More interaction necessary

Civil society calls for regular meetings with UN Committee on NGOs

08/01/2017 ecosoc ngo committee un

Non-governmental organizations are requesting improvements to the working methods of the Committee on NGOs of ECOSOC (United Nations Economic and Social Council) so there can be more interaction between the body and NGOs that work with the UN system. The main request is for regular meetings to be held between the organizations and the Committee’s Member States.

ECOSOC Resolution 1996/31 provides that the NGO Committee is responsible for regular monitoring of the evolving relationship between NGOs and the UN. The resolution specifies that the Committee should hold meetings with accredited NGOs before its sessions (held twice a year, in January and May) and at any other times that may be necessary to discuss issues related to the relationship between NGOs and the UN. But the organizations said in a letter sent to ECOSOC members that no meetings have been held in recent years.

According to the signatories, regular meetings with the Committee are essential to build a more constructive relationship between the two. They said that the meetings could help to address the wide range of challenges faced by NGOs in engaging with the UN. The organizations claimed that “the refusal to engage with NGOs on general topics of concern is in contradiction to its responsibilities outlined in resolution 1996/31”.

They also asked ECOSOC to remind the Committee on NGOs of its responsibility to convene at least one meeting before each session, beginning with its next session in January 2018.

The letter sent to ECOSOC members was signed by Conectas, CELS, Article 19, International Service for Human Rights and another 12 NGOs that work with the UN system.

> Click here to read the letter in full.