Turkish NGOs silenced in the UN

Committee that assesses NGO accreditation bars organizations critical of Recep Erdogan government

03/06/2017 committee on ngos economic and social council ecosoc ngos un

The Committee responsible for approving, rejecting and withdrawing the accreditation of NGOs that wish to work within the United Nations has withdrawn the consultative status of a number of Turkish organizations that until recently were based in Turkey. The Committee on NGOs said the withdrawal was made because their activities were cancelled in their country of origin in 2016.

According to 10 civil society organizations, however, registration at the national level is not a prerequisite for granting or retaining accreditation by ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council, to which the Committee reports).

In a letter sent to the UN Secretary-General, the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights and the President of the Economic and Social Council, the organizations protested the decision and expressed their “deep concern that the Committee on NGOs recommended withdrawal or rejection of accreditation based on a decision taken at the national level that has been criticized itself as in violation of international human rights standards”.

Currently, nearly 4,500 organizations from around the world have authorization from ECOSOC to work within the UN. The Committee had already proven itself to be uncompromising on a previous occasion when it prevented a representative of Conectas from making a statement at one of its regular sessions held on January 31.

The letter in support of the Turkish NGOs was signed by Conectas and another nine organizations, including Amnesty International and CIVICUS.

> Click here to read the letter in full.