12 May 2005
NGO Committee Recommends Five Organizations for Consultative Status with Economic and Social Council, Defers Four Applications
NEW YORK, 11 May (UN Headquarters) -- The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today recommended five non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), deferred four applications. The Committee also considered the updated application of the previously suspended Asociación para la Paz Continental (ASOPAZCO).
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.
The Committee recommended special consultative status for:
-- Environmental Protection Society, a national organization based in Pakistan, concerned with environmental degradation;
-- Foresight Institute, an international organization, based in the United States, that concerns itself with ensuring the beneficial implementation of nanotechnology;
-- Netherlands Humanist Committee on Human Rights, a national organization that aims to contribute to the realization of human rights worldwide;
-- Internews International, a France-based international organization that supports the existence and development of independent media; and
-- Mauritius Council of Social Service, a national organization that wants to stimulate and promote economic and social development in Mauritius by acting as a facilitator for NGOs in the country, acting as a link with the Government.
The Committee deferred applications from:
-- Eco-Accord Center for Environment and Sustainable Development, a national organization based in the Russian Federation, which wants to promote a transition to sustainable development by looking for new methods to settle environmental, economic and social problems, as the representative of the United States had a question regarding the organization’s finances;
-- Organization du Renouveau de la Prise de Conscience Féminine, a national organization in Morocco that wants to safeguard women’s interest and improve cultural and intellectual levels among women and children, because more clarification was needed regarding the organization’s response to questions;
-- PRIDE Youth Programs, an international organization headquartered in the United States that promotes healthy, safe and positive lifestyles among youth and wants to prevent drug use and violence, as the representative of Senegal asked question about the organization’s representative in Senegal; and
-- International Society of Addiction Medicine, an international, Canada-based organization that educates and trains professionals at the local level to combat drug addictions and intravenous drug use, as Cuba’s representative asked what cooperation the organization had with authorities in his country.
Under “Other Matters” the Committee considered the updated application of Asociación para la Paz Continental (ASOPAZCO) [The organization had been suspended in 2000 for three years. In 2004, the NGO had been asked to submit an updated application].
Cuba’s representative said that the NGO had not replied to the questions put to it by the Committee in its 2004 decision. The Committee had wanted to know about its activities and what changes had been made to the organization. The NGO’s reply was vague, and the main elements which led to the Committee’s decision to suspend the NGO remained valid. The representative of the NGO continued to behave in manner counter to the principles of the United Nations Charter, including politically motivated acts against Member States of the United Nations.
Also, he said, the NGO had close relations with individuals such as Silvia Iriondo and Victoria Ruiz, who were accredited to the Commission on Human Rights in 2000, despite their involvement in politically motivated acts against Cuba. There was also new evidence that the NGO had strengthened its politically motivated acts, and it continued to keep strong links with the Cuban-American National Foundation, a powerful organization established in the United States, with the open purpose of working against the Cuban Government. Further, while the NGO seemed to have undergone some reorganization, no details were provided about the changes made to it or about its activities during its suspension. Thus, the application should be rejected and ASOPAZCO should be prevented from obtaining any consultative status with ECOSOC.
The representative of the United States said that the NGO had satisfied the request of the Committee to produce an updated application. The representatives of the Sudan, China and Zimbabwe supported Cuba’s position, noting that the NGO had not provided convincing evidence to prove that it had taken action to change its activities.
After a lengthy procedural debate, Cuba’s representative “reluctantly” agreed that the organization would be notified of the Committee’s intention to act on a proposal to withdraw consultative status of the “disguised terrorist organization” during the current session. The organization should respond within five working days to questions relating, among other things, to what actions it had taken to prevent recurrence of actions for which it had been suspended. It should send its publications over the last four years. It should also clarify its relationship with Friends of the United Nations in Spain, as well its relationship with persons and organizations that promoted the overthrow of constitutional Government or promoted or participated in terrorist activities against Member States.
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 tomorrow, Thursday, 12 May, at 10 a.m. to consider new applications and NGO participation in the upcoming ECOSOC High-Level Segment.
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