Continuing Regular Session, Non-Governmental Organizations Committee Recommends Status for 4 Entities, Defers Action on 65 Others

Continuing its 2019 regular session, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today recommended 4 organizations for special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council and deferred action on the status of 65 others.

The 19-member Committee considers applications for consultative status and requests for reclassification submitted by non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Once an application has been reviewed and approved by the Committee it is considered recommended for consultative status. Organizations which are granted general and special status can attend meetings of the Council and issue statements, while those with general status can also speak during meetings and propose agenda items. Organizations with roster status can only attend meetings.

Action on several applications was postponed because Committee members requested further information from the candidates about, among other items, details of their respective organizations' activities, partners, expenditures and sources of funding. Also, the representative of China noted that several organizations, on their websites, referred erroneously to Taiwan as a country, not as a province of China, and requested corrections.

In other business, the Committee recommended that special consultative status be withdrawn from the organization China Energy Fund Committee, following a request from the representative of the United States (see Press Release ECOSOC/6954-NGO/878).

The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations will meet again at 10 a.m. on Monday, 28 January, to continue its session.

Special Consultative Status

The Committee recommended that the Economic and Social Council grant special consultative status to the following three organizations:

Dansk FlygtningehjAlp (Denmark);

DePaul University (United States);

Israel Trauma Coalition for Response and Preparedness (R.A.) (Israel)

The Committee postponed consideration of the following organizations:

National Human Rights Civic Association Belarusian Helsinki Committee (Belarus) � as the representative of the Russian Federation asked for details about its expenditures, as its application indicates it spent nothing on projects;

Organisation Tamaynut (Morocco) � as the representative of Sudan asked the organization to state in which year it attended two conferences in Agadir, Morroco, as well as the outcome of its participation;

Pakistan International Human Rights Organization (Pakistan) � as the representative of Pakistan, noting that the organization has failed to give clear responses to past questions from the Committee, requested anything that remotely relates to a financial statement including sources of income and projects;

Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness) (Lebanon) � as the representative of Israel asked if the group is carrying out any work with Syrian refugees and, if so, to elaborate on that work;

Swadhikar (India) � as the representative of Pakistan, noting that the group's application has been under consideration for some time, asked for an update about its planned benchmark survey on workplace discrimination;

Talent Incubator (Benin) � as the representative of the United States asked that it explain in greater detail its membership structure and decision-making processes;

The Public Association Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law (the Republican Status) (Kazakhstan) � as the representative of the Russian Federation asked whether it operates in countries other than Kazakhstan, and if so, its registration status in those nations, as well as details of any partnerships it might have;

The Union of Non-governmental Associations "The International Non governmental Organization "The World Union of Cossack Atamans" (Kazakhstan) � as the representative of the Russian Federation asked to know more about the mechanism through which it cooperates with NGOs in the Russian Federation and what joint projects it undertakes with them;

Transnational Anti-Organized Crime Intelligence Group Inc. (Philippines) � as the representative of Nicaraguaasked for more details about its decision making processes;

West Papua Interest Association (Indonesia) � as the representative of India, noting the group's limited budget, requested more details about the spontaneous financial contributions it has received, as well as the United Nations conferences that it attended with those funds;

World Fund for Development and Planning (Uganda) � as the representative of the United States asked which of its planned activities in 2017 and 2018 have been completed, including the International Business Women Council;

World Historic and Cultural Canal Cities Cooperation Organization (China) � as the representative of the United States asked the NGO to explain its relationship with provincial authorities in terms of funding and oversight of its activities;

Wynad Social Service Society � as the representative of India requested further details about its projects and activities;

Alliance to Renew Co-operation among Humankind (Belgium) � as the representative of the Russian Federation requested a list of its projects;

Anti-Corruption Foundation (Russian Federation) � as the representative of the Russian Federation asked that the NGO explain how it verifies the accuracy of information about unlawful financial flows;

Arab-European Center of Human Rights and International Law (Norway) � as the representative of Pakistanasked the NGO to describe some of the outcomes of its activities in women's rights and gender-related violence;

Bahrain Center for Human Rights (Denmark) � as the representative of Nicaragua requested an updated list of the activities it undertakes;

Broad National Movement Limited (United Kingdom) � as the representative of Sudan asked that the organization explain how it can operate in countries in which it is not legally registered;

Canadian Human Rights International Organization (Canada) � as the representative of India asked that it explain its stated lack of project expenditures, and as at the representative of Cuba requested details about its Mission Cuba project and how the NGO intends to work on human rights issues with the Economic and Social Council if it receives special consultative status;

Child Foundation (USA) (United States) � as the representative of the United States asked to know about the types of donors that fund the organization;

Christian Solidarity International (Switzerland) � as the representative of Cuba asked for more details about the nature and sources of the donations that it receives;

Citizens' Alliance for North Korean Human Rights (Republic of Korea) � as the representative of the Russian Federation requested details of any funding from Governments that it received since 2015, as well as a list of projects undertaken;

Cooperacion Internacional (Spain) � as the representative of Cuba, citing an article on the NGO's website, asked if it maintains a category of countries requiring specific attention, and if so, what States are so labelled and what related activities does it undertake;

Diakonia (Sweden) � as the representative of Israel, noting that the NGO has no members, requested more details about the activities of its regional office in Israel;

Dream Touch for All (Republic of Korea) � as the representative of the Russian Federation requested clarification on the group's management structure;

Electronic Frontier Foundation, Inc. (United States) � as the representative of China requested information about its activities in 2018;

Ethiopian Genocide Committee 1935-1941, Inc. (United States) � as the representative of Sudan asked for information about the kind of support that the organization receives from the sources listed in its application;

Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (Denmark) � as the representative of Libya requested more details about its projects and activities;

European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Limited (Belgium) � as the representative of China, noting that the NGO is incorporated in Ireland, but with headquarters in Belgium, asked for more details about its structure and division of work;

European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies (Belgium) � as the representative of China requested that the organization use the correct United Nations terminology in referring, on its website, to Taiwan;

Federal Bar Association (United States) � as the representative of China asked whether members of the organization outside the United State carry out activities abroad on its behalf;

Fundacja Otwarty Dialog (Poland) � as the representative of China requested that the organization use the correct United Nations terminology in referring, on its website, to Taiwan;

Gulf Centre for Human Rights Limited (Ireland) � as the representative of China requested its latest income and expenditure figures and details on how it plans to address any large deficit;

Hokok Coalicion Internacional Contra la Impunidad (Spain) � as the representative of Israel asked that it clarify the reference contained its application to Zionist acts, and as the representative of Bahrain drew attention to problems with the link to the NGO's website;

IFEX (Canada) � as the representative of China requested that the organization use the correct United Nations terminology in referring, on its website, to Taiwan, and as the representative of India asked for a breakdown of philanthropic contributions in the past two years and the activities carried out with those funds;

InimAiguste Instituut (Estonia) � as the representative of Cuba asked that it explain in greater detail its relationship with the Ministry of Defence, including whether that includes a financial connection;

The International Association of Genocide Scholars, Inc. (United States) � as the representative of Sudanrequested detailed information about the way it finances its biannual conferences, including whether funds come from Government agencies or other NGOs;

International Dalit Solidarity Network (Denmark) � as the representative of India requested details concerning funding received from various Governments in the last two years and the projects undertaken with those funds, as well as details of its activities aimed at influencing Government policies;

Interregional Non-governmental Organization "Committee against Torture" (Russian Federation) � as the representative of the Russian Federation enquired about the nature of grants it received from the private sector and Government structures, whether those funds were earmarked for specific projects, and the decision-making processes in joint projects;

Interregional non-governmental human rights organization "Man and Law" (Russian Federation) � as the representative of the Russian Federation, noting the organization's focus on human rights defenders, asked that it explain what contribution it would make to the work of the Council and its subsidiary bodies, and as the representative of Mexico, pointing to the NGO's name, asked that it provide clarification on the participation of women in its work and whether it has programmes that aim to benefit women;

Lawyers for Justice in Libya (United Kingdom) � as the representative of Libya requested a list of the eight NGOs that are identified in the application as members of the organization;

Mother Helpage (UK) (United Kingdom) � as the representative of India, noting that the organization receives 90 per cent of its funding for humanitarian and development work from other NGOs, asked whether such funds are contingent on specific project and services;

Muslim Hands (United Kingdom) � as the representative of China, comparing the NGO's application against its website, asked how the organization has expanded to 61 countries in recent years;

NAUH (Now Action & Unity for Human Rights) (Republic of Korea) � as the representative of China requested an explanation of the huge difference between its income and expenditures;

NK Watch (Republic of Korea) � as the representative of China requested details about the funding it receives from other NGOs;

National Committee on BRICS Research (Russian Federation) � as the representative of the United States, noting that the NGO states that it achieves its goals through promoting the work of the BRICS Think Tanks Council, requested more details about the process for acquiring membership in that Council;

Non c'A pace senza giustizia (Italy) � as the representative of Cuba asked for more detailed information on its 2018 activities in, or relating to, Europe, Asia, North America and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Organisation Suisse d'aide aux refugies � as the representative of Cuba requested more detailed information about its connections with the migration secretariat of Switzerland and the projects it has carried out with that entity;

Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, Inc. (United States) � as the representative of Israel requested information of any cooperation it has undertaken with the Human Rights Council or if it has plans to do so in the future;

Peace Research Institute Oslo (Norway) � as the representative of Israel, noting that the NGO supervises masters and doctoral students, asked if the Institute grants academic degrees or if it collaborates with universities in that regard, and as the representative of China requested that the organization use the correct United Nations terminology in referring, on its website, to Taiwan;

Sahipkiran Stratejik Arastirmalar Merkezi (Turkey) � as the representative of Greece asked that the organization explain how, with its limited budget, it carries out several projects at the national and international level;

Salam for Democracy and Human Rights (United Kingdom) � as the representative of Cuba requested more information about its planned activities;

Schole Futuro (Italy) � as the representative of Cuba asked that the organization identify its actual website and clarify its relationship with a journal titled Echo;

Sex & Samfund (Denmark) � as the representative of the Russian Federation requested more details about projects it is carrying out in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the representative of Nigeria asked that it specify in which countries it is undertaking projects in East Africa;

Stichting CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality (Netherlands) � as the representative of Nigeria asked that it specify in which countries it operates in East Africa;

Stichting Mama Cash (Netherlands) � as the representative of Bahrain asked that the NGO elaborate on the concrete contributions it says it plans to make to the work of the Council in sustainable development;

Stichting Wildlife Justice Commission (Netherlands) � as the representative of the Russian Federation asked through which mechanism it is carrying out projects in Malaysia and Viet Nam and whether those projects are officially registered with local authorities;

Syrian American Medical Society Foundation (United States) � as the representative of Cuba asked whether, in addition to the Syrian Red Cross, it has other partners in the field that support its humanitarian work;

Terram Pacis (Norway) � as the representative of Nigeria asked for more specifics about its projects in Africa;

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (Canada) � as the representative of China requested that it use the correct United Nations terminology in referring to Taiwan;

The International Center for Supporting Rights and Freedoms (Switzerland) � as the representative of the Russian Federation requested details of the meeting of the Freedom Network in Kuwait;

The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) (United States) � as the representative of China requested that it use, on its website, the correct United Nations terminology in referring to Taiwan, and as the representative of Cuba asked if it still has personnel in countries in which it is not accredited and whether it has identified alternative sources of funding;

Turkiye Diyanet Vakfi (Turkey) � as the representative of Greece asked for details of its future activities and projects;

Vang Pao Peace Institute (United States) � as the representative of China asked that it provide a list of its planned activities for 2019;

Women Living under Muslim Laws - International Solidarity Network (WLUML) (United Kingdom) � as the representative of China asked for details about funds received from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands;

Women's Refugee Commission, Inc. (United States) � as the representative of Cuba requested updated information about conferences it organized with United Nations entities.

Special Reports

Turning to its agenda item titled Special Reports, NADAV YESOD (Israel), Committee Vice-Chair, recalled that, at its meeting on 21 January, the Committee considered a request from the representative of the United States for special consultative status to be withdrawn from the organization China Energy Fund Committee (China). He added that the NGO was given an opportunity to respond.

MARC-ANDRA� DOREL, Acting Chief of the Non-Governmental Organizations Branch of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, said that the organization did not respond to numerous requests to reply.

The Committee then recommended that special consultative status be withdrawn from the China Energy Fund Committee.

Interactive Discussion

During a question-and-answer period in the afternoon, NGO representatives faced questions posed by the Committee.

A representative of the Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness) (Lebanon) said his organization, which works closely with United Nations agencies and diplomatic missions in Lebanon, provides services to Palestinian refugees relating to human rights. In response to the Committee's question posed earlier today, he said it provides, on a temporary basis, services to Palestinian refugees who have been displaced from Syria due to the conflict there. Those services include legal advice on obtaining temporary residency status in Lebanon and communicating with the Lebanese police in cases when refugees are arrested. The NGO also communicates with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) regarding medical care and with national civil society organizations to assist critical humanitarian cases.

The Committee then decided to recommend the organization for special consultative status.

A representative of the World Historic and Cultural Canal Cities Cooperation Organization described some activities of her non-profit group, which was co founded in 2009 to protect and develop towns built on canals. With 149 members, the group has nine professional committees and a standing secretariat, holding world conferences on related matters, including heritage protection and sustainable development. Indeed, the use of canal cities could play a role in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With more than 2,000 canals worldwide, there are more than 200 canal cities. Addressing queries, she said her group is headquartered in Yangzhou and maintains a relationship with the Government of China.

The representative of the United States asked for details on requirements for new members, the related process, plans to add more cities to its membership and on participants of an upcoming experts committee meeting. She also indicated that her delegation will send in writing questions on how experts are selected and what role they play in the organization.

Responding, the representative said expert committees consist of retired people interested in canals. Noting that many canal cities face common problems, including pollution, she said the Grand Canal, which runs through Yangzhou, is an example, with her group working on measures to, among other things, protect its history and culture. Turning to its membership, she said any organizations or groups interested in protecting canals can submit an application subject to board approval. Since 2016, the secretariat's focus has shifted to the 2030 Agenda, she said, expressing hope that more canal cities will explore better ways to protect the planet.

The Committee then decided to defer the organization's application.

Source: United Nations

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