Non-Governmental Organizations Committee Recommends 18 Groups for Consultative Status, Defers Action on 48 in Fourth Day of Session

Continuing its regular session for 2018, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today recommended 18 organizations for special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council and deferred action on the status of 48 others. The Committee also deferred consideration of two organizations’ reclassification applications.

The 19-member Committee considers applications for consultative status and requests for reclassification submitted by non-governmental organizations. Once an application has been reviewed and approved by the Committee it is considered recommended for consultative status. Organizations which were 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, sources of funding and locations where projects were carried out.

The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations will meet again at 10 a.m. on Friday, 2 February, to continue its session.

Special Consultative Status

The Committee recommended that the Economic and Social Council grant special consultative status to the following 18 organizations:

American Society of Criminology (United States);

PathFinders Justice Initiative, Inc. (United States);

Union Internationale des Transports Publics (Belgium);

AIM Education & Research Society (India);

Aleradah & Altageer National Society (Bahrain);

Eaglesworth Human Empowerment Foundation (Nigeria);

Emperor Gaza International Foundation (Ghana);

Ertegha Keyfiat Zendegi Iranian Charitable Institute (Iran);

Global Campaign for Education (South Africa);

International Charitable Foundation Alliance for Public Health (Ukraine);

Migrant Forum in Asia, Inc. (Philippines);

Ohaha Family Foundation (Nigeria);

Okuolu International, Ltd. (Nigeria);

Uganda Youth Development Link (Uganda);

Wockhardt Foundation (India);

Center of Political Analysis and Information Security (Russian Federation);

Commonwealth Medical Trust (United Kingdom); and

UNESCO Center for Peace (United States).

The Committee postponed consideration of the following 48 organizations:

Alianza Americas (United States) � as the representative of Cuba asked the organization to disaggregate the philanthropic funds received, which represented more than 79 per cent of its income.

Association canadienne pour le droit et la verite (Canada) � as the representative of Iran asked how the group reconciled its activities with the limited resources available, as its spending was less than $2,000.

Canadian Human Rights International Organization (Canada) � as the representative of Venezuela asked how the group planned to carry out its programmes given its budget deficit.

Cercle Martin Buber (Switzerland) � as the representative of Cuba asked the group for a list of activities carried out in 2017 and planned activities for 2018.

Cooperacion Internacional (Spain) � as the representative of Cuba asked the organization for information on its projects in Latin America and whether it planned to expand its activities to other countries in the region.

European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (France) � as the representative of South Africa asked the group about the outcomes of activities recently carried out.

Federal Bar Association (United States) � as the representative of Cuba asked whether the organization had contacts with international academia, and for details about work requirements for conference participants.

Friends of Angola (United States) � as the representative of South Africa requested information about the organization’s plans in various African countries.

Hamkkehaneun Sarangbat Corporation (Republic of Korea) � as the representative of China requested that the organization’s website correctly refer to Taiwan, Province of China.

Lawyers for Justice in Libya (United Kingdom) � as the representative of Pakistan asked whether the six non-governmental organizations with which the group partnered had any physical presence in Libya. Also, he asked how the group could maintain its neutrality when 6 per cent of its funding came from foreign Governments.

Le Collectif de la Paix au Sri Lanka (France) � as the representative of Turkey asked whether the group had international partners or worked with other groups with similar objectives, and, if so, whether it could provide details about those partnerships.

Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture (United Kingdom) � as the representative of Mauritania requested further information about where the victims of torture mentioned in the organization’s application were received, as well as detailed information about where the group’s work took place and how it operated given its current budget deficit.

Organisation Suisse d’aide aux refugies (Switzerland) � as the representative of China requested the group amend its website so that it conformed with the standard United Nations terminology, and the representative of South Africa requested information on how it conducted research for its publications, and the representative of Sudan requested further details about its projects, as well as information on how it maintained its independence given the majority of its funding came from the Government.

Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, Inc. (United States) � as the representative of Venezuela requested further information about how the organization intended to continue with its projects given its budget deficit.

Stichting Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (Netherlands) � as the representative of China requested the organization amend its website so that it conformed with the standard United Nations terminology, and as the representative of Cuba requested information about the group’s projects and partnerships in Cuba, as well as its work in Colombia.

The Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation (United Kingdom) � as the representative of Venezuela requested further information on the group’s projects in Latin America, and the representative of Cuba requested further information from the organization about the funds it received for various events.

Tom Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice (United States) � as the representative of the Russian Federation requested an explanation about content found on the organization’s website.

Association Concerning Sexual Violence against Women (China) � as the representative of Pakistan requested further information about one of the organization’s past events, including its outcome.

Coordination WaA� (Eveil) relative A� l’unite nationale et la lutte contre l’esclavage (Mauritania) � as the representative of Mauritania requested further information about the group’s members, including specific details about the membership fees.

Dalit Welfare Organization (Nepal) � as the representative of India requested a more detailed response to questions that were previously posed to the group.

Danjuma Atta Eye Foundation (Nigeria) � as the representative of Azerbaijan requested further information about the organization’s scholarship programme and the funding source for that programme.

Engineering Association for Development and Environment (Iraq) � as the representative of Turkey requested further information about the organization’s management strategy and expenditures.

Formation Awareness and Community Empowerment Society Pakistan (Pakistan) � as the representative of Pakistan requested more information about a series of health-related projects, including which partner organizations were involved.

Gulshan-e-John (Pakistan) � as the representative of Pakistan asked for further details about the organization’s projects related to various forms of discrimination.

International Human Right Organization (Pakistan) � as the representative of Pakistan requested further details about the organization’s partnerships and planned projects.

Iraqi Al-Amal Association (Iraq) � as the representative of China requested further information about the organization’s planned projects and activities.

Legal Advice Centre (Kenya) � as the representative of Burundi requested further details on the organization’s funding sources.

Mkokoteni Aid Development Organization (Kenya) � as the representative of Burundi requested an updated and detailed list of the group’s planned activities for 2018.

Pak Special Persons Welfare Society (Pakistan) � as the representative of Pakistan requested further details about how the group intended to fund future projects.

Pakistan International Human Rights Organization (Pakistan) � as the representative of Pakistan requested further details on the group’s funding sources.

Public Aid Organization (Iraq) � as the representative of Turkey requested further information regarding the amount of funding the group received from Government sources.

The New Woman Foundation (Egypt) � as the representative of Cuba requested a more specific response regarding the countries in which the organization operated.

The Voice Society (Pakistan) � as the representative of Pakistan requested further details regarding the group’s funding sources.

V-Day Karama (Egypt) � as the representative of the Russian Federation requested further information about the group’s partnerships with organizations in Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Libya.

West Papua Interest Association (Indonesia) � as the representatives of South Africa, Iran and Cuba all posed questions related to the group’s national registration. In addition, the representative of Indonesia clarified that the organization was not registered in Indonesia, and the representative of India requested further information about its budget.

American Human Rights Council (United States) � as the representative of China requested further information about the funding the group received from other non-governmental organizations.

Arab Center for the Promotion of Human Rights (United States) � as the representative of the Russian Federation requested clarification on the use of the phrase national or regional struggle in the organization’s application, including examples.

Arab-European Center of Human Rights and International Law (Norway) � as the representative of Pakistan requested the group to elaborate on its partnerships.

Assyrian Aid Society of America Inc. (United States) � as the representative of Turkey asked whether the organization had activities in any countries other than Iraq and to elaborate on what sort of public awareness activities the group was engaged in.

Bahrain Center for Human Rights (Denmark) � as the representative of Pakistan requested further details about the group’s projects, including funding sources.

Centre universitaire de droit international humanitaire (Switzerland) � as the representative of Turkey requested further details about the group’s funding, including the sources of that funding and the projects for which it was used.

Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights (Republic of Korea) � as the representative of Cuba requested clarification about the funding that the organization receives from private donors.

Congres mondial Amazigh (France) � as the representative of Burundi requested a list of the organization’s planned activities for 2018, and the representative of South Africa asked how the group intended to deal with its budget deficit.

Coptic Solidarity (United States) � as the representative of Pakistan requested further information about the organization’s annual conference held in 2017.

Database Center for North Korean Human Rights (Republic of Korea) � as the representative of China asked the organization to provide additional financial information on its Government-funded activities from 2015-2017.

Diakonia (Sweden) � as the representative of South Africa asked the organization to provide an updated list of projects and activities.

Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness) (Lebanon) � pending further information.

Chinese Culture Promotion Society (China) � pending further information.

The Committee postponed consideration of requests for reclassification to general consultative status from the following two organizations:

Global Economist Forum (Bangladesh) � as the representative of India requested further information about the organization’s activities.

The Sant Nirankari Mandal, Delhi (India) � as the representative of India requested further information about the organization’s budget.

Interactive Discussion

During a question-and-answer session in the afternoon, non-governmental organization representatives answered questions posed by the Committee.

A representative of the group UNESCO Center for Peace (United States) said the group was designed to promote the United Nations and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) ideals, mission and work throughout the United States.

The Committee then approved the organization for consultative status.

The representative of the organization Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness) (Lebanon) said the group had a national registration and interacted with Lebanese institutions. The organization visited Lebanese prisons and provided legal aid to Palestinian prisoners.

The representative of Israel asked what measures the organization had taken to protect human rights in Lebanon from a legal and social point of view. The representative of the organization responded that the group documented claims from victims and contacted the relevant Government authorities. In response to additional questions from the representative of Israel, the organization’s representative said that the group spared no efforts to address the human rights of Palestinian women. He added the organization worked with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to promote human rights as well as Palestinian university students.

The Committee then postponed consideration of the organization pending further information.

A representative from Chinese Culture Promotion Society (China) said the group was established in 1992 as a social organization by people, agencies and volunteers that were enthusiastic about Chinese culture. Its activities included exhibitions and cultural exchanges. It worked in Hong Kong and Macau.

The representative of the United States asked about the organization’s relationship with the United Front Department, to which the representative replied that it had no relationship. Rather, it was managed through the Ministry for Cultural Affairs. By law, the establishment of a non-governmental organization must be registered with the Ministry of Civil Affairs, and supervised by relevant departments. Government officials did not work in the organization and its activities were not affected by government decisions.

The representative of the United States asked whether the organization had any association with the Council for National Reunification, to which the representative replied that she did not know of any such relationship.

The representative of the United States went on to ask for information on the Cross-Straight Culture Dialogue, to which the representative replied that it was a humanitarian dialogue, the first was held in 2012 in Beijing.

The representative of the United States then asked how the organization conducted certain activities, to which the representative responded that it had two television channels � Calligraphy and World Audio-Visual Channel � through which, and in particular through television advertisements, it generated income.

The representative of the United States asked about the group’s relationship with organizations in other countries, specifically Australia, the Russian Federation, Switzerland and Canada, and whether those organizations were locally registered. The representative replied that such organizations were members of the Chinese Culture Promotion Society. They were independent legal entities that organized their own activities. They are not affiliated with us, she said.

The Committee then postponed consideration of the organization pending further information.

A representative of Iraqi Al-Amal Association (Iraq) said Al-Amal meant hope, which was the mission of her organization. It was a national organization. On 25 May, it had submitted a list of its activities, which included efforts to promote inter-ethnic and inter-religious dialogue, address gender-based violence and promote human rights in Kirkuk province, and empower youth in Basra province.

The representative of India asked about the regional and international organizations with which the group worked and about any programmes of shared interest.

The Committee then postponed consideration of the organization pending further information.

A representative of Public Aid Organization (Iraq) said that, regarding paragraph 19 (a) of its application, concerning any affiliation with the Government, there was no relationship with the Government other than with the Department of Non-Governmental Organizations, as all such groups must be registered with that department.

The representative of Turkey clarified that previous questions related to paragraph 19 (b), whether Public Aid Organization received money from any Governments, and if so, she requested related information.

The Public Aid Organization representative responded that in May, the representative of Iran had asked the same question, to which the group had replied that its financial report listed all entities that provided funds. It cooperated with an agency affiliated with the United Nations to provide assistance to displaced persons, especially children.

The representative of Turkey clarified that she was referring to a project on building capacity for civil society groups and requested that information be provided in writing. She also asked why the group considered itself an advocacy and lobbying organization, to which the representative responded that he would provide a written reply to both questions, noting that on the question of advocacy, the organization aimed to ensure children’s protection.

The Committee then postponed consideration of the organization pending further information.

A representative of Coptic Solidarity (United States) said she would be happy to answer any questions today. She had observed with admiration that Committee delegates, amid any disagreement with non-governmental organizations, nonetheless continued to interact with them, discuss issues and shake hands. Regarding Coptic Solidarity’s annual conference, she said she had submitted its programme in June, and currently, it was on the group’s website.

The representative of Cuba said it was a great responsibility for organizations to receive consultative Economic and Social Council status.

The representative of Burundi asked whether the organization received any funds from religious institutions, and if so for what purpose, to which the representative replied it did not receive funds from any religious institutions. All of its funds came from individuals, particularly board members and ad-hoc supporters.

The representative of Burundi then asked whether membership was open to all individuals of all religions and nationalities, and he wished to see a clause referring to such, to which the representative replied that the organization was open to all nationalities, a break-down of which had been included in its application. There was nothing in the bylaws that a person was required to be of any particular faith.

The representative of Burundi requested written information on the definition of Coptic communities.

The Committee then postponed consideration of the organization pending further information.

Source: United Nations

   

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