The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations continued its 2022 session today, recommending 2 entities for special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council and deferring action on 31 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 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 organizations’ activities, partners, expenditures and sources of funding.
The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations will meet again at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, 25 May, to conclude its session.
Special Consultative Status
The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations recommended that the Economic and Social Council grant special consultative status to the following two entities:
Commonwealth Association of Planners (United Kingdom); and
Servare et Manere (Slovakia).
The Committee postponed action on the application of the following 30 organizations:
BOOSTGREEN Association (Cameroon) — as the representative of China asked the group to clarify whether it is a national organization or also operates in other countries, outside Cameroon;
Jan Lok Kalyan Parishad (India) — as the representative of Pakistan noted that the organization listed five other groups which are members, and requested individual breakdowns of the financial contributions of each entity;
OxYGen Foundation for Protection of Women and Youth Rights (Armenia) — as the representative of Turkey asked about the organization’s stated aim of “building relationships with other stakeholders”, including Parliament members, and how it hopes to benefit from those relationships;
Pro Rural (India) — as the representative of Pakistan asked for more details about the stated income generated from its contracts;
Uttarakhand Jan Jagriti Samiti (India) — as the representative of Pakistan asked for details about a grant the organization received from the Ministry of Micro-, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises of India;
Y S Makhdoomi Memorial Educational Trust (India) — as the representative of Pakistan noted the organization’s stated intent to open international offices and requested details about which countries they will be located in, as well as what activities will be carried out there;
Youth Development Center (Cameroon) — as the representative of China asked for more information about funding received by the organization from foreign embassies in Cameroon;
Zam Zam Foundation (Sri Lanka) — as the representative of Pakistan asked whether the organization cooperates with any local colleges or universities in administering its courses;
"Garmoniya" Samara Center for Youth Employment, Socialization and Cultural Development Autonomous Non-profit Organization (Russian Federation) — as the representative of Estonia asked the group to clarify whether it has any cooperation with national, governmental or parliamentary entities;
Autonomous Non-Profit Organization "Research Center "Minority Report" (Russian Federation) — as the representative of Estonia noted the group’s assertion that its director is a member of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, and asked for more information about his engagement in that capacity;
Eduactive Società Cooperativa (Italy) — as the representative of Greece asked the organization to provide detailed, relevant information about its activities and partners in Turkey, if any;
European Network of Migrant Women (Belgium) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked whether the organization has, or is planning any, projects in her country;
Foundation for a Drug-Free World (United States) — as the representative of Cuba asked for more information about an allied group listed by the organization which pays for most of its materials, and how the latter is able to maintain its independence when much of its funding does not come from its own budget;
Luftbrücke Irak e.V. (Germany) — as the representative of Turkey asked the organization for more details about its “centre of coexistence” in Iraq;
SAM pour les droits et les libertés (Switzerland) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked whether the organization’s work is national or international in nature;
The Assembly of Representatives of the Peoples Living on the Territory of the Republic of Tatarstan” Regional Public Organization (Russian Federation) — as the representative of the United States requested a more detailed breakdown of the group’s budget;
Aliança Nacional LGBTI (Brazil) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked the organization to provide more details about the procedure through which it selects its leadership;
Instituto Campanha Nacional pelo Direito à Educação (Brazil) — as the representative of Israel asked the organization to clarify its relationship with another Brazilian organization by a similar name, which already enjoys consultative status with the Economic and Social Council;
John Retreat Center Cameroon (Cameroon) — as the representative of Cuba asked the group whether its various members, both individuals and organizations, all have to pay the same annual fee;
Youth Love Egypt Foundation (Egypt) — as the representative of Israel asked the organization to clarify its statement that it focuses on environmental issues, given that its activities on social media indicate that is also works on other issues;
Action League for Palestinians of Syria LTD (United Kingdom) — as the representative of China asked for more details on the organization’s “Eyewitness Project”, which is listed on its website;
American Kratom Association (United States) — as the representative of the Russian Federation asked the organization to provide a more detailed breakdown on the donors which provide it with income;
G.A.T. – Grupo Português de Activistas sobre Tratamentos de VIH/SIDA – Pedro Santos (Portugal) — as the representative of Cuba, noting that the organization receives 37 per cent of its income from Government contributions and 34 per cent from international organizations, asked how it is able to maintain its independence with such a funding structure;
Harm Reduction Australia Limited (Australia) — as the representative of the Russian Federation requested additional information about the organization’s participation in United Nations round-table events;
Merciful Souls (Al-Qolub Al-Rahima)(R/A) (Israel) — as the representative of China asked for more information about the organization’s Orphan Sponsorship Project;
NTC-Hands Off Cain (Italy) — as the representative of Pakistan requested the organization to provide its annual reports on the status of the death penalty worldwide for the last two years;
Syria Relief (United Kingdom) — as the representative of Cuba asked the organization to clarify how it conducts work in Syria despite not being registered in that country;
Syrian Legal Development Programme (United Kingdom) — as the representative of Cuba asked the organization to provide more clarity about its activities geared towards “new relevant actors” for human rights, including in Latin America;
The Malala Fund (United States) — as the representative of China asked the organization to provide a detailed breakdown of its expenditures on advocacy, which accounts for more than 50 per cent of its overall spending; and
US Council of Muslim Organizations (United States) — as the representative of China asked for more information about the entity’s member groups, and whether any of them already enjoy consultative status with the Economic and Social Council.
The representative of the group Mwatana Organization for Human Rights took the floor to provide an overview of its work documenting the status of human rights in Yemen. Noting that it strives to adhere to the highest standards in informing the public about the war in that country, he responded to questions previously posed by the Committee, including one related to its work with the International Federation for Human Rights. Mwatana has drafted several joint reports with that organization, he said, including some that were submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council. It has also advocated for an international, criminally focused mechanism for Yemen, among other activities, he said.
The representative of Bahrain asked the organization’s representative to clarify what it described in its application as “emergency material assistance” provided to Mwatana by the International Federation for Human Rights.
The group’s representative responded that assistance was provided to pay for security measures, such as metal detectors, as Mwatana’s office is located in a hazardous area of Sana’a.
The representative of Bahrain then asked the organization’s representative to provide more information about its local members in Yemen, to which he responded it does not have local partners with which it collaborates in documenting human rights violations due to the sensitivity of that work. Instead, it has international partners that are present on the ground in Yemen, such as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The representative of Bahrain then asked for more clarity about the group’s presence in the Netherlands, to which its representative responded that Mwatana attempted to register in that country, but was not able to do so for logistical reasons.
The representative of the United States reminded the Committee that it is not a requirement that an organization be registered in a particular country in order to carry out its work there. She also expressed concern about repetitive questions posed to organizations appearing before the Committee.
To that, the representative of Cuba responded that members are entitled — and in fact have a duty — to respond to the information provided by organizations in response to questions posed by the Committee. The representative of China agreed with that interpretation, while the representative of the Russian Federation expressed his view that the questions posed by Bahrain’s representative are wholly appropriate.
Following that discussion, the representative of Bahrain requested additional information from the organization regarding its founders and Board of Trustees, as well as for an audited financial statement for the year 2021.
Consideration of Mwatana’s application was deferred pending its responses to those questions.