doing quite well in continuing the shift towards a more just and balanced geographical distribution of NGOs approved for consultative status.

    Hanifa Mezoui, Chief, Non-Governmental Organizations Section of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, announced that, currently, there were about 2,500 NGOs accredited with ECOSOC.  Those NGOs had worked relentlessly on the theme of the ECOSOC High-level segment focusing on “Achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration, as well as implementing the outcomes of the major United Nations Conferences and the theme of the Coordination segment:  “Towards achieving internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration”.

    She said that this year several conferences organized by ECOSOC non-governmental organizations, through the support of the United Nations Informal Regional Network (IRENE), had taken place in all regions of the world.  They had been successful in bringing the views of the Organization to those regions, but had also strengthened national support and networking among NGOs at grass-root levels.  As a result, 32 statements would be presented to the High level segment of ECOSOC.   She announced that the “paperless committee” [with all documents in e-format available on laptops for delegates] had now been adopted as a normal mode of operation.

    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.  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, during its morning and afternoon meetings, recommended that ECOSOC grant special consultative status to:

          -- Association pour la recherché sur la sclerose laterale amyothrophique et autres maladies du motoneurone, a national organization based in Paris working in the field of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), assisting patients with the disease and disseminating information about the disease;

          -- Firooznia Charity Foundation, a national organization in Iran that aims to help low income families, particularly those headed by women, and to help and support young couples concerning the provision of dowries and houses for them; and to create employment opportunities for young women, heads of households;

          -- Fundación de la Solidaridad y el Voluntariado de la Comunidad Valenciana, a national organization based in Spain, which aims at encouraging, promoting and driving forward volunteerism in Valencia;

          -- Foundation for the Promotion and Protection of the Environment and Cultural Heritage, a national Turkish organization that produces and implements projects for the protection of the environment and the restoration of cultural treasures;

          -- Foundation for the Rights of Future Generations, a national organization based in Germany -- a research institute aiming to promote intergenerational justice;

          -- ADALAH Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, a national, Israeli-based organization, aiming to achieve individual and collective rights for Palestinians in Israel;

          -- National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, a national organization based in the United States, with the mission of creating affordable housing and safe, viable communities that enhance the quality of life for all Americans, especially those of low and moderate income;

          -- Association pour le bien etre des habitants de Beau Vallon, a national organization from Mauritius, catering to the well-being of the community with special considerations for the underprivileged;

          -- Environmental protection and conservation organization, a national organization in Mauritius, working towards a more liveable environment, protecting endangered species and conserving the natural environment;

          -- Project Kesher, an international organization headquartered in the United States, aiming to renew Jewish life and empower women financially and secure women’s health and safety; 

          -- Cercle des dames Mourides, a national organization from Mauritius, working towards the advancement of women’s and children’s welfare in society, irrespective of class, race and religion;

          -- Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, an international organization based in Canada, dedicated to promoting the rule of law and human rights internationally by protecting advocates and advocacy rights;

          -- LIBERIA – Associazioni, nomi e numeri contro le mafie, a national organization based in Italy, devoted to promoting a culture of lawfulness and legality and a society free from mafias;

          -- U.S. Federation for Middle East Peace, a national United States organization, promoting understanding and tolerance between the American public and the peoples of the Middle East;

          -- African Women’s Association, a national organization promoting, supporting and defending women’s and children’s rights;

          -- Forum of Women’s NGOs of Kyrgyzstan, a Kyrgyzstan national organization, whose mission is to consolidate and strengthen women’s NGOs for the advancement of women and gender equality in society;

          -- Fundación Mujeres en Igualdad, a national organization based in Argentina, aiming to empower women in their political, economic, social and cultural lives as a permanent basis for a democracy with gender equity;

          -- International Bridges to Justice, an international organization based in Switzerland, dedicated to ensuring the basic legal rights of ordinary citizens in Asia;

          -- Association points-coeur, an international organization headquartered in France, that contributes to the welfare of neglected persons, especially children;

          -- New Ways:  Women for Women’s Human Rights, an international organization based in Turkey promoting women’s human rights;

          -- Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development, an international organization headquartered in Switzerland, which focuses on developing countries in the area of disease prevention and cure;

          -- African Women Empowerment Guild, a national organization based in Nigeria, working at enhancing women’s ability to achieve sustainable social, economic and political functioning at the personal, local and national levels;

          -- The Feminist Club, a national organization from Georgia, aiming at promoting women’s rights in Georgia and providing support for implementing gender equality;

          -- Organizatioa Pentru Apararea Drepturilor Omuluis (OADO), a Romanian national organization promoting and defending the fundamental human rights and freedoms;

          -- Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling, a national organization based in East Jerusalem;

          -- Centre for Organisation Research and Education, a national organization working for the indigenous peoples of the north-eastern region of India.

    Roster status was recommended for:

          -- American Foundation of Savoy Orders, Inc., a national organization based in the Untied States, which provides humanitarian assistance to the sick, the poor and the aged through charitable and educational work; and

          -- Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturer’s Institute, Inc. (SAAMI), a national organization from the United States, which, among other things, promotes the general welfare of the sporting arms and manufacturing industry and aims to improve its services to sportsmen, consumers and the general public.

    Deferred to later during the resumed session were applications from:

           -- Association Wadelbarka pour la prosperité des familles Mauritaniennes, a national organization from Mauritania, working to improve the living standards of Mauritanian families, as the representative of the Untied States posed a question regarding its activities in the humanitarian field in cooperation with United Nations organizations;

          -- China Association for International Science and Technology Cooperation, a national organization based in China, promoting China’s scientific and technological cooperation with other countries and regions, as the representative of the United States asked about the level of the NGO’s cooperation with other countries;

          -- Credo-Action, a national, Togo-based organization that aims to promote health and to provide a genuinely favourable environment for social services and to ensure that underprivileged children receive schooling and adequate care, because the representative of Pakistan asked for a clarification about the organization’s address;

          -- Organization du renouveau de la prise de conscience feminine, as the representative of Peru asked a question regarding its activities;

          -- Unanima International, an international organization based in the United States, aiming to bring social and economic advancement, in particular to women and children; and

          -- National Council on Family Relations, an international organization headquartered in the United States, that provides an educational forum for family researches, educators and practitioners.

    Pending issuance of relevant documents in the six official languages of the Organization, the Committee recommended, ad referendum, special consultative status for:  Asociación Nacional Civica Femenina; China Environment Protection Foundation; Friends of Disabled Association; Institution nationale de solidarité avec les femmes en detresse; International Association of Applied Psychology; and International Holistic Tourism Education Centre.

    Representatives of Unanima International, Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers, Inc., and the National Council on Family Relations answered questions posed by Committee members regarding their activities and possible contributions to the work of the Organization.

    In adopting its provisional agenda (document E/C.2/2005/1), as orally amended, the Committee decided to include under “Other matters” a discussion on Associación para la Paz Continental (ASOPAZCO).  The Committee also approved its programme of work and its provisional schedule of work.  The representative of France asked, in that regard, that in the future the underlying documents be made available in French.

    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.

    Its bureau consists of:  Paimaneh Hataie (Iran), Chairperson; and Carlos Eduardo Jaramillo (Colombia), Ilham I. Ahmad (Sudan), Serhat Aksen (Turkey) and Octovian Stamate (Romania), Vice-Chairpersons.  Mr. Stamate (Romania) also serves as the Committee’s Rapporteur.

    The Committee will meet again Monday, 9 May, at 10 a.m. to continue consideration of new applications.

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